May it inspire you if you happen to find yourself on an unexpected turn of events during a trip. This holidays we had quite an adventure on our way back home from Nice to London on the 31st December. This happened before, but this time was a great one: try to find a plan B on New Year’s Eve. No way!
When things don’t turn out to be as expected
Everything was planned to the perfection to have our first NYE in London. I organized our cupboards and freezer with food before living home for our two weeks’ vacation in France. All of us agreed on a menu including festive food but not too perishable. We planned our way back to be just in time back home to have a family cooking session before the big dinner. We wanted to go out before midnight to see the fireworks. Before that, we wanted to play special games, our daughter even planned to make a “mannequin challenge.” Well, everything fell off at 1:00 pm on this very 31st December! Everything was perfect! Except when on our way to take a cab to the airport, we received a text telling us that our flight was cancelled. Next flight in two days, with only two seats available, so no way to fit the four of us even in two days.
Keep Calm and get organized!
We decided to play it step by step. First, join Paris. We thought it would certainly be easier to go from Paris to London, plus it is the occasion to have a very simple NYE in Paris. Only one trip left with four available seats from Nice to Marseilles. Then we had to wait 2 hours before our Marseilles to Paris train. Great, that will have to do! Paris arrival time: 11:00pm…
What about the night?
Now let’s find a hotel! We knew at this point that our NYE celebrations would be short and dinner out of the question. Better bet on the big Paris firework. Obviously, Paris feared another terrorist attack, so it was announced that the celebrations were cancelled this year. We were once Parisians, and this kind of emergency situation was not a first. My husband and I thought we could expect the Arc Of Triumph firework to happen anyway. It did: one more point for us! We also were lucky enough, at this point, to find the most charming hotel very close to “Place de l’Etoile”: Hotel des Deux Avenues. Finding something on NYE on more than short notice and reasonably affordable was in itself a lucky star…
A beautiful firework and a good night sleep
We arrived at the hotel just on time to join the countdown around the Arc of Triumph; then we went back to our room very fast: we had clothes fitting the warm climate of South of France. That night in Paris was mainly freezing! I don’t remember having been so cold in Canada: it was far less humid, and we always had adequate coats. Note for next time: when travelling in winter always take a winter coat. Next morning, we tried to do something of our free and freezing time in Paris, but more on that in a later post!
Still, have to join London
There were no availabilities on planes on 1st January. Eurostar was 6 times the price of our plane tickets from Nice to London. We had to opt for the bus. A very long trip, but a little bit later won’t hurt at this point. 10 hours later including 2 buses, 1 ferry, 3 border check (we had a special treat for New Year!). We were in the London bus station waiting for an Uber driver, exhausted but glad to be back home!
9 Positive thoughts to conclude
As my daughter told me: “Remember what you tell your readers Mum: think positive!” She was right: here are what makes this way back a good thing after all. The most important was that we were so happy to spend a little time celebrating with other Parisian after all Paris went through a little bit more than one year before. It meant so much to us.
On a more practical side:
- We found out that anything, anytime, anywhere we can manage, and not worry (too much).
- I know another charming hotel with friendly staff in the centre of Paris
- We had a Parisian NYE, and that brings us years in the past.
- We had a most fantastic coffee in a great place on Champs Elysees on the morning of 1st January: Flora Danica a Copenhagen restaurant.
- Our family travelled from Paris to London slow pace, and we were able to enjoy the countryside which happened to be amazing: it was cold so everything was surreal.
- I am so glad we always travel light, and this whole experience proves it once more. It’s not always easy to take only a few things to leave for two weeks or more, but it saved our trip, and a lot of our very much needed energy!
- I love having smartphones in that case because I don’t know how we could have managed without them.
- I have two more posts to write and many ideas to share with you, that makes me very happy!
If you want to know what we did on the 1st January:
When you are eventually back home: