Wake up late, hosts have gone to work.
They left bread and fruit out for Bfest, super hard bread, crunchy, chewy and I spread raspberry jam and butter to aid in swallowing.
It sprinkles as I pack up so I search routes while it peters out.
Find route to old town near cathedral and coffee spot I was at yesterday.
As soon as I turn onto main road out of neighborhood I see tents and hear music!
The Main Street has been closed for a weekend fair. Clothes, food and art are on display and for sale.
I slowly walk by each stand and listen to the music. I pass a woman eating a frites sandwich on big baguette drowned in mayo.
Max French stereotype now as I pass accordion kid squeezing out tunes with hat out for tips.
No mimes spotted, but yes there is wine on tap for sale.
Fair ended with older man playing sad, mournful tunes on violin as people enter, exit the fair.
I walked back to area I was in last night, pass by betting bar, still full.
Find Goethe Park with statue and carousel. Kids and adults enjoyed the ride.
Norte Dame is huge here too, a smaller but still very large gothic cathedral built in 1600s or before, lots of invaders tear it down only to rebuild.
Find old town Strasbourg built in 1200s and dammit again Subway, a bank, McDonald’s all retro to fit into ancient architecture.
Order a coffee and get cappuccino. I guess coffee and milk is odd or I just don’t know how to order in French.
Locate bakery and get baguette jambon sammie. Very filling, French with lots of mayo and butter.
Follow river to a park where I watch men mow, kids play dodge ball like game.
Find another park a few blocks away.
Note it’s near Jewish school guarded by men with auto weapons, machine guns strapped and they look serious.
Sit in park and watch older group take 5 min to sit down on pillows.
Huge 4ft tall shaggy dog romps by, like werewolf sized animal. Huge fluffy wolf dog that isn’t on a leash.
Walk around park, notice guys in machine guns out back of school, too.
One guard walks my way, slowly.
I think a moment and look away, then it hits me: I’ve got 2 bags, walking by a guarded school, they may think I have bomb or gun, who knows, I’m the only one with a backpack in the park!
Walk on the other trail opposite side of the fortified school and out of park, took the long cut out of action away from the guards.
Find Irish pub and hang for a pint, only businessmen drinking, working on a deal.
Rock on juke box, CCR, Zep, Purple, can finally relax a bit.
Order a local blonde beer, it’s good, uses perla hops I’ve not heard of before.
A guy trying to leave drops his glass to my left. It shatters loudly in the quiet bar.
Bartendress excited for something to do springs to sweep the pieces up.
One more then hit WC and 10min walk to a convention center which is my meeting place.
Hope in blabla car with Alexandre who is driving 3 of us to Lyon.
Blabla car is like long distance Uber, it matches up drivers and passengers on long trips throughout Europe.
A bit cheaper and much faster than rail and bus. This is a 7+ hour bus or train ride as the both make stops. It’s only 5 hours by car.
None of the others in the car speak English so I can only talk to Alexandre.
They have long exchange, I pick up a bit, every third word or so and deterimine it’s about the route and types of people in the cities along the way.
Alexandre confirms discussion was about people are either French or from Paris and radars.
Cars have sensors in them, like toll tags, along each highway are scanners that determine speed and you get a fine if you’re caught.
Sensors also used to pay tolls as all French highways are tolled too. Expensive to drive in France but rural roads are not tolled. These go through towns with stoplights and farm animals that slow you down.
We talk about films, he is a photographer, family is in film business.
He likes Goddard, Truffaut and other French directors.
Really enjoyed Amelie but director didn’t film anything else as good.
He likes to drive fast, but makes mistakes and it is great to hear him say ‘merde!’
Drive through many small towns due to wrecks and traffic on highways.
Amazing views of forests letting out steam after rain, it slowly rises from trees to join clouds.
We make it in close to 5 hrs, after 10pm.
Wave goodbye and the quietest one agrees to show me route via tram. Hands me a pass and points to stop, then street on the wall sized map near metro entrance.
‘Çe va?’ He asks as he pretends to wipe sweat from his brow in a very mime like exaggeration, ‘easy,’ he says and walks off.
It is easy, no problem finding train but cannot find the street I need. I’m at a three road split, none seemed labeled.
I watch a fire team rescue people off a multistory building with a long, mechanical stretcher/cherry picker.
Find my Rue and pass by many people standing around, talking on phones, listening to music or hanging out in small groups on the corner.
Check in and get a bunk. Most beds filled with sleepers, it’s 11pm.
Change into shorts and flip flops. Beer served 24hrs at hostel.
Get a pint and sit outside. No English tonight. All French, German.
Get another pint and think about staying for a full day.
Reschedule bus for Friday, 24hrs in Lyon tomorrow!
Hit the bunk after midnight, fall asleep to snores and farts.
Beer: Perla Blond
Song: Peter Sarstedt Where Do You Go to (My Lovely)