TUESDAY, 30th May
After a restless night awaiting the sound of the alarm at 06:00, we showered, locked our cases, went to breakfast, said farewell to the friendly Mirabeau staff and, at 07:30 were on our way to the Tours Train Station to board the 08:00 TGV bound for Paris. From Tours it is necessary to travel back to Paris Montparnasse Station before catching a TGV bound for Avignon from the Gare de Lyon. We were each wearing backpacks, carrying shoulder bags and dragging cases. Seated in our reserved seats in a First Class Carriage at Tours we heard an announcement (in French of course) and both thought we detected “20 minutes”. It soon became clear that we had a 20 minute delay. This was not good as our connection in Paris was fairly tight and we had to get from one major station to another. Sure enough, our arrival was delayed by 20 minutes as suspected. We were up first standing by the door waiting to jump and run (not a great idea when thinking of age and the weight of luggage). The bus to catch for the connection was No. 91 and when Pat saw one at the stop she was off like a rocket in that direction with me bringing up the rear. The Bus was PACKED with many people just like us with luggage filling the aisle. What a SLOW trip!! At each stop people tried to embark – our only hope of making the connection with the train was that it had been delayed, but NO. The next challenge was to find the ticket office. After many enquiries and rides up escalators and then down escalators, around renovations, the lost was found and a very obliging Frenchman organised new reservations on a TGV departing at 11:40 for Avignon Central, arriving at 15:15. Our morning tea consisting of 1/2 banana, 2 apricots, Babybel cheese and a bottle of water (each) soon became our lunch By the way, the TGV moves at a speed of up to 200 mph. We are now settled at our accommodation just outside the city wall.