On my way to de Marnay sur Seine to begin my residency

The journey has started. Early breakfast then drive to Nantes. First off to drop Peggy (American participant on the embroidery workshop) to the airport. I was then being dropped off near the train station with the intention of spending my time at the tour lu centre. An old biscuit factory that now houses a few restaurants, bars, art gallery and bookshop . Val told me about it and it sounded like a nice place to hang out while I waited the 2.5 hours for the train. Claude had to drop me on the other side of the river closer to the train station as there was no where to park outside the centre. Had a lovely short stroll along the river and over the bridge but could tell straight away that my fears of lugging my case around were well founded. I assumed it would open around 10am but as it was just after and I could see people in what looked like the early stages of setting up outside tables I could tell opening wasn’t anywhere near. I checked my map app, maps.me and was disappointed to see that the centre didn’t open til 1pm and restaurants/bars 12noon. Bummer. As it was presented to me as a good option to fill in the time I didn’t even think to check the opening times. I wandered a bit and could see some interesting buildings in the distance but with my case I knew I couldn’t do it. So I wandered to the train station. No nice cafes in sight. I was getting pretty desperate for the toilet. Navigating the pay one in the station wasn’t pleasant. Just getting my case up a few stairs and squishing myself into the toilet felt much harder than it should have been. Next issue was the free wifi. My phone wasn’t even going to try and accept it. Managed to get a very good coffee in the station and a seat, bonus. I then decided to try and navigate to a nearby path that according to maps.me had some artworks. But I could not find my way there. I did find a cafe outside the train station which had a much more accessible and free toilet. I am waiting here now before returning back to the station shortly. I can see now that getting a taxi from Paris Montparnasse station to Paris Gare l’est will be the better solution than the metro. Mainly because what I have heard about the many stairs and narrow hallways to get to the metro station. I have also heard there are escalators. As I have over 2 hours between connections I will wait and see what it’s like. Forgot to mention there are quite a few men asking for money around the station, similar to my experience at the Birmingham bus station, but mostly these French beggars don’t look like beggars. France feels so different to anywhere I have been so far.

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