24.04.2011 21 °C
Oh crazy, crazy France. Your rail systems make me crazy. We made a lot of plans based on the train schedules we found online. We bought EUrail passes so that we could have maximum flexibility. One thing we didn't know about the passes is that there is only a select number of seats available on each train for EUrail pass holders. So here is the situation: Tomorrow is Easter Monday. We are in a tiny little town in France. We need to get back to Paris. Us and the rest of France apparently. With limited reservations available for eurail passholders we can't get a reso. So we are going to show up at the station and try to cram our way onto a train that goes to Caen or Rennes. If we get that far, then we get to jam (and I mean squeeze) our way onto a train for Paris, HOPEFULLY showing up before midnight or risk rendering our very expensive hostel booking utterly useless (not to mention earning ourselves a romantic, all-night excursion on the streets of the lovely city). And then, because once again there are no resos left for EUrail pass holders on any reasonably timed trains, we leave for Bordeaux at 6:10am. What will we do in Bordeaux with our huge backpacks at 10am when our hotel check-in starts at 3? Try not to throw them in the river.
Our train reservations for today left a little later than we would have liked, (read: train reservations suck). We didn't get to leave the station until 11:45, which meant our whole morning was basically wasted. Though we did manage to book a few train reservations for the coming weeks. Our first train ride was an experience for sure. Initially, we were very confused by everything going on around us. By the end of our 4 hour train ride I felt like death, but at least we knew what we were doing. Train rides make me more sick than car rides. Joy.
We ate Mars bars for lunch and got into Pontorson at 4:30. Our host, Steve, picked us up and brought us to our B&B. We dropped our bags and asked for a resaurant recommendation. Steve told us about a lovely restaurant, a creperie with their own apple cider. We walked the gorgeous one mile to the top of the hill, a walk that really was in the French countryside. It was amazing with cuckoo birds cooing and crickets chirping, the sun shining and a cool breeze from the ocean blowing softly. At the top was Le Bistrot du Telegraphe a little family run place that serves THE BEST crepes I've ever had. Normandy crepes, the one and only. Mine had scallops, (perfectly cooked) creamy leeks and creme fraiche, and Shane's had mushrooms, ham, a salad and creme fraiche. It blew us away. We washed it down with the restaurant's own local hard apple cider (a whole bottle for only 6 euros!) And for dessert we had a crepe with sauteed apples, chantilly cream and homemade vanilla ice cream. So simple, but with such good quality ingredients! We walked back down to the B&B through the cutest little town. Tomorrow we check out Mont St-Michel, and hopefully get back to Paris in one piece. Wish us luck!