And so it transpired, from the start of our French adventure, that the station at Angouleme would play a major role in our new life. It began one dark rainy night in November, when at 9pm precisely (as the TGV is almost always on time), we stumbled onto the platform, blinking through the station lights to a whole new world that awaited us. Little did we know that evening, this same platform would set the scene for so many happy encounters through the coming years. There would be hugs and kisses as a steady stream of loved ones emerged through the crowds to greet us on their regular visits, not to mention our own occasional trips to Paris. On these rare, but none the less exciting trips, my husband and I would exchange our country life for the bright lights of Paris. You can read about one of these trips, if you would be interested, in my post entitled, 'Stepping Out Of My Empty Nest, Into The Lights Of Paris', written back in September 2012.
The TGV is 30 years old now and provides France with a fast, clean and efficient service, cutting down travel time between major cities dramatically, as it reaches speeds of up 200 miles an hour, with an excellent safety record. French citizens and expats alike can enjoy connections all over France and across Europe with journeys like Paris to Marseille only taking 3 hours and 5 minutes. I have included a map here showing current lines and both new and imminent ones. You will note that LGV refers to 'ligne `a grande vitesse' or high speed lines. Perhaps food for thought when you are planning your next trip to France or looking to relocate to the French countryside.
To conclude this post, I would suggest to any of you out there thinking about choosing a place to live in the France, bear in mind the importance of being near a branch of the TGV. There are still areas of central France where the TGV doesn't operate and it can add to a feeling of isolation, but then again, perhaps that's just what you're looking for!