Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Glimpse Of Tours

Tours is one the larger towns on the Loire river, located just upstream of its confluence with the Cher. It's at the center of the Touraine region and is a university town, so it has a younger, hipper side, some nightlife, lots of restaurants, and some shops and galleries of interest. It's a city of about 136,000 people, les Tourangeaux, but the larger metropolitan area is home to more than twice that.

On the streets just outside les halles, local farmers set up their stands.

Tours also has a food market hall (les halles) near the center of town that's open every day and a large regional flower market along the Boulevard Béranger on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Sunflowers for sale at the market.

I've lived about an hour from Tours for nearly four years now, and I've only begun to explore the place. Ken and I have been to a few concerts at the very modern Vinci theater and meeting center (Alain Souchon, Julien Clerc, Isabelle Boulay, and we'll see Laurent Voulzy there this spring).

A ticket for Alain Souchon at the Vinci Center in Tours.

We've seen the cathedral and walked around the old roman part of town. We've shopped along the rue Nationale (they have a FNAC !) and explored the historic Place Plumereau with it's 15th century buildings and its many shops and restaurants. We've even been to a museum of colored glass art (thanks, Sue !).

A vendor at the Tours flower market on the Blvd. Béranger.

We also go to the suburbs of Tours to do shopping at some of the big-box retailers like LeRoy Merlin (a Home Depot kind of store) and similar places. Tours has our region's closest commercial airport, although it's a really tiny place with very limited service - mostly to England and Ireland. Tours is only and hour away from Paris by TGV (high-speed train).

But I think there is still much more to explore in Tours. We'll get to it over time.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, Chambord was mini-memories. I worked in Tours for three years and really regret that at that time in our lives (parents of toddlers) we weren't able to explore it more. It was also where I did a quarter abroad when I was at university, so indirectly, Tours is probably what brought me to where I am now.


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