Barging in Burgundy
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Day Eleven – 8th July 2017
Mâcon to Lyon
We left the boat behind and started the trek to Lyon Airport so my mother could fly back to London. The marina organised a taxi for us to Mâcon station for €22. About 3 kilometres down the road, my better half asked what I had done with the keys and tag to get back into the marina. I had left them on top of my mother’s suitcase. The taxi driver had not seen them when he loaded the luggage. When we got to Mâcon station, we left my mother, dashed down to the Tourist Info Office and asked them to please phone the marina so they could look out for the keys. Unfortunately, our planned evening in Lyon wouldn’t happen as we had to get back before the marina office staff went home.
As the train gets close to Lyon the terrain becomes lovely and verdant. We passed over the Saône and the Rhône. I would have liked time to show my mother around Lyon, which is without doubt my favourite place in all our waterway travels so far. It’s clean and bright. Lyon is the gastronomic capital of France. There are a good few veggie friendly paces to visit. Such a pity their marina is so small and situated in a heavily built up residential and shopping area. To make up for not boating there, we planned to Airbnb a few days in Lyon at the end of our waterways holiday.
From Lyon Part Dieu Station, we took the Rhône-Express tram to the airport. It’s a fair distance from the city. The airport is busy undergoing a major renovation. Took us a while to figure out where to go. And then we had too much time on our hands before my mother’s flight. We always over-budget travel time just in case. And more than once we’ve needed it. What’s a person to do? Have a French meal of course.
Then we checked my mother in with assisted passage. I would have thought British Airways would have someone who could speak English at their check-in point. But no. We managed to get my mother’s luggage checked through and were told to wait near the check-in point. She would be collected 20 minutes prior to departure. I was getting anxious when it got past the 20 minutes and raced around to find the boarding gate. Of course, no one spoke English there either. I managed to figure out my mother was waiting in the wrong place. We frantically dragged her as fast as we could, what seemed like kilometres, to the boarding gate. No-one was overly interested in us, so we stood in full view of the staff. The flight had minutes to go before someone eventually came to speak to her. In French. First, they had to find a wheel chair which took more time. Finally, they wheeled her out of sight. We later heard from her that they tried to load her onto a flight bound for Algiers. She could see the BA plane getting ready to go on the tarmac and was trying to tell them they were putting her on the wrong flight. Thank heavens someone looked at her boarding pass and put her on the right plane. Unfortunately, her luggage ended up in Algiers.
We made it back to the marina 10 minutes before it closed. They had found our keys in the car park. After a drama filled day we had a cold shower, put on our sarongs, filled our glasses with a Bordeaux my mother had bought for us and sat on the back deck to cool off. There was a slight breeze which was most welcome. Sometimes people keep to themselves and barely greet you. Other times people just start chatting. We had a New Zealand couple next to us, A French couple and a Swiss couple opposite. It’s handy to find out from others what they think of the routes, water levels and marinas. Share tips and ideas. The swiss guy had found a device that stops people being able to steal fuel. Something we didn’t know happened to unoccupied boats.
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