Back in the Travel Saddle – repost

There are a limited number of direct flights to Europe from Vancouver but one of those is Air France direct to Paris.  Back in September, CrossCountry Bob scooped two tickets, departing October 12 and returning November 20.  And with that, the trip was a go.

On October 12, YVR was not crowded and! CrossCountry Bob was feeling blessed at that point. Hence the smiles you see below…

After settling in at the departure gate, CrossCountry Bob started with what were once familiar tasks…passports, check, wallet, check, credit cards, check, charge cord for iPhone, check, charge cord for extra battery – oops.  Well, the smooth oiled travel machine lodged in CrossCountry Bob’s brain was clearly running rough due to lack of use and Covid cobwebs.  This trip will fix that (he hopes).

The actual planning details of the trip are a state secret not to be disbursed at this time to you, dear reader, but will be leaked out gradually as the trip progresses (sorry for the secrecy (not really) but CrossCountry Bob likes to imitate those in charge as that makes him feel somewhat important.

In any event, it was a smooth flight but then a three! hour wait for the train from Paris to Bordeaux (CrossCountry Bob has come to notice that whenever he leaves a large time buffer, the plane leaves on time and arrives early).  One thing the French have right (aside from no mask mandates anymore) is their high-speed trains.  CrossCountry Bob is a big fan (please note that CrossCountry Bob does not hesitate to extend credit to those in charge when they (rarely) do something smart).

But then, high-speed trains aside, reality intruded once again and reminded CrossCountry Bob that not only is he not in charge of anything, the French are clearly not either – as evidenced by (gotta laugh): NO GASOLINE!  Said more succintly: not a good time to rent a car in France.

Which is exactly what CrossCountry Bob and Paintin’ Peggie are doing today.  In a panic, CrossCountry Bob quickly double checked that the wine makers were not also on strike and that the supply of Bordeaux wines would not suffer.  With an affirmative on that crucial aspect, the trip, not mortally wounded, will continue. Paintin’ Peggie noted that CrossContry Bob had a faint smile when he observed that the French strike about a lot of things but never about their wine.  Gasoline might be essential but wine was important (see how CrossCountry Bob is starting to understanding how those in charge think).

More to follow… meanwhile here is the Bordeaux train station viewed from our hotel window which is a converted stone mansion of some indeterminate age.

Au revoir. Time for breakfast. Most likely cafe au lait and croissants.

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