We got ready, filled our tummies, and arrived at the car rental place exactly at 8 am, when they opened. Even with the Hertz agent's limited English skills and our limited French skills, we managed to return the car with no problem at all and grab a taxi to the train station with plenty of time left to catch our Paris-bound train. Why was I worried, this day was going to be a breeze! Well, this is where things got a little interesting.
|at the train station in Bayeux|
When we arrived at the train station in Bayeux, there were a number of American travellers in the station and they seemed to be panicked about something. Okay, no big deal, let's just find our train and platform number on the board and let's go outside and wait. The problem was, our train number wasn't listed on the board. After some broken-English communication with the station clerk, we managed to find out that our train had been cancelled. Not a big deal - we could just take the next train. However, taking the next train from Bayeux would mean that we'd miss our connection in Paris, which would mean we'd miss our connection in Germany, which would mean that we'd arrive in Freibourg late (if at all that day) and my family (the ones picking us up) would be worried and wondering where we were.
|free train food is DELICIOUS! (and the give you wine!)|
Luck must have been on our side because we made it to Paris with plenty of time to spare and we made all of our other connections with no problems. All of the stress and changes of plans did teach us a thing or two about traveling:
- Be flexible. Sure plans are all well and good, but you can't plan for every single thing. You can be as prepared as possible, but some things are just out of your control and there's nothing that you can do about it. Remember: you're on vacation. Even though things might be tense and stressful, you can figure it out - and it still beats being at work.
- When booking connections, leave plenty of time in between each connection. This really saved us. When I was booking our reservations I had the option, with a number of our connections, to have 15 to 20 minutes in between, or 1 or 2 hours. I always opted for the longer wait times and I'm really glad that I did because, when one train was late (or cancelled), our time between connections was long enough that we were still able to make all of our connection.
|finally at the pub after a full day of travelling|
|my family's pub/guesthouse in Kaltenbach|
After breakfast, we headed to the nearby town of Kandren to visit a local festival that was going on; the festival is called the "Boden Fest". We walked around the festival and watched some of the horse shows (the history of the festival is a horse festival, now it's more centered around eating and drinking, with some horse stuff sprinkled in), and then decided to have lunch at one of the food stalls. After lunch, we strolled back to the car, stopping to window shop along the way, before heading back to Kaltenbach.
|i want a pony!|
|lunch at the Boden Fest - meat salad!|
|inside the church|
|inside the church|
|dinner at the Boden Fest|
|in the square at the Boden Fest, enjoying the live music|