My Travel Adventures

July 10, 2016 at 10:46 am (writing) (, , , , , , )

eymet flowers0051I’m ending my travel theme with tales of my trip to France. It was not a road without its bumps, to say the least.

It started off without any problems in Halifax, but that changed the moment I got on the plane. We were informed, once on, that the plane had a minor mechanical issue and we had to wait for parts to come from the hangar, so there would be a slight delay. They were right, but the slight delay of 10-15 minutes was significant with only an hour between connecting flights at Montreal.

Because we arrived late, we had lost our arrival gate, so we had to use stairs onto the tarmac and walk through the rain to the terminal.  I then had to sprint across the airport to the departure gate for Paris (and every single moving sidewalk and escalator was out of order/being serviced along the way, which meant dragging my carry on suitcase up the stairs.)  They were already boarding when I arrived at the gate, so hot, sweaty, tired and thirsty, I got on my plane.

The plane was unusually hot, but I found my seat and hunkered in – and waited, and baked, and waited some more.  They finally announced, after the departure time had come and gone, that they had two problems to fix before we could leave.  They had a problem with the water system on board that needed repairs and they were having an issue with auxiliary power (which meant no AC, which is why we were baking).  We would have to wait until those things were fixes before departure.  At least they were kind enough to allow us to watch movies while we waited and brought water around to make up for the fact that we were cooking in our seats.  More than an hour and a half later, we finally left.

The flight was fine, but once again, because we arrived late, we had no arrival gate so we took stairs out of the plane and they bussed us to our terminal.  Customs took longer than normal because they were on high security alert.  It also meant the Paris airport was filled with armed soldiers.  I’ve never seen that many machine guns up close before.  They were stopping people at random to check IDs and luggage/purses.  One guy stopped me and asked to check my purse, and I happily obliged (and offered up the rest of my carry-on if he wanted to check it, but he was okay with the purse).  I booted it to the terminal I had to be at for my flight to Bordeaux and arrived 20 minutes before boarding – once again hot, sweaty, tired and thirsty.

Apparently, the air conditioner wasn’t working properly by the Air France gates because the place was like a sauna.  And since they boarded priority flyers first I stood in that for about 40 minutes before getting on the plane.  It was a short flight to Bordeaux, 55 minutes, and we got a tiny cup of water that barely wet my mouth.  So when we landed I was tired (after about 2 hours sleep), hungry (no food since the night before), and dehydrated.

But despite all the delays, I made it here, on time and in one piece.  Everyone along the way was polite and helpful, so I really can’t complain.  And I would really rather they make necessary repairs then neglect them and suffer the consequences of that, even if the delays present challenges.  I’m just glad I didn’t have to do all this with a teenager who doesn’t like to run in tow, like last year, who also would have complained about being thirsty the entire time (but she does want to come next year).

Now its time to go enjoy France for a few days – so that’s it for now.  Back later!

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