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A Day in Tours

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, travelling 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 travellers, 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!

Tours
The Tour in Tours
The Tour in Tours
Café in Tours
Café in 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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