January 29, 2013

Daydreams on Trains

I love the train.

It's a good thing, too, because it's our only viable mode of transportation here, and the best option for getting to PARIS. And, unlike driving, it's so Hakuna Matata.

Our train leaves at least twice each hour both directions from Melun and Gare de Lyon in Paris. It's ideally 26 minutes, but usually more like 32 minutes. Either way, from anywhere in the US, this is WAY closer.

There is also a longer train option that stops in several cities along the way to Paris. Too many times have I thought to myself: "I will take line D someday and enjoy the great things in every village as I approach Paris!" I am sure there is beauty to be found in these places because of the wonders we have experienced in our little city. Have I done it yet? No!

I have three main discovery quests that I pass by several times a week.

1) On the right hand side going to Paris, there is a medium-sized chateau attached to what looks like an old city wall or gate. Can I knock on the door and pretend to be a travel journalist in search of a grand history? Or will I continue to make up my own medieval scenarios for its arched stage?

2) And to our right again, just before the Brunoy stop, is what I believe to be the city hall of the small town. Most French "hotel de ville" buildings are gorgeous, but this one dances in my imagination with its fairy tale spires and as many layers of turrets and fringes possible on a three-story structure.

3) Finally, as we wind ourselves close to the river Seine again, on our left rests the dilapidated remains of a lovely pink river mansion. Someday I will descend at the Villeneuve St. Georges stop, and walk my way back down the riverbank, secretly hoping I can salvage the home and restore it to its former glory.

We have lived here a year and a half now, and my excuses for skipping these adventures? Time. Weather. Sick. Work. Tired. So reasonable in the moment; so unsatisfactory in hindsight.

But the Californian in me will still aim for a perfect sunny spring day (Rain while lost? No thanks!) on which I can seek these delights. Until then, I will be thankful for the views from my seat - and the daydreams that accompany them.

I love the train. It has granted me the wanderlust of my surroundings.