One More Thing, Then off to the Country

Trip Start Dec 27, 2010
Trip End Aug 15, 2011

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Flag of France  , Centre,
Thursday, May 5, 2011

As we were too tired to wait in the long line up for the Eiffel Tower last night, we planned to get our suitcases organized and stored in the hotel store room, then take the metro there this morning and try to get up the tower.  Our train to Saint-Pierre-des-Corps (near Tours in the Loire Valley) wasn't until 4:15, so we had quite a bit of time for our mission.

When we arrived at the tower, there were fairly long line ups at the various entrances.  After a brief discussion, we decided to get in line for the stairs to the second level, rather than for the elevator to the top.  Considering my uneasiness with heights, this suited me well, but Mark and the kids were also keen to hike up the stairs.  After about 1/2 hour in line, we started our ascent of the 674 stairs to the second level.  It was a fun workout, and once we arrived, we made our way amongst the other tourists to take in the views on all sides.  It was a a great vantage point to see the river and look out to the beautiful city again.
After we had accomplished this other "must do" on the kids' list, we got back on the metro to go pick up our bags at the hotel.  From there, we got back on the metro again (dragging our bags under the turnstiles) and made our way to the train station.  As it turned out, we didn't have any extra time and got into our seats with only 10 minutes to spare.  

It was a pretty fast train, which went about 250 km/hr, so the scenery went by quickly.  We arrived at our station within an hour and went directly to the car rental office where we'd reserved a Peugeot (oh, memories!).  After a few wrong turns, we were on our way to the town of Loches.  It is in such a beautiful area of rolling farmland, with gorgeous stone farms and the most picturesque small villages.  (Mark will have to get some pictures loaded!)  One really nice thing to go along with the beautiful views was that the driving was so much more relaxing than our last experience (in Italy) -- even Mark was able to enjoy the drive.  Then, within 1/2 hour, we arrived at our destination.  It is one of the gorgeous stone farms that we had admired along the way, and while it hadn't taken long to get here, we were worlds away from Paris.

Bye for now,
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