Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Swiss Mess!

As I find myself on a high-speed TGV on my way from Paris to Berne, I can’t help to think a few things of differences. Such as; the fact that it is October 26 and the sun barely started to rise about 7:59 this morning [And yes, the time is very specific due to the fact that that’s the time my train left and it was the first time this morning that I have seen any sort of light in the sky. Another thing; how cold it is here… never in my life would I think of missing Oklahoma weather, yet here I am wishing it was a warm 46 degrees [14 degrees Celsius] rather than the usual 37 degrees [3 degrees Celsius]. Another thing I find unusual is that when you travel, you mainly travel by train here; I have never been on any sort of train [except the subway in N.Y.C.] on the whole continent of America. In Europe, I don’t think I can even count how many trains I have been on, and metros… forget it!

As we continue with my story, my friend V & I were supposed to go to Switzerland to visit my uncle K and his family for our week vacation. Well we finally figured out our whole itinerary. You want to know how wretched it is all to save a few bucks [well not really, actually quite a lot of money.]
-Leave Amiens for Paris on the 4:24 a.m. train.
-Arrive in Paris at 6:14 a.m. at the Gare du Nord.
-Take the Metro line 5 towards Place de l’Italie get off at Bastille, switch to the line 1 towards Château de Vincennes get off at Gare de Lyon.
-Purchase our tickets from Paris to Berne [for the train that left at 7:58 a.m. because it was the cheapest one 60 Euros.
-Arrive in Berne by 12:45p.m.

Well, this is exactly how the plan ended up happening:

-Not sleep a wink
-Leave my place at 4a.m. Arrive at the train station by 4:20a.m.
-As soon as we arrive on the platform watch our train leave in the horizon [this is the second time this has happened to me in two months.]
-Go back up to the warm Gare. Figure out to take the 5:20 a.m. train.
-I run back home because I left my Swiss money and to grab a metro map of Paris to figure out our tactics.
-Arrive in Paris at 7:08a.m. [keep in mind we have 50 minutes to get across town with suitcase in tow, buy tickets, find platform, get on the train.]
-Hop on the metro as soon as we arrive at its platform, almost ran over a little old French lady with my suitcase [MOVE!]
-Hop of metro line 5 to run to metro line 1, I mean we are booking it!
-Arrive at Gare de Lyon at 7:31a.m.
-The French lady at the counter is taking her time; finally get her to talk to us by 7:40a.m. She tells us that the tickets to Berne cost 80 Euros. My friend can’t afford that. So she bails out on me, I use my Half-tax card and buy it for 70 Euros.
-7:46 a.m. I am on the wrong side of the train station.
-7:50 a.m. found my platform, figure out that my cart is the last one… 18, freaking EIGHTEEN! [keep in mind I haven’t slept in 24 hours.]
-7:57 a.m. in my seat, sweating and ready to be in Berne.
-7:59 a.m. sunrise. [I think I have had way too much excitement before sunrise today!]
-10:52 a.m. get off at Franse to switch trains, running 5 minutes behind. Conductor tells me to get back on the train.[Due to the French strike, of course!]
-11:54 a.m. Arrive in Lausanne 
-12:22 p.m. My train for Berne leave
-1:37 p.m. arrive in Berne
-2:07 p.m. arrive at my Uncle's house
-3:30 p.m. nap! 

However, now I am excited to finally be around family. Chill and not be in a 9 meter squared room. Plus, I miss them! We have plenty to talk about. 


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