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 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!
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! 🙏🙏
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 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).
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. 😆
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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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! 🤷♀️
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.
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.
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…
Everyone kept asking: “Did you get up on Eiffel tower? Did you go in the Louvre?”
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!!
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!
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!
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… 😆😇
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!! 🤗💖🤗🙏🙏🙏
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… 😉😎