For the first time in quite a good while, our flight was actually set for a reasonable hour. We finished up with our packing and said our sad goodbyes to Gizmo before heading out to the airport. Given that it wasn’t some ungodly hour in the morning, Vancouver airport was actually quite busy. We snuck in a quick lunch with the parents before making our way, rather painlessly, through security. We were soon on our way, via Edelweiss Air (of all things)…it is somewhat silly that our connection is in Zurich, considering we’ll have to fly past Paris to get there, but anyway…
The flight was relatively uneventful, despite re-confirming my (and amusingly David’s) distaste for being confined in a small space with noisy toddlers. We both didn’t sleep as much as expected…David was engrossed in his new book, The Space Opera Renaissance, and I snuck in a movie or two in between dozing. We landed at Zurich Airport, which is very space-aged and futuristic-looking, lots of geometric and minimalist architecture. D and I loitered at a pricey café over a smoothie and a Panaché beer (which D claimed was not really beer, but more beer-flavoured Sprite) and had a lively debate about tradition, societal norms and reason. A couple hours later, we were back boarding another plane bound for Paris. Thankfully, it was only a short hop, about 50 minutes.
I’d never actually flown into Charles de Gaulle airport, so it was interesting moving about the airport. Their baggage carousels were somewhat ineffectual…we watched another flight’s luggage get repeatedly jammed trying to come out. Eventually, we retrieved our two pieces of somewhat weighty luggage and trundled off to catch the RER into town. At the airport end, things were very considerate of those with hefty bags; however, at Gare Montparnasse, we must’ve hauled our stuff up and down 4 flights of stairs. I immediately regretted packing that extra book and pair of shoes. Mercifully, we eventually reached the train station with time to spare before boarding our train to Bordeaux. I really do like trains…the platform number was posted perhaps 20 minutes before departure..everyone wanders over to the train, sticks your luggage in the holder and you’re on your way. Eminently more efficient. We started to watch a show on my laptop, but we were soon both fast asleep. The 3.5 hours whizzed by, and it wasn’t long before we were making our way into the train station in Bordeaux. As it was about 9:30 in the evening, most things were closed up. We grabbed a cab to our little hotel (Hotel Touring) which was thankfully quite centrally-located for its price.
After settling in, we decided to take a bit of a wander to see what was in the neighbourhood. By chance, not two blocks away, we stumbled across an Epicurial festival! Several blocks lined with little tented restaurants of varying genres. David had a hankering for mussels, so we stopped to get a bite to eat. We were both pretty beat after 20+ hours of traveling, so we turned in early.