Saturday, February 21, 2015

Hitching Through France

Our first day in France we just hitched to Arras from Calais and stayed in a youth hostel for the night before setting out early the next morning for Paris. What struck me about France were the tall, thin poplars that line the roads everywhere. Evidently, Napoleon planted all those trees to hide his troops and give them shade. Paris is amazing and again, so much to see there. Mark and Alain, two fellows who picked us up hitching out of town, took us to a great restaurant and we toured around a little before heading over to their apartment. It wound up being a little awkward but we made it through the night. The next day we did all the usual sights of Paris. You can't go to Paris without going through the Louvre, which is a repository for some of the most incredible art in the world, including the Mona Lisa. It takes days to see everything.

The Louvre

The Eiffel Tower

Notre Dame Cathedral

Place de la Concords


Lac du BougetParis was also rainy and wet so we didn't stay as long as we had planned, but headed south to Lyons. We were lucky with the rides and stayed in Chalon-sur-Saone with a fellow named Paul, who was nice enough to put us up in his apartment without any hassles. So far, we were having brilliant luck with the rides and the people we'd met and our luck kicked in again with a truck driver named Francois who was going to Aix-les-Bains around Lac du Bouget. He introduced us to a few of his friends and we got a place to stay with a fellow named Jean-Louis. He was pretty decent and took us out to a waterfront bar that night where later on Mary Lynne came up to me outside and said 'these guys want to go to up to the mountains and camp and play music and drink wine. It sounds like so much fun so let's go pick up our stuff.'
Aix les Bain

I told Mary Lynne I didn't want to go, I couldn't even see their faces in the dark, so Mary Lynne turned to them and in French told them that I was just a drag and wasn't that adventurous, which pissed me off, so I didn't try to convince her to stay. It was our first hassle. I told her that if she wanted to go, fine, but that I was going back to the apartment with Jean and I'd see her in the morning. She took off and as is my way, I didn't give her another thought until I heard the door to the apartment rattling and Mary Lynne and some guy stormed in, ranting and raving about how these guys tried to rape her and she had to run and thanks to 'this guy' whom she now pointed to, she got away. I didn't want to say 'I told you so' because what's the point? As it was, hitchhiking was less dangerous to me than wandering off into the night with faceless goddamned Frenchmen who needed to go to the woods to play music.