After a break from traveling – I (Annah) am in Montpellier, France for a semester abroad.
My journey to Montpellier took approximately 24 hours to complete. I began at 8:45am Eastern Standard Time and ended at 12:50pm Central European Time. (This approximates to 24 hours because there is a 6 hour time difference between here and back home).
I had a:
- 8:45 am drive to the Amtrak Station
- 11:19 am train to New York Penn Station
- 3:46 pm train on NJ transit to Newark International Airport
- Subsequent shuttle to terminal B
- 7:10 pm plane to Charles de Gaulle
- 11:19 am (again) connecting flight to Montpellier
- 12:50 pm arrival
Going abroad for 4-5 months requires a bit of luggage. I packed a lot lighter than I could have, but was still stuck with a technical pack, a small day pack, a large suitcase, and a longchamps bag.
There were/are a lot of stairs! However, some nice men helped me with the large suitcase:
- Getting on and off of the amtrak train, and
- Going down many stairs to the NJ transit
Also: The French conduct airport security in a wildly inefficient and slow manner. A line that would have taken me maybe 15 minutes to get through in any United States airport (even D.C. airports), took one hour. It was intolerably warm, inducing sweat to our already odor scented bodies.
In any case, gross, oily, sweaty, exhausted, and almost sick describes the state of our arrival. We all felt sincerely sorry for those who were sitting around us in the airport and on the plane.
In the video below, Margaret and Jenn talk about the planes, trains, and automobiles that we took to get here.
When we arrived, we moved into a couple of hotel rooms temporarily. After a few days of this, we needed to move into our apartments. Sarah and Jacqueline are living in the doll house double apartment, Jen and I are living in two, neighboring, separate studio apartments, and Sorcha is moving into an “open double” apartment with another girl who was in Montpellier this past fall as well.
We would have to move in all of our luggage tomorrow, normally. However, we decided to move in a few things tonight to maintain a certain level of sanity. So–
Jen and I;
- Took a 15 – 20 minute detour due to our director’s instructions,
- Got lost and received incorrect directions upon asking,
- Walked past the street to our apartment, and
- Hauled 80 pounds of luggage around with us and then up 5 flights of stairs.
Jen and I clearly make a fantastic team. It only took us about an hour to get there. Our return took about 15 minutes.
Anyhow, I am tired (a good thing seeing as I haven’t been sleeping well the past couple of nights) and will be leaving you with these two videos.