Monday, April 23, 2012

Preparing to Travel for a Couple of Days

04/22, Sunday
Today France votes the first round for a new President. There will be live coverage after voting is complete. Nicholas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande finished 2-1. They will face each other in two weeks in a run-off.

This is a critical election, and will determine France's future for the next six years.

There's a little complication for the second round: Marie La Pen, the communist party candidate, got almost 20% of the vote, much more than expected. Historically, two-thirds of the communists will cast their second vote for the Centrist Party candidate, Sarkozy; and, one-third for the Socialist candidate, in this case, Hollande. Even though Hollande out-polled Sarkozy in round one, he may lose the second.

Mom and I painted for an hour or so this morning, outside, the lower section of wall of the apartment terrace. J&M want to spruce up and change the color from ruddy-tan to yellow. It looks good. We finished the job on Monday.

Next week, Tuesday, we plan to head further south by train to Narbonne, France. And, then onto Figueres, Spain. This is the home of Salvador Dali Museum. Madeleine and John recommend this Mediterranean coastal town and the museum. They have figured out all of the train connections for us.

04/23, Monday
A Franco-tidbit: John tells us that the state (France) controls the price that a baker can charge for a plain baguette...the country feels that everyone should be able to afford bread, the staff of life. Not only the price, but the ingredients must only consist of four items: flour, water, yeast and salt, no preservatives, no seeds, no other grain. Of course, the quality of flour/wheat may effect the price. It is amazing how much bread (specifically, baguette) is consumed here. We see people leaving the bakery with 8-10 loaves almost daily.

J&M have taken our trip to Spain as a project, thankfully. They have figured out all of the transportation...trains and cars...negotiated the train connections which are not simple...even anticipated our next train trip to Paris by suggesting we buy a French Train Pass that reduces the ticket price by 50%! a reduced rental car rate in combination with the train...recommended a nice hotel in Figueres, Spain...figured out how to get to Barcelona for a day...suggested a coastal drive to Dali's home... they are our personal travel agents in France.

So, we leave tomorrow, Tuesday, at 13:39 from Monremprom-Libos and arrive in Figueres around 17:00. Tonight we will watch a movie and play some cards.

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