I love train travel; especially the high-speed variety. I'd been looking forward to our trip to Bar-le-Duc for weeks. Not that I don't love sweating it out with the best of them in the South (oh boy, it's Mexico City hot down here), but there's something about getting on a train headed well, really anywhere that gets the imagination going.
My first train ride in France was in 2004 via a hop-on/hop-off style "immersion trip" where we had a guide who basically took us from cute village-town to cute village-town...really we were just stumbling our way through France (Although I had some quite memorable moments stumbling in & out of the Champagne caves at Reims). But one of the things I remember the most was the French countryside & how it was simply golden. Golden fields of wheat, golden hillsides, & golden little tiled-villages like Beaune.
Well, our train trip to the Lorraine did not disappoint. Not to mention, we got to spend a beaucoup amount of time together (it's the TGV, but it can't work miracles) and if you'd really like to get to know your mate (or "partner" in Europe) sit next to them for five uninterrupted hours on the train. Hers: guidebooks & trashy fashion mags. His: L'Equipe, car mag, & a science-fiction book thrown in for good measure. Well, he may be French, but it looks like some things are universal; hence lots of time for golden-countryside dreaming.
[Traveling through the Rhone Valley, France]