Friday, May 16, 2008

Travel Days

At last, a real computer connection. Posting from my Blackberry is quick and easy, but a bit tedious to compose more than a couple sentences. And no spell check.

Friday morning we took the TGV (highspeed)train from the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris, and arrived at Avignon less than three hours later. I tried to stay awake to watch the scenery, but like others in our group, I found myself asleep, with eyes closed and mouth open. We had a few moments in the car rental place, where the clerk tried to tell me that my American Express card's rental car insurance plan wasn't any good in France, and that I needed to pay about 300 Euros for all the insurances or I could be liable for up to $50,000. Both Eric and I tried calling our Amex card numbers, but couldn't get through (I later figured out the Blackberry automatically knows where I am, and I didn't have to dial all the country codes, and the agent confirmed that I was completely covered through my card). I declined everything, and we packed our stuff into a Ford minivan and headed through the curvy roads and the rain.

We found M. Le Fur in a typical French neighborhood cafe, in this small town. Dozens of people eating the plate du jour, drinking wine, talking, laughing, shouting across the room to each other. I would have liked to have stayed for a bit, but we were anxious to get to our place. I'll post some photos on my SmugMug site when I get home, but the place couldn't be more lovely. All around, we are surrounded by medieval stone walls and cobbled streets, where people have lived for centuries. After a couple hours, Janet, Eric and I walked through the maze of streets and eventually found the little shop, as well as the boulangerie (bakery) and the boucherie (butcher) shops. Fortunately, we also found a little city office that had maps. This particular town is well known for its pottery (hence the name "La Poterie") because of special clays found here. The tiny streets are lined with artist studios. We bought cheeses, wine, bread, mussels, pasta, some fresh vegetables, and ended up with a garlicky cream sauce with mussels over pasta, bread with fig preserves, and a fresh salad. Nice quality wines run about 2-7 euros per bottle.

The market in Uzes opens at 8, and I was hoping to be off by then. However, it's almost 9, and I am the only one up right now, although I just saw Eric walk by from their room, which has a private entrance. I'm not sure the girls are even breathing...

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