So you see, I managed to spend a month in Paris... on this blog. I actually spent about 6 hours in the city, arriving at 9:30 a.m. on October 29 and taking the 15:52 (3:52 p.m.) train back to Saint-Aignan via Vierzon. By the way, the train right after mine was going to Auneau, a town near Chartres that I've driven through a few times and whose name makes me laugh (oh no!).
I went into the station, La Gare d'Austerlitz, and looked around to see if my train was going to be on time and to figure out what platform it was leaving from. I had a reserved seat, so I didn't need to worry about getting on early and finding one before the train filled up.
If you notice on the departures board above, there are two kinds of trains that leave from Austerlitz. The one I was taking went to Vierzon, a biggish town about 35 miles east of Saint-Aignan on the Cher River. It was an Intercités train and it went on farther south from Vierzon to Limoges and Brive-la-Gaillarde. The other trains are called TERs — Trains Express Régionaux. Those are the blue trains (not a "bullet" or TGV train though with a similar look) like the one in the photo below and they run, for example from Vierzon to local destinations like Saint-Aignan/Noyers.
Since I had time, I sat down and had a glass of wine (a Touraine Sauvignon) before getting on the train. It was good that my seat was reserved, because it was very full. I was in Vierzon by about 5:15 and back in Saint-Aignan before 6:30 after a 20-minute layover spent in the Gare de Vierzon-Ville.
I have enjoyed spending a month in Paris. I have some more photos, and I will certainly post some of them over the course of the winter. Tomorrow is December 1, and I need to move on. I still have a trip to Burgundy to document. When I interrupted that one, I had just crossed the Loire out of the Centre region into the Bourgogne region. I also have a few fall photos of the Saint-Aignan area that I want to share.