The Overnight Train from Cannes to Paris | EUROtoday

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There is one thing romantic concerning the concept of ​​an evening prepare from Cannes to Paris, with the weather of intrigue, of a time passed by, of the darkish film college of hazard simply off within the shadows – and there had been dramatic shadows. Tea station was beneath an overhead freeway dividing New (resort) Cannes from Old (working class) Cannes. John Pekich shares his evening prepare expertise…

Several trains got here as I stood on the marina on the station in Cannes ready for my prepare to reach. The ready crowds thinned as their trains arrived. Then, steadily, extra individuals got here for the evening prepare to Paris. The total setting felt to me like one thing from a Forties Bogart film. As the prepare pulled into the marina, I studied an digital signal close to me exhibiting the placement of every compartment and seat.

I climbed on board and noticed non-public sleeping cabins, DEUXIME CLASS (SECOND CLASS). There had been six bunks to a compartment, with a door. I requested the prepare driver (prepare conductor), in dangerous French, the place my luggage went. He replied in the compartment and pointed forward to an aisle. I discovered mine, quantity 61. I additionally unexpectedly discovered 5 teenage women there. The backside proper bunk, mine, had their baggage on it. In French, I mentioned, “There is a problem.” The women start to answer, “Yes…Yes!” As I shifted into English, I heard their collective sighs of reduction!

Three of the women had been from Denver, Colorado, and two had been from California. They had been touring by Europe for the summer time. The women babbled on excitedly the place they had been from and what they deliberate to see and do in France.

A prepare attendant entered in her darkish uniform and requested for my ticket. As the women chatted, the girl appeared sympathetically checked out me after which moved me to a compartment 4 vehicles down, with an older couple, my age, inside. As I lay in my bunk, I spotted I had left my fanny pack within the compartment with the women once I moved out. I wished to get it again, however I additionally didn't wish to disturb the couple beside me. All sorts of eventualities went by my mind: stolen playing cards, numbers taken, ID taken. It wasn't straightforward to sleep with this foremost in my thoughts plus the bunk was onerous canvas, with a small, flat pillow and a skinny, grey, musty sheet for canopy! I additionally had the views of the backs of the person and the girl on the opposite aspect of the comprment! The mattress was about 2-feet-wide, 6-feet-long and 10-inches-down from the one above!

I heard the hiss of the rails, felt the sway of the prepare round sharp turns, slowing because it climbed a grade, adopted by the sudden velocity because it raced downhill, swaying left and proper. There had been additionally the hall sounds of individuals going to THE lavatory and the deep respiration of the couple throughout from me, all accompanied by their stressed tossing and turning on their bunks…and the heavy, stale air of the compartment.

But in some unspecified time in the future, I did go to sleep.

At 5 the subsequent morning, I awoke and left the carriage. Gazing on the surroundings of daybreak was an expertise to cherish. The flat, low farm nation, with a haze over the open fields and meadows; farmers harvesting crops; and cattle peacefully grazing. I went to my earlier compartment and requested the women to examine for my fanny pack and after a slight panic it was discovered.

We arrived at Austerlitz Station, the top of the road.

I’ll wager an in a single day ticket on one other prepare that Bogart by no means skilled such an evening as I did. But it was value it, the evening prepare from Cannes to Paris is definitely an journey.

John Pekich is an creator, educator, actor and longtime Francofile with a particular affinity for the South of France. He could also be reached at cal20j01 @

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The Overnight Train from Cannes to Paris