Interrail Narbonne Day 15-16

May 07, 2023

Hello lovelies, 

it's been a while since my last Interrail post. And to be honest, writing about it is a bit bitter-sweet. Remembering all the great places I was makes me want to hop onto the next train and go somewhere else again.

Day 15

I got up at 5am and departed with the first Eurostar from London Pancras to Paris. My body still felt week and I was constantly sneezing and blowing my nose. A few people probably thought that I had covid and wore a mask after hearing my loud concert. I can't blame them. I myself did wear a mask though except for when my nose wanted attention and for the breakfast they served in the train.


Breakfast consisted of a bread roll, a croissant, jam, water, orange juice, and bottomless tea. It was not bad. I was too weak to open the water bottle and the friendly waiter/train attendand opened it for me. Bless them.

The train arrived on time in Paris an 10am but I had a huge problem: there was a super long queue at the ticket machine and I needed to take the train asap so I could get my connecting train from Paris to Narbonne. You see, I arrived in Paris at Gare du nord but needed to go to Gare de lyon for the next train and only had an hour time. I decided to skip the queue and pray that there was another one along the way. There was, luckily, one, but the people infront of me took ages. AGES! I was already so worried about not getting the train as time was ticking mercilessly. Then I finally got my ticket, took my heavy bags and carried them to the platform. I really hate how inaccessible most station in Paris are, there is just no lift - compared to Vienna where every station has at least one lift. I stood at the platform and found out...I was at the wrong plattform. So guess, who could carry all her luggage back up the stairs and then down the stairs again to the correct plattform? Yeah. Me. In my weak state, everything felt heavier too. I was really close to tears by then, especially when a train came and decided to not go any further and everyone had to get out at wait for the next train. So the plattform was full of people and I only had about 15mins left until my train left. It was not a great day. 

A new train arrived at the station and everyone pushed to enter the train. I was stuck somewhere at the entrance in a really hot train with only a minimum of people wearing masks. I arrived at Gare de Lyon exactly the time when my train was supposed to leave. There was another train going to Narbonne but I had to wait about 4 hours. I went to check the trains and lo and behold, my train had a 10mins delay and was still standing on the plattform. I took my bags, ran to the ticket barrier, up the stairs, run to my wagon number and jumped in. I was sweating, I was shivering, I was close to passing out but I made the train. I can't believe was so lucky. With the last of my energy I pulled my bag to the top deck where my seat was and the handle broke. I couldn't care less and was just happy I could sit and make my way to the south. Then, as I took out my phone, I realized I had cracked the protective film of my screen. No idea how I did this but I probably knocked my phone into something in my bag as I ran for the train. Never mind that, it was just the protective film. (That I didn't change up until today. Oops).


The landscape looks so dry, no wonder with the drough Spain is experiencing for years now. I was just not prepared for it.


To be honest, the 4,5h train ride passed along so quickly, probably because I was zoning out most of the time. I arrived on time in Narbonne around half past three and made my way to the hotel. 

It was a mistake to trust google because google maps took me through small streets with broken concrete, and rough roads. It was just peachy going through those back alleys with a big suitcase and the broken handle. But I managed to arrived at the hotel, carry my luggage to the second floor without a lift and then just fell into the hotel bed and took a nap. The room was pretty big, as was the bathroom but it was really cool too because of the AC. It was also a self-check in and out, so I never saw any staff.

After the nap I roamed around the old city. 

The floral decoration on the tower reminds me of some kind of sixties party. 

It was a quaint little city with a small centre.  A river divided the city into two and my hotel was on the south bank. I decided to get food and more rest and do most of the sightseeing the next day as I was not only famished but also tired and still felt a bit sicklish. 

 You can see the river on this picture just next to the houses. It looks so green and can be easily confused with the green grass.



At the supermarked I got a pasta salad, sandwiches, cup soup, and cut pineapples as the restaurants were not open yet or, if they were, had no one who could speak English. Of course my French was fine and I could understand most dishes on the menu but I was just too tired to really think properly, and the food from the supermarket was definitely fine too.

I went to bed very early but couldn't fall asleep as I had difficulties breathing and had to couch every few minutes. It was a really horrible night. 

Day 16

It's still a mystery how I could get up at 7 am to see the city. I actually felt fine again, apart from a bad cough which had gotten worse. My nose was red and rough but I felt fine again. I had some tea, yey for my own electric water kettle in my room, pushed make-up on my face and then it was carpe diem time. 

As soon as I stepped out of the hotel, I was taken aback at how busy the street was. There suddenly were small booths and vendors along the river bank. Turns out, that every Thursday was market day and this Thursday was no exception. Bye bye quiet sightseeing day. I went to St-Just-St-Pasteur but it was closed. I made my way back, visited the Roman road and then crossed the bridge to the other half of the city. 

 The houses were old and some were in really bad shaped, they looked like a bad tooth in a beautiful mouth of teeth. I found a church I wanted to enter, I think it was Collegiale Saint Paul but it was closed and only opened at 10am. By then it was around 8am. Just my luck as all the other places were closed too. I could have slept for a much longer time but I didn't check for opening hours. Peachy. 



There was nothing really I wanted to see anymore and decided to go back, take a one hour nap and then come back to the church. And that is what I did. 

I came to the church at 10:10am and as soon as I stepped in I realized there was a mass. In all of my Interrail and all the churches I have been, that was the first and only time that I had witnessed mass. I tried to quietly sneak around, be as considerate and politly and just sneak some pictures with a quiet shutter. Most of the video and pictures were sneakily made behind one of these big pillars so that the priest and the worshipers would not see me. 





I left the church quickly after that and roamed around the north side of the riverbank somemore. I came across cute but very thin cats. Look at those cuties! I would have adopted them all, if I could.




Afterwards I finally went to the cathedrale sain just et saint pasteur. It was breathtaking from the outside. The gothic architecture is one of my favourite with all the small gargoyles. In the courtyard was a small rose garden and it looked and felt to serene. Anyone else get beauty and the beast vibes everytime they see gothic architecture in France?


 The inside was great too but what struck me was weird was that the cathedral was warm? I just couldn't wrap my head around that fact. I only know churches to be places that are freezing cold. 







 Afterwards I decided to eat something before entering the museum palais des archevêques and went to the Italian restaurant which was just next to it. The waiters were really nice but boy oh boy were they busy. The service took ages but the food didn't, but even the small wait for it was not worth it as the food was just bland and not good. Meh. 

After this very unsatisfiying meal, I went to the palais musee des archeveous. Entry was only 6€ and it was really ok for the price. I saw some nice paintings but and wonderful fresco, when they were conserved.

A painting of three woman, one spining, one weaving and one doing bobbin lace.

The last room in the museum had a kind of oriental style:

I also climbed the tower and came out on a platform that overlooked all of Narbonne. And of course, I forgot to take a picture of the most magnificent view.

After the museum I roamed around the inner city, got myself a new pack of mask and cough drops as I had finished the stash I brought. I had also run out of neo citran but didn't get a new pack. 

I check out and then went to the train station, it was a long walk back with my heavy luggage in the heat but this time I took the road which didn't make me curse with all the broken concrete  as it was more of a major street. I was about two hours early because couldn't store my bag but had to check out already. The train station was old and reminded me of an old 19th century train station. The waiting room was "modernized" though and thus, didn't look that nice. I bought water and some snacks and waited and waited. At least the train was on time and I went off to Barcelona around 5.30pm.

First class was filled quite well again and the seats were soft and made out of leather. I must have zoned out again because the 2,5h went by really fast. 

I arrived in Barcelona and funny enough, I went down the wrong platform at the metro again. At least they had a lift this time which made changing plattforms much easier than in Paris. The metro was cool but very bright and, like in Vienna, they still had a compulsory mask mandate. I didn't have food and almost nothing to drink and all of the supermarkets were closed. I got a cool coke at the reception, washed some of my clothes in the bathtub and then fell into bed. 

And that was Narbonne! Next will be Barcelona. 

All the best,

Auris Lothol

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