Well, I suppose it had to happen. After everything going so well, we neded a bit of a disaster to even things up a bit.
First, after thinking that we’d packed up and left in good time to make our train, navigating the train connections was a nightmare: tickets not working in the station entrance, a train delayed (and not understanding the announcement so didn’t know if it was a 2 minute delay or a 10 minute delay), getting on the right train heading in the wrong direction, and not being able to find a ticket office open to validate our tickets when we finally made it to Gare de Lyon, 3 minutes after our train to Provence was due to leave.
As it turned out, the closed ticket office was because of a strike, so everyone else was in a state of bedlam too. Eventually we got some advice that our tickets were still valid, and we should just head to the platform and get on the next train. (Not sure whether this was the standard drill, or whether they were in a “don’t care, do what you want” mood because of the strike.)
Anyway, as soon as the platform for the Marseilles train was announced, there was a rush of people for the train, and we scrambled to get seats, managing to find two together for Nicola and me, and one a few places away for Peter. Oops! These seats had been reserved; usually there are markers to show which seats were reserved, but there were none, maybe also because of the strike???
For a while it looked like we might have to stand in the aisle all the way, but then a very kind English woman offered us her seat, as she was going to go and sit next to her husband, and we found a seat nearby for Peter and one a bit further away for me. At least we were on our way!
The rest of the trip was (fortunately) uneventful, and we got our connection on the local bus, and found our way to the apartment. Phillipe, our Airbnb host, was very gracious about our lateness, and showed us around the flat.
After settling in, we found a nice place nearby for a lovely dinner, then picked up some groceries on the way home. A load of washing and then we collapsed into bed.