It was an early morning for us. Packed and ready to meet the bus at the end of the street at 7:45. Everybody was ready on time and we quickly loaded on the bus. The bus is beautiful, modern clean, and roomy. Some people chose to sit with a travel companion while others enjoyed having two seats to themselves. There was plenty of room for either option. It was enjoyable watching Paris as we left for our next adventures.
A little orientation to bus riding: it is important to keep the bus clean, there is a bathroom for emergency use only (we never go more than2 hours without a bathroom/walk around break) and the driver had a selection of beverages for sale at a low price. Some people had extra luggage for a trip that they had taken before the tour. The bus driver cheerfully loaded it into "deep storage" and it won't surface again until the end of the trip. You can sit anywhere you want, but there was a request that people rotate through the very front seats on the bus to give opportunities to others.v our bus did not have wi-fi.
Our first stop was Guedelon . Here they are building a fortified chalet in the manner of the Middle Ages. We had a local tour guide from Guedelon. Very interesting! One of the positives of group travel that I am discovering is time saving organization. Our tour guide had taken sandwich orders and dessert orders earlier. (This lunch is included on the tour). Immediately after finishing our tour, we could enjoy our lunch sitting in a shady pavilion. This gave us more time afterwards to wander on our own.
Back on the bus to Bourges. We stayed in the heart of the historic district in a lovely hotel. This meant the bus could not not travel directly to the hotel it was about a 2 block walk on cobblestones to the hotel. Boy do those roller bags make noise on cobblestone streets! This also points out the importance of packing light enough to handle your own luggage in different situations.
Time for a short rest/settling in and then we met our local guide for a walking tour. Once again, local history, orientation to the town, and a lesson on stained glass in the cathedral. We ended up at the restaurant for the group dinner.
Let me tell you, if you are going on a tour with group dinners, France is the place to do it!, the tour guide passes around a menu in advance and you choose from 2 starters, 3-4 main plates, and two desserts. The food and its presentation are fabulous. The meal takes about 2 hours and is amazing. Here in Bourges, the restaurant goes all out and offers assortments of starters and dessert tastes so you don't have to choose between.
I will say that after 3 group dinners, seating selection can be a little awkward for a single if all the tables are set up for groups of 4. Two couples will sit together and then the table is full. It works out, but there is certainly a moment of uncertainty at the start of the meal.