We had a ride on the TGV to Metz.
On arrival we were kindly offered accommodation by one of the waitresses at Cafe Emporium at the station. We arrived in Metz at 22h30 and enquired from Virginie were we could find an auberge or hostel to sleep the night and like in biblical times she invited us to stay at her apartment rather than search for a place at that time of the night. We waited for her to finish her shift and then went to her apartment close by. Fortunately her cousin had been schooled in English which made conversing a lot easier. They were from Nigeria and spent some of her youth in CAF. We chatted a little then showered and by midnight we were off to bed. Again a surprise around every corner and the confidence restored in mankind.
In the morning we went back to the station to enquire about the train schedule to take us further south. The assistant could not speak English so along came Bernard Gallier, the manager, and soon he had advised us on the best route to travel as far as Berzerac. We were very pleased with his willingness to help and naturally extended an invitation should he ever visit South Africa. He committed to coming in the near future as he always wanted to see South Africa. Look forward to seeing you in The near future Bernard and thanks again for all your help.
I spotted some World War 2 American uniforms and vehicles outside the station and enquired the reason for the display. It happens annually in memory of Jean Moulin who was a resistance fighter during the war. He was captured and sent to concentration camp but when released retuned to Mentz and died in the station. Soon after the allies freed the city and again it was under French control.
Everyday I discover something new and this was a nice encounter as I had actually read about him before today. I tired Metz on the bike and had a real French coffee éclair as a treat before heading back to the station. The main cathedral in Metz was a sight to see along with it’s array of old but very well maintained buildings.
We boarded the TGV via Paris to Libourne and would arrive in Berzerac at 23h30 tonight. We had 3 hours to connect with our train in Paris which sounds like a long time but when you need to go from the station servicing the east of France to the Garra Montparnasse through the middle of Paris’s afternoon traffic with heavily laden bikes this proves to be a challenge. After a mad dash with my mouth open wide typical tourist style I arrived with good time to spare and relaxed with a cup of coffee at one of the many cafes available.
From Paris we went on to Libourne and transferred to a city train. We arrived at 23h30 and started a search for accommodation or a place to camp. Whilst at a pub enjoying a beer at midnight we met John, Mathilda and Terry who kindly offered us the sitting room in their house and a the use of the bathroom etc.
Tomorrow Berzerac and Château Missier………..
Eugene on a bike somewhere in the world