Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Planes and Trains

We leave on a beautiful day, sunny and blue skies in SF to land 12 hours later under gray skies and drizzle  in Paris. It must be the explorer adventurer wanderer in us that leads us to want to venture new places.  It's certainly not for the weather! the flight was fortunately uneventful and time quickly passes with a wide variety of movies, of which I watch 4 romantic chick flicks.  Our fast train to Rennes takes us on a 3 hr ride through farm fields. The speed and efficiency of the European mass transit system puts us to shame, as do the beauty and comfort of the train stations. Rennes is a charming small town with the typical old world charm of a large square and 4 roads leading from it , each with a unique view of arches, churches, and narrow cobblestone alleys. This is not an American tourist destination and we have to do our own interpretation of the menu at the tiny La Gavot Creperie with the waitress' un peu d'anglais and my equally peu de francais. Not knowing the difference between a crepe and a galette, shame on us for not reading Rick Steves before dinner, we are very confused by the choices. Nevertheless, our sausage, potato and onion galette was delicious, and our banana, chocolate, ice cream crepe was equally satisfying. For your education, a galette is made from buckwheat flour and is usually savory. A crepe (which confused me when she said it was salty) usually has a sweet filling. Brittany is famous for its crepes and restaurants offer an impresive array of fillings and toppings, with paper thin skins.

Tonight we are at the budget Ibis hotel right next to the train station.  Finding it made me grateful for having done my 3 week crash review of french on my way to work each day. I was brave enough to talk to 5 people who I understand as saying, "I don't live here." Thank you Pimsleur for your practical phrases!


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