September 29, 2007


Well, I've done a lot of things wrong on this trip, but hopefully I've reached the end of them. I gave myself all of 15 minutes to take a quick walk around some of Bern - it looked very cool - again a mixture of age-old architecture still alive with current life. I had hoped that would be enough time to get to the Bernese bear pit, but no such luck. I turned back because I wanted to be sure to make the early train to Paris, I had tickets to the Rugby World Cup match that night. When I got to the ticket counter and asked for a reservation on the train to Paris (TGV requires a reservation even though my ticket is covered by my Eurail Pass), the agent made a face. Uh oh. The train was full, even first class. I had other trains I had looked up as second choices. Those were full too. Ugh. Finally he did find one route if I took a train to Basel and then to Strasbourg, but it got me to Paris after the match had already started. I took the reservation, but went to a different ticket office. Her options were different, but worse. Though it meant I could have a few more hours in Bern to explore, I decided to go ahead and take an earlier train to Basel, hoping I could work the system and find a way to Paris sooner. Basel wasn't much better. The agent there found different options yet, but hers got me to Paris at the same time. I now had bought two different reservations getting me to Paris later than the game started, but I figured that was the price for trying to work the system. I decided to go on to Strasbourg as there were a lot of trains to Paris from there. Again, no luck. All trains were booked before mine. I watched as multiple trains to Paris left as if to mock me. I wish I knew enough about how they work to know what would have happened if I had gotten on an earlier train with the wrong reservation in hand. There were many empty seats in my car, I can only imagine the same was true for the earlier trains. Regardless, it was 11 by the time I got to my hotel. The match was over. I was so bummed that I sat for a while trying to decide whether to go out or even bother at that point. My friend Darrin happened to be on email and told me to stay in and rest. I don't know if he said that knowing I'd do the opposite, but it got me out and I'm glad. Paris is so alive and amazing everywhere at all times. It was fun just to be out in the middle of it all. So, a bad few days are past. The meds are working and I'm feeling better. And forgive me if I sound like Carrie Bradshaw, but how can life be bad when you're in Paris?

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