June 20, 2010
Today was my second day in Tours. Anna and I got up around eight and had breakfast at the hostel. It was free which was nice, even if it was just bread and yogurt. We walked over to the Musée des Beaux Arts. It was an impressive gallery for a museum that six. I was feeling burnt out on art by mid morning.
We saw the whole gallery. I was most impressed by some of the depictions of classical myths, especially those of Dianna and her nymphs. We walked back to the hostel for lunch. Back at the hostel we talked to the lady at the desk who told us the grocery store was closed on Sundays but the covered market should be open.
We hurried to the market before it closed and bought vegetables and cheese. I didn’t feel like sorting out the complexities of buying meat in French. We also got another bottle of wine, this time a Sauvignon Blanc with some citrus flavor. We were under whelmed. It was sweet like the cheap Rose we had yesterday but not much more could be said for it.
We need to either accept that cheap wine will be unimpressive or go up a few euros in our wine bottles. We think maybe we will stick with cheap wine when it is just for picnics and simple meals and get a decent bottle every now and again for really enjoying.
I miss beer. It was always easier to gauge the quality of and simple to learn the brands I liked. With beer you have one pint and you know if you like the brand or not. With wine there are so many kinds and brands each bottle is a new uncertain thing. If Anna and I get a bottle we don’t much like we’re still stuck with it for about two meals.
We’ll just have to learn what we like though and enjoy the chance to get affordable wine. We can’t really afford to buy beer in France. It often costs more then a bottle of wine.
After a lunch of left over chicken and cheese we went to see the Musée du Champanonnage (Guild Museum). It was a museum about a union of master craftsmen and was oddly like the Masons. Apparently they occasionally did odd ritualistic stuff and claimed to have biblical originals. Most of the time though they just did their trades and applicants had to do a masterwork to get in, such as a miniature Eiffel tower made of slate and wooden miniature towers. Anna and I both thought it was weird.
Next-door was the Musée du Vin. Sadly it did not have any wine tasting as we had hoped. Instead it just had a bunch of hokey exhibits in glass cases in a stuffy basement. We were not particually impressed. Afterwards we wandered back and got the computer to spend some time in the main plaza.
We went to the Irish Pub in the hopes of beer. Sadly when we ordered the waitress brought us a bill for over six euros our beer in 25cl glasses, which were smaller then the average half pint. Any culture that automatically puts beer in a glass that small has no familiarity with beer. We have despaired of having beer at cafés in France and will stick with Coffee. While at the cafe I was able to use the Internet and email me family.
We walked back and I cooked dinner. We used all the vegetables except some onions. It was nice to cook again for the first time in a week. After dinner we walked along the river in the opposite direction from the day before. The evening was a bit cool and windy but the sun was still up. The river was slow and placid and we passed several small islands. We walked all the way to the edge of town and then turned around and headed back.
On our way back we followed some music to a beer garden in the hopes of live music but it was just speakers playing. We watched couples dance for a little and then walked home. We laid out our plans for the next day to see some chateaus.