Thursday, December 24, 2009

Arriving in Metz

We took the newest and fastest of the French TGVs, the TGV Est, which goes from Paris to Strasbourg. We--and all our bags--got on the train at the Paris CDG airport rail terminal. The train quickly accelerated out of the station; cruising speed, so to speak, is about 200 mph. As we headed into the countryside east of Paris, the landscape developed into a rural patchwork of green and brown fields that followed the contours of rolling hills occasionally topped by an old windmill. Evidence of recent snowfalls edged the fields and glinted between furrows. In 80 minutes, traversing Champagne and Moselle regions, we arrived at the Lorraine TGV station.

A smallish shuttle bus carried us and the luggage to the Metz central train station. We passed the Metz-Nancy regional airport, which is not the largest in the world. Planes go to places like Lyon and Toulouse; if you go to Paris you take the train.The bus drivers suggested that the airport existed mainly as a subsidized point of regional pride. When we reached the Metz central station we met Nicolas, our hugely helpful GTL staff person, and rented a car. Fifteen minutes later we arrived at our home in Metz.

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