Saturday, May 2, 2009

May Day! May Day! or Let's take a day trip to Auvers sur Oise!

It started on Thursday when I sent Jackson to work with details of all the things I wanted to learn about using the SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français) or train Web site. Futile previous attempts to get information on train schedules and fares had left me fou. Come to find out, when Jackson asked his friend for help, he said that tout le monde has the problems using the SNCF! Great...

A poster in a shop on our street showed information about a "special" train to Auvers sur Oise (the final resting place of my favorite Vincent van Gogh - it was also a place that my art group visited in 2001 - lovely.) We just had to get to Gare du Nord (easy since Jackson had gone there to catch his chemin de fer - they really call them trains - to Koln last week).

Yesterday was a national holiday here, so everything was closed in Paris except the train stations...

After unsuccessfully trying to purchase the billets for Auvers in a kiosk, I went to ask the information person for directions to the guichet with a live person. I don't want to bore you with details, but, as Jackson so fondly likes to describe these life challenges, it was a goat rodeo.

Luckily we were at Gare du Nord plenty of time in advance of our "special" train. To summarize, the information we were given as to where to wait for the "special" train was contradicted many, many times. It became an activity to pass the time just to go up to a different "information" person and see what he/she had to say.

My theory is that since it was May Day (May Day!), the people who were stuck working on the day when the rest of France was not working were all new hires who had no clue about anything train-related.

All this nonsense was forgotten after we spent an exquisite day in the gorgeous warm sunshine of Auvers sur Oise, thinking of poor Vincent who should have spent many more years on this earth creating...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.