MARCUS TRAVEL JOURNAL
It was a trip of mixed feelings. It was good to return to France. It has been too long since we were there. Travel in 2022, however, is an experience that can be wrought with problems. In the summer airlines started to announce they were canceling flights due to the inability to cope with the level of traffic. Staff shortages are being identified as a primary problem. But rather than just canceling flights, the airline industry should look at the passenger flow process and identify where bottlenecks can be reduced. Passengers are missing flights because of bottleneck lineups. Do we need the degree of security checks in place? It has become an industry in itself.
The pressures are not only on passengers, but also the staff at the airports. In London we experiences an exhausted worked screaming at us in line about the removal of liquids from our hand luggage. Removal of liquids is not items such a lipstick and toothpaste!
We made it to Paris, but through a lot of stress. Mechanical problems canceled our flights. We joined long lines of passengers attempting to get books on already fully booked flights. I give credit to the Air France staff who can work under that pressure. Yes, we were able to flight on a different airline, in a different class of seat to London and then to Paris. It was not a great flight experience and we lost the better part of a day in the process.
We traveled from Paris to Marseille by TGV. A stark contrast in passenger flow. Walk into the station, have your ticket either scanned at a gate or check by an attendant, and walk onto the plan. The only pain point was getting your luggage into the train car but after that it was a sit, relax and arrive three hours later in Marseille.
While a flight is 1 1/2 hours, that time saving is lost with "be at the airport two hours in advance" and the hazel of security checks at and between the various airport buildings.
We arrived at the Marseille TGV Station and took a 30 minute taxi to the Service Centre for Renault which is located near the airport. The Renault TT check-in/out process is fast, all the paper work done in advance is not repeated as with some car rental companies as we were on the Autoroute to Vedène, just outside of Avignon.
Deux verres de rose s'il vous plait
The Porte Saint Denis
It was good to return to Paris. Out driver met us at the airport, we easily rode into Paris and for this year we were able to rent an apartment that we have previously rented many times located just off the exciting rue Montorgueil. It was like returning to a second home. We enjoy the neighborhood and it is well located in terms of Metro lines and ease of getting to other areas of the city.
South of France (Provence)
Our next locations were in Vedène (near Avignon) and Roussillon, another 45 km east. While in Vedène towns such as Orange, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Carpentras, to name a few were visited.
While in Roussillon, towns such as Gordes, Bonnieux, Manosque and Valensole Plateau were easy drives.
Regions of France
There are 13 region in France. Each Region has a number of major departments. They are arbitrary divisions. In some cases the differences in the culture and language is very noticeable. In others the area closes to the regional boarders is hard to determine a difference.