I needed to get a cab, to board a train, to take a minibus, to board the aeroplane home. Easy right. No way.
Getting a cab inside a medieval city: As it turns out medieval cities weren't designed to be wide enough to pass lorries. So any cab you order may well get stuck behind a lorry unloading before or after you jump in. Not too bad in my case, just 10 mins late.
Boarding a train in France: First buy your ticket, with 3 people ahead of you in the queue and only 10 mins til the train leaves. Navigate a French ticket master who clearly sees neither your urgency nor your luggage and asks if you've got another 10 cents for the change. Congratulate yourself on making it to the platform with a whole 6mins to spare only to discover its one of those platforms split in two and that's your train 200ft away and with only 2 mins to departure. Cue running. And this bruise from the Chateauneuf bottles bashing your leg as you run.
(the price you pay for good wine!)
To take a minibus: I arrived at Nimes station with plenty of time to spare. So, half an hour before the little shuttle bus was due to leave I decided to work out where it left from. Supposedly easy - the map of the station 'clearly' showed its location, so I looked around the locale and there were neither signs nor bus shelters for this bus. I asked the 'station info' point - he had no idea. I went out and checked again. Nothing. Just as I lost hope, a bus drew past me - the shuttle! I successfully boarded the only shuttle bus to leave Nimes that day. He waited 3.5 mins for any passengers before moving on. Not a big window of opportunity by any means. I had thought all my worrying would then be over, but the route the driver took out of the city was very different to that which I had taken just 6 days previously. We were heading towards 'Garons' with the airport sign. Then when we got there the departure lounge looked so different to the airport I had left that I actually asked the driver if I was at Nimes airport. Luckily for me he said yes (and rolled his eyes)
To board the aeroplane home: This bit was actually very easy, my bags came in underweight, there was plenty of time for me to eat Haribo - albeit with a disappointingly large amount of licorice in it - drink coke and indulge in other habits of a balanced lifestyle! All was calm again until England I was running again for a train to central London and once liberated of my baggage, to see my sister's show.
The South of France in summary:
Sunny, disregards health and safety, has a penchant for castle-like abbeys, good taste in theatre, coastlines and amazing wine, appreciates fine pastries, contains donkeys, requires a car really, has a sensational mistral wind, scented by lavender, olive oil and broom plant. Not bad for a week off.
As this blog marks the end of my holiday normal weekly(ish) service will be resuming next week. For now, thanks for reading.