So, on a trip that includes 10 countries, 9 languages (8 of which I don’t speak), and over 25,000 kms, there’s bound to be a bad day. The last 24 hours certainly fit that bill.
In the wee hours of the morning, as we finished packing our bags, it all looked idyllic.
We awoke to a snowstorm in Munich, only the second that winter. It slowed the driving down considerably and we were late getting to the train station. As Simon physically touched our train as it was about to pull away we were not on it. So much for the 500 km/hr non-stop trip to Paris. As we had a connecting flight to get later that day, we opted for the only other available option; a train with 3 connections. Seeing as we have 5 pieces of luggage, 2 small children and I cannot run or climb stairs quickly, this is a major undertaking. We were totally keen on being first out the door on the first stop; so keen that we got off one station TOO EARLY! We actually thought the train was 4 minutes ahead of schedule. Bad move…So there we were, stuck in somewhere Germany. Simon ran around the city centre and checked in 10 cafes, and no internet in sight. The DeutscheBahn ticket office could not guarantee seats on a French train so we were seemingly screwed. Simon did check in with a travel agent in his cafe search and found that we were near Frankfurt and maybe we could catch the 2pm plane to Paris.
A new city added to our list:
Frankfurt Hbf
Enthusiastically we booked the 2 necessary trains to get to Frankfurt Flughafen (airport). All was going well until the second train; it was delayed 25 minutes. By the time we arrived at the airport and took the shuttle bus to Terminal 2 it was too late to catch that plane. Foiled again! So we checked at the dodgy-looking ‘last minute flights’ desk, which looked to be funded by the Russian mafia, and they offered us a ‘deal’ worth $1500 CAD to fly to Paris for all of us. Well, we settled for losing a lesser amount of money and missing our Paris to Nice flight and got a train to Nice instead. I was pretty happy about taking the TGV to Paris then transferring by Metro to another train station then taking a night train in a sleeper cabin. It was a great ride to Paris, the Metro went off without a hitch and we tiredly boarded our night train to Nice. We slept soundly and it was a great sleep.
The next morning the train made it’s first stop at Toulon at about 6:30am. This stop woke me up so I quietly slipped out, gently closed the door and padded down the hallway as nature called. When I returned the door was open, as often happens on a moving train so I thought nothing of it. As I slipped into bed I noticed my purse had moved. I figured it fell off the end of my bed and I would get in upon daybreak. What ACTUALLY happened is that some opportunist seized the chance AND my bag and it was gone. Wallet, passports, i-pad, i-pod, all GONE. It was a sad realization. The rest of our day consisted of making the necessary phone calls, filing a report at the station and again after a 3 hour wait at the police station, which pretty much took up our day. We did have a few moments to take in the beauty of Nice and a nice creperie for lunch.
But all’s well that ends well. The girls were thrilled that we took a double-decker train to Cannes. We met our Romanian friend Gheorghe who has an apartment at the truly swanky Grand Hotel.
Grand Hotel
We took a lovely sunset walk on the promenade and dined on truffle foie gras, a special Alsatian dish of confit de canard aux pommes de terre and fine French wine. Magnifique!!

8 Comments to


  1. On February 23rd, 2011 at 6:48 am Carol Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your trials and tribulations!

    This winter weather has cars, trains, boats and planes messed up all over the world!

    By the time you return to Canada, in a couple of weeks, the spring flowers will be starting to show their faces…

    love from us both

  2. On February 23rd, 2011 at 8:04 am Laura Says:

    WOW! I could feel the pain of a bad train experience/day in Europe having been there two years ago with the children… all the luggage, children… details and then to miss all those connections – wow! And top it off a stolen bag with all those valuables; that is quite the day!!!

    As you spoke of your trip through France and Toulon I was reminded of a trip I did on the train 10 years ago to Nice/Paris on the TGV. I spent a wonderful week in a small coastal town outside of Toulon and 2 weeks in Nice at a friend’s place – you’ll have to go out at night down to the beach area… there are some fantastic little restaurants that sell all-you-can-eat mussels and there was a great place to get fancy homemade ice-cream.

    Nice is beautiful – there is a park on a hill with many walking trails and many wonderful art museums.

    Enjoy France, the food and tomorrow is another day with new adventures!


  3. On February 24th, 2011 at 1:50 pm Lea Says:

    Oh no! Horrid to first have the travel arrangements not work out and then…passporto and belongings gone. Makes a great story though 😉

  4. On February 27th, 2011 at 1:01 am Aaron Says:

    Wow, I was so shocked when Marc told me about about this, and now to read the story, it’s like Holy Cow!!! Lookin’ forward to seeing ya – if they ever decide to let you leave France 😉

  5. On March 3rd, 2011 at 10:56 am Katrina Says:

    oh man i can just feel the pain! If it wasn’t for andi i would still be on some of those platforms trying to figure out where the heck to go. Considering alllll the places you’ve been it’s actually pretty good that this is the only time something like this has happened. sooo unfortunate about the passports!

  6. On March 15th, 2011 at 11:47 am HeathR Says:

    I’m with Lea…(pick out the writer’s in the group). I feel bad but man that makes a good story 🙂

  7. On May 17th, 2011 at 12:12 pm Andrea Mueller Says:

    I’m a friend of your cousin Janet’s, she gave me your web address before I embarked on my own 6 month adventure and am now having a chance to check out your blog! This is my #1 biggest fear, I’ve been guarding my stuff with my life, but they just lie in wait, don’t they? Would it have been another passenger then? Just awful! I hope cleaning up that mess wasn’t too bad!

  8. On May 19th, 2011 at 11:17 pm pauline Says:

    The worst days end up making the best stories…

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