Reader Gary McClelland shares another speedy French adventure with you today... read on and discover something fun to do in Provence (or maybe chez vous?) Also, an extra sound file for you today: Jean-Marc has recorded the vocab section following Gary's story. Don't miss it!
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Reader Gary McClelland is back today with another outdoors French adventure. Thanks, Gary, for putting together this entire edition, including the word of the day, the example sentence, the vocab section and, along with ami Chris Saricks, all of the photos!
After finding a place to park in the village of Pourcieux, Chris and I dashed toward the station fearing we were too late for the 10:00 departure of our train. We thought we had allowed ample time but had failed to note this map warning on the website about the sortie from the autoroute closest to Pourcieux: Attention, cette sortie n'existe que dans le sens Nice-Aix. Alas, we were coming from the opposite direction. So we flew by our intended exit and had to double-back through town traffic and then on the N7, a mythical road that has a similar status of the classic Route 66 in the U.S. As we approached the affable station master awaiting us in
After a little paperwork and instruction, Chris, my train buff friend from college days, and I were adjusting the height of the bicycle seats on our vélo-rail car. We were going to pedal our little train car the seven km from Pourcieux to St Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume and then return. Throughout France, many sections of abandoned
We had chosen to bypass the vélo-rail in Plan d’Orgon, closer to where we were staying in Bedoin, because the Chemin de Fer de la Sainte Baume leaving from Pourcieux promised tunnels, viaducs, et ponts with views in many directions. As we pedaled up the easy but noticeable 1.5% grade to the tunnel, Chris explained that tunnels were usually at the top where the surveyors could no longer find easy grades. We could barely see la lumière à la sortie of the 180 meter Tunnel du St Pilon. We thrilled at the rush of the wind in our hair from our increasingly speedy descent until we began worrying about climbing this same section of track on our return. The promised views did not disappoint and we stopped on a viaduc for photos (being the last car in this morning’s train, we had no fear of blocking anyone).
To comment on Gary's article, or to share one of your own favorite things to do in France, click here.
Don't miss Gary's other stories: "Pétanque" and "Péloton"
listen to these words
l’autoroute (f) – highway, especially a toll road
Attention, cette sortie n'existe que dans le sens Nice-Aix = Warning, this exit exists only in the Nice-Aix direction
Bonjour Monsieur, je suis désolé = Hello Sir, I am sorry
Parce que nous sommes en retard = Because we are late
Mais non. Le train reste ici = No worries. The train stays here.
la vertèbre = vertebra