Traveling on the TGV

Traveling Across France on the Train à Grande Vitesse 6:45 in the morning and we are comfortably situated onboard the TGV (Tay-jay-vay). Sitting on this train is more like being on an airplane than a train in that the seats are very similar with trays that fold down from the backs and so forth. No seat belts that I can see though. We have our iPads out working on trip itineraries and looking forward to the experience of traveling at 200 plus miles an hour. We'll let you know if it is everything that it is cracked up to be.

TGV - Train Grand Vitesse
7:45 - The greatest surprise that I have had so far this trip has been the large expanses of France that are sparsely populated. Most of the places we have been before were more heavily populated with much shorter distances between villages. Trough this portion of central France we have passed through dense forest land and extensive farm land, but few villages can be seen. I think one of the things we appreciate most when we are over here is that there are real live towns with city centers and people walking and riding bikes while taking care of daily chores, and that stores are located in the neighborhoods so that you don't have to get into your car and drive everywhere, and as a result people seem to have a greater sense of community.

8:15 - We must now be in what I can only think to describe as France's breadbasket. Vast tracts of open farmland of corn, wheat, and so on with church spires peaking over many of the knolls announcing the location of another tiny village with its own boulangerie (bread shop), fromagerie (cheese shop), and boucherie (butcher). And, most likely, a little cafe on the corner with a few small tables and colorful umbrellas. Tres jolie! We said we would let you know whether it is everything that is cracked up to be. Well, it most certainly is. The train doesn't reach the speed of flying, but when you factor in how much easier it is to get to and from the station and on and off the train, along with the scenery make this a super way to travel on the continent. Tell me again why this doesn't work for us in the U.S.?

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