What a wonderful day!
I finally got to meet up with an old friend from high school who is currently working in Tours as an elementary school English teacher. What are the chances that two girls from a small school thousands of miles away would end up living in the same town in France?
Meg and a few of her teacher friends met me at the gare, and we took the train to a little village called Chinon, about thirty minutes outside of Tours. The town isn’t much to see, but it is home to one of the oldest châteaux around. The Forteresse Royale de Chinon was first built in 954 AD and was visited by Joan of Arc at the beginning of her fight for the liberation of France in 1429. Since then, of course, extensions have been built and renovated, but the original towers still stand. We had a great time walking through the almost entirely intact buildings, and I enjoyed seeing some of the architectural features that I’ve learned about in my Châteaux class. I still can’t wrap my mind around the age of this place, but it was a beautiful sight and a perfect day to visit it.
After our little field trip, we returned to Tours and headed to a nearby café for a little snack of croque monsieurs, pastries, and vin chaud. Literally “hot wine”, this drink is made from red wine, fruit, and mulling spices. It tasted like Christmas morning, and I will definitely be ordering it again!
Dinner tonight was stewed beets, pasta, and chocolate mousse! I’ve finally realized how easy it is to make a nutritious, tasty, fresh meal in about ten minutes. I used to think cooking was such a hassle, but I’ve learned that it really is possible to live without prepackaged food and a microwave. I hope I continue to cook like this when I return to the States.