I thought this would be cute to share my crazy adventures I’ve had abroad, or even on family vacations way back when. With traveling and studying abroad come stories for years! Some I haven’t even shared with others – only those who’ve experienced it with me. Well I thought it would be cool to finally share my many stories with you – the good, the bad, the hilarious, the stressful, and the stranded!
I’m ALWAYS reminiscing, so this would be a wonderful outlet for me as well.
I took this straight from my study abroad blog – so it’ll be in present tense but this happened in 2013.
Stranded in the Countryside!
Saturday had to be the adventure of a lifetime. The Four Musketeers as we call ourselves traveled to Lourdes for a day trip.
I spent the night at Brittany’s house, and we woke up that morning at 7 o’clock to prepare for our mini journey. After getting dressed, we packed all of our snacks and we were on our way to the train station. We caught our usual buses the P7 downtown, and the T2 to the Gare de Pau. When we arrived our friends were nowhere in sight, so we decided to people watch lol.
While we were people watching, we spotted four people from our USAC group and found out that we were all headed in the same place. About 15 minutes later Chiara and Alexis finally showed up and we were ready to board the train. Our ride was super short, it was only 25 minutes, and we were there! We got there and of course we didn’t know which direction to head in lol. Chiara asked one of the ladies at the help desk, what bus we could take to find the Grottes and the Cathedral. After waiting another 15 minutes, the bus finally arrived and we were on our way to the Grottes de Béttahram. Our ride was another 25 minutes, and we were the only people on the bus, along with this man who got off at a stop before we did.
As we are driving by, we are being typical tourist and admiring the beautiful scenery. The south of France is a very green city, there are trees on trees on trees lol I call it the forest. Anywho, the bus driver passed our stop, and purposely wouldn’t drop us off near the entrance smh. (shaking my head) This meant we had to WALK .. ALL the way back to the entrance. We tried to reason with him and ask him to please take us back closer near the entrance, he simply said he couldn’t and that we could easily walk 2 k.m. to get there. Everyone was pretty pissed at him because of his attitude, and we decided to try and walk there.
We started walking and passed a church, and thankfully this nice man pointed us in the right direction. We were literally walking through someone’s secret garden, country-side, alley way, farm! lol I know that was a lot to say … but the struggle was TOO REAL for us this day. After what seemed FOREVER … we finally made it and went to see the Grottes. It was pretty cool down there underground, it was really cold and wet down there. The coolest part to me was we walked through a fault line for half of the tour. It was an hour and a half, and we got to go on mini rides down there as well. We took a boat ride and saw some other parts of the cavern, and then took a train to return above ground.
After the tour ended, unfortunately, it was just our luck that there was no bus that ran to the Grottes. You know what that means. Time to hit the dusty trails, yet again! We took off for our finish to our marathon and headed back towards the station. Walking back we saw a little boy on his bike, “walking” his dog. He passed us twice! During this time to put ourselves out of misery we decided to make a cute little song to ease our pain, titled “Pau, How We Miss You” The video to our lovely song is on Alexis’ camera lol it went a little something like this:
Oh Pau, Where Are You (oh where are you)
Pau, How We Miss You (how we miss you)
Pau, How We Love You (how we love you)
Then we took turns making up a verse. It was really fun, and took our minds off of our current situation.
Finally when we made it back to the bus stop we waited for about 20 minutes because the bus was supposed to arrive. Apparently, we were looking at the wrong day for the bus times, and a bus was never coming back that way that day. Everyone’s attitude quickly changed and we were all pissed again lol We decided to go into the Office de Tourisme and ask for help. The lady who was working there was about our age, and luckily she was very helpful and patient with us. She explained the bus system to us, and called a taxi for us.
After waiting another 20 minutes, the taxi arrived and we were headed to a station in a city closer to Pau. We paid for our train tickets and waited an hour for the train to arrive. Just when we thought things couldn’t get any worse … guess what happens!
The train breaks down, literally as it is pulling up to us. It just stopped.
I could’ve screamed!
Thennnnn .. I sit down on a bench and discover that I have a huge hole in my favorite pair of boots . You could literally see the top part of my foot . SMH I wanted to cry lol
After 943459430 years .. another 30 minutes the train was up and running again and in 10 minutes time we were back in Pau.
Never , and I mean NEVER have we ever been so happy to be back in Pau !
All in all , I lived to tell you this story . Being stranded in someone’s secret garden, country-side, alley way, farm was DEFINITELY a lesson learned. Before my next voyage , which will be to Barcelona . EVERYTHING . I mean EVERYTHING will be planned, mapped out, before hand. I will carry the to-do lists just so we can avoid that hot mess again lol
To make the story even better, I told my host family about my wonderful day and they were crying laughing ! 😦 lol
Here are a few pics from the adventure:
I hope you enjoyed this memory, there will be more #SMBS !
bisous, Bree ❤