Tuesday, November 2, 2021

More thoughts on France…

Mushroom museum growing 85% of Paris’ mushrooms.
 A wide sidewalk 

John has a thing for boars and warthogs
Chambord Chateau…400 rooms 365 fireplaces 
Loire bike path
View from our gîte 
Blois tunnel where they secretly taught 70 children during Nazi occupation. We thought distance learning during Covid was bad.
Market day

Visiting with an eye to moving changes how you see a place. As a tourist, you see the high points. You get there, absorb the culture and leave.

As a prospective resident, you see things differently. 

Does transit reach your destination? Does is run on weekends and holidays? We have walked an average of 8 miles a day. Sometimes of necessity as we wanted to see something, but transit wasn’t nearby or timely. 

We used bikes one day to augment our train ride. Where there are paths, this is actually a good option. Even on the roads between towns you feel safe. Cars are small, drivers are used to bikes, and the law protects bikers really well. There are no big trucks with aggressive drivers who menace bikers for sport. It is a different world. Bike lanes are everywhere and so are bikers. Would we want to ride in 45 degree windy, misty weather? Probably not. 

Walking can be a challenge as sidewalks are not like in the States. Often, they are ~18 inches wide, crumbling or heaved asphalt and obstructed with all kinds of things. Then you must step into the tiny street where bikes and/or cars have no room to avoid you. Constant vigilance is required to stay safe. As in the US, whenever we come upon other pedestrians, we are invisible and must step off the path to avoid colliding. (Invisibility is a sucky superpower.)

John has not lost his superpower for stepping in dog poop. Although with ever-present fecal matter this is no longer much of a superpower, but just annoying. We are starting to keep score. 

All of this is to say that making your way can be tiring and challenging. As we find alternate routes, walking becomes pleasurable once again. That comes with familiarity and experience. We must remember that takes time. 

Park bathroom. Nope.
What does this mean?
Park potty for men. Of course John used it!

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