September 27, 1960
Nous sommes en France!! I can hardly believe it!! After an all night trip on the bus from Le Havre we reached Tours at 6:00am.
When we saw the building we were just stunned. It’s fabulous beyond dreams. Everything about Tours is so thrilling I am in a state of delirium most of the time. There were 70 workmen working on the building the day before we came and when we arrived they had it almost to perfection. It is a brand new building – some rooms aren’t painted yet. Each room has a balcony, a bathroom which is enormous (a tub), closets and two beds and a table with chairs. Every bed had a bouquet of flowers beside it with a card from the people welcoming us. On one side we look across to the park filled with flowers to the river, and on the other side of which are old churches and houses peeping through the leaves which are barely staring to turn. On the other side there is a park which is still under construction.
Gail and I slept most of yesterday and then got up to go to dinner at the French University. We ate with four French boys at our table. I’m sure they knew English, but we tried to do all our talking in French. We made all sorts of mistakes and at times had to resort to English to make ourselves understood. One boy was particularly helpful we thought. He was either Russian or studying Russian (both of us missed that sentence) – and tried to explain words to us. When we left we asked him to tell us how to say – “it is nice do meet you.” – and he said “Oh this is very important, I’ll write it down for you,” so he did and we walked back memorizing it. Just for fun, we decided to look it up in the dictionary and found out he had told us to say – “I am Scotch!!” We laughed for hours.
Gail and I took an interesting walk this morning through some of the streets of the town. The stores are fascinating but it doesn’t seem to me that the prices are much cheaper. I think this is a tourist trap.
This afternoon some French students are taking us on a tour of the town. We hope to go out to some of the chateaux this week also.