Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Paris to Château-Gontier : Tristesse et Joie
Day six started with sadness.
We had had such a ball in Paris. Leaving the city of statues and sex shops, new friends and their amazing and generous hospitality, and so much else, was too much. This was foolishness. Why were we departing? We had only just scratched the surface. Given another year in Paris, we may have got to know and love half of it, even though we had come to love all of it first.
The Gare Montparnasse at 8:30 am was thankfully gloomy and dark; or so it seemed.
I was certainly dark at the prospect of leaving Guille to climb on her own, of letting Eric loose with his camera without sharing those moments, and of not hearing and seeing Michael's pride in his city as we dashed most everywhere.
The TGV sat placidly and not even impatiently. It had done all this before but never as sadly as we were feeling.
The trip to Tours in the beautiful Loire Valley took the usual many seconds or so. Time was slowing down now and soon we had to drive ourselves around.
In a sparkling Mercedes, we gingerly headed north west, stopping for coffee and 'sandwichs' at Cafe de la Promenade at Sainte Colombe, on the Avenue de Constant d'Estournelles, près de La Flèche.
Les Fléchois, like all French people we met, are happy to see you and Marcel and his merry men made us more coffees than we needed and baguettes avec jambon et fromage. They thought we were crazy, mixing the two !
I'd rather be crazy in France and do it the French way. And so we did.
What fun !
The car was a joy, and driving along the little French roads dans la Sarthe and into la Mayenne et la région Pays de la Loire was simply lovely. A new sensation of excitation was slipping into the day. This was superbe ! ... and les Christophe were putting on the kettle? You bet they were. Château-Gontier was approaching, dead ahead !
Les Castrogontériens were now only minutes away...