I've had quite the adventure in the last few days. Flying from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi, to Paris then to Montreal was long but not too bad. I was certainly ready for a shower by the time I'd walked from the train.
When I was transitting Paris I rang my internet provider to reconnect as I do each time I come to France but I was informed that they no longer provide a service that can be suspended and re-activated, so that posed a serious problem that I'll have to address quickly.
As always, Penelope had planned a number of activities for us to do together. We had Friday night beers with her friends, Grub Club dinner on Saturday night at an African (Congo) restaurant with more friends and lunch (just the two of us) at a great vegetarian restaurant on Monday. We went to a Pilates class, two movies and visited various cafes. Of course I was able to spend lots of time with Keating, walks around the neighbourhood and up the mountain. One of those walks straight uphill left me gasping for breath. But it was worth it to go to a new cafe which has large swings overlooking a great view of the city. Even Keating enjoyed it.
My joy and relaxation was disturbed by a message from the French train authority SNCF, saying that my train bringing me home from Paris after Montreal was cancelled as part of the national rail strike that has been going on for months. Just another challenge. My plan was to go from the airport to my train station, Gare Montparnasse, and exchange my cancelled ticket for a place on another train. Getting a new train ticket went smoothly and I'm now in Poitiers using free WiFi before I take the bus to Saint Savin.
However, getting to Gare Montparnasse was more difficult than it should have been. Due to the strike, trains from the airport to Paris terminated at Gare du Nord (not close enough for me) and the connection I wanted was cancelled from there. It required crafty thinking to find a via Gare de l'Est, changing there to a train that would get me to Gare Montparnasse, my departure station. It's been a challenge. Businesses at the train station at Poitiers have been affected by this long strike. Some were closed, others were on short hours so I couldn't go to the restaurant to use their WiFi and clean facilities.
Anyway, I am grateful to be getting closer to home, just another 50 minutes once I get on the bus and then I can relax. It has seemed like a much longer trip back from Montreal than it usually is. Still, its just first world problems. I'm lucky to be here.