Weathering the Storm with the WP#94
As the rockers do and have a night here, and not there and have to keep moving on, that is what I did, and I was off to Valencia. At least I did not have an early train, but I had two trains and back to Madrid for my connection. They tell me that they are working on a new train route along the coast which would eliminate that, but I was too early as they said 2024 or 2025. In any case, I arrived and having never been to Valencia, it was a break to have two nights there and breathe, and so I did, first encountering my first hotel, where I was given a code to get it, the same for the room and no room key. Took a little getting used to, but it was a nice little boutique hotel and the people there very nice, when I met them the next morning when check in was completed at their little breakfast room. Oh, but this is about Hard Rocks and rail, and you heard about the rails, and yes, that night, met with a friend and colleague and joined me at you guessed it, the Valencia Hard Rock. Again, a wonderful experience, but Valencia has other foods, and other experiences, so my full day there included experiencing the Mercat Central and wandering around the city. I truly enjoyed my time there and barely scratched the surface, so I must return.
The longest, to that point travel day was from Valencia to Avignon, which was to be 3 trains, first to Barcelona, then a 2 hour wait and then to Montpellier and then to Avignon, but it turned out that the train from Barcelona to Montpellier, went on the Avignon, not Central, but to TGV. It cost me a taxi ride, but one less train connection and for that, I was happy. It was simply a travel day, and I was exhausted and ate right at the hotel which was fine with me. Yes, I would like to have explored, but I have been to Avignon, and I was simply using it for an overnight, which brought me to the day I did two Hard Rocks, yes two. First, having left Avignon on the train to Lyon, which was delayed and a regional, so no assigned seats and a 2 ½ hour train ride, and I am so glad that I was first on the train as by the time I arrived at Lyon, it was standing room only and with my luggage, it was crazy. Making a quick to Lyon, I was there in 2008, was about a 2 hour stop, storing my bags and returning to the station to continue. The folks at the Lyon Hard Rock were very nice. Thank you Vionliane and crew. I know crazy, but I had to make my rounds, so hopped a taxi and back to Part Dieu for my train to Nice.
After checking in, relaxing for a while, catching up on emails and other business, yes, I am in the travel business and have clients still traveling, where, again I had been, but the goal was number 80, after 79 at noon and this Hard Rock was not there when I was last in Nice. Andrea, an Italian, from Liguria, is the manager there and he and his crew were great. Essentially, I arrived, had the iPad and played music all night long. When he stopped by to chat, really did not eat much and he and I had a wonderful conversation over several hours and closed the joint down. As it turned out, he plays bass and, he and his band opened for Korn and did some recordings with them. We chatted about all different topics including music and life in general, so it truly was a highlight, as it was about enjoying the time. It left me with a very good feeling and left there thinking that life is good and being happy is the most important thing. In the end, when I am traveling solo, it feels good to have these meetings and conversations. It also makes me feel good to be appreciated as a customer and I appreciate my clientele. With them, we are not in business, and it does not matter if it is a well-known brand like Hard Rock or my little brand Wandering Puffin, it is how you treat your clients and customers that counts as loyalty is not guaranteed.
In the end, yesterday’s rail travel continued, and it was the longest day, and it was three trains, from Nice to Ventimiglia, from Ventimiglia to Genoa and this train was delayed some 45 minutes as there was a security sweep going on looking for illegal immigrants and then the long regional train to Turin (Torino), where I am now. Ordered a Piemontese pizza that was delivered to my hotel and in the end, stayed put for the night, truly exhausted from the travel. The prize is still ahead in a few days’ time, but for today, I will explore Turin, as I had not been here before and I did not travel all this way to not do this.
In any case, and from this crazy nomadic puffin, until next week, and greetings from Italy, and a bit of time to slow down forthcoming and no more Hard Rocks until next year, I think, thank you for your support of my crazy little world and of my small business. It is truly appreciated, and as always, I am interested in your thoughts, comments, questions and adding to the discourse is always appreciated be in on the site itself or on Facebook, Twitter or wherever you read this.
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin