1 EAGLETON NOTES: A Journey To France



Sunday, 29 August 2010

A Journey To France

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.


  1. Ah. Pictures... ;) Very helpful. Thank you! Good when public transport works smoothly as it should. Here, it seems to just have got more and more complicated in later years.

  2. That second shot is one of the best I have seen. Don't quite know why but I love it. Have a good time and fly back.......On second thoughts hire a car.........You could hitch home before you clear security at the airport.

  3. Having been to France a number of times now (for both business and pleasure) I'd say skip the flying altogether and use the Eurostar. Given that you don't need to arrive so early for checkin (like you do with a plane) and there is less restrictions on luggage etc. it is a much more pleasant way to travel.

  4. I love that second photo, too. But probably for totally different reasons than Adrian's. And look at those French trains and railway station! You say the English are behind the times, have you ever seen a NZ train?? Chris and I caught a train in Auckland a couple of years ago and could hardly stop giggling all the way to town (it's not a good look at our age)! Good luck with the petanque!

  5. Another publictransportaphob!

    Sad but true...I seldom 'do' public transport. Though know I should. And on the rare occasion I do, it's never as bad as I 'remember'.

    Liked the travel-montage. Now have a real feeling of the journey (minus the bad bits - like the crud coffee; the queues; the cramped legroom; and the fact that your tickets, your passport and the public toilets are never located without a big search...)

  6. Ooo. Lovely. France is of course, extremely exotic for us colonials...
    Can't wait for the next bit.