I had the creepiest experience yesterday, says the uncultured American.
I’ve seen those self cleaning restrooms that we have in the States. I saw one once in Seattle, but I’ve never used one. Well, I used one yesterday at a train station in God knows where, France.
We were about to board the second of three trains traveling to the Dordogne region and I just had to use the restroom. It cost .30 Euros to get in and when I had to exit, there was a red button to push. I had this heart skipping moment where I realized that if the door didn’t open once I pushed the button, I would be trapped forever. My phone died three days ago and I haven’t bothered to charge, since it costs an arm and a leg to call anywhere and I’m always with Brad whose phone is charged. (This is the only time in history that my phone has not been charged and Brad’s has been charged.)
Thank goodness, the red button worked.
And doubly thank goodness, this newsstand had hand sanitizer before I had lunch.
I’m sure this sandwich is the equivalent of a French Big Mac, but it was pretty tasty. This is basically a caprese salad on a panini, which is more Italian than French, but it was what I wanted at the moment.
We also bought this eggplant, tomato, and ham sandwich for Brad at a sandwich stand inside the train station. I took one bite and said, “Ew, there are olives on this sandwich.” Olives are one of two foods I don’t eat.
Two trains later, we landed in Sarlat, in the Dordogne region of France. Overall, I have to say that the trains in France, thus far, have been nicer than the trains in Italy.
In Sarlat, I purposely chose an apartment, rather than a hotel so it would be equipped with a kitchen.
Here’s the grand tour:
The small but completely adequate kitchen with a small dishwasher, fridge, range, toaster, microwave, and coffee maker.
The whole room
The bathroom — (the toilet is in a small room in the entry way with a tiny sink)
Another view of the room
Our view of Sarlat outside one of our windows
Another (slightly more right) view outside of our window
This is what tech nerds look like when they travel.
Notice that instead of purchasing or borrowing multiple adaptors and converters (which are expensive) instead we took a power strip (Brad’s idea) plus one converter (which also serves as an adapter). Converters are super heavy so by using the power strip, we’re saving space, money, and weight.
Our apartment is on a small side street up a steep hill.
When we arrived, we walked two or three kilometers from the train station. When we were less than one kilometer away, there was a torrential downpour and we had to seek refuge under an awning and wait out the rain. We have an umbrella but it was some major rain and were weren’t the only ones refusing to walk through it.
After it slacked off a bit, we had to walk through an extremely large market full of people and puddles of water. The only casualty was my Toms, which I dried on a window sill.
Eventually we found our apartment, which has a small gate.
This doorway is just across from our apartment
Another view of the opening gates to the apartment
The name of the apartments are Le Villa de Consuls and after talking with the owner we learned that his family has owned this property for 40 years, but he just renovated it 10 years ago. It’s from the 18th century and he owns another property next door that is from the 12th century.
After arriving and changing into dry clothes, Brad and I set out for the grocery store to purchase dinner for the evening.
We bought enough food for dinner and two breakfasts for less than 30 Euros. For comparison, breakfast at Le Villa de Consuls is eight euros a person and every dinner we’ve eaten in France, thus far, has been over 60 Euros.
We started our meal off with some wine from Bordeaux (about two hours away), baguette, and camembert cheese.
The shining stars of our meal: parsley, thyme, and butter (when in Rome)
I made a butter and white wine sauce for our salmon.
I also made sautéed potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and onion.
I heated a bit of butter in a pan, salt and peppered two salmon fillets, and sprinkled them heavily with thyme and parsley, and cooked them on medium heat until they were cooked on both sides, leaving them a bit pink in their centers.
The apartment also was well equipped with pans, pots, dishes, and glasses, which was very convenient when you plan to cook.
The food turned out really well.
The rest of the night was spent, trekking up to a higher part of Sarlat to watch the sun set, watching all the street performers, having a glass of wine at a restaurant with live Spanish music, and poking our heads into art galleries and stores that were (interestingly enough) open after 10 pm.
We really enjoyed our first evening in Sarlat and have big plans for tomorrow.
Stay tuned for our biggest adventure yet…