Merci Marie, Merci Lyon.

Reads: 293  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 1

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Travel  |  House: Booksie Classic
A trip to Lyon and the journeys in between.

Submitted: January 14, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 14, 2011

A A A

A A A


Merci Marie, Merci Lyon…
…the city where le Rhône and la Saône meet and depart again, where cobbled streets squeeze through narrow buildings and cathedrals of medieval times, a city of old and new: Lyon.
It was a about time to visit my friend Fabian in Lyon. We met in a flat share during his stay in London and still kept a bit of contact. “I am coming”, was an empty promise I made the last time, this time it was: “I booked a flight, coming in two months time”; No chance for excuses to wait for the right moment, or the right price, done and dusted with a mouse click and a warning re my arrival.
Even the way to the airport is a journey in itself
Departure-Day: I left my sweet- home early in the morning, dragging my luggage behind me that wobbled along like a soldier with some leg injuries. It was 5am; still dark, the streets empty and quiet – in contrast to my bus: Number 26, one of the two busses that would take me to Victoria Railway station.  It’s wasn’t empty but not vivid either, people occupying the seats were still in the sleeping zone, some just managed to keep their eyes open. At one stop a bunch of black women entered and with them a vibe of joy and laughter. I found it astonishing that the hand wave of one of them - middle aged - towards me had the power to make me move from the disabled seat I was sitting on. There was nothing wrong with her, I could have argued, but it just seemed so natural the way she did it that – yes – I moved seats without comment.  
The challenge and the initial plan
It is interesting, when always flying from the same airport it actually can be quite challenging of figuring out of how to get to a different airport in the cheapest possible way: Example Gatwick. I would normally fly via Luton which is easy to get to; you simply take the coach from Victoria and pay around £7 to £8 bugs, depending on when you go plus it’s mostly cheaper if you book it previously online. So here we go: After my initial research my Iphone spit out a simple route according to the journal planner: Two busses that would go straight to Gatwick. Great, just need to validate my Oyster card two times and get to the airport for only £2.60. Nice. Yeah, right, this is what I thought.
Back in the bus: Better to check the planner twice
So while sitting in the 26 after “freely” offering my queen with the powerful hand wave my seat, I checked my journey planner again and this time it seemed that there was no way around using the train. Dam, ah well…let’s go with the flow. Leaving the 26 at Trafalgar Square, I was ready to take the last one: Bus 11. I was ready, but 11 wasn’t’. One bus after the other came around the corner, once, twice, three times, the same lines – keeping their schedule every 10min – except for mine. Under normal circumstances, it does not bother me, this time I was simply running out of time. My watch was showing me that 6am was not far away; 7.20am was last check-in. I gave myself a countdown after which I would use a cap, when all of a sudden, who turned up, good old number 11. Just on time, saving me to blow my budget already on the way to the airport.  At Victoria Station I quickly checked the timetables for the next train going to Gatwick, grabbed my ticket from the machine for £10 and GO to the platform.
A ticket is not a ticket
One thing already made me suspicious: “Southern Rail Only” appeared on the bottom of my ticket. What this was to mean, I was going to find out in the next minute. “I want to go to Gatwick airport”, did I ask the next guy in the yellow vest. Taking my ticket and looking at it he said: “Yep in the next 30min, taking you to the airport in 45min.” WHAT??? I will never make it – “What other options do I have?” – “Gatwick Express, but you need to pay more, around £5 just see whether you still make it, it’s departing in the next minute”. Off I went. Yep, £5 extra: Its not the money, it is more that I like travelling without making money an important thing, so the cheaper I get away the better. And I always think that there are cheaper options to get where I want.
Straight forward
I fell asleep on the train and woke up when we reached Gatwick. The rest of the journey was straight forward: within 30min I was sitting in my seat off to Lyon.


© Copyright 2020 Nads. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Comments