Sunday, 29 August 2010
This is the first time I have ever been to France using public transport as much as possible ie from David's house in West Wemyss in Fife to the train station in Sainte Foy La Grande from where John would pick us up by car and take us the last few miles to Villeneuve de Duras ( a commune in the Lot-et-Garonne department in south-western France) where I planned to stay for a few days and, more particularly, play in the Fête de Petanque. In fact I am not particularly known for my using public transport at the best of times. I was once challenged to name when I last used public transport and said that I travelled by public transport very frequently - on the basis that air travel and ferries are all methods of public transport. This didn't seem to satisfy my questioner! Anyway as usual I digress. David and I made the journey which started with us getting the bus at 0900 on Wednesday.
The bus stop at West Wemyss
What do you do when your cat follows you to the bus stop?
Nifty wee things these local busses - they go everywhere and anywhere
We didn't even have too long to wait for the train which happened to be the Aberdeen to London train which just happened to be the longest train I'd ever seen and as busy as they come.
Taking photographs in airports is not one of the easiest things and is, in any case, even more dull than photographing railway platforms so that bit - an uneventful flight with the dreaded Ryanair - has been glossed over and this is the next part of the public transport: the airport bus from Bordeaux Airport to The Bordeaux Rail Station.
Bordeaux's Gare de St Jean
Apart from the Paris Metro I'd never been on a French train before. Wow. This is a local train! It is fast, quiet, comfortable and caters for everything. I had not realised how far behind we lag in the UK. No wonder we have problems attracting people to public transport.
In France you have to remember to 'composte' your ticket before you get on the train. I remembered that from my schooldays. Thank you Mr (Iron Mad) Wilkinson, at least that much sank in.
At Sainte Foy La Grande we left the train.
Sainte Foy La Grande Station
Our first sight of a French Café as we came out of the station.