Saturday, June 17, 2006

Life Is Good, Though a Wee Bit Crazy

Il pleut. Mais il faisait très chaud aujourd’hui, donc je me plaigne pas. Et en tout cas, j'aime la pluie. C'est le gris que je n'aime pas.

Okay, sorry. I just read a French blog, and now I feel like writing in French. But I’ll spare you all further time wastage.

So…recap. I got to see my dad and Michele and Katie yesterday. They are traveling in France, but their route didn’t reach to Toulouse (it doesn’t really draw many tourists), so I headed to Avignon to see them. It was sooooo nice to see my dad. We walked around Avignon and talked. I hadn’t seen him since the end of August, nearly ten months ago.

Avignon is really pretty, but I wasn’t prepared for how touristy it was. I guess I should expect that for all the towns Becky and I will be going to. Some of them will be much worse, I’m sure. I thought I heard English spoken a lot in Toulouse, but it was everywhere in Avignon. The city was built with a white stone (I don’t know my stone, but my dad thought it might be sandstone). As Toulouse was built almost entirely of red brick, seeing a white city was a bit of change for me. Avignon was built as a closed city, and the protective wall around it still stands. It is most famous for being the seat of the French papacy, back when there were two popes. I feel severely uneducated for having no idea what that’s all about. Two popes? Crazy Europeans. Avignon is also home to the longest river island in France (Ooooooh! Ahhhhhh!). It was a beautiful area, and I’d like to explore it more if I ever get the chance.

My only complaint for the day was the train ride. First of all, I don’t know why on earth they were calling that a TGV, because it’s speed was far short of great. It was the special kind of train that can go fast, but I guess it doesn’t go fast on that particular route. My dad was telling me they took the TGV from Paris to Lyon, and it flew all the way to Lyon. My train stopped in every town along the way and only went the speed of a normal train. Whatever. The train home was not a TGV, and I had to transfer in Narbonne. The layover was only supposed to be 15min, but the connecting train was half an hour late. I didn’t have to be anywhere, but it had already been a longish day. Then, at one point, the train stopped in the middle of a field somewhere. It stopped, and then they turned it off. We sat in a field with no air conditioning, in relatively sweltering heat, for 15min. It didn’t make it any more enjoyable that everyone around me kept making loud exclamations of “Mais qu’est-ce qu’y a?” and “Putain! Qu’est-ce qui se passe?” And then they would all speculate with each other as to why we were stopped, when we probably just had to wait for another train to get out of the station. We were 30min behind schedule, after all, which probably seriously screws up the order in these small-town train stations.
I caught my first ever glimpse of the Mediterranean Sea (from the train), and I saw the Rhone river in Avignon, so I’m pretty pleased with the day. Not to sound uber cheesy, but it was a day that I won’t soon forget and I’ll always (brace yourselves) cherish it.

Yikes. Okay, I’m glad that’s over with. Now I can get on with my life.

More photos on Flickr.


  1. I'm still jealous....despite the crappy train ride. :) Does sound like fun... :)

  2. You're such a weirdo.

  3. Peut-être le train a heurté une vache?