Even though we only live part-time in France it is, for us, “home”. What I like to say is that we work in Australia but we live in France. After all, when you are working full-time there is precious little time for much else! Although it does at least afford us a chance to catch up with friends and family, and with 9 children and 6 grandchildren between us, spread over 3 states, that’s no mean feat.
Every time we arrive back in Argenton-sur-Creuse we immediately relax. Set on the banks of the Creuse river, the town itself is just delightful.
Situated in central France it is the perfect spot from which to explore France:
Paris is 2 and a half hours away by train (or 3 hours, 300 km, by car – although driving in Paris is something we avoid!)
Lyon is 4 hours (360km) east by car,
Toulouse is 3 and a half hours (380 km) south by car,
Bordeaux is 3 and a half hours (300 km) south-west by car,
and Tours is 2 hours (140 km) north-west by car.
Of course, everything is also accessible by train, and the town’s station (on a major SNCF line) is conveniently located within walking distance from our house.
To research train journeys and schedules, I recommend you go to: http://www.raileurope.com.au/destinations/countries/. Even though Argenton-sur-Creuse does not appear on their interactive map, just type it into the search criteria. You can also book tickets on this site, but we prefer to make our bookings direct on the French SNCF site which seems to be the cheapest site: http://www.voyages-sncf.com/billet-train.
Even the option to see this website in English takes you to the UK site which seems a little more expensive. Of course you can always buy tickets at any train station in person (best to have your destination written down in case of language barriers) or at vending machines (by cash or a card that has a PIN).
With Europe being so small in comparison to Australia you can even drive to another country within a day if you are keen. We have already driven down to Spain…
and across to Italy.
Our little car has done us well.
You can also pick up cheap European flights if you keep an eye on the internet (at prices cheaper than flying interstate in Australia!) which is another thing we often do on the SNCF site: http://agence.voyages-sncf.com/Vols.
There is just so much to see in Europe. It’s fantastic to be able to experience a little more of it each year. Of course we have only scratched the surface so far!
And then there are our continuing renovations which give us so much satisfaction and make our house in France even more our home.
Life is fun, full, and fulfilling. People often comment: “No wonder you’re always smiling” which makes me smile just that little bit more.