First Days of the Trip

Saturday, June 23rd … We have been here in Brax since Wednesday afternoon.  Our “home” here is just wonderful: a very modern 3 bedroom single story building with a very large great room that looks out through 2 large glass sliding doors onto a pleasant lawn. The weather has been sunny and warm so during the day when we are here (rarely so far) we leave the glass doors open.  It’s the best of indoor/outdoor living.

The village of Brax is quite small. At its center there are a few shops: small supermarket, delicatessen, pharmacy, news-stand and a hair dresser. On Sunday there is a mobile produce market. A few kilometers away is a forest with many hiking trails and a recreation area that includes tennis courts, mini-golf, swimming pool, restaurant and a recreation center for kids.

Altogether we are more or less thrilled with the situation here - the proximity to many towns and areas of interest and the very pleasant surroundings at home and in the local area.

We did not waste any time getting started as tourists in this part of France.  Thursday we visited Auch, which is the capital of Gers, a region of France sometimes called the Tuscany of France and it certainly has charming villages and very beautiful countryside.

The most prominent feature of Auch is its Renaissance Cathédrale Sainte-Marie with striking stained-glass windows.  We walked around Auch for about 20 minutes to get to the Cathedral.  We found the small square in front of the Cathedral being set up for what looked like a rock concert.  You see Thursday was the annual Fete de la Musique in France (aka World Music Day) where musicians throughout the country perform in the streets and other free venues.  But we missed the music, which took place hours after we were gone from Auch.

I think Jeffrey forgot to mention how the day started (it wasn’t a great start) and why we went to Auch (we had planned to take the train into Toulouse that day). After loading the nice Renault Megane with backpack and water, we attempted to back up and leave the driveway. However, instead of getting into reverse, the car went into first gear and we inched closer and closer to our host’s car. Just in the nick of time and at the point of real panic a friendly neighbor walked by and showed Jeffrey the trick to putting the car into reverse.
Off to the train station!

Naturally, there was no attendant, just a ticket machine. Heck, we know how to use a ticket machine. I think! It did not take bills, just coins and credit cards. We did not have 20 euros in coins but we did have a credit card. The machine wouldn’t take our credit card. Actually, it seemed to accept the card (twice) but not give us any tickets. I guess next month when we get our Mastercard bill we’ll find out if it was accepted.

Off to Auch!


We spent the next few days trying accumulate coins to use for the train to Toulouse. We have finally realized it’s cheaper and easier to drive and pay for parking. Ahh, the adventure of travel!

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