I know you'll let me off the hook for not typing more in December. I spent the first part of the month getting ready to go home, and while I was home, blogging on France wasn't something I considered.
But now that I am back on this side of the ocean with an hour or so of free afternoon on my hands, this thing is going to get a serious update. Serious may be too strong a word, but you get my meaning. Today, I want to talk to you about trains.
To get to and from Besancon from any airport in France you get to take a train ride. I have always had romantic notions, forged in classic literature and old movies, where trains are concerned. The truth is, deep down, I want to wait for a boy by a steam engine. Cue swirling, smoggy, sexy exhaust all around, better than any fog machine could manage and a big Hollywood style kiss. I know, I know. You're ashamed of me.
But, the only other swirly mist location options, in my opinion, are moors (too gothic) and Nepal (this could work too, if I get more Indiana Jonesy in my late 20's).
Anyway, I have taken more trains since getting to Europe than I had in my entire life before then, and I think this is the common experience of the expatriate abroad here. In the past few months I've taken short regional trains to towns like Arbois and Ornans and Belfort, long, express routes to and from Paris, and long, frequently stopping slower alternatives to Lyon.
It's been educational, and I want to stand by my love of trains, the romance is still there, along with a respect for the efficiency of a train system that connects every part of a country. It's amazing, the ease with which I can travel anywhere. With my handy Carte 12-25, I save about half the fare or more everytime I travel, so it's relatively inexpensive, which helps matters. It's actually pretty magical.
I'm writing this now because I think when I leave Europe I will miss trains a lot. Just like I'll miss pastries and cheeses and beverages. Though I think I may miss trains more because they make life here seem more genuinely navigable than it is in a lot of places.