- Itinerary: Twenty-two days by train in France
- Back from France: Intro to Upcoming Series
- Days 1&2: Bordeaux, Sleep Deprivation, and the Case of the Missing Driver
- Day 3: Saint-Émilion, Wine, and Glimpses of Heaven
- The Arguing Old Couple. “Il est trés fou!”
- Day 4: A Travel Buddy in Amboise
- Day 5: Chateau Amboise and Solo Travel Revelations
- Day 6: Being Lazy in Amboise
- Day 7: Chateaux of the Loire Valley
- Amboise and Rude Americans
- Day 8: Dark Alleys and Fear in Sarlat-la-Canéda
- Solo Travel: Crushing Loneliness
- Day 9: Touring Les Plus Beaux Villages de Dordogne
- Day 10: An Evening of Tears in Carcassonne
- Day 11: Arles and Falling in Love
- Day 12: Gender Normative Behavior in Arles
- Day 12: Roman Ruins, Van Gogh, and Body Positivity in Arles
- Day 13: Catcalls and a Lost Reservation in Nice
- Day 13: There’s No Cerveza on this French Menu!
- Day 14: The Beauty of Nice
- Day 15: Eeeezeeee Does It At Éze Village
- Day 16: Wishing for Longer in Lyon
- Day 17: Getting To Chamonix-Mont-Blanc By Train Is Not For The Weak
- Day 18: L’Aiguille du Midi
- Day 19: Annecy
Day 1 was spent in transit. It is now day 2.
I arrived safely in Paris. I left my house at 6 AM Pacific on Monday and arrived in Paris at 8 AM Central European on Tuesday. I didn’t sleep at all on the plane.
The train station inside Charles de Gaulle airport was easy to find. It was while waiting for the train to Bordeaux that I learned my French is decent enough that when a woman waiting alongside me for the train asks for help figuring out how to turn the flashlight on her phone off I’m able to teach her how to do so.
French tech support FTW. Don’t tell my employer.
The train to Bordeaux was my first TGV, France’s high speed train. It was thrilling. The scenery between Paris and Bordeaux was beautiful and the four hours were over before I knew it.
The hotel had offered to send a driver to meet me when I got off the train and I gladly accepted. I knew I was going to be exhausted as hell, and not having to deal with transport was definitely desirable. Unfortunately, I was so exhausted that I didn’t see the driver when I disembarked, and there was significant confusion trying to find each other at the very large train station. After several calls with the hotel, the driver and I finally located one another and I was on my way.
At around 4 PM I checked in to my hotel, ditched my backpack, and took off on a self-guided walking tour using the map provided at the front desk.
Gorgeous and thrilling doesn’t even begin to describe what I saw of the French countryside and of Bordeaux today.
A few things I learned:
Bordeaux is a bustling but small city. Most streets are closed off to cars, which makes for an amazing tourist experience.
Also, I do pretty well on zero sleep as long as nobody tries to get me to converse with them or I have to find someone holding a big sign with my name on it.