Pictures

The mountains by Chamonix, the window shutters in Neuchatel, triathlon in Lausanne… it was a calm and relaxing trip with some adventures that you’ve already read about. In case you think my writing hasn’t been descriptive enough, here are some photos from France and Switzerland.

Fairytales

Going through southern Germany and France is like travelling in a fairytale. Everywhere are castles and churches looking like castles. It’s easy to travel back to times in your own head to an era of princesses and great dragons and heroes… If that ever was true.

Our host went to work early this morning as we stayed sleeping on the couch. I was dreaming that I moved into a castle. As I woke up I realised couch surfing is like a fairytale. While others spend tens of euro on accommodation we just go home to someone, have a nice meal together and sleep.

We will take some time checking out the town Flensburg today before we start hitchhiking to Nyborg.

Dedication

“c’est que?” I asked as our teacher said synonym after synonym and I got none of them. She looked at my classmates, three of them are pretty advanced in French, and some gave some different suggestions in English while others shrugged their shoulders. Just a few actually speak English which means we have to try our hardest to explain everything in French. Our teacher doesn’t really speak English either. Eventually I got the word and I’m happy for the help we all give each other in class, it’s warming my heart this chilly evening knowing I’m going back to these people tomorrow, we’ve even been thinking about extending our course another week and skip Switzerland, though it would cost us too much money.

But I am definitely coming back here again. Now there is too much new stuff to do and see, the level of dedication to our studies could be greater.

Chamonix!

Hitch-hiking through the alps, from France through Switzerland and all the way back home. Now it’s official. The 19th of August I am flying to Milano to meet my friend Emma. We will in one way or another get ourselves to Chamonix where we will intensively study french for a week. Then the trip continues by thumb back to Sweden.

What you can look forward to:
Amazing photographs of people, and some extraordinary stories of a weeks course in French, the life or two (very) short term expats and the road back home.

Bring it, August!

Two memories

There are two memories from the last trip that I keep returning to in my mind.

Hitch-hiking by the high-way in France

Number one is when Jiaxin tried to stand by the highway to hitch-hike, like we have done in Sweden, a few miles south of Bordeaux on our way to San Sebastian. Before we went on our trip, I asked some friends who has hitch-hiked in France where it’s good to stand. They all said “well, not the highway, the police will be there immediately and force you to go away and they might give you a fine.”
Jiaxin didn’t stand by the highway for more than five minutes before there was a police-car pulling over, with their lights blinking and all. As she walked back to where I was standing the police followed very slowly right behind her so she wouldn’t be able to walk back. The scene reminded me so much of a comedy where someone big is following right behind a small person, the small one not knowing they’re being followed and and the big one hiding as soon as the small one looked back. Though the police didn’t hide.
As she had a few meters back to where I was, the police drove around her and came up to me. They explained that here, yes, there, No. Here, yes, there NO. “Ok, I get it, thank you so much. Merci.” As Jiaxin stood beside me they drove away again.

I was almost robbed in Bordeaux

The second memory is the scene that occured almost imediately after we stepped out of the car as we arrived in Bordeaux, there were five guys walking towards us. They had seven dogs with them, crossings with german shepherds and something else. One of the guys came up really close to me and said something in french. I said “I don’t speak french.” and continued walking. He came closer and said, closely to my hear, “listen I speak english, if you don’t give me all your money my dog is gonna” he made a chewing sound “you.”
I felt a little uncomfortable, but continued walking and looked at him annoyed. Why would he want to take all my money? It’s the middle of a day and I’m a flipping hitch-hiker with only five euro left in my pocket. As we had passed them I asked Jiaxin if she’d heard what he’d said. She had not heard him. Lucky I guess, it was uncomfortable and I didn’t feel very safe in the city.

Looking for couches

We’ve spent the whole morning and lunchtime to try and find a couch in Madrid and one in San Sebastian. It’s difficult though, because the internet connection keep breaking down. We will leave Bordeaux early next morning, about seven or half past seven.

Later today I will go to the museum and look at the exhibition of African masks, “invisible art” while Jiaxin will be shown the road we will have to walk to get to the station tomorrow to start our hitch-hiking.