09 October 2008

Hello europe, frankfurt, france, and rennes

did i mention before that i had never been ANYWHERE in europe? oh...well, its a true statement. so anything i do here is going to be crazy new and fun/different...except maybe for the traveling to get there part.

we had an 8 hour plane ride from detroit to frankfurt, germany on lufthansa. nice airline, decent food, good flight over (except an hours worth of bumpy flying while we were over nothing but the atlantic ocean for miles and miles). arrive in frankfurt at around 5:30a, their time. get a frankfurt stamp in my passport. slept on some of their airport chairs and waited the 3 hours until our paris flight. weird that we could see buses and cars driving around the back of the airport by the planes and jet fuel...the paris flight was short and nice. we filter through a maze of walking escalators and end up at baggage claim. it takes so long to get our bags that when we get to train station we have to wait until the 1:15p TGV train to rennes. 

things have gone smoothly at this point but my ability to stay pleasant and awake is weakening. i fall asleep onto my luggage while doing a sidebend from the torso in my chair. i wake up needing to use the bathroom and spend 10 minutes looking around. i am now feeling completely helpless since i cant speak french. i finally see a bathroom but it looks like you have to pay to use it. i go back to dave to report and i start getting frustrated tears in my eyes. he gives me the 50 cent euro to go to the bathroom. i got a kick outta the bathroom. first, my favorite flushsavers from new zealand are back. you can push one part of the flush button if you wanna flush #1 and the bigger side of the button for a heftier flush for #2. also amusing was the public bidet solution. since a bidet either wouldnt fit or be appropriate for a public restroom, there was an attachment on the toilet paper roll that automatically shot mists of water onto your toilet paper if you waved a wad of paper under it. this way, you would feel 'fresh.' since i had paid 50 cents for this bathroom visit, you bet i put water on my TP. aaaaaaah, so fresh.

finally our high-speed TGV train arrived, we boarded, and promptly fell asleep. the train is so fast and smooth and the chairs are pretty comfy. i wish we had watched all of the french countryside speed by but i didnt have the willpower to keep the eyelids up. we arrived in rennes and met daves new boss, jean, and he helped us through the metro station to get to our hotel. rennes is the smallest city in the world to have a metro. they have one subway line, it goes north-south and has less than a dozen stops. it is also the cleanest subway known to man. we came to our stop (saint-anne) and went up toward daylight...

we came up into a bustling city centre of historical buildings, local restaurants, young people walking everywhere and tiny cars jumbling along the cobbled streets. i immediately, uncontrollably got tears in my eyes...this place is h-o-m-e...whoa. speechless...

our 'apartment' at the Citea is small and may or may not be where we stay the whole time we are here. who knows...
              
(the 'kitchen', the bathroom, the kitchen table with bed)

we shower and rest a tiny bit and get a quick tour of the city centre area from jean before he takes us back to his home for a homecooked meal. they have a wonderful apartment that is a renovated dentists office. as we walked back after dinner, at around 10p, the city was lively and music was wafting out of every pub. there was a lovely feeling in the air, and it carried us home to sleep...

4 comments:

Mary Ann said...

This is so cool!

Talked to Ellen last night. She wants info on Susan K. because Mike says he may be flying back to Mich. to see her. I'll keep you posted.

Meg said...

Oh, Yay! Rennes sounds homey and wonderful. I'm glad you made it safely.

Georgette said...

Rennes sounds so wonderful! I'm glad you made it there safely. I miss you already, but I can't wait to hear about all the cool places you see and all the yummy food you eat!

T-Rav said...

I'm loving your kitchen! You are going to be that French market girl! Except you won't be able to haggle with the locals. No worries... just shrug and offer the money you want to pay until they take it!

I'm also loving that you love "appropriate" flushage!