Bonjour tout le monde! Moi, c’est Rose, et je suis très contente d’écrire mon premier article! After months of planning and anticipation, I’m finally in France. I’ve been in Saint Brieuc for almost a week now, wandering the cobbled streets and pretty thatched cottages with delight. But before I start describing how I’ve settled in – how did I get here?
After two flights I arrived in Rennes airport with almost 30kg over two suitcases and a bit grumpy from a 5am start. Basically, ready for bed! First though I had to get a bus into the city centre then take a train to Saint Brieuc. Not too bad, you may think. Imagine my face when the bus driver explained I’d have to get off at Place de la République and take two métro lines over to la gare (“the station”). Luckily a man saw me scouring the plan outside the métro station and took pity on me. Dragging my cases over to the lifts for me, he pointed out which lines to take to reach the train station.
Once I got to the train station, I realised the three hours between my flight arrival and the 14.30 train to Saint Brieuc had disappeared. As I walked to the ticket machines I had barely half an hour to spare. Buying my ticket, I had to know if I wanted a billet simple (“a single/one-way ticket”), or a billet de retour (“a return/round-trip”). Be aware that return tickets are often much better value. Train prices in France also vary on peak and off-peak travel times, or la période normale and la période de pointe.
So I had my ticket and now had to navigate my way through the busy station to find la bonne voie – the right platform. This was made so much more difficult by my cases – I was cursing myself for taking my bulky winter coat and that last pair of boots!
Finally I made it to the right platform but before I could get on the train, I had to composter mon billet (“validate my ticket”). You do this by scanning your ticket through a yellow machine as you get on the train. Once it has been validated it will click and you’re free to get on. Or, in my case, throw your luggage onto the train with literally two minutes to spare. I dread to think what I looked like to the other passengers but I didn’t care – my journey to Saint Brieuc was almost over!
I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post this week. À bientôt!