Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We're Back!

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: Tuesday March 8, 2011

We arrived in Orléans from Bretagne on Tuesday. It had been a long travel day, but we soon felt very much at home. It was good to see familiar places. Not much had changed in the two years since our first visit. Our train trip today was beautiful. It was another gorgeous, sunny day. Craig and I felt awake and alert. Jet-lag gone! 

We had begun our morning the usual way - with delightful pastries. Craig chose a baba au rhum topped with fruit, Darcy enjoyed another beignet, while I tried something new. It was called a paille, which means "straw", and it did resemble straw a bit, with its light, crisp, almost hollow layers. Sandwiched in the middle was a layer of raspberry jam. It was very tasty!

Our petit déjeuner.

Craig and Darcy in the square 
outside the hotel in Carnac, France.

After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and shopped a bit for souvenirs before calling a taxi to take us to the train depot in Auray. I enjoyed the incredibly scenic views of the French countryside as the train sped to Paris. We passed many quaint villages and farms, and cattle-studded fields intersected by lively streams. We saw at least three small chateaux, which were very picturesque. We had stored some of our luggage at Gare Montparnasse, the train depot in Paris, so we picked it up, and then hailed another taxi to Gare d'Austerlitz, and boarded the train which would take us to Orléans. A quick taxi ride later, we were at the hotel. Whew!

Our hotel of choice this time was the Jackotel, which was located a mere three-minute walk from Darcy and Mathieu's apartment in the ancient part of town near the Loire. The hotel had a rustic charm and the staff were friendly, though not one of them spoke English. We were certain we could muddle through.

Our cozy room at Hôtel Jackotel.

The ancient church, St. Aignan, is just across from the hotel.

That night we ate kebab sandwiches and hot, crisp fries at Le Grec Gourmand. Mathieu's brother, Remy, was able to join us. It was great to see him again. The food was plentiful and inexpensive. We were a bit worn out from traveling and were soon ready to return to our cozy hotel.

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