"Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you," said the wisest of wise men. "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon."

('The Alchemist' Paulo Coelho)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Angers and Tours

Wednesday 15th Sept.

We had problems finding a hotel last night. We tried several around Nantes but for some reason, they were all full, which makes one wonder what the huge attraction of Nantes is - seemed like just another industrial town to us! Finally we carried on to Angers, where we did manage to find a hotel with room to spare but only for one night. This morning was shopping time, or at least, it would have been if we could have found any shops which were not designer outlets with price tickets to match. However, we had a wander round Angers, which I have visited once before to see the castle. It is a very pleasant town with lots of old, interesting buildings and, it actually had toilets too, which was a bonus! We had a coffee and baguette beside a fountain and watched the world go by. I was always impressed with the French women's fashion acumen and still saw signs of it today looking around the town. Even students wear their casual gear with a certain panache. I used to envy this ability of theirs to always look smart and I decided today that part of the secret what used to be called 'deportment', in other words, they stand straight and walk well.
This afternoon, we carried on towardsTours, where I spent 6 months in 1969 (no, I was not involved in the student riots of the time!) but got diverted when Keith spotted a sign for an air museum outside Angers. We followed it - otherwise he would have cried all night! - and discovered a very new aerodrome and the museum. Keith got to sit in one of the planes and I took a photo of him!
This evening we have managed to find a room at the first attempt, but again, only for one night, which leads us to wonder what is going on in the hotel-world around these parts. Do they take one look at us and decide they can only bear to have us in the building for one night or is there someone following us around, booking rooms ahead of us so that we don't stay in any one place too long???
Oh and I finally managed to change some of my travellers' cheques, in Credit Lyonnais, Angers!

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