Updated: Sep 16, 2021
Rick and I left Orlando for a 741AM departure to JFK Airport, leaving the house about 5AM. I was up at 330 to have time to shower and have a cup of coffee. Also, to make sure I had everything I needed. We landed about 1040.
We hung out at a Buffalo Wild Wings in the airport for a bite to eat and wait for Dave. Rick bought a deck of cards and we played some Rummy to pass the time.
Dave arrived about 1PM. The flight to Paris was at 630, giving Rick and Dave a chance to catch up and share their common experiences about their service in the military and jobs working with the airlines. Rick with Delta and Dave with Eastern.
The flight to Paris was smooth and uneventful. It was after we landed that the fun began. None of us spoke any French which caused most of the confusion.
We were trying to figure out how to get a French Health Pass for access to the trains and certain restaurants. After trying to get information from several people, we finally learned that our proof of vaccination for Covid-19 was all we needed.
Now to decide how to get to the Holiday Inn I booked using Priority Club points. At one point, we talked about cancelling the hotel reservation and heading straight to St Jean Pied de Port, the starting point for our walk. However, the agent at the airport told us all the trains were sold out through Saturday. Another person suggested checking at the main terminal in Paris. We found out how to get a train into Paris. In Paris, we left the local station and walked through drizzling rain to find the main station a couple blocks away.
Fortunately, we could get tickets to St. Jean Pied de Port, leaving in a little over an hour. I offered to pay for the tickets, but my credit card was declined, giving me something else that needed to be worked out. That I would have to do that later since I was not getting Internet service on my phone.
The ride to Bayonne took about four hours passing through beautiful farmland with massive wind mills scattered about in some of the fields and old stone farm houses nestled in hills. I thought about the American and allied armies of World War II that passed through this farmland in the fight against Hitler’s attempt to rule the world and the French farmers’ daughters that fell in love with the American soldiers as portrayed in many Hollywood versions of the war to end all wars. How wrong was that thinking? Will we ever be free of war?
This is just beginning. Keep following along.