I can’t put into words what a poignant, special time it’s been for me to spend 48 hours with our family friends Odile and Bruno. Dad met Odile’s father Jean during his travels around Europe, by bike (he was a superb Time Trial cyclist), in the late 1940’s. They remained firm friends and our respective families have enjoyed time together in each country since the 1960s.
A rather wet view from the room today … How wonderful that the sun shone yesterday for the thousands who came to pay their respects to the fallen heroes.
This morning I bid a fond ‘au revoir’ to them, and caught the number 20 bus from Cabourg to Caen. Not knowing whether the bus would take me right to the train station, I left more than enough time before my booked First Class seat to Paris, then Strasbourg. Time to sit. To think. To gaze. To chat to a man next to me as I drank my cafe au lait who amiably informed me that due to unexpected travel plans yesterday at Ouistreham, he had his most enjoyable day ever. How travelling solo has taken years off him. He smiled radiantly throughout the brief conversation. How lovely. He felt safer here in France than at his corner shop in Manchester.
Caen to Strasbourg via Paris First Class
The train journey from Caen to Strasbourg was uneventful. Thankfully I successfully traversed from Paris St Lazard to Paris Est by foot. Tiring with my backpack and shoulder bag, but worth it to feel and witness the tremendously vibrant energy of the city of love.
First Class was comfortable, I booked a seat alone. We whizzed past lots of countryside and small villages. Once in Strasbourg I chose a taxi; my poor old legs and back had had enough!
Kerry and Tony had booked a room at The Hotel Suisse. And I’ve got a gorgeous, albeit ‘cosy’, double room to myself.
I hadn’t heard from Barry all day and had a vain hope he’d got his visa and was travelling to Strasbourg to surprise us all. No such luck. He messaged this evening to say he phoned the solicitor this morning and there was no news.
Que sera sera.
It’s awesome to be with Tony and Kerry. I’m attempting to coerce them into attempting to speak French whenever possible. Tony, however, keeps bursting into his haere mai rendition. I suspect my mission may be pointless.
What a stunning city Strasbourg is. We’ll explore a little more in the morning, then return by boat Sunday evening. Wish me ‘Bon chance’. Looks like I’ll be the Captain tomorrow …
Bonne nuit tout Le monde 😉