A Day in Tours

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On a whim, we decided to go to Tours to catch the Tour de France (more on that later!). I am possibly the worst backpacker ever in France—my geography is approximate at best, I am only familiar with Rennes, Paris and the Atlantic Coast close to Nantes, and despite being French, I don’t have any travel tips for my own country other than “when you see a free bathroom, use it, you may not find another one easily”.On a whim, we decided to go to Tours to catch the Tour de France (more on that later!). I am possibly the worst backpacker ever in France—my geography is approximate at best, I am only familiar with Rennes, Paris and the Atlantic Coast close to Nantes, and despite being French, I don’t have any travel tips for my own country other than “when you see a free bathroom, use it, you may not find another one easily”.

We booked our ticket at the SNCF train station in Nantes. I gave up trying to understand the SNCF pricing logic: somehow, traveling with Mark yielded us a discount even though his ticket was free. Typical French nonsense.

We took the TER (an old regional train) from Nantes to Saint Pierre des Corps, and then hopped onto another train to get to Tours. The station was very nice: airy, clean with plenty of light.

First stop: tourist info. We queued behind a long line of British travelers, probably in town for the Tour de France. We picked up a map and basic travel info and walked to the city centre.

Tours was quiet, very quiet. We figured most people were already at the Tour finish line, outside the city. We passed the castle, the cathedral, a long bridge and found a tiny restaurant specializing in cheese where we had a somewhat fancy French lunch (set menu but still, more elaborate—and cheesy—than anything I would cook at home).

Around 3:30 p.m. we hopped onto a bus to get to the Parc des Expositions, where the Tour finish line was. The ride was long and crowded. About halfway, two young women fought their way in: “She is four-month pregnant!” one of the women announced loudly. “She needs a sit! Move, move!” People reluctantly tried to move back but the bus was so full that it wasn’t easy. So they started bitching about everyone and when they finally found a seat, right behind me, I was treated to their conversation.

“Like, you know, I felt totally ready to have a kid. I mean, 17 was too young but like, fuck, 18 is so right” the first woman (who had a toddler with her) proclaimed. “Yes, I know what you mean,” replied the pregnant one. “Fuck the father, my parents will help cause like, you know, I am alone. But so ready, like, you know.”

“Oh boy,” I thought. I couldn’t imagine being 18 and pregnant. Being 30 and having a kid isn’t easy and I think I am responsible, I don’t know if I could have managed it that young!

Eventually, the bus stopped by a huge IKEA and we saw the crowd, on both sides of the road. Tour de France, here we come!

You can see the complete set of pictures of France here.

Tours

Tours

The Tour in Tours

The Tour in Tours

Café in Tours

Café in Tours

Tours

Tours

Giant Tree

Giant Tree

Fountain by the TRain Station

Fountain by the TRain Station

Tours

Tours

Tours

Tours

Tours Castle

Tours Castle

Tours

Tours

Tours

Tours

Tours Cathedral

Tours Cathedral

Tours Cathedral

Tours Cathedral

Beer Academy

Beer Academy

Bridge

Bridge

Local Wines

Local Wines

Old Tours

Old Tours

Old Tours

Old Tours

Old Tours

Old Tours

Tours Has a Sense of Humour...

Tours Has a Sense of Humour…

Avid Reader

Avid Reader

French Family

French Family

Statues

Statue

Statues

Statue

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

4 Comments

  1. Salut Zhu,

    Très bien, une petite excursion à Tours. Tes photos me font quelques souvenirs. Didier & moi, nous allons encore en Touraine de temps en temps.

    Bises.

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