The best laid plans will change no doubt! We’d purchased only one set of train tickets in advance for the journey from Martigues, France to Figueres, Spain. This was due to rental car needs for a 2-night stay in Roses, Spain. Roses is out towards the coast of Cadaques and is not serviced by train. So, we planned for a rental car pickup in Figueres to drive to the coast and then ultimately drive to Barcelona and return the car there.
Of course mother nature had other plans! Thunderstorms, torrential downpours, flooding and the inability to ensure safe transport caused a complete shutdown of the trains. Added to the mix, the civil unrest in Catalunya was causing protests which in turn led the French train operators to refuse connections into Spain. So, long story short – we were stranded at the Nimes train station without any rental cars in the area (b/c every other passenger also needed to turn to Plan B). Fortunately we were able to find an awesome Airbnb not far from the train station to lay our heads for the night and figure out a new plan for getting to Spain.
This Airbnb is one straight out of an interior design magazine. And the owner was an absolute doll of a man! He met us early the next morning, walked us to the train station and even carried a backpack for me. Such a nice man, we all hope to experience some time with him again in the future.
Two absolute highlights of our stay in Nimes were the historical Roman buildings in the city center, and a restaurant we stumbled across when searching for dinner that night. It was pouring rain when S. Rad and I came across the Roman architecture very near the train station, so unfortunately we didn’t get any pictures. I have a feeling we’ll be back to this city though… anyhow, back to the other highlight — the culinary experience we enjoyed was other worldly, however the real treat was the owner. He treated us like long lost friends and hosted us as his special guests in his adorable restaurant. We will definitely stay in touch with Richard, as he is a true gem and one of those people that hits you straight in your heart (through your belly, too). And we tried some local dishes that we were more than pleasantly surprised by!! Win. Win.
And then there’s blah blah car – the only option left for us to get out of France and into Spain the next day. We were able to set up a ride share for the next morning which would get us to Figueres late morning. I was able to connect with the rental car provider and push our rental one day back. So we were really only out the $ we’d already paid for our place in Roses and the leg of train tickets from Nimes to Figueres. Fortunately we will be able to get a refund on the train tickets since the leg was cancelled by the operator AND we were offered another night as a courtesy by the owner of the Roses Airbnb.
Have you been stranded in a foreign country due to train cancellations? How did you adapt to the situation?
Have you been to Nimes? Were you as enamored as we were??