Diary 10 January 2015
I had to leave my Maison in Montmartre by 10 am this morning. My taxi to Gare de Bercy came at 10 so within half an hour I was at Bercy with nearly four hours to wait before the train to Sancerre. There was no left luggage so with my largish suitcase I was stuck. Fortunately the waiting room was warm and comfortable, and I was reading an engaging novel on my iPad (The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory).
It was unnerving to have soldiers in full battledress searching the station, machineguns at the ready. They were searching for the female terrorist who at that stage they believed was involved in the supermarket siege. It was a relief to finally get on the train and head for the peace of the countryside. The trip was just less than 2 hours so the train pulled into Cosne sur Loire (pronounced CONE) at 4 pm. Sancerre doesn’t have its own station. There were a lot of steps to carry my case up and down. A very kind man helped me.
Waiting at the station was Marianne Chartrand, Director of Coeur de France, the language school, with a car and a taxi. There were other students on the train as it turned out. Once we got to the school some of us were shown to our apartments on the premises; others to their accommodation in the village. There are 15 students this week, adults and children, from the US and Australia.
My apartment, called Gabriel, is a studio, and very comfortable it is too. I have two big windows overlooking a square, and my bathroom window has a view down into the valley and I can see the River Loire. There are shutters on the windows but I don’t close them at all. After Montmartre I am enjoying the feeling of being able to look out!
My neighbours at the school are Kathi (in Louis) and Doug (in Margaux), both from the US. We went out to dinner together – to the one Italian restaurant in Sancerre. Great authentic woodfired pizzas. Sunday is a free day.