Allons à Tours ensemble!

A la gare de Tours...

We used to have to always change trains at a little burg called St. Pierre des Corps but one of the many things that have changed in France in my 10 years' absence is the TGV actually comes in to the main station now. Crazy!

La rue Nationale - it always looks smaller to me than it did in college. Je ne sais pas pourquoi.

La rue Colbert - it has become more restaurant- and bar-filled and less store-filled. It's now a pretty active night fun zone for townies. Tourists and students still go to the Place Plumereau, which you'll see bits of further down...

Fun building in la rue Colbert...

Some cyclotouristes - kinda wished I were with them. :)

My favorite crêperie - still yummy. I went there Saturday night during my stay and absolutely pigged out. Also drank a whole demi-pichet of cidre. Next door there is still a bar called "l'Hédoniste" which I should have got a shot of, if only to illustrate what my whole weekend was about - pleasing MOI :) altho I know Mme Baudry had fun, too, with all our time together.

Part of the Musée de Beaux Arts, the former archbishops' palace.

Le château de Tours - never open when I lived there before. Something to visit next time.

Le pont St. Symphorien, or le Pont de Fil (the Wire Bridge) as the locals dub it - strictly for non-motorized transport. Toulouse and I crossed it together many times.



La belle Loire, seen from the wire bridge... looking eastward here.

Southwest-ish... this is only half the river. On this side it's divided in half by the Ile Aucard. The large building on the far left is the city library. The next two buildings farther along are university buildings. Tours is home to l'université François Rabelais.

The other half of the westward view of the Loire and the rest of the Pont de Pierre (this bridge has never had any other name that I know of) "the Stone Bridge."

Cleanest phone booth I've seen since getting to France. There are lots more around still than in the States but most seem to have defaulted to urinals or homeless shelters, at least in the big city.

Lebanon cedar tree planted by Napoléon in Tours in 1804. It's gigantic. Check out the posts supporting the lower branches. The trunk is over 7 meters around.

Stable of the old archbishops' digs now houses a favorite stop for local kids...

Fritz, who came to town with Barnum & Bailey in -I think- 1902, broke loose and ran raging through town. He was shot and someone decided to have him stuffed and put on display. He's been in his stall in the stable here ever since.

Le jardin du musée, one of my faves - so simple and clean and peaceful...

...n'est-ce pas?

Different garden now. This was one of our favorite spots to eat lunch and do homework in 1982.

It's the Parc François Sicard, but we called it the Jardin Christophe Colombe, because of this statue. Who cares that it took us several weeks to realize we had the wrong Colombe?! It wasn't for Christopher Columbus but for a Tourangeau sculptor who happened to share his name. We kept calling it Chris Columbus Park anyway just for giggles. No idea why they don't have a statue of François Sicard (another Tourangeau sculptor) instead of Monsieur Colombe.
Much less why they would then add to the confusion by putting a memorial to Balzac there as well. Thank goodness there are other memorials to Balzac (another artsy Tourangeau) in town because if I were him I'd think this one was kind of anticlimactic. Fun idea but having photocopies of his handwriting on the pillar basically invites graffiti, so now his handwriting and elegant words have some somewhat less elegant company scrawled around and within.

I always love the simplest fountains the best. This water runs through the entire garden actually, another reason we loved it so much.

Ronnie, Kim & I used to stop in this tea room occasionally way back when.

Irish pub I frequented a bit last time I lived in Tours.

Some fun medieval architecture - most of the older architecture in Tours (you'll see in another post or so) is timber frame style (think Elizabethan), this is one of the less common examples.

Fun street nearing the Place Plumereau - tune in later and I'll have more Touraine eye candy for you...

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