Paris To La Rochelle
Wednesday 21 September
We’ve been told by the hotel to order actaxi when we check out, but there are no taxis available!
Rather than panic, we walk to the taxi stand at Comedie Francaise (how appropriate) and try to hail a cab. Third attempt works and we’re off to Gare Montpannasse. The driver has little English but after Peter praises his car he starts asking us how long we’ve been in Paris, where we are going, where we have been … In our broken French and his English we have a real conversation! Peter has a good ear for accent and can pick up quite a few words.
We find the information desk and the help desk for people with reduced mobility is there. It’s great, we report back thirty minutes before the Train leaves and a porter takes us to our seats!
While we are waiting we see armed soldiers walking carefully through the station, scanning it all the time. On Monday we had seen soldiers with machine guns at the Louvre, and Joanne and Barry had seen soldiers at Sacre Coeur on Montmartre. We wonde if a dignitary is in town, or if there has been a terrorist threat, or if they practice to keep sharp. We’ll never know.
It’s a high speed train and the ride to La Rochelle is uneventful.
We decide to take a taxi from the railway station to our hotel, even though it’s not far away. The driver takes a wrong turn, and we end up paying more to travel 800 metres in La Rochelle, than we would to travel eight kilometers in Paris. Not to worry, we’re here in La Rochelle!
Notes on Accessibility
Paris train stations have a help desk for people with reduced mobility. There is a hydraulic lift available if someone in a wheelchair needs help getting on the train. Porters are available. There is a disabled area available that can be accessed by wheelchairs.
Service is friendly and helpful. Turn up about an hour before your train is due to leave, early notice is appreciated.