I knew we lived within easy access of the racetrack in Nantes but I had no idea how close. I set off with Ella this afternoon to find out. We crossed the main street a couple of blocks from our house and caught bus #51, not really sure where we’d get off. But two stops down the line was one called Hippodrome (the French name for racetrack) so we got off. We crossed the street and, boom, there was the track, literally against a fence we could touch. We walked a few steps further and got our first view of the grandstand. A few steps further and we found an open gate with access to the grounds. While Ella nervously waited there, I dashed in for a quick look.
Safely back outside the gate, we continued our walk and discovered that the public is actually allowed inside, that the grounds are used much like a public park. There were kids riding bikes, people walking dogs, and others picnicking (with a bottle of wine, of course). Ella took this picture of me as we crossed the turf track on the backstretch. We then made our way back home, walking the whole way.
What a situation. I can walk to the racetrack. I’m reminded of the scene in Field of Dreams when Shoeless Joe asks Ray, “Is this heaven?” and Ray says, “It’s Iowa.” No, it’s Nantes.