Yesterday I spent 8 hours on the train. And half of that was on regional trains. In France if you say regional trains what you're really saying is SLOW trains.
I don't know if it's the season or the time or the route, but all of the towns we rolled through looked so sad. Black slate roofs and pale stone and bare trees. That's really all I saw. Towns where old family money and industry have long gone.
I was relieved when we got back to the colors of the south. I have always resisted belonging to the south. Thankfully, the south has never resisted belonging to me.