Sunday, May 02, 2004

Paris to Niort

Scan for metéo - fine today, forecast of showers tomorrow. While scanning the channels for useful stuff like that - no Weather Channel here - I catch a cartoon - is it 20 yr old naff anime? No, it's modern US (Teen Titans) material which has overlain anime tics (eg sweatdropping) on earlier styles.

0945- nothing open. Sunday opening esp on a holiday weekend, seems not to have caught on here, and some of the shops are announcing special opening next Saturday (VE day) - I could feed but not clothe myself. Wander to Tuilleries & put on sunblock, rest on shaded seat. Apart from the football games on bits of sandy avenues, most folk still are heavily dressed. I amble up the Boul' Mich' to Luxembourg, rest some more, the last leg to Montparnasse.

It may be le Gare WiFi, but it's also thick with pigeonshit (sit with care!). Security involves keeping litter bins while having young squaddies on patrol w/SMGs. On the TGV, security means blocking off the end-of-coach luggage racks - not good when there are too many people with more than their own volume in baggage, esp the soldiers who fill the end of car lobby.

Ticket inspector confused by UK issue tickets which carry no data as to the price paid - which gives me a few hairy moments.

The initially clear sky has clouded over, a sprinkle of rain by Poitiers, but sunny on arrival. Walk to hotel complicated by bad map - but beat someone who took a taxi. Bicyclette Verte man arrives about 7 pm - bike frame is a fraction too big for my short legs, and it has v. low gearing even in top. But at least all is now sorted unlike other the guest (the taxi-arrival, who is not on the tour) who spends half an hour arguing w/reception.

Quick spin to road-test then food. Baguette at Montparnasse seems long ago. V good dry Haut Poitou Rosé (if not on ice too long). Stuck with mi-cuit salmon (nigh sushi) and duck chops - rest either fish or entrails. Blood orange sorbet eaten slow for dessert.

Heavy rain while eating; fine for walk after.

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