After a beautiful Baltic cruise, we landed in Marseille and headed for the hire car. Our troubles started with a receptionist who spoke little English and who provided us with the only map which got us out of the airport! Fortunately I am a google map fanatic and so we found the Hotel in Aix en Provence without too much hassle. After a wonderful breakfast we headed for the 'old town' to stroll before motoring on to Avignon. I locked and placed my cabin bag (the holiday nerve centre) and another beautiful 'Monet' bag bought from Monet's house in Giverny, in the boot /trunk along with my unlocked suitcase. We headed off relaxed and happy, thinking how lucky we were to get the parking spot on the main rd close to the old town!
Returning some 2 hrs later, we found the back side window broken and the bags gone from the boot /trunk. They had not touched the backpack or my husband's case! I lost ALL travel documents including passports, hotel bookings, air ticket, train tickets, frequent fyer cards, drivers licence, credit cards, 2 phones, brand new Asus epc laptop. Also camera / memory cards, ALL my pre-cruise and cruise videos, jewellery, medication and much, much more. The nightmare had begun and has continued even after returning home in trying to access receipts and documents for travel insurance.
worst in the experience was the French Police who shrugged their shoulders in 3 police stations and said "we don't speak English", the French Dr. in Avignon who just scoffed about my heart medication being the "British name" and then the all night pharmacy at 11 pm in the old town. It was then that I burst into tears and said "I want to go home"!!
Unfortunately we could not just go home without new passports from Paris, finding the booked hotels totally by memory and long phone calls to cancel cards and phones and get e-ticket back
Whilst I do not want to put off travellers, our only bad experience in 15 yrs of travelling, was a major one that left me feeling like I never want to travel agin. Be warned!