Friday, April 28, 2006

from Apremont, France: simple pleasures and no Internet

Where did I come up with this one – a village so close and yet so far?

It is the first stop – a day of rest. I chose Apremont because it is very very slow-paced and it has a country restaurant. With a few rooms at the side. The appealing qualities of Apremont.

But how to get there? It goes like this: from the airport, to a Paris train station, then, by train, onto the nearby Chantilly – a town of lace and racetracks and chateaux and nearby forests, then, well, then you’re stuck. I guess you could always walk to Apremont…

Nina, if you wheel your own suitcase and carry your own heavy pack while I just tag along with my little duffle bag, people will talk.
Well then, as a special favor, I'll let you pull it...

There have to be buses to Apremont, non?

Oh, but first thing’s first. You know that you are where you want to be when you look up (this is still in Chantilly) and see this:

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chestnuts in bloom

And when it takes no more than five minutes to locate a café that will serve you this:

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Chantilly: fresh and honest

People watching. You could say that it was the first thing I did (other than trying to get places) on this side of the ocean. Over a plate of cheeses and a salad, with slices of tomato and baguette. So simple, even a kid could do it. Or eat it:

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Chantilly: two girls and a flower

Back then to the problem of how to get from Chantilly to Apremont. We have established that there are no buses that run there. So taxi maybe? It’s only about six or seven kilometers. No taxis come to you in Chantilly. You have to do tricks and ask lots of people.

People get curious about us, with the yellow and blue backpack, the big suitcase and a small red duffle (the latter is Ed’s the rest – well, mine).

Where are you from? The question this time comes from a guy smoking his, let’s pretend, very French cigarette.
And where are you headed? Yes? Well you should leave Chantilly. I’am from here. I hate it. The people think they are rich.
Hmm. It could be that they are. Creamy white buildings, like the cream that made the name famous. Lovely. With flowers everywhere.

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After many such innocuous and quasi-helpful conversations, we are finally whisked off in a fancy cab.

In Apremont, we settle in to the Internet-not-available-not-even-dial-up “restaurant with four guest rooms,” La Grange aux Loupes.

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Apremont: no to Internet, but yes to a French poodle

Helpful types suggest I hike over to the fancy resort outside of town… Surely they’ll have the wiring. Oh yes, indeed.

Meantime, the sun is pulling at me. God, it’s gorgeous here. So why is it that tomorrow we leave? That is the nature of this trip: to move on even when you’re not particularly inclined to do so. I have an agenda!

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the houses of Apremont