Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blog from Avignon 5-30-09

What a day. I spent most of the day on trains and in stations. The scenery was nice though. The French countryside was beautiful, and the small towns I passed through were quite picturesque. The problems came when my first train was late by an hour. Really? An hour? In perfect weather no less. Modern technology should be able to do a little better than that. That episode caused me to miss my next train from Marseilles to Avignon which was a TGV high speed train (which are awesome BTW). A 25 minute stop at the station turned into an hour and a heif, and a 40 minute train ride turned into 2 hours. Oh well. I'm now sitting in my hotel lobby where I can get free wifi.

It looks like I don't get to do a Rhone Valley wine tour either. Tours don't typically run on Sundays, I guess. Oh well. I'll be another nice time of rest before I hit Rome. I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of walking around there.

One of the biggest annoyances so far on this trip for me has been the disconnect from technology. It's even cost me a fair chunk of change at internet cafes and the like. Back home I always have an internet connection through my phone which often gets me out of trouble relatively effortlessly. Here, I have no data. Instead of getting on Google Maps to find my way from a station I have to find a map and start walking hoping I can remember enough of the station map to get me where I need to go (often to a hostel/hotel where I can get a paper map). Then there are the e-mails that would be helpful to have on hand. More than once, I've had hostel addresses and directions in an e-mail which I can't access when I need because they're on an online server. These are usually pushed to my phone and (now stolen) iPod touch so they're always on hand. None of that here. Now I'm just complaining, but I needed to throw that out there.

Hope everyone is doing well back home. See you in a few weeks.

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