On The Edge of Nowhere

Most local ex-pats like to say that Bourges is near Sancerre. I somehow feel ashamed of having to tell people that I live near somewhere that is famous with wine snobs, and also far smaller than Bourges. So, here is some local geography.

Bourges is situated at 47°5’0’’ N and 2°24’0’’ E, which does not put it in the middle of nowhere, but in the middle if France. The town is at an average of 130 metres above sea level and about 400 kilometres from the sea.

Many critics of my small town (mostly those people from large towns who have come here to work – rather work in a small town than have no job in a big town) – say that Bourges is in the middle of nowhere. This is not true; we are in fact, just on the edge of nowhere as opposed to being in the middle of it.

Other criticisms from the part of those who are obliged to come here …

« Bourges is inaccessible »

« Well you managed to get here. » I reply

I suppose that « inaccessible » means that the town is not locked into the nation’s very convenient high speed rail network, neither does it have its own airport served by low cost charter flights to other accessible places such as Stanstead.

Bourges though, is more or accessible by all forms of modern transport.

By road, we are 530 kilometres from Calais and 250 kilometres from Paris. For British visitors, the drive from Calais will take just over 5 hours (A26 from Calais – branch of for the A1 to Paris then follow A71)

By train, we are a mere 1hour and 50 minutes train ride from the nation’s capital. There are regular daily services from Bourges to the Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris. There are even trains in the opposite direction for all Parisians who might want to pay us a visit.

By plane … well, the nearest airports with regular flights that fly to those sort of places where people might want to fly to –are Tours, Limoges, Clermont Ferrand and Paris. With the exception of the latter, I can’t think why anyone in their right mind might actually want to fly to any of the former places. Nevertheless, if you are absolutely hell bent on flying to Bourges, the town does have its own small airport capable of landing for private planes and small jets of the Lear Jet variety.