Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Closer Than It Seems

Maps are deceiving. When I look at the route maps for the local and regional buses, it appears that the larger outlying villages are miles and miles away, because there are so many other little communes between them, and the maze of streets makes the scale of the map artificially intimidating. I remember that from London, when I'd look at a map and think that a half-hour walk was ahead of me, judging by the number of cross streets, only to arrive at my destination five minutes later. When the "blocks" formed by the cross streets are barely large enough to swing a cat in, they go by pretty quickly. So it wasn't until yesterday, when I went on another walk with Martine from OVS, this time along the Loire headed east, that I realized I could in fact reach Rochecorbon, or Vouvray, or even Montlouis-sur-Loire if I were feeling particularly energetic, on foot. A bicycle would be better, perhaps, and some sunny Sunday I'll rent one, and maybe go as far as Amboise and back along the river, covering a tiny fraction of the Loire à Vélo trail. Yesterday, though, we only went as far as the edge of La Ville-aux-Dames, then turned back towards town, ending up in the old Quartier Blanqui, once a workman's suburb and now apparently a chic place to live, if you have the money to purchase and refurbish one of the 17th-century buildings there.

With the returning light comes energy and enthusiasm, a nice change after my aimless hibernation of the last few months. I have big plans for the month of March.

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