Public Transport abroadNovember 14, 2013
When I was looking at getting from Paris airport to Disneyland Paris we were told a few options. There was the shuttle bus that took over an hour and was always busy so might be hard for the Wheelchair, pushchair and our suitcases for £100. There was also the opition of a private taxi which might take around 40 minutes for £120, we could have looked into getting cheap car hire in France or there was a 10 minute train for £100. Can you guess which one I went for? Less time and less money
Getting the train from airport was not too much trouble, it was at 10am in the morning so we missed rush hour and the train station was underneath the airport. Once I had decoded the train times and made sure we were near the right platform (after nearly having a falling out with Hubby) we could relax and await our train. There was a clever sign which told you where your seats were within the train and signs along the platform to ensure you were stood at the right place for your carriage. When not in a rush and when the platform was not busy we were able to board our train, load the luggage and wheelchair without much fuss.
Arriving at our destination was quick and effortless. Our return journey however was not. Traveling in the evening we arrived early at the station to find that many of the trains including ours was delayed. Well with our limited french that is what we worked out after staring at the boards for a few minutes.
This station was a lot busier with many people leaving to go home after their holidays. The station was confusing enough with different sections for different train operators. It was pure hell to be honest and my stress levels were unbelievably high. We were struggling with our bags, pushchair and wheelchair so we found a member of staff and tried to convey our need for assistance. With broken french this was not very successful and the busy train was not suitable for the wheelchair. With no help at all we struggled to get on board. Even though we had seats we couldn’t get to them.
Hiring a car allowed us to experience the island in a whole new way, see things we wouldn’t have seen and immerse ourselves in Greek culture rather than just seeing the tourist area. I think it was important for the girls to really get a good look at where we were and to understand the differences and how people live in other countries. Staying on resort would not allow them to do that and even visiting the local tourist town hides the reality. We really enjoyed hiring the car and wish we had done so earlier in our break so we could have traveled to the south of the island too. I hear there were some lovely beaches and quaint little towns that we missed.
One other positive from having the car is that the kids fell asleep in the car so were lovely and rested and ready to play in the pool when we got back.
It was such a shame to end a holiday with such a horrible travel experience and it will certainly make me think twice about using public transport in a foreign country again.