Hitch-hiking day two, Paris

I woke up at 0700, from this (actually cozy) place:

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Looking like this:

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I started trying to hitch-hike by asking people, and then standing by the road. The aim was Paris, to meet Aoife. After half an hour I decided to buy more breakfast, and then return to the road, so I could eat while hiking. On my way out of the station, holding my sign, a man waved to me, actually looking pretty tired and grumpy. He told me that I could go with him if I did not sleep in the car, and that he was going all the way to Paris. No problem for me! The clock was 0840, and the journey started.
He was actually taking the flight home, but as there were an strike at the airport, he booked a new flight from Paris and a rental car to get there. He was a teacher in economics, and a really interesting person. More than just a ride, I am sure he gave me insight and new thoughts, which is harder to get. As we had many hours to talk, we talked about mostly everything.

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He was going to stop at a bath house for some swimming, as he has been driving pretty far. Apparently, the big pool was closed, though, so we continued driving.
We stopped for some small breaks, and also lunch (which he even treated me), but it went pretty fast anyway, and at 1545 I was dropped off in Paris, not far from Port d’Itali. On the metro I met an Iranian guy who was an exchange student, and I asked some questions about the country from his point of view! I went to met Aoife at a friend of her’s place, for dinner and some movies. We had an orchestra on our glasses!

Afterwards, we went to Aoife’s kind of hostel place to sleep!

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Another sleepy day

I was still a little bit sick and tired, so I slept late. I did not have any plans for the day, but when Lukas woke up, we decided to meet and walk to a park nearby his place. I went there, and then we went to the park, passing a store to buy some Mars ice cream.
It was a nice park, with some exceptions. There were apparently a lot of prostitutes in the woods, and I am pretty sure we met two of them (one sat in a van and made pig-noises at us. Weird.) The rest of the park was nice, and we walked around the lake In the beginning we stopped for ice cream, and on the other end we stopped at a neat place with pretty good view over the lake.

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We then took the metro home and went back to his place for lunch.
As it was tuesday, there were a cinema club meeting, and they were going to see the movie “Boyhood” which seemed pretty cool. It was a long project (twelve years I think) where the director used the same actors and filmed once a year. I went to meet Aoife before the cinema to pick up some hair dye for her, and then go to the bar for the pre-meet with the other guys. I also bought some candy (still not as good as the swedish candy, but good).
The movie was pretty awesome, but it is nothing to see if you are only into fast-paced action movies. It was a good showing of life, rather, and different stages in life. I liked it!
Afterwards, we took the Metro home, and I went to the same station as Aoife as it only differs a couple of hundred metres going to the other one. At the movie, I had come to the conclusion that I would continue biking tomorrow, so Aoife bought us each a last glass of wine in Paris.
I went home, and fell asleep, now with the plans to continue tomorrow!

(Also, people really seem to drive like hell in Paris.)

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Sleepy day

I slept for pretty long, and after waking up and eating breakfast, I went to the park I was at yesterday to retrieve my bicycle. After getting there, I rested a bit on the grass, talking on the phone, as I still felt a bit sick and my body was pretty tired. Then, I went to the post office on Rue de Louvre, and finally a post card had appeared!

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If there are more people who would like to send post cards to me, I could start writing out the address here, as it will always change.
I then mounted my bicycle horn as I had finally been able to get a mounting place for it. I will just have to pump it up, and then I can honk back at the cars!

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I then went home the last bit to eat lunch. I did it easy, and went by Lidl to check out their prices, and they were really cheap! I managed to buy three pizzas for 1.80 euro, and two of them were more than enough for lunch.

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I then fell asleep, and slept for some hours before attending a couch surfing event (weekly monday meeting @ Thirsty Mad Cat). I was still pretty tired, and did not really strike any good conversations, so I went home after an hour. I ate the last pizza for dinner and then fell asleep pretty early compared to the other days here in Paris, as it was only eleven!

“The largest flea market in the world”

I can’t confirm if that is true, but I can confirm that the flea market was HUGE!
I met up with Aiofe at eight, and we first walked to the flea market in the 14 arrondissement. That one took us two-three hours to get through, and I found some great post cards!

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After that, between the markets, we went by a graveyard to look for a specific grave, and on the way we found a grave so clean that you could take a selfie in it!

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We then went up to the other flea market in Saint-Ouen, which says it is the largest second-hand market in the world. It is even separated into 14 smaller markets, and it have everything from cheap china stuff in the outskirts, to ordinary second-hand findings, to real antique things that goes for several thousands of euros. It was a really cool place at least, but I could not find anything I wanted to buy that I could bring on my bike.

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After that, we went to Montmartre. It took some time, but it was a nice walk, and we bought cola on the way as it was really hot outside. Montmartre is, as far as I know, most known because of the view you get from the hill. Up there, we saw what I think is leftovers from the demonstrations that has been.

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After Montmarte, we went down to go to a place near Notre Dame. On the way we saw some street scammers. (They are shuffling 3 small black bricks, one have a white dot underneath. They always have friends who plays and wins or loses money, and try to get a stranger to join in, and then make it harder than they did before.) One of the friends told me to stop looking and that he would call the police (on an open street where it is perfectly legal to walk/stand). Just some seconds later a guy appears and talks with the one who is shuffling, and they pack everything together and walks away in different directions in a rush.
A book shop, Shakespeare and Company, were having a teather play, MacBeth. I joined Aoife to look, but as I was not in the mood, did not really hear what they said and also should get home and eat dinner, I went away after a while.
I ate dinner with my host, Philippe, who had made pasta with toamto sauce, cheese and olive oil. Simple and really rich on energy and other stuff that is good while biking!
After that, I went out to the open air-cinema to look at another movie. I do not remember the name, but it was Quad-something, with The Who. Again, I had a problem, as they were talking in slurs and the subtitles were in french, but it was nice anyway.
Afterwards, we we walked home, even though it was pretty far. It started to rain, which I did not mind, and also thunder. We went by the bridge with the locks (still really good at names) and also Notre Dame which looked better without all the people.

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We also found a statue that worked as a slide!

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Next host change!

We started with eating a really good breakfast, with many different dishes.

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Everybody were a little tired since the day before, so we didn’t eat before 1300, and after that we were most zombies. I packed as I was going to change host today, and at half past two I went away with my bike again.
I arrived at my hosts place, Philippe. He is a touring biker who have also been to many places, and for example did a half-year trip in the USA and South America.
We looked at some Tour de France, and he invited me to join him and some friends for dinner in the evening. We went there by metro, first going to the bike soho which one of the friends are working in. The bike shop, Rando Bikes, seems to be really good, and so special orders, for example building touring bikes after the wishes from the customer. I also met Cecile, who would join us.
During the evening I talked pretty much with Cecile, about gear, plans and bike touring in general. She was planning on biking from Hamburg to north of Sweden or Norway, and also gave me tips about biking in France.
She also had two Hilleberg tents, one Akto, and one was the same as the one I am using, the Allak. She also thinks it is worth the extra weight to have this palace to live in while biking!
Also, the dinner was fantastic. We were at an Italian restaurant, and I do not know the names of the dishes. The first one was fish eggs with bread, the main dish was salad with really thin raw slices of cow I think, and dessert was an awesome chocolate cake with ice cream. I also got to taste the other dishes, and I was really full afterwards!
On the way home we went with the metro again, and one of the trains was without a driver, automatic. I do think it is nice that the technic is evolving!

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We meet again!

So, Charlotta and Klara were coming to Paris, and needed a host. I would change tomorrow, so I asked Lukas, and they could stay there. Lukas would be at work but I waited at home when they came, and so we met again!
After they had taken a shower, we went out by Lukas work so they could meet. We also got some directions of how we could walk around to see some good stuff.
We started by going to Arc de Triumph, and also went up this time (free for EU-citizens at the age of 25 or less!).

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Then, we went to Trocadero to look at the Eiffel Tower, and we also met some people we think were pick-pocketers (they were going around taking photos with random people, but we don’t know). Me and Klara also took the chance to bath a little in the fountain, as it more or less had a water slide and all!

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We went to the Eiffel Tower, and then the clock were already close to six, so we started going home, and shopped on the way. The girls made a really good lentil dish!
We were going to attend a CS-party later in the night, and I went there by Metro as I was going by the post office on the way, and they walked. The post office at 52 Rue de Louvre are open all day, all week, and that is pretty amazing!
We went to the party, and met many new and some old people. The after party were really bad, but all before that was really good, and I don’t mind as we still were home at 0330!

A real resting day

This day, we slept for real, and I did not wake up until 11. I made some breakfast that we ate when Lukas came back as he did an errand in the morning. I looked at the end of Divergent, and did not really do anything before 1500.

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I had met a guy from Miami, Joe, who usually hangs out in the Luxembourg park playing chess. I went there, but as he had another appointment later on, I came too late as I arrived at 1700. I got to play two games, and even though I lost, it was fun. It really was a long time ago I was playing, and I have much to learn!

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I went home, and just bought a baguette at it was too late for lunch but too early for dinner. Lukas and me were going to meet Aoife at Parc de la Villette to go to the outdoor cinema and look at Moonrise Kingdom. I planned to make dinner there, so it would be better with the planes. Of course I also brought my scout shirt as it was a scout movie!

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After the movie, we went home on the really crowded metro, as everyone tried to get with it. I could almost lift my legs without having to hold onto anything. Good training before Japan!

The day after

We hang out in the park for some time before taking the metro home. We had not slept for 22 hours, but I did not feel that tired. When we came home, we ate some breakfast, and then I went to the laundromat while Lukas went to sleep.

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I did not feel that tired so I washed and fixed some stuff with the blog and my pictures from the night. At 1500 I got really tired and my eyes started closing on me, so I went to sleep for an hour. Lukas had fixed ice cream, so we went to the park and ate it. It really felt weird after the night!
Lukas went to eat with some friends, but I did not have the energy to attend any event so I started looking at the movie “Divergent” instead.

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Then Alexander asked if anybody were up for going to the Cinema, so I went there and met him and Ruyoo again. We looked at Edge of Tomorrow, which actually ended in Paris, and then I went home to finally sleep for real!

The Catacombs

I packed my head lamp, some extra clothes, some kindish breakfast, a bottle of wine, energy bars and made myself ready. Me and Lukas started going to take the metro against the station where we would meet, Paris Ivry.

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When everyone had gathered and were radio, we went to our entrance and went down!

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We walked for a while, and not far from the start, we had to crawl a bit. We did a pretty easy tour, so this was the only part where you had to crawl!

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Sometimes the roof could be at least 2.5-3 metres up, sometimes you would have to go more or less crouching and sometimes it was just perfect.

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After a while we had our first small break, just talking and getting some history lessons.

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We then continued, and after some time we arrived at some big halls. Apparently they had a 500 hundred person party down here some time!

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Here, we had a longer break, and opened a bottle of wine to share.

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Of course you can’t be without a small dance party, and a dance party it was. I really liked the setting, with all the candles!

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Also, we did some exploring around the area, and went up by the stairs where we met those welded-shut metal doors.

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On the way to our next place, there was this little room you could crawl into. We managed to squeeze all of us into it and also got a picture, even though it was really tiny!

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Our next stop was the “main room”, where there were really good benches and a good table. We ate our breakfasts, and I also got to study the maps le Cigale had made!

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I went out in the passages to pee, and also tried turning my head lamp of. I could not see anything, I could not hear anything. I really had to manage my thoughts to not get scared, as even though the others were just 50 metres away, I could not hear anything of them!
Also, I gotta admit I love my travel speaker, which now also has been down in the catacombs!

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After that, we had another walk, as we were going to our next, and last, room. I have no pictures of that, as we turned all the lights out and just stayed quiet. You could hear the metro though, but otherwise, it really is pitch black down there!

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Then, it was time to get up. I measured the height from the bottom, and we were a total of 20 metres beneath the street when we climbed up!

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We went up by 0730, and emerged by Place d’Italy. We had been down for around 7 hours. It was light outside, and all the noises came back again. We just hang out in the park for some time, taking it easy, and talking about the experience.
The temperature down there had been 17-19 degrees all the time. I had some scratches, and we were really dirty, but it was something I would really like to do again!

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Pancakes!

Today, Aoife and I decided to hang around. I went it the Belleville market to meet her, and we went dumpster diving for a while (getting free food that it is nothing wrong on, but they can’t sell as they may look bad or gone over expiration date). We found lots of food that were more than edible (the bananas for example just broke off the top, no problem to eat).
We then went on a walk to her place, and passed a cemetery, the Luxembourg park and second hand shops where you weight what you buy and pay per kilo. I bought this for 1,20 euro, which I think is reasonable!

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As we was getting hungry we bought ingredients and went to the place where she lived and made pancakes. I have really longed to eat it again, and I was feeling so good when there were no left. Absolutely perfect!

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She was going to the Catacombs with a friend later that night, so I joined in on the plan. Therefore I went home to gather all my stuff and prepare myself!