Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Loire Valley to The Gers

Martine and Pierre dropped me off in front of the train station in Tours Sunday morning. Unfortunately, they couldn’t come inside because there was no where to park the car. Sunday was a madhouse in Tours. It was the day of the Bradarie which is a twice annual sidewalk sale on crack. Every shop in town participates displaying their sale items on the sidewalk. All the squares fill up with merchants as well. There are rides for the kids, crafts, and food for sale. We left the apartment at 8:30 in the morning and the frenzy had already begun. There were people everywhere. Streets were closed and policemen were directing traffic, or supposed to be. They were actually just standing around chatting.

Ayumi got out of the car with me and went to the station. My friend Konomi also met us at the station to say goodbye. She gave me a little present of a Japanese cookie (kind of like a giant rice cracker), a cute note, and a little charm to hang on my cell phone. The charm has a little cup and a piece of sushi – super cute! The two of them saw me onto the train, and then I was off.

Konomi and I with the present she gave me

The agenda for the day was quite a big one:
09h13 depart Tours (by train)
09h18 arrive in St Pierre des Corps

09h26 depart St Pierre des Corps (by train)
12h01 arrive in Bordeaux

12h38 depart Bordeaux (by train)
13h43 arrive in Agen

16h25 depart Agen (by bus)
17h57 arrive in Auch

19h10 depart Auch (by bus)
19h40 arrive in Mirande

Mirande to the farm (~20 minutes by car)

It was fun stopping in Bordeaux. I’ll have to come back sometime. The town looked really pretty and the train station had great architecture. The countryside surrounding it, naturally, was covered in grape vines.

Bordeaux Train Station

Vines outside of Bordeaux

I made it to Agen without a hitch where I had 2 and a half hours to dilly dally. Martine and I thought I would be able to deposit my backpack in a locker at the train station so that I could explore the town a bit before leaving for Auch. Unfortunately, the train station had no lockers. I decided to walk around the town a bit anyways because I wanted to check out the prune shops, since Agen is the prune capital of France. I forgot it was Sunday though, so evidemment, all the shops were closed and the town was deserted. I walked about ten minutes in the heat and decided that was enough! With my big backpack, I was also a walking target for stares and a few comments from random men on the street. I returned to the station and took a cafe instead.

The rest of the trip was fairly simple. I caught both my buses, each of which took me deeper and deeper into the country. The terrain became more and more hilly, and the people gradually became more and more casual. I started to hear a slight difference in the accent too. It’s apparently pretty strong in the South. Louisa from the farm found me in Mirande and took me to the farm. The farm is gorgeous, but I’ll have to fill in all the details later. We’ve got to go move the donkeys and sheep now!

Driving into the Gers by bus

View of the sunflowers from the bus (ready to be harvested)

1 comment:

  1. Wow Annie... Everything sounds great. Can;t wait to hear more about the farm.