Monday, April 26, 2010
LOCATION: Montpellier Train Station...One week ago...Panic had settled in all around us; each airport, car rental, bus and train station...everywhere we went, there was no way to get home...Panic is a contagious emotion that was working its way through the crowds..
Yes, I have been gone for a short while...and I regret leaving without saying a word...I regret leaving at all...! But who would have known...that the "butterfly effect" or maybe that is a simplification of what happened last week...would impact so many travelers around the world. We were in Orly airport when we received a call from one of our Irish friends...."oh, btw, did you know that there has been a volcano in Iceland?" Well, no...but does it matter? That is the question we forgot to ask ourselves, as we waited on our already grounded plane (due to no power, not volcanic ash). It didn't seem relevant at the time....the next we heard about "the situation" was after we arrived in Zaragoza, Spain. There was a medical meeting T2 had to attend, so he thought it would be a nice surprise for me to come along...little did we know, how BIG a surprise it would turn into...
But back to the surprise trip...lovely, little town of Zaragoza, Spain. I love to visit Spain, the warmth of the people, the "cortado and napolitana" I ordered each morning sans whiskey, the elegant way they dress, the parks, BUT most of all the tapas!! For two nights, we celebrated in the Spanish way...a walk around the park, find the perfect seat, order the tapas and a nice wine to match...always good! So, we did have a bit of fun before the realization that the "situation" as discussed on CNN each time we tuned in, was NOT getting any better, only worse...Plan A and B had to be formed. Sometimes, plans need a bit of info to get them a float...and NO ONE would answer the phones. NO RENTAL CARS, NO AMERICAN EXPRESS SOS lines, NO TRAINS, etc...I'm sure you get the picture...we certainly did.
So, forging ahead..we took off in our Spanish rental car back to Barcelona airport, as our rental was over, where they quietly informed us it would be 1000E to drive the car to Paris..wow! too much! BUT, maybe there is a possibility of a car in Girona airport...only 200E to drive the rental there....sounded like a chance to find that FR rental car that would be oh-so-much cheaper...well, it was really eerrie there...our car was surrounded by people checking our plates...everyone was searching for a FR rental. The rental agency there quietly informed us...it would be 1,500E to drive to Paris...that 1000E all of a sudden looked good, but was gone...Disaster 101...KEEP THE CAR!!
Well. the rest of the story reads much like many others who lived thru this Panic-Striken time...Taxis to Perpignan, to Montpellier...finally a train to Paris...so 2 days later, we are home. But with an appreciation for the days before airplanes were so fashionable. Yes, we certainly take for granted that the boarding pass will get us there, each and every time.
So, if you would like to Partager Tapas without leaving Paris, try Les Pietons in the 4e or for apporter your tapas, try El Sol - Comptoir Espagnol Delicious!!