The Train to Paris

Bonjour, en route to Paris Gare Lyon
“Paris is always a good idea ..” Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn, Julia Armond)
It is early morning and excitement fills the air as we prepare for our departure to Paris. Breakfast of gluten free toast topped with lavender honey from the region, fruit, xtra and go Vera, a protein shake, water.
 The four of us are packed, lightly and taking layers of clothes as it is expected to be about 4-5 degrees cooler in Paris. Anne says sunny and about 19 degrees is expected for today and tomorrow.
Bienvenue a bord! Allons y….. 
 On the train number 6204, to Paris depart Beziers at 628 am. Voiture 12, seats 115 and 116. Facing backward so we moved to 113 and 114 across the table at a seating arrangement for 4 people. Mom and Jim are across isle and close to us, also facing backward.  
Still dark out, we are up in the higher car, but can only see twinkly lights off in the distance. This morning the stars were so bright in the black sky.
Prochain Arret 640 schedule stop at Agde, then 656 at Sete. 722 Montpellier, 752 Nimes. 1050 Paris. I wonder if there are more stops between but not showing just yet? Time will tell.  
First class is classy. Well worth the extra 5-8 euros each. Quiet, velvet high back seats, big windows. We have a large folding table between us. Perfect for card playing :). Or in my case, for setting up iPad to write to you :). 
And as we were boarding, we passed a bar car on this train! Must try that out later :). 
Just departing Agde. The sky is starting to gently shift from black to very dark dark blue on the horizon. Promising to turn lighter as the moments, and hours pass. Perhaps it is from reflected light of the distant city…. It is beautiful. Sometimes I can make out silhouette shapes against light backgrounds… Palm and other forms of tree foliage.   
We have left the station at Sete and the sky is starting to lighten. The horizon is becoming more visible even if only the black silhouette. It seems like magic and more than a little special to be on this train this day, heading to Paris. Surreal!  
Golds and blues, violets and grey hues now join in the dark blue black of the distant sky. Can you see it where you are? We have the same sky, the same view, only miles and time separates us :). The moons fingernail like a wide topped coffee cup still hanging in the sky. Perhaps holding the dreams and desires of many, a bowl of hope. 
We are passing the beaches where we walked barefoot only yesterday. This is a place I said I would return to … Lol. I did not expect to be back this way so soon! I love this area. Both sides of the tracks and roadways are water. Hmmmmm
Prochain Arret: Montpellier Saint Roch. A much larger station and lots of coming and going. Morning has broken as we depart for the gare of Nimes.
The countryside at dawn on this fall day takes my breath away. Speechless . “Beautiful …. Wish you were here” .. line from the film French Kiss, with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline.
Mom, Steve and Jim are dosing on and off. Me, I am too excited and wish I could dance and sing aloud! Lol
And we are leaving and the train is now full. We share our table with another couple:). They speak French. How delightful! They are lovely and smart dressers, our age? I can never tell. Perhaps a generation older. Reading the paper as we begin the three hour ride to Paris! Direct, fast train … Woo hooo, here we go!  
I wonder if we had the last first class seats? The car we are in is full.  
And so we go ….. Little villages on little knolls, terra cotta tile roofs atop gold buildings tightly set together, church steeples near by and mostly surrounded at least partially by stone walls or fences. Then miles of fields, rock out cropping, dark green foliage and low brush, river ribbons gently providing lace and ties between the settlements. Fields well defined by row upon row of vineyard and other grains and grasses. Windmills gently turning. Stone cottages and tree lined streams.  
The train speeds up, taking us to Paris through all the geography between here and there. Evidence of the world turning, the sun begins its rise up from the horizon. Wow … The view from this train is spectacular.  
The sun so bright now in my window that I must squint to see, and I have removed all the extra layers of scarves and coats and shawls that seemed so necessary when we left the villa a few short hours ago. This sun is glorious.  
Twenty minutes before Paris stop. Farmland as far as the eye can see, cows, grain, farm equipment working the fields. Brilliant blue sky and cloudless. Little clusters of birds picking at the fields and seeds. Trees marking boarders just starting to change colour with the seasons. And then a tunnel blocking all views. Ten minutes to arrival.
Bonne journee!  

   
    
 

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