There is this nice story about a monkey and an eagle from the Tibetan children’s book. Monkey was constantly dreaming up some adventures and eagle was living them. The most important part of all life experience for monkey was the part of planning. She was very eagerly speaking about her plans, preparing never-ending lists of places to visit, people to meet and food to eat; but when there was a time for a journey itself the plan was never perfect enough; therefore she couldn’t travel. Just waiting for better weather, better plan, better location and the best moment.. Little did she know that there won’t be any perfect time to travel or any more suitable moment. Eagle on the other hand didn’t have time or a nature for planning, therefore he just lived the life monkey was dreaming about without planning.
We were with my dear M. two monkeys for a long time, but this story is about how we became a little bit like the eagle and really enjoyed the process.
Being tired of the fact that our plans so often never happen and after another unsuccessful plan we decided to stop planning and just hit the road instead. In a small car, not a perfect time of year and with a very loose plan of a trip. This is our story about road trip around France and how this, at the first sight not so attractive destination, changed us more than we expected.
Part I. The North
Alsace, Lorraine, Champagne, Picardie
getting used to the travel
looking forward to the ocean
surviving unpleasant weather
visiting various cities and buying some vinyls
coming across some very strange and empty places in the middle of Massif des Vosges
too strange to be real … (click to see more of this place)
Part II West coast and places that we want to visit again
Êtretat and it’s beach with a forbidden pebbles
Giverny and Monet’s garden behind the fence
Stunning sunsets every day in another place
Cabane Vauban ♥ and the most beautiful morning of this trip, watching sunrise during breakfast, Mont-Saint Michel peeking in the distance, observing migratory birds with the ornithological group of Normandy
Part III Northwest coast
Dinard. All we saw of this place was just missing sea and seaweed carpet. Actually sea was missing quite often on our trip and we actually enjoyed our habit of walking on the sea floor. I am just wondering why we were the only ones doing this.
Côte de Granit Rose. ♥
♥ Cap Fréhel = endless loneliness. At least in this time of year. ♥
Part IV Southwest coast
Visiting countless flea markets on this trip
Île de Ré. There was nothing more than salty caramel panna cotta and donkeys with dreadlocks
The best surfer’s beach, the biggest seashells of this trip and cool surfers/vanlifers community
Hustle and bustle in Bordeaux, lost and found Velvet Underground vinyl and furious bike ride in the worst traffic busy city we have ever seen
Duna du Pyla, unpleasant weather no.2 and first successfull attempt of swimming in the sea
Part V. Midi-Pyrenées and East coast
Pyrenees were beautiful but we couldn’t stay longer. Another important lesson from this trip. We don’t need to see everything at once.
Carmague with wild flamingos, not so wild horses and bull arenas. That part of trip when our expectations did not meet with a reality and we are learning how to enjoy it anyway.
Part IV. East coast
Alpilles National Park, Les Baux-de-Provence and it’s Carrières de Lumières. So another place on which we just came up by a chance and it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. I mean we both were almost crying because of emotions and it just doesn’t happen every day. ♥
Luberon and Verdon National Park
Grasse, the city of perfumes that was actually pretty stinky
Nice, Café du Cycliste. We are so exhausted from the cities already and want to escape to the nature again…
The last part VII. Italy, Hungary
last days, swimming everyday and not being afraid of cold water anymore
First espresso and small talk with Italians about their best coffee machine
Lago di garda, first place on the road which we are already familiar with. We swim in a cold lake and feel quite cool about it.
While swinging in a hammock we hear sound of the Hang Drum for the first time and immediately felt in love with it. Such a cosmic music. ♥
Coming back to the seaside, so hard to say goodbye
Balaton is not as poetic as we expected
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars. * Jack Kerouac * On The Road