Travel: Your holiday disaster

A rugby club exchange trip to Paris left Larry Moore wishing he'd stayed at home

THREE DAYS before Easter, a new member of the rugby club told us that his old club had some spare places available for an exchange visit with a Parisian rugby team. Half a dozen of us jumped at the chance of the trip. My wife was a lot less impressed and insisted that I take her with us. She reluctantly accepted my explanation that it was "players only".

When the coach arrived to pick us up I could not help noticing how many of the other players had their partners with them.

Later that afternoon the coach broke down some miles from Paris. The first night of the trip was spent in a very smelly coach in a service station with lots of people who we didn't know or like much. Eventually we made it to Paris. After a quick trip around the various tourist sites the driver dropped us all at Notre-Dame to do what we wanted for a couple of hours.

My mates from my own club went off to find a restaurant while I went to visit some work colleagues at our Paris branch. But when I arrived back at Notre-Dame - some 20 minutes late - I discovered that the coach had gone without me.

At first I was sure that it was all a mistake and that they would come back soon. I sat down in the most prominent place I could find and waited. After three hours I finally realised that they were not coming back. Unbeknown to me, one of my rugby mates had told the rest of the party that I was going to meet up with the French side we were visiting at the agreed rendezvous point, the Arc de Triomphe. I did not know of this arrangement.

The British Consulate is always a good place to go when you need help abroad. Hopefully my friends would have left a message there for me. I later found that they had - but I arrived at the consulate just after the "Closed for Easter" sign went up on the door.

Next I went to the French police. They suggested that I telephone the French rugby team or the trip organiser's home in England, but I knew the names and phone numbers of neither.

In desperation, I went to the red light area of Paris. There were bound to be British rugby teams on tour wandering around there, there always are. But, nobody there.

It was time to accept the inevitable and head for home. The ticket clerk at the Gare du Nord told me to change trains at Amiens (I think) to get to Boulogne so I could catch the ferry back to England. I was very tired by this time, but determined not to fall asleep and miss my connection.

I suddenly woke up to hear the train doors slamming. As the train began to pull out I jumped on to the platform, relieved that I had not missed my connection, only to discover that I had got off somewhere completely different. The next train through was not due until seven o'clock the next morning. Wearily I put my head down on a wooden bench in the waiting room. The porter padlocked me in - I don't know why.

Eventually the next day I got back home - only to find that my wife had left me.

Share your holiday nightmares by sending a 600-word account to: Holiday Disasters, Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5DL. E-mail: sundaytravel@independent.co.uk.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
    Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

    Meet Racton Man

    Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
    Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

    Garden Bridge

    St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

    Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

    An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
    Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

    Joint Enterprise

    The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
    Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

    Freud and Eros

    Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum