Once again i am writing this on a train, a few days later than what i would have liked, this time from Rome to Venice. At least i have wifi this time so i can post it straight away.
Anyway we were a little bit sad to leave the incredibly relaxed Barcelona, and from that we ended up in some of the most beautiful but also the most stressful part of our entire holiday so far, the French Riviera.
Our eventual destination was Nice, but from Barcelona it is a little hard to get there – you would need to take four separate trains to get there. So we decided to stop off a little earlier, in a place called Aix En Provence, which is about an hour out of Marseille. That was still an event in itself, we had to catch a train from Barcelona to the border town of Figeureas, then from there to Perpignan, and then finally onto Aix En Provence. It made for a long day on the train. It wasn’t over yet though, we then had to go and pick up our hire car.
Im not sure how many of you have driven overseas, but driving in the UK was a piece of cake. It was a little stressful on the country roads that were only one way, but it wasn’t too bad. It was stressful to get out of the city, but that was about it. Well driving in France was something else entirely. First things first, you are on the wrong side of the car! More than once i went to get into the passenger seat before realising i had to be on the other side of the car.
Another thing i was quite worried about is that you now have to change gears with your other hand, which in the cities or on windy roads might have been difficult, so i decided to opt for paying the (quite a bit) extra and going for an automatic. Money well spent i reckon. So we finally get the car at the hire car place, and I jump in. Hmm, there is a huge scratch on the side that wasn’t listen on the little sheet. Oh well, I walked the 100m or so back to the office, and whilst I was doing that I asked to Chereen to get our GPS out and make sure it all works etc.
Ten minutes later I come back and everything is ticked off, but there is a problem, the GPS has broken! The screen has a massive crack in it, and it means that the touch screen isn’t working anymore. DAMMIT! Well i am not navigating around France without a GPS, so back to the office to grovel at their feet and ask them for a car with a GPS in it. Luckily they had one and they were pretty happy to upsell me to the next model up. €20 a day more expensive, but not much that can be done.
Anyway, after all that mucking around, we finally get on the road for the short drive to the B&B, and I am packing myself. It feels so foreign sitting on the left side of the car, and I have no intuition for where the other side of the car is. To make things worse the road that the B&B was on was another incredibly narrow road, only really 1 lane, and there were big ditches on either side! So every ten seconds i am asking Chereen whether i am going to fall off the side of the ditch! If only that was the worst of our driving experience, ill detail that in another post.
Finally though, we made it to the B&B which was only about about ten minutes from the station, and it is time for a rest.
Having breakfast on the balcony in Barcelona before we left for Aix En Provence
The garden of the B&B in Aix
Bloody European Carp!
Back towards the B&B