“I’m gonna grab four seats.”
“Sure, thanks. No rush!”
“What time is it?”
“What time does the train leave?”
“Oh, we are so early!”
“Gonna roll a cigarette.”
“I’m having a smoke too.”
“I think Feng is stressing out.”
“I don’t blame him, he’s used to buses. The schedule is more… flexible. When a bus shows up, in most countries, you’d better rush to grab a seat because once they are full, they just leave. Feng! Relax! The train actually leaves at 11:47 a.m.!”
My parents and I trade stories of getting on trains when the doors are closing while Feng is waving at us behind the window. He breathes a noticeable sigh of relief when we finally join him—at 11:45 a.m.
We arrived in Angers—by the way, it’s “An-GEE,” don’t pronounce it like “anger” in English!—after a 45-minute train ride. This was our third visit so we knew our way around. We were planning to hit the main tourist spots—the massive medieval castle, the tapestries, the pedestrian streets around the Place du Ralliement, take a walk along the Maine River—and enjoy the day, whatever we would do.
Last year, it was cold and rainy in Anger. This time, the weather was perfect—27⁰C and sunny.
My parents had one goal—the Musée Jean-Lurçat et de la tapisserie contemporaine, a former hospital complex featuring Lurcat’s famous 1960s tapestry series, Le Chant Du Monde.
“Are you still hungry, Mark?”
“Yes. A lot. How about… a cotton candy, like yesterday? I know, I know, you’re probably gonna say ‘no.’”
“I KNEW it!”
We brought my parents to the tapestry museum and promised to pick them up an hour and a half later. Meanwhile, we went to check out the botanical garden and the downtown core.
Note to self, an Anger mystery to solve—why are they so many statues of naked women scattered around the city?
At 3 p.m., we walked back to the tapestry museum to pick up my parents. I glanced at my mom’s bag to ensure she didn’t steal any art pieces. My parents really love tapestries. Go figure.
“Looks like you had fun! Mark just told me you saw cows and an eagle!”
Something must have been lost in translation. Either I have to buy my parents a new English dictionary or I have to buy Mark a National Geographic Animal Encyclopedia because I’m positive there was only a swan, a rooster, a few chickens and a couple of goats at the petting zoo.
We visited the roman and Gothic Cathédrale Saint-Maurice d’Angers, then we went to the Château d’Angers. It’s funny how different the atmosphere was this year—a medieval castle is best explored when it’s dark and stormy, after all.
The rest of the city was quieter but cozy, friendly and very pleasant to visit. I could go back again to explore all these streets and 15th-century houses!