Monday 4 August 2008

Gare de Tours

In June I caught the bus to Tours in order to catch the Ryanair flight to "London". I mentioned at the time that I had failed to get any pictures of the rail station - something I have now remedied.

When Susan and I returned in July we travelled all the way from home in London to home in Preuilly using public transport. (Do low cost airlines count as public transport? Don't know....)

This meant we had a 4 hour sit around in Tours, some of which we spent sitting around, and some we spent exploring.

The station is lovely, and to my eyes, quite tropical looking. (Can't explain that one, but it looks like the kind of place that adventures start - to be truly convincing, however, it does need palm trees).

The interior is a revelation to anyone who is used to the London termini - not claustrophobic and cluttered with information boards, cafes, Sock Shops, takeaway shops, record shops, electronics retailers and newsagents - and no ticket barrier. Just a lovely open space with one newsagent where they don't appear to be almost ashamed of the trains - there they are, all on display. Typically, I didn't take a photo of this, apart from one of the tiled panels on the walls showing where you can get to.

It isn't as if it is miles from anywhere, either - this is the view of the cathedral from the station entrance. You will notice the evidence of an integrated transport system - La Loire à Vèlo* will rent you a bike, sell you a map of cycleways, and send you on your way.

I know it would be slower than catching a bus, but I do wish there was an easy and cheap way to make this the place we arrive in Tours. The railway to Preuilly stopped running in the 1940s, and getting to Tours involved a change of train at Port a Piles, but there is still something exciting about railways. I am still a train fan at heart.


*that's your actual French, that is.


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I love trains as well, don;t get much chance to use them in the UK though.

I understand what you mean about "our" claustophobic stations!!! That station looks lovely.

Susan said...

Anne - just wait until I let loose about the 'new improved' St Pancras, coming soon to this blog.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I will call in again and read your post all about St Pancras :-)

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