One of the joys of living in the Greater Daglan Area is our remoteness, which means that life here is slower-paced, quieter and relaxed. (Okay, except for the peak tourist season of July and August.) But the remoteness becomes problematic if we want to travel.
For example, for our visit to Lisbon earlier this year, my wife Jan and I had to (a) drive to Sarlat; (b) take the train all the way to Bordeaux; (c) take a taxi to the Bordeaux airport; and (d) fly south to Lisbon. Flights from Toulouse — which has a pretty substantial airport — don’t go to many of the places you’d expect.
Another case in point was our recent trip to a resort in Croatia, on the Adriatic coast between Split and Dubrovnik. Before I describe our travel travails, here’s a look at the scenery around the resort where we spent a week:
And to round out the picture, here’s a look at one of the beautiful sunsets we enjoyed:
So, quite obviously, it’s lovely to get away and spend time with good friends (in this case, Elisabeth and Gerhard) in beautiful spots around the world. But phew — what a job it can be, to get there (anywhere) and return home.
So, for the journey to our Croatian resort, we left home very early on a Thursday morning and drove to the SNCF station in Gourdon. Then came the more-or-less two-hour train trip (south) to Toulouse. Then a taxi to the Toulouse airport. Then, a very, very long wait. (Fortunately, Toulouse has a wonderful lounge in which to eat, drink and kill time.) Finally, a late-afternoon flight to — Croatia? you might be thinking? — no, to the London airport of Gatwick. Which has expanded to the size of Lithuania.
We arrived at Gatwick around dinner time; met up with Elisabeth and Gerhard at our airport hotel; and had an early evening together. Why early? Because we had to get up the next day (Friday) at about 4 a.m. to catch a very early flight to Split, Croatia.
On the way home, things got a bit worse. First, after the two-hour bus trip to the Split airport, we found that our flight was delayed. And delayed. And delayed. Eventually, however, we took off for Gatwick.
That’s when it got really tiresome. A very long wait for the flight to leave — so long that, when we reached Toulouse, we didn’t get to our hotel until about 12:30 in the morning on Saturday. A short sleep, a breakfast delivered to our room, and then a taxi ride to the Toulouse train station for the two-hour-ish trip to Gourdon. And then the ride home.
Okay, I know what you’re saying: We’ve all endured delayed flights. And that’s certainly true. The difference for us is that there is a lot of coming and going just to get anywhere. Sometimes we travel north, in order to fly south. And vice versa.
Still, once we’re at home, we’re delighted to be living here. And why not? It may not be as dramatic as the Adriatic coast, but we’re quite happy with views like this: