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Down South… part 2

Ten months after I started my Up North trip and 9 months in the Netherlands, it was time to move Down South again and face the next adventure. (part 1, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6)
You can also fallow the trip in Polarsteps.
Not to overload the post with pictures, most of the photos you can find at the end of it divided into galleries.

Down South – Paris, France • 8-22 July 2022

As she had promised, Claire loaded me into the car and we drove all the way to Paris.

On the way towards Paris
On the way towards Paris

On the way we had to pass by Arras to take her son and she drove through the very centre of it just to show me the beautiful square with all the old style buildings!

Here on the pavement was the GoPro stability testing. Wow! It has an amazing stabilisation! Great job, guys!

In Arras on our way towards Paris
In Arras on our way towards Paris

Yay Paris!! Yes, but I often get seasick from a long car ride (Very funny! I said LONG and OFTEN! 😁), so her son took the back seat with my backpack and I moved to the front.

Thank you! 🙏🙏

Paris, I am coming! :))
Paris, I am coming! :))

I spent most of the way half asleep (due to the pill I took to keep me from feeling sick) and by noon we were at the North part of Paris!

Claire's plan
Claire’s plan

Claire drove me to the metro station in order to get to the South suburb, with detailed instructions on how and where to change, including many google screenshots of the entire journey (as I don’t have mobile data).

The first ride on the metro of Paris on the way to my friend Bojo
Down South – the first ride on the metro of Paris on the way to my friend Bojo

After all she made sure to make it easy for me and save me any unnecessary stress in every possible way! Thank you so much Claire!!

Before 4 pm I was already at the address of a good old friend.

Well, he and his wife were away, but he had made sure to leave me a puzzle to solve by finding and collecting different keys from different hidden places so I could get inside on my own. 😆

The puzzle I had to solve in order to enter at my friend's home 😁
The puzzle I had to solve in order to enter at my friend’s home 😁

I laughed out loud and had fun at every stage of putting the puzzle together!

And when they got home I have even fallen asleep, LOL!

The true friendship never ends no mater of the years of not seeing each other
The true friendship never ends no mater of the years of not seeing each other

It’s an amazing feeling to feel home in a place you have never been. Sometimes you don’t see a friend fo years. Sometimes you don’t even hear him for months either. Yet, it feels like you have been together just a few days ago…

Avrorka, the partner of my friend - one more good friend I have! 😉
Avrorka, the partner of my friend – one more good friend I have! 😉

This friend of mine I haven’t seen for years. In the meanwhile he got married (so I have an additional friend now) and became a father of a beautiful little girl. Yet, he was still the boy I met about 10 years ago! The true friendship never ends no mater of the years!

Thank you, Bojo! Thank you Aurore! ❤🤗🙏🤗❤

We spent the first two days together, as we haven’t seen each other for years and also I have never seen the baby in person.

Oh, she is so adorable!! But I respect their politic of no baby’s photos online, so you will have to trust my word. 🤷‍♀️😜

After that whey went on their vacation and left me alone to enjoy Paris making sure I will have everything I could probably need! ❤🤗🙏🤗❤

Yeah, I managed to catch some kind of summer flu (No, it was not Corona! Not that I care, anyway…), so I basically did one day walking, one day off.

Somewhere around Paris
Down South – Somewhere around Paris

It wasn’t a big deal but I was glad my friends with the baby were gone so they were safe as long as it had to do with me.

The Hôtel de Ville is the City Hall of Paris, France, standing on the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville – Esplanade de la Libération in the 4th arrondissement (administrative district)
The Hôtel de Ville is the City Hall of Paris, France, standing on the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville – Esplanade de la Libération in the 4th arrondissement (administrative district)

Well, it was fun (nah, not really…) the day I decided to spare one way ticket and get back on foot.

Not a bad idea at all if you don’t count that I was still sick, the weather was the killing 36 degrees at shadow and I had almost no shadows all the way.

And that for 18 km… 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️

Was it stupid? Oh, yeah, it was damn stupid!

I made the mistake to think I’ll have a shadow while walking. I did not! And I was still sick and exhausted, moreover – haven’t been out on the sun for 10 months, so my face and legs did burn quite fast.

View of the museum Louvre and Pond Royal from Seine river
View of the museum Louvre and Pond Royal from Seine river

hen I got home, I was so overheated, weary and exhausted, that I couldn’t actually fell asleep until late after midnight… 🤦‍♀️

Well, making stupid decisions and learning from them is part of the game, anyway! 🤷‍♀️

The first home of famed alchemist Nicolas Flamel - the oldest house in Paris, which dates back over 600 years
The first home of famed alchemist Nicolas Flamel – the oldest house in Paris, which dates back over 600 years

Apart from that, my time in Paris was quite nice. Walking a lot, flowing all the advises of Claire and strongly trying to avoid the most touristy places.

Well, Eiffel tower, Arc de Triumph and Louvre were a must, of course, but even there I took just a moment and went away.

At Louvre, Paris early in the morning before the tourist flood...
Down South- Louvre, Paris early in the morning before the tourist flood…

For the Louvre I’ll try to get another day in the morning (and I did it a few days later), to enjoy the beauty of the place without all the crowd around. I don’t plan to go in anyway.

I went even to a cemetery.

Yeah, it was interesting, something you don’t usually see, but still feels odd to me having a cemetery as a tourist place. Feels kinda wrong, I don’t know.

Paris, Pere-Lachaise cemetery
Down South – Paris, Pere-Lachaise cemetery

Anyway, I got a brief walk around, admiring the real pieces of art some of the tombs were and left before it got too crowded for a cemetery and lost it’s magic

At Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Kinda spooky...
At Pere-Lachaise cemetery in Paris. Kinda spooky…

Everyone kept asking: “Did you get up on Eiffel tower? Did you go in the Louvre?”

https://youtu.be/DnracwsE-e4
Short walk at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris full of lovely sculptures and masterpieces.

No, I did not!

I travel on a very tight, almost unexciting budget and I go to only free places. Which, I must say, is more than enough!!

View from the top of Centre national d'art et de culture Georges-Pompidou
View from the top of Centre national d’art et de culture Georges-Pompidou

Do you have any idea how many places and museums you can visit for free?

Well, a lot!!! And all of them definitely worth seeing!

At the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Garden)
Down South – At the Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Garden)

One of them was Musée Carnavalet in Paris, which was on the Claire’s list. Actually everything I did visit in Paris was in that list!

And that one was just an amazing place! I could spent all my day looking around.

Unfortunately, or actually fortunately, I went at the early afternoon and they had to close in a couple of hours.

But really, it’s absolutely beautiful, interesting and full of history!

And it’s free!

At the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, which is dedicated to the history of the city
At the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, which is dedicated to the history of the city

Another one was Petit Palais. Yes, it has for some parts paid access, but the permanent collection (which is huge!) is absolutely free. And the building itself is so amazingly beautiful!

Once again my day was about to disappear there, but at the afternoon I was already too hungry to appreciate the art… 😆😇

Petit Palais or Small Palace is an art museum in the 8th arrondissement (administrative district) of Paris, France
Petit Palais or Small Palace is an art museum in the 8th arrondissement (administrative district) of Paris, France

Well, if those “small” and free museums are taking whole (or almost) day to be seen, what would take the Louvre, for example?! Do I have 8 hours (doubt it works longer hours) for just walk inside?

No! The answer is simply NO!

Petit Palais or Small Palace is an art museum in the 8th arrondissement (administrative district) of Paris, France
Petit Palais or Small Palace is an art museum in the 8th arrondissement (administrative district) of Paris, France

Yeah, you might think I am a shallow. I don’t care!

Oh, I do love art! And I do admire it as well as the people who are gifted to do so! Yet, as I said, I am a dilettante in this and I do not fully understand it.

Petit Palais or Small Palace is an art museum in the 8th arrondissement (administrative district) of Paris, France
Petit Palais or Small Palace is an art museum in the 8th arrondissement (administrative district) of Paris, France

So, should I wait for hours at the queue (because there are thousands of people queuing there)? Should I spend money I don’t have to look at something undoubtedly beautiful, but something I don’t understand in deep?

Should I spend one whole day of my limited precious time in Paris, just to be able to say: “I went inside the Louvre! Oh, it was so beautiful…”?!

Do you find any logic here?

When I become millionaire, I’ll come back and spend a week just enjoying and admiring the masterpieces.

Somewhere around Paris
Down South – Somewhere around Paris, Down South

Until then, I am more than happy being an outsider and enjoying the Louvre from outside (as well as many other museums) and rejoice in visiting the free ones!

Not to mention the admirable parks and architecture, which are also a masterpieces and could be seen all around! For free!

Jardin des Tuileries
Jardin des Tuileries

So, after two whole weeks in Paris, here it is – the time to move forward! Thank you a million Bojo and Avrorka!!! You made another dream of mine come true!! 🤗💖🤗🙏🙏🙏

Le parc de Sceaux
Down South – Le parc de Sceaux

Because of the forecast of extreme heat (40+ degrees) I decided to postpone my leaving with a few days. Didn’t want to take the risk of being somewhere on the road, hitchhiking in that hell!

Because of that though, I had to give up my next stay in Dijon, as my Couchsurfing host was not available afterwards. So, I start looking for another and…

Well, it should be Besançon instead… 😉😎


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