Monday, 29 August 2016

The FINAL 36 hours in Roissy. And I've traveled an amazing total of ZERO kilometers in 5 days.

5 am. This  is day 5 of my stay in Roissy, in the cheap airport hotel close to CDG.   I've worked a lot, I've been sick, and the prospect of making it to Sardinia to meet my friends is not overwhelmingly large.    Add to that, that during yesterday's bout of sickness, I managed to climb out of bed, start the computer, and renew my room. I even made it to the front desk to pay for it. Imagine my joy when after the internet's 2 am refusal to let me in, I walked to the front desk only to find out that the receptionist not only let me wait forever while she dealt with something else, took my money, but unfortunately  neglected to record that payment or even my continued presence in the room.  So I paid again for the room at 2 am.

Horrible?  Not really.  Slightly annoying maybe, but there are reasons why this can't be considered a failure of even tiny proportions:

The first time the travel demons struck:  'Trapped' in Hong Kong for 2 weeks. Great Fun ! No, really!

1) The morning bike ride 2 mornings ago into the farmland around Roissy was as exhilarating as no bike ride in Canada has been for decades.

2) It might be a cheap hotel next to an airport, but the air is fresher, and it's quieter in my room than in any room I have occupied in Vancouver in decades.
3) This is not the first time that travel plans have collapsed (that's why I refrain from planning everything in detail). The most recent example of such a planning failure happened only last October.  I was meant to fly to Vietnam from Hong Kong, but a post-airline-travel stomach bug kept me pinned down in Hong Kong (the hotel was MUCH MORE expensive then ;-).  But I eventually made it and I'm still feeding on the joy and wonder that I encountered in the much-shortened trip in Vietnam.   Or in 2013, when I missed my flight to Vietnam from Hong Kong because I had neglected to apply for a visa.  I got to explore Hong Kong for 14 days.  In retrospect I wouldn't want to be without that Hong Kong time in my memory banks (Yes, the pics are here somewhere, check 2013.). Yikes, that was ONLY 3 years ago????  

So there, not all that starts poorly necessarily ends poorly !

6 a.m. There is something I am MEANT to do! 

Oh right !  Hop on the bike ;-)

Hell on Earth
 JUST on the other side of that highway bridge ....

 I shouldn't be too hard on those car drivers. After all, they chose their own punishment. They never get to see any of this, even though they live here.

Noon. Conveniently (!), the woman that yesterday took my hotel money but didn't record the transaction (so that I had to pay again is) is not working today (as she was supposed to) but in school.  Maybe she will learn there that bad karma is to be avoided at all costs. Ah well. Considering there is absolutely nothing wrong with my room, paying CAN $88 for one night instead of $44 ain't so bad after all.

A bit after noon, I walk over to Aeroville (Never mind Google Maps, I have found the shortcut) to eat some Thai food. The TripAdvisor crowd has given it high marks, so I'm going to try it.    Fool me for trusting the TripAdivsor crowd again.  Precooked chicken in a BLAND green curry with hectic service that gives you the feeling that they'd rather see your back with your money on the table.  

Looks great, tastes Yukky


Since I'm 9 hours ahead of PST (West Coast Time), anything sent off here by 6 pm should get to an office in Vancouver at 9 am.  Convenient, eh?

At 3:45 pm it hits me.  I was so focused on meeting my friends in Sardinia, I failed to pay attention to logistics. With a TGV to Marseille out of the question (no bikes taken), I would spend two days taking slow trains to get there. I'd spend one day on a ferry to Corsica.  That's three (3) days of no cycling. PLUS three (3) days on the way back. I barely have two weeks left of my time here and I'd waste a week on trains and ferries (as much as I like them otherwise.  What to do. I can't let Wilhelm & Ute hang again. Wouldn't be right.  So I come up with a crazy idea (usually the best). Why not spend the time fruitfully by cycling to Frankfurt instead.   Sure, I'll miss the ocean, but I'll get that later in the year in Vietnam.  
And I could visit Wilhelm & Ute, Ingo & Lissy, my pseudo uncle & aunt in Frankfurt, and last but not least my old army friend Uwe in Frankfurt.  Oh my. There is a plan.  

An hour later I have booked a room in Montdauphin.  Any person skilled at reading maps will instantly see that Montdauphin is due East of my present location.  That ain't the way to Sardinia ;-)  Fatherland watch out, here I come!

6:10 p.m.   Translation has been sent off. (Now only 2 smaller translations left)

Looking in Google images for pictures of Montdauphin (NOT Mont-Dauphin!), this kind of stuff is all I come up with: Hmm. should be relaxing ;-)

Funny thing, as I find out later in the day, the above picture shows the actual front gate of the place where I'm staying ;-)  La Domaine de la Coutelouire, Horse breeders and owners of many strange chickens and a VERY lovely dog.

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