I think Steinbeck said it like this, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” After this day of running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I totally agree! I thought I had organized a good travel plan for leaving Barcelona and arriving in the remote village of Carcassonne, France, but instead, I ended up with a day of misfortune.
My first mistake was not making an advanced reservation on the train from Barcelona to Narbonne, France. Now, this was not because of poor planning, for I had visited the train station the day before my travel to get information and a schedule. However, to book the ticket for the next day, I would have had to wait in a que for two hours or more. The “same day of travel que” was only a few minutes. I reasoned that it made no sense to waste two hours now, when in the morning, I could get the same ticket in ten minutes.
As it turned out, there were no seats available on the first leg of my journey, so I had to wait three hours in the Barcelona train station in order to catch the next train to France.
I hung around in the McDonald’s, located in Barcelona’s train station, for three hours. HA! I even bought a Coke Light and french fries, just so I could take advantage of the free WiFi!
Finally, at 1:00 p.m., I boarded my train and was on my way to France. We had to change trains at the Spain/France border, which was a major upgrade from the slow “Spain Train” to a sleek and fast TGV Train.
I arrived in Narbonne, France at 5:00 p.m. I had had enough foresight to prebook a rental car at the Narbonne station, but upon arrival, the rental car office had closed early this Saturday afternoon! Ughhh! I found the Hertz rental office was still open and was able to secure the only car remaining, a tin-can Ford Fiesta. No worries, so I headed off on the superhighway toward Carcassonne.
About forty-five minutes later, I was safely tucked into my hotel in Carcassonne. Nestled between the hill and vineyard, I was ready to do some exploring.