One Man, One Kit or How to Not Make it to Prague 101

I haven’t been writing in the past few weeks, work work work and work. Loving every minute of it. When not working, many cheap beers and dance parties ensue. More on that later. Because we work five days a week, we only get two days off. But being in Europe and so close to Paris I’ve been trying to take advantage of this. After checking for cheap (ish) flights, Allison and I decided on going to one of my top destination choices… PRAGUE.

One problem, did not realize that traveling in Europe is NOT traveling in Canada. We booked our train tickets thinking as long as we can check-in online and run from the train we’ll be good. Nope. Just a bad idea. About 4 days we were to leave, our other friend Jess decided she’d come along too (and thank God she did…)

Jess trying to relax on our slow train ride of death.

After sending way too long searching the night before if SmartWings had online check-in we realized it was a fool’s errand. SmartWings, a super cheap airline does not have online check in. Ok, so strike one for the plan, but that’s ok, our train might be early because the one thing France does well is trains… right? Wrong. We frantically get to our train station after work and boom. Only train that is delayed is ours. ONLY OURS. By ten minutes. Ok, so ten minutes isn’t the end of the world is it? Wrong. By the time we get on the train it’s only 5 minutes delayed, but on the tracks that time turns into 5-10-15-20 minutes late. Mostly due to the fact that it just decided to stop half way there about three times.

“Don’t freak out, don’t freak out, don’t freak out”

No matter because we were ready to run. And by run I mean sprint. We finally start pulling into the train terminal after about an hour and a half of a creepy Siamese cat unblinkingly staring at Jess the entire way and me trying to remain in a state of Zen. We were waiting at the train exit with a man who worked for the Red Cross at Charles de Gaulle. We told him our plan, and his reaction should have told us. It was one of those reactions of pity and disbelief. Just all-in-all bad news. He told us how to get there the quickest way possible and wished us “bon courage”. The minute the train stopped we bolted. We took those escalator steps two at a time. Then ran along the ‘blue line’ to get the small train to take us to Terminal 3. Upon which we ran straight there to be completely and utterly shut down.

I did not realize how greatly my french had improved until I started yelling at the super rude and incompetent Terminal 3 staff. I don’t think I’ve yelled or enunciated so loudly before in my life. After Jess being rational, me being insane, and Allison being somewhere in between, we decided to just shell out the money and get to Prague.

We figured we’d be able to book a cheap hotel room and spend the night in a nice bed. Wrong. Oh so wrong again. Apparently because there were huge conferences and an international tennis tournament (of course) there were no rooms open. What so ever.

SO GUESS WHERE WE ENDED UP.

*drum roll*

You totally guessed it, the floor of Charles de Gaulle!

Jess setting up her ‘bed’ for the night.

Allison prepping for her night.

So after about 6 hours of half-sleep and drunk Spaniards making cat noises we wearily roll up to the check-in counter and waited patiently and early for our flight.

Beat a night in CDG like a boss. Geared up for Prague.

So that wraps up our frantic and basically ridiculous first attempt at making it to Prague. Next up, we make it there!!

– N

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