Toby and I took a train to Angers from Paris. It was very comfortable and fast. It was dark and raining when we got to Angers, and my brother met us at the station to walk us to their apartment about six blocks away. Easy-peasy. We stayed up as long as possible and slept in a bit on Sunday morning to try to get on France time. It was helpful that Toby and I were able to sleep on our flights to Paris. So, we were ready to go and explore the town of Angers on Sunday afternoon. I love walking in the old city centers - the narrow streets and funky stores! Angers has some great old timber-framed buildings as well as a castle that was the cradle of the Plantagenets. We walked along the top of the castle walls and towers and visited the Apocalypse Tapestries. I'll let you Google that if you are interested.
On our second day in Angers we rode bicycles down the Maine River to another little village where we stopped and had café la crème. It was a beautiful ride - nice and flat - along the river with the fall foliage. Just perfect! Well, I did crash on my bike once. It was toward the end of the ride in the middle of town where everyone could see me. It wasn't much of a crash (except that I am 60 years old and fat). I was almost stopped and my plan was to bump up on the sidewalk and walk my bike up a big hill. Unfortunately, I did not bump up, but instead fell down. As I crawled off my bike with my butt in the air, I thought, "It's a good thing no one knows me in France, but they just got a good view of my bee-hind!"
The next day when my SIL was off work, we rode the opposite way on the river and to where the Sarthe River merges with the Maine. We ate at a little village café. The waitress set a wine bottle on the table, but it did not have a label. We couldn't figure out if it was wine or vinegar for the salad - ha! It turned out to be wine. We had a good laugh at how dumb we Americans probably seem to the French. On our way back to Angers, we took a ferry across the river to a little island. Here we bicycled around the island and back to the ferry crossing. There was a little outdoor place to sit and have a beer or wine or whatever. It was great! Such a perfect day. By the time we got back to Angers the sun was getting low and I was worn out.
We did some more exploring of Angers on Wed. My SIL had to work, so my brother took us to a market where we shopped for fresh veggies. We stopped at a café for crepes and did a bit more wandering around the city center. This was actually some hard cider that we had with the crepes - I think it is a Normandy thing to have crepes and cider. The guys had to stop in a beer store and buy all sorts of French beers to try. It seems the micro-breweries are big everywhere. I did some shopping for gifts - stopping at the La Maison d'Adam to buy some things for folks at home. It is a very old timber-framed house that is now an artisan gift shop.
Each night with my brother and SIL, we had great meals and wine. They were great hosts. Their apartment was really nice - apparently St. Edwards in Austin keeps apartments in Angers for the teachers who come and go teaching there. I'm so glad we were able to make this trip before my SIL retires in May. My SIL and her university in Angers
The next leg of our trip was to Strasbourg, France. We took a train to Paris where we had to catch the Metro to get to a different train station and then onto Strasbourg. Pretty exciting! More on that later. Remember that you can click on the photos to see the up close.