Thursday, April 18, 2013

CHARTRES


     Sunday! Party day! And I start travelling again!

     Ten months set in one city, with the routine of a daily job. After that, a month and a half of being with family, always accompanied. Mi bum was beginning to feel uneasy and was asking to go back on the road, missing those moments of reflection; the meeting new people, the adventure of not knowing what awaits when dark comes. And I got back, on April 14th I was back on the road.

     I did not want to be in a hurry in that thing of going out, mostly to say goodbye to Moni and Gerard that had been putting up with us for the last two weeks; so that Sunday, after breakfast and packing the pack, I had a last lunch at home, French way (i.e.: early) and after that Moni took me to the RER that I combined with Metro and a walk to get to the Port d'Italie (Gate of Italy) where I was expecting to meet up with a guy that was doing a CoVoiturage to go to Chartres. But after several attempts, when I could finally reach him, it so happened that he had left earlier than expected. So I had to get out hitch-hiking, something I don't particularly like from big cities because it always implies being in a place with lots of traffic where the mix of vehicles makes few of them have my same destination.
      In the service station of the Gate I asked a guy I saw sitting in his car if he by chance was going to Chartres, and although he wasn't going there (he too was doing CoVoiturage, but towards Belgium and was waiting for his mates) he helped me with his road atlas and choosing my exit point and in knowing the general direction in which I had to go; and he lend me a marker to write a sign. Because although I am not a lover of a sign for hitch-hiking, for an exit like this one I though best to give it a go. With sign in hand I crossed the Periferique (the periphery highway of Paris) and stood where the road was going in my direction. It wasn't a bad place, because even if it may seem a lot, to me 2 hours waiting to get out of Paris it's not unthinkable, although I would recommend it to other as a good spot. I was picked by a guy the was going to Tours and it was thanks to reading in my sign "Chartres" that he realized he was going in my direction, so one point for the sign.

     Two hours of travelling, talking and music afterwards I was meeting Annïg; the girl from CouchSurfing that hosted me that night. She had spent the sunny Sunday afternoon with some friends, group to which I joined to have a beer in a terrace by the sun. After that only four out of eight left to her place (herself, a guy, another girl, and me), we grabbed a bag with a game and a few more beers, and we went to the Square to play.  The game is called KUBB, and is based on putting the King in the centre, 5 pawns on each side, and using 6 wooden sticks to knock them all down (it has its rules and if some day someone wants to play it I'll explain them to you). The only inconvenience with this game is that it could last a few minutes or many, and in our case it went long enough making us come back home 2 hours later and having dinner around midnight, when the hunger had been asking attention for quite some time; but since we had brownies for dessert; it wasn't so bad. The guy friend (of whom I am very sorry not to remember the name) lived in Chartres and eventually went back home, but Marie (the girl friend) was visiting from Tours, and was also sleeping over.

     The following morning, after a slow wake up and breakfast, we split up. Annaïg was hitching to Rennes, and Marie was going back to Tours; and I was going to meet Marta, a Catalan girl from CS (CS=CouchSurfing) that had also accepted me, and was going to have her first experience with me: a hell of a responsibility for me! We just in time for lunch, that she had started cooking and of which I took over when she told me that she like cooking much, and after a good plate of spaghetti with chicken we went out for a walk around Chartres. Because although I had been in that city for some 20 hours, I had barely seen anything! She showed me the Cathedral, inside and out with its gardens, the Media-Library, and a stroll in the bas ville (the lower city) and the Eure river. And when she had to go to her rugby training, she left me at home with her friend Aurelie that had stop by to visit. We were joined after by Julien, and we spent the following hours snacking, talking, and a small outing to shop for bread. Dinner went on with no great things happening, except for the fact of having in the TV one of the greatest classics of all times: Back to the Future - Part 1; followed by one of the worst movies, in two parts, that I have ever seen: 2020, the Day of the Cold (or something like that, the title was in French). We went to sleep at around 3 in the morning, tired and without understanding how a move could be so bad.

     When I woke up I got ready to travel again, with the city of Rennes as destination. I wasn't in a hurry to go but I had already made up my mind. Luckily breakfast lengthened itself, the preparation to find out where I should hitch-hike took its time, and I was feeling a bit guilty of having spent the previous night watching TV in stead of going about Chartres' night. Let me tell you: in the city, during spring and summer, the out up a lights spectacle in some 28 historical and emblematic buildings, with pictures or decoration or animations; and I had spent two nights without going out to see it. So after telling Marta, she invited me to stay one more night, to which I accepted delighted. During the day, since she had her things to tend to, I took advantage of laying in the grass to read some pages. And I good amount of hours later, we met for another stroll around the city, with Aurelie and Julien who apparently visited her daily. Snacks, sewing, hand-crafts, everybody infected by hippism, we spent the afternoon until dinner inside the house. And that we did it, after having dinner, when it was really dark outside, we went out to do a nice tour around under the lights if the city's most noteworthy buildings. Some had images showing histories and typical themes of Chartres; other like the Cathedral had protected some animations that made your mouth drop and your neck ache; and one specific Church had some interior lighting that allowed to admire in all its glory its tens of spectacular stained glass window.

     Next morning was time to go, and Marta accompanied me until the exiting toll station, first walking and the with a friend she convinced to give me a ride (a very cool girl). We said our goodbyes, and less than an hour later I was on my way to Rennes with Malik, a French-Moroccan that was coming back from a job interview in Orleans to go to another one in Laval; his home town.



     Something very nice that I want to share is that in both houses in Chartres, Marta's and Annaïg's, I felt at home. Both this girls made me feel like we had been friends for years, like we knew each other perfectly, with all the trust in the world. And even if good vibes is innate in CS experiences, I was surprised by myself when I grabbed Marta's house keys just like that, as if I had been grabbing the keys to my own house, after only one night there.


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Thanks for reading. Befriend this log and tell the rest about my travels


Don't forget to be happy.
Loberto

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