And this, my dear, is what they call an adventure

And this, my dear, is what they call an adventure


I have safely, and happily, arrived in Nice. It took about 45 hours in transit, including three planes and four trains, but I made it! My bags, however, are still in Frankfurt. Once my clothes and plug converter arrives, I will have no complaints.

Before leaving, I was sure that the ash cloud would affect my Chicago-Frankfurt flight. I didn’t even think to check the status of my Frankfurt-Nice flight, as the Nice airport has remained open throughout the Iceland volcano drama. I was more concerned about missing my short flight to Nice with only an hour layover in Frankfurt. After running out of the plane–past the cots set up for those living in the aiport these last few days–I was shocked to see that just about every European Lufthansa flight was cancelled. I could wait and try to get on the wait list for the next flight to Nice–and there was no word when exactly that would be–or I could figure out another way. I decided to skip the massive lines that surrounded every Lufthansa counter and try my luck with the trains.

All trains to Paris were full, dashing my dreams of perhaps a quick weekend in the City of Lights. Instead, I took three trains to Strasbourg with the hope that I could figure out something from there. My only option was a night train to Nice, so I spent the afternoon and evening in Strasbourg hauling around two very heavy carry-ons.

Once 8:30 p.m. finally rolled around, I was more than ready to go to sleep. It was my first time on a night train, and I was surprised to find to be two sets of triple bunk beds in teeny tiny compartment. Mine, of course, was the very top bunk and I briefly wondered how far I would fall if the train stopped too suddenly!
Despite the adventure, I have arrived and found my home for the next six months. I love the apartment–trés française–and my host mom. It’s everything I could have hoped for, including a room with a bit of a view! I’ve also found multiple places with wireless Internet, so I’m anxiously awaiting my baggage with my plug converter so that I can get back on my Macbook!

I’d like to note is how fabulous all the Lufthansa and train employees were, despite being constantly harassed with questions to which they didn’t have the answers. Every single person I dealt with was courteous and kind, despite being undeniably overworked. Huge points to them.

What I’ve learned: there isn’t any point in worrying about things over which you have no control, and every situation is truly what you make of it. Sure, I’ll probably have more cancelled flights and lost baggage in my future travels. But will I be able to say it’s because of a gosh-darn volcano that has a name I can’t even come close to pronouncing? Probably not.

  • LostInCheeseland

    Welcome to my side of the world!! I'm sorry you had to go through all of that, but it makes for a great story and you'll laugh about it later. Be sure to take lots of pictures of Nice and keep me posted if you can make it up to Paris!


  • magicant

    Congratulations on making it there! Did you feel like you were doing a remake of Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Euro Edition?

    Sounds like you're starting off a healthy dose of dealing with the unpredictable. Exciting, isn't it?

  • Katelyn

    So happy you made it, finally! I'm so excited to hear about your adventures 🙂 Best of luck in everything!!!! C'est la vie!

  • adventurouskate

    Glad you arrived safely! 🙂 It must feel even more momentous that it took so much effort to get there.

    Also, just wanted to let you know that I added you to the blogroll on my site.

    Oh, and I hadn't told you that Nice is the city where I was the drunkest I have ever been in my life. So be wary of chefs who keep bringing free wine because they want to make out with you. Just FYI. 😉

  • suzyguese

    You are one patient person Christine. I bet you collapsed once you go to Nice. Night trains are hysterical. They may not be at the time, but afterwords you can't believe you were packed in like a can of tuna. Glad you made it there safely!

  • So glad you arrived safely! Let the adventure begin… 😉

  • Katie

    So glad to hear you arrived safely!! Let the adventure of a lifetime begin!!!
    God Bless and have a wonderful time!!! I look forward to your stories. You are one amazing girl!!!

  • camorose

    Surprisingly, I wasn't too bad once I got to Nice since I did manage to sleep a bit on the night train. Wasn't much else to do in the dark when I couldn't even sit up straight and my iPod was out of battery 🙂 You really are packed in like a can of tuna–great way of putting it!

  • camorose

    I totally need to add you to my links too! Merci beaucoup!
    And I don't have any friends to go out with yet, but you must recommend some fun bars! I mean, I'll take the free drinks as long as the chef knows he doesn't have a chance 🙂

  • camorose

    Your card is up in my room and I am SO SO SO grateful you told me to do a homestay! I love it!

  • camorose

    It really, really did feel like I was in some Euro version of a John Candy film. If the start means anything, it certainly looks like I'm in for an interesting six months!

  • camorose

    I will definitely make it up to Paris at some point–although I'm boycotting all trains and planes for the next few weeks! When I do, you'll be the first to know!

  • camorose

    Thanks Aunt Katie! So glad to know you're reading–I'm looking forward to sharing my adventures with you. (And if you and Uncle Jay want to visit, I'm ready to play tour guide!)

  • Yay! So glad to hear you arrived safely. Let the adventure begin!

  • kirstenalana

    So glad you made it to your destination! Sounds like things are more than a little crazy for most in Europe right now!! Will be following your adventures for sure – I'm a bit of a Francophile myself so living in Nice truly sounds like a dream come true!!

  • camorose

    Yes, so glad to be here–and can't wait for more adventures!

  • camorose

    So glad that you're reading–and thanks for commenting! I think the European transit system has calmed down a bit, but it was crazy for a while! Let me know if there's anything you'd particularly like to see/read about 🙂

  • Nice that you made it! (no pun intended). I'm waiting for the post about the parasailing above… have you tried it yet? …and some cocktail recipes in what could be my all-time favorite category, “le cocktail” 😉

  • How ironic. I got caught up in the volcano drama, too. The day it all started! I was airborne when the ash started hitting the fan, so was clueless about what a nightmare it was about to be, and how lucky I was to even make it to Europe, at all.

    But I was *supposed* to spend the majority of my vacation in … Nice! I didn’t make it that far though, per the volcano. Instead, I got stuck in Paris.


    It turned out alright, and probably for the best, but much as I love Paris, I was really, really looking forward to a nice vacation in Nice.

  • Hi, I’m Any from French Frezy, I am also a foreigner living in France, and I stumbled upon your blog a few days ago, I’m reading it all, and saying to my (French) boyfriend all the time “See, I’m not the only crazy one who thinks nutella and bread for breakfast is weird!”

    I was going to comment on your latest post, but when I saw you spent the night in MY city (Strasbourg), I literally jumped from joy! Hope you enjoyed my city, I am personally in love with it!

  • Anonymous

    I actually only spent a very jet-lagged and exhausted afternoon in Strasbourg while waiting for the night train, but it seemed gorgeous! I love Germany too, and I feel like Strasbourg has a great balance of the two cultures. What an amazing place to live 🙂

  • Pingback: One last postcard from Nice — C'est Christine()