Au Revoir, ma France

Thanks for keeping me company on my Winter in Provence. When I rise Monday morning in Akron, I hope there’s nothing to report like getting to the train station in Aix…

As know-it-all adolescents, my mother would annoy us with her self-defensive warning that pride goeth before the fall. Having departed Monfort at 6:45, I drove down the Rue de la Republic sans faute toward the Aix Eurocar rental office an hour later, feeling pretty proud of myself. I had several hours left to drop off the car, walk five blocks to the train station and snatch a coffee and croissant. Problem: seeing the locked up Eurocar facade, I remembered I was to return the car at the train station. Lucky I had time to wind back.

Problem two: After circling about forty minutes, I discovered that there are two train stations in Aix and the one I needed was in a suburb, not around the corner. Feeling the pinch.

Problem three: As my francophile-artist friend, Cindy, says, French directions and road signs get you ninety percent of the way there. Deduct more for not catching avery word. After sweating more wrong turns, I arrived at the airport-sized train station and after one final bad turn down  a fireman-dedicated lane, handed over the car keys at 9:15. My unnerved and damaged self-esteem was consoled to still have ample time to buy a baguette sandwich for the train.

Paris has been a dream, granted a chilly one. I finally spent time at the Louvre and revisited my favorite artists at Musée Dorsay. Last night I reveled in a magical dream of new French friends saying goodbye: a Moulin Rouge version of the real goodbye I had shared with the waiter at Le Jardin d”Artemis, who announced to the French diners that I was his American artist friend.

Difficult to top that farewell, I’ll end the trip tonight after one last cold walk to the Seine and back, dining late in a tiny husband-wife restaurant around the corner, sating any sense left in my body, mind or soul that can possibly absorb another ounce of life. I may explode, but what a way to go!

 

15 thoughts on “Au Revoir, ma France

    • Ginny! So glad to hear from you. Glad you got the link and followed. I was never sure what your current contact was. Hope all is well. Email me and let me know what’s new in your life. Fond memories.Bruce

  1. What a wonderful blog Bruce – you really captured every moment and it felt like I was actually visiting France aussi/ A beintot Ma France et merci beaucoup !

  2. What a remarkable and wonderful journey–feels like we’ve really been there with you. Magnificent scenes and thought-provoking comments. Travel home safely! V

  3. Reading your blog and seeing the images..it’s the next best thing to being there!

    I love the painting of the lake. It’s really fresh and well done–maybe painting in the cold is a good thing!

    Cindy

  4. For me, your trip narrative has been like a vacation-by-proxy and therapy session combined, and I look forward to traveling on your shoulder again soon.
    Safe travels home, Bruce! (BTW, I just might HAVE to have the lake painting, if it’s not yet bespoken.)

    PS Loved the last photo … it reminded me that France seems to have the widest array of henna-enhanced “eternal” redheads in Christendom!

    • Thanks for being there. I’ll hold it for your approval. Writing a travel blog has been a new creative thrill. glad to know someone- a number of folks liked it. I had a blast. I never felt alone for a minute.

  5. The trip, the photos, the narrative — what a wonderful blog. Thank you for allowing us to be with you, not to mention inside your head and heart.

  6. Indeed experiencing France in winter through your ‘filter’ has been a wonderful escape from here. Thanks so much for blogging & picture-taking from these beautiful places. We travelers have had a new adventure along with you each day.

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