Train to the Morvan (3); France

After a pretty good night's sleep extra early to the station. Train would leave at 7:45, ticket sales open at 8:30. At machine ticket to Dijon to get so that's done. Train arrived well in time. Even before we can figure out where exactly we can put the bike in it, a conductor comes shouting "NON" loudly. He makes it clear to us with a lot of noise and gesture that a tandem can not go along…. Anyway to Dijon. He had no idea, take the TGV. Other cyclists get in further on and he walked on to assert his authority. What now? The train did not leave yet. Conductor stepped in at the front. Was he the machinist? Then he wouldn't notice anything else. We take the gamble and put the bike on the train. Luggage off and in racks. 2 other cyclists behind the tandem helped so that it fit and they still had to go further than us. Suddenly another conductor comes running through the car. He nodded in approval. Relieved, we sat down.

And then the first one appeared again! Still angry. Tandem really can't go along. He didn't care that his colleague liked it. Don't beg either. He wouldn't run the train as long as we were still in it. We looked at each other: all the stuff but back out of the train. Stranded in Mulhouse. Way too far from our destination. If we did not have an appointment in the Morvan we would have cycled from here. But what now? Rent a van or something? First we have to get money back from the purchased ticket. Ticket sales were almost open by now. Explained in Oscar's best French that we were not allowed to go with the tandem and that we want our money back. Says the ticket sales: "in 10 minutes the train goes to Besançon and there you can change to the train to Dijon". "But we have a tandem with us!". "No problem". Huh???? Slightly hopeful we go back to the platform. This time there is even an escalator! In Germany we have already become quite handy in taking an escalator, so it's a piece of cake. Almost empty trains after that.

No conductor seen all over France. 2 transfers more than planned and 2 hours later we got off in Chagny. It's 1 p.m. and hot. Another 90km of cycling to our destination, but that's another story.

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