France & Italy With Trafalgar Tours: Day 2 (Part 1)

November 21, 2011

I awoke at dawn with an abundance of excitement, as my favorite mode of transportation is riding the train and not only was I about to board the TGV (France’s high speed rail service), but my final destination was Provence!  I cannot recall when my love affair with train travel began, since the United States lacks an efficient rail system.  However, whenever I do happen to find myself on a train I always go into a meditative, peaceful state insuring that I arrive at my stop in the perfect mindset for my next adventure.


My number one goal once I arrived at Gare de Lyon station was to find a coffee, as it was still quite early in the morning and my jetlag had not worn off yet.  However, caffeine quickly became insignificant upon arrival into the spectacular Art Nouveau decorated building.  Jonathan, our Trafalgar Tours Travel Director, recommended that I head straight to the station’s restaurant, Le Train Bleu for photographs and an espresso.

Le Train Bleu is one of those places that I hope everyone gets to experience once in their lifetime.  The history, the ambiance, the artwork all combine to create a legendary establishment.  The forty one brightly colored paintings on the wall all deserve to be featured in a major museum.

As I sipped my espresso, I imagined that I was sitting in the exact same spot that Coco Chanel had once sat sketching her new collection or where Salvador Dali had once sat dreaming of his next painting (and possibly flirting with the waiters).  There was inspiration all around me, all I had to do was breathe it in.

I could have sat there all day, alas the clock reminded me that I had a train to catch!

Which track your train will be on is not announced until twenty minutes before departure, so I waited on the main platform until the announcement — admiring the giant clocks that stood watch over all of the travelers passing through.

When you travel with Trafalgar Tours it is nothing but the ultimate in luxury.  As I settled into my first class seat, I felt the familiar wave of tranquility wash over me; I was about to be whisked away, in less than three hours to Avignon, the heart of Provence. . .

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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66 thoughts on “France & Italy With Trafalgar Tours: Day 2 (Part 1)

  1. Kelly

    I am not sure why I know this or what this says about me, but…while you were sitting and imagining yourself as Coco Chanel or Salvador Dali, I looked at the pictures and immediately thought of Mr. Bean – I’m pretty sure one of his skits (or something from his movie) was shot there. See? You’re first class all the way, Andi, and I’m a bit more low-brow! 😉

  2. Deidre

    I find train travel really relaxing and fun too! I’m not sure what it is, the motion of the train? The ease of seeing the scenery go by. I have no idea, but I love it!

    1. Andi Perullo Post author

      I think it’s both of those and the fact that you have a sense of freedom, unlike air or car travel, where you can get up and wander around the train and stand as long as you like.

  3. Terra

    I love how your writing takes me there, I love that feeling! That train station is beyond amazing:-) I am looking forward to reading all your posts about this beautiful trip:-) oxox

  4. Alan Horton

    That train station looks absolutely superb. You can really soak in the atmosphere by just reading the post.

    How excited you must have been with that trip to Provence ahead of you and to look forward to!

    1. Andi Perullo Post author

      It was breathtakingly beautiful! Totally took me off guard too, as I wasn’t expecting such a work of art in a train station. I’m absolutely returning one day!!!

  5. mark

    I like the valuable info you provide in your post. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I’m quite sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next adventure!


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