21.07.2007 21 °C
Written on July 21 …
Well, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I only have enough (barely enough), to be in the towns I visit, aka, not do any sort of activity or visit or tour that require any form of payment (I’ve put a 5E limit, but realistically, nothing is less than 10E, and even that’s rare). I feel much better now that that’s settled (kinda like when I decided I wouldn’t eat Kristen’s sweets anymore - it’s liberating) as I don’t feel like I should wonder if an activity is worth it or not, if I should do it or not, if I’ll regret it if I don’t do it…. Now it’s so very simple, if it’s more than 5E, it’s not happening. As such, I’m somewhat only scouting for my next visit (where I’ll make sure to have a budget of 100E/day, as opposed to my current 40).
So anyway, here are a few pics from Bordeaux. I’m not taking very many pictures, as people are not very remarquable (just like us really, at least on picture) and, well, a building is a building… and once again, you can easily go to Qc city if you want to get the feel (travelling has really made me realize that we have it all in Can, except for India, most of I’ve seen/done so far I could have seen/done, with light variations, somewhere in Canada!).
"Si j'avais les ailes d'un ange, je partirais pour... Québec!" (French-QC song)
It's nice to see the contrast of the new tram in front of the old cathedral.
This was a fairly common sight, the old street names used to be carved in a brick of the house at the corder of that road. Here we have the original name "Rue Royale", which was renamed "Rue de la Liberté" during the revolution (Freedom fries anyone?? hehehe), and is now something else.
This is just a building, called Place des Douanes (Bordeaux used to be the most important port of the region, and this place is right in front of the water) where the buildings still have the same function as hundreads of years ago!!! I visited Bordeaux on a walking tour (before ,y resolution to not tqke more tours), and I must admit that it was very interesting to hear about the history and purpose of certain landmarks. For example, the guide talked about the architects that designed that part of town, a fqther and subsequently his son, why the buildings qre in the shqpe they are, etc. I forget most detqils, but it was very interesting.
Anyway, I then visited the city of La Rochelle, which was very pretty, but mostly (read: entirely) living off tourism, which means that everything is overpriced and geared toward families and couples. This brings me to my second resolution for when I come back, it’ll definitely be with someone, preferably a “my man”, as Europe really feels like a place to visit with someone. I’ve met quite a few other lone travellers, but I know I would be having a better time right now if I was with someone I’m close to. Anyway, no biggie, as this is only a “scouting trip”, right? . Back to La Rochelle, here are a few pics.
La Rochelle is known for it's fort and port, and has always been known to be a bit of a rebel town, electing a mayor while everyone was still under the monarchy, being protestant when all of France is catholic, and stuff like that. It was also the capital of France (or was it Bordeaux...?) for a while, until it was moved to Paris.
Anyway, undeniably, the best time was to watch, over and over again, parents getting angry with their kids (who indeed literally bounced off the walls)… travelling with young kids… hmmm maybe not such a good idea! Hehehe I don’t know if the French have too high expectations, or if their kids were really that bad (I’ve seen quite a few who actually were!!) but it didn’t seem fun for them. All I could hear as I was walking around was “don’t do this, come back, do that, that’s IT, it’s the last time I tell you!, no you’re not getting this or that or that or that! Hehehe good times! Hehehe
Last pic of La Rochelle, simply because I hadn't seen a nice sunset in a while:
I still had the bad cold in La Rochelle and felt very bad about coughing and tossing and turning (being in a room with 5 other people), so I barely slept both nights. However, I must mention that I was in a room with French girls (for the first time), actually I should say women (late 20’s and mid 30’s), which was sooo much better than being with the younger people of before (I’m not much in the party mood, can’t afford it) and these women actually wore normal clothes (as opposed to the “skankyness" of the younger crowd).
I left La Rochelle on the Ze-Bus (I LOVE that name, it’s actually how the French sound when they try to say “the”hehehe), which dropped me in a town called Tours, where, oh how wonderful, I have a single room!!!!! For 18E/day (aka pretty much same price as the other Auberges), this Auberge de Jeunesse only has single rooms (actually becomes a student residence during school time)! I’m staying here 4 nights and couldn’t be more ecstatic about my accommodations!!! Furthermore, they don't kick us out during the day (all the other places so far would block access to the dorms from i.e 10-4 or 11-5 for cleaning -which was kind of annoying, specially for sick me). Now I can, sleep in, go back for a nap anytime, toss and turn, blow my nose as loud as I want (I’m still quite sick), cough, go to the bathroom (shared, but whatever) as often as I want, all without bothering anyone at all. This type of room is pretty much what I’ll have for the coming year in Residence at U of Montreal, so I’m happy to see that it’s totally satisfying!
So anyway, I’m starting to feel better already (or maybe it’s just the medication I got at the pharmacy…) and I think I’ll be fully back up and running by the time Ze-Bus picks me up on Tuesday. We will then go see some castles, before getting dropped off in Paris, where I’ll probably be staying with the boyfriend of a friend of a friend (sounds sketchy, but is not! Hehehe). That should allow me to save a bit of $$ (aka not go over budget for once!), while meeting some French people (they are sooo funny to hear when they speak, they sound exactly like in the movies, with their “oh la la” or “c’est la galère” hehehe. After 4-5 days in Paris, I still have 7-8 days where I have to decide where to go…. I plan on finalizing my itinerary on Monday at the latest, buy all my tickets and reserve all my hostels, and just enjoy the rest of the trip.
Tours is known for being a student town (big U here), as well as the main centre for the Loire region. It's nice to be in a "real" town (not only touristic), and just walk around and stuff. I heard that they have a 7E card which grants access to all the museums, as well as a walking tour of the old town... it exceeds my 5E limit, but by so little, and for seemingly such a good value! I'll let you know what I decide.
Well, that's that for that.
P.S. It's freaking cold here!!!! It'd kind of ok in the sun in the afternoon, but there's always a cool breeze and it gets freaking cold as soon as the sun disappears! It's apparently once of their zorst summer in years, and I agree, it does't feel like summer!!