Tag Archives: Tournus

Au revoir, merci France

Copyright: Louise RalphWhen we first arrived in France, I had no idea what to expect – just that I’d wanted to come here for a very long time.

I also knew the six weeks would be gone in a blink… and it has.

There have been challenges, bien sur.

Like trying to communicate with our limited grasp of the language, adjusting to those rich late-night dinners, and finding our way around France with the ever-petulant Sylvia the GPS and those sometimes-dodgy cycling directions…

But the one facing us now, after our quick stopover in Singapore, is much more scary.

Going home and stepping back into… [cue spooky music] …the Stress Zone.

We know the moment our feet get under the desk, our life will be frantic. But does it have to be?

Our quest – which may take superhuman powers – is to hold onto a little of that fabulous French attitude to life.

Like working to live, not the other way around. And taking timeout – because you don’t always have to be open, or available 24/7, or busting your way through the in-tray.

Meanwhile, we have some time to wander the streets of Tournus before our fast train to the airport. Mais oui, the streets are all but deserted. Only the boulangerie and one bar-cafe in the centre ville is openIt’s Monday, after all.

And even if that doesn’t always suit us tourists, it works for the French. And that’s the point, really.

So we’ve popped some of that approach into our bags. Now we’ve just gotta get it through customs…and home.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Serenity, French-style, in Tournus…

Au revoir, France. A bientot.

Off piste – from Cluny to Tournus

Copyright: Louise Ralph

“Ooo, a castle,” said the goldfish

Day 4 and a local tells us: “Vous êtes chanceux. Il fait beau”. You’re lucky. It’s good weather.

Apparently it’s usually much colder this time of year.

Vraisment? Rain threatens all day and the clouds don’t part for an instant.

The wind is bitter, but a welcome friend when it’s at our backs going up those pesky hills.

There are lots of them today – especially when we peddle up 3km, only to find we’ve gone the wrong way.

Gotta love those vague directions…

Then EB’s gears throw a tanty, and we stop to fix them. Tick, tick, tick…

We glance at a chateau, but we’re way behind time.

Clearly, the bike-hire peeps don’t think lights are important, so we’re cycling on major thoroughfares under gray skies. Not for the feint-hearted.

But, in the end, what’s not to like?

This is our last day in France, and we’re pedalling through vineyards and gorgeous little villages that are mostly deserted. It’s Sunday, after all.

As we crest the final hill, we are (again) gobsmacked at the view. Okay, my open mouth is actually gasping for air, but let’s not labour the point.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Then it’s top gear and down the hill to Tournus – the last stop before we jump on one of those super-fast trains tomorrow.

The last four days of our trip will be spent in Singapore, before we are back to reality.

But for now, there’s that incredible view from our hotel window. And the obligatory five-course dinner…

Ah oui, je t’aime France.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

A room with a view…