Well after getting my large suitcase and my carry on as well as my camera bag down the 4 flights of stairs with Gosia that cold morning I walked the fifteen minutes along uneven and narrow sidewalks toward the RER station. I somehow navigated a route where I didn’t have to take any stairs into the station (thank goodness! They love stairs that go both up AND down for good symmetry or something.)
It’s always a chore picking up the one heavier bag but having to also pick up the carry on did always seem to make for an interesting boarding or disembarking experience. I’ve always been stubborn. It reminds me how I insisted I could carry ALL of Nan and Grandpas groceries home by myself from the store regardless how long a list she’d written up for me growing up! I can still remember how half way I’d often have to pause and readjust all the bags and I’d have these deep red lines in my fingers from the circulation being cut off. The feeling was a bit similar here…
On the train it’s always hard being the one with all the stuff crowding the walkways. Thankfully it was a short distance to the SNCF station where the main line trains run. I arrived a good hour early to make sure I was ready to go, felt comfortable, knew exactly where I needed to be and when after mom and dad drilled into me you have VERY little time to get on the train and they weren’t kidding it’s about a 3-5 minute gap to get on! I had managed to swing a first class ticket and I sat with some friend French businessmen that worked for Cadbury for the first bit and they were good company but mostly I had the cabin to myself for 2 out of 3 hours to see the snowy landscape of France without distraction.
When I arrived I quickly got collected by Patrick (pronounced Patrique!) who lives next door with his wife and I saw, very briefly, the ruins of Arles on the drive to my new home!
But while these photos aren’t the lively picture of Provence we all impagine in all its abundance, being winter, here’s what the grounds look like pre-spring! Already I’ve scoped out my favourites – the herb garden and the Olive grove which is still pretty young but I might actually learn how to brine my own Olives! There are also grapes, bananas, figs, strawberries among many other tasty things (oh yeah and all the plants they’ve used to attract birds and butterflies.. but I know nothing about this yet!) Eventually I will take some photos of our lovely fires in the salon (living room) or the large table we all sit around but for now this is the space the the 6 of us interns live in with Patrick and Linette next door!