Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Sunday and Monday

We had ordered breakfast for 09:00 on Sunday morning, so that we could be away in good time, and were away before 10:00.  We needed petrol, but Madame in the hotel didn't seem to know about any 24-hour stations at supermarkets (French petrol is far, far cheaper in the supermarkets than anywhere else, even a service station across the road from the supermarket), but said there was one open on our way out, so we filled up there (and of course found a plethora of supermarkets on our way out of town, so typical).

We were on our way to a little town called Lezay, where we were to meet a very old friend - in the sense that I have known her for over 40 years, not that she is particularly elderly - who lives in that area, and had recommended this restaurant called l'Assiette for lunch.  We had plenty of time so decided to drive on the N and D roads, which are, of course, a lot slower, but arguably more interesting - although on the outskirts of towns one does get a little bored of the endless supermarkets and "zones industrielles" lining the roads, and the satnav's endless instructions to "Cross the Roundabout; 2nd exit".  However, we also went through some beautiful countryside on what were archetypal - or did we mean stereotypical, we couldn't decide - French roads, very straight with trees either side.

We arrived at the restaurant shortly after our friend, and after a good meal we went back to hers, where we were spending the night.  We took the dog out for a walk, rejoicing in the lighter evenings, France being an hour later than we are (although it doesn't try to get light before 08:00, which must be thoroughly depressing when you have to go to work in the dark for three months of the year).  And watched a bit of British television, and ate supper, and then talked and talked and talked until the wee small hours, just as we had done forty-odd years ago!

All too soon we had to leave next morning.  The hotel had very kindly telephoned us to say that the Swan Whisperer had left his alarm clock behind, so we had to call in there en route.  We also wanted to go back a slightly cheaper route than we had come, which had cost the best part of €50 in motorway tolls, so we went via Chartres, or the outskirts thereof, which is arguably slightly slower, but very much cheaper as there is little or no toll motorway, but quite a lot of dual carriageway.

The journey seemed, to me, practically endless!  We ended up with plenty of time to shop in Auchan and then a quick bite to eat in Buffalo Grill before getting our planned Shuttle home, but that last two hours.... oh dear.... and I wasn't even driving!  I love to see my friend, and if we go to Tours again it does seem silly not to go and see her, when she is only a couple of hours away, but it does make for a very, very long day's driving home.

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