Monday, 27 January 2020

23 Rue Etienne Richerand (Lyon, France)

The last couple of days I’ve been resolving the last bits and pieces of my “adventure”. That is what I’m calling this experience. I had recalled thinking a few days ago what it would be like if I lost my wallet and passport. Well, guess I’m finding out.

As it turned out my Airbnb host declined to give me cash even though I put money into his account. Thankfully, after visiting different countries I have been keeping their currency and I managed to collect over 200 Euros. Now, to find a place to exchange this money into Euros.

The only place open on Sunday was out at the airport, so I got to see the Lyon airport. Thanks to very helpful people at the station (some good advice and some not-so-good) I found the shuttle train to the airport but I had to pay in cash, which I’m trying to hang on to. The people at the airport money exchange were helpful as well and took pity on me and didn’t charge me a commission. I ended up with 250 Euros after the exchange.

Another glitch was when I used my newly activated Visa to buy my flight to Turin I was required to call the bank to confirm the transaction. While talking with their security I ran out of minutes on my phone and was disconnected. In the process they put a hold on my account. Back to square one. I now had cash but I couldn’t charge anything.

On Sunday, with help from friends in the U.S., I was able to unblock the card but it now didn’t work with Google Pay, a situation that I’m still working on. It worked fine on Friday.

Monday was going to be a major travel day and the day when I’ll get a temporary passport. I was at the station early on Monday and caught the high-speed train to Marseilles but it was late getting in the station so was late for my appointment, which was okay.

The people at the U.S. Consulate were very helpful and after 90 minutes I had my temporary passport. I’ll get my permanent passport when I arrive in Larnaca, Cyprus.

I took the Metro to the train station where I caught a train out to the airport (thanks to helpful people at the station) then took a shuttle from the station to the Marseilles airport. Not a huge airport, but found it difficult to find out where to check in with Air France. Limited signs and finally found where to check in. It was located in terminal 1B (and you would think a separate building would have its own number) then up a ramp, then in the corner were the check-in counters. From there it was easy.

My flight took me first to Paris. I should probably mention that I choose to go by air rather than train because to get to Turin, I would need to take the train back to Lyon then get on a bus to Turin. Between all of the connections, due to when I was traveling, it would have taken 5 – 6 hours. Flying to Paris then to Turin (or Torino) was easier.

When I landed in Paris (CDG) it took time to find the terminal where my plane was to depart. It looked like this part of the airport was being redesigned and departure gates were being moved. There were plenty of helpful people pointing where to go then someone else would correct them. For instance, I went down one escalator that pointed to gate 2F then another sign when I reached the bottom that said I needed to go up to the level I was just on. Then I found that I was to depart via gate 2G. (The automated reader board was wrong.) Eventually I found 2G and waited for my flight.

The flight to Turin was easy and getting through the airport went well too. I had enough money, thankfully, to take the taxi (30 minute ride) into the city. My last concern is that the credit card on file with the hotel was one that was stolen and generally the hotel wants to either run a credit card when you arrive to put a deposit on the room. It was 10:00 by the time I arrived at the hotel.

The day ended on a very positive note. The staff at the reception desk couldn’t have been more helpful and they didn’t require that I give them a credit card. They were okay with the newly activated card that was now in my profile. My room was upgraded and have now have a nice big room to enjoy while I’m here. Tomorrow, hopefully, my debit card will have arrived and I can activate it to use from now one. I’ll sleep with happy thoughts.

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