The Covid and its consequences have led us to (re)discover the charms of France. The legislative imperative even limited us, for a time, to a perimeter of 100km around our home.
“Art is born of constraints, lives of struggles and dies of freedom”, said Gide.
There is no doubt, however, that if travel is an art, France is a masterpiece to be explored that the world envies us. Nevertheless, we who cherish freedom so much for having written it into our motto, naturally do not have the same disposition for constraints. Those who were planning a trip far away resolve, almost sadly, to be satisfied with France when, honestly, there should be no weary sighs. There is no shortage of ideas and formats for escapades and escapades with the blue white and red label.
SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR ESCAPADES IN FRANCE
A LITTLE ROAD-TRIP IN NORMANDY ?
Magda has a much more curious view of France than I do. For her, everything is new. Everything is to be seen, every stay in France is a promise of uniqueness, everything is to be explored and most Poles, apart from Paris, still know very little about France.
With hindsight, by my side, during our travels and our reports, she may have already discovered more French regions than many French people themselves.
I remember that this road-trip along the Normandy coast in a camper van had enchanted us. The feeling of freedom was ours! The sunset in Etretat.
The landscapes that opened up in front of our little house on wheels. Since then, it has been my dream to buy a van to travel the roads of France and elsewhere. Unfortunately, this dream will wait because 1, I’m bad at DIY and mechanics 2, I have neither the space nor the time to start this project but I keep it in mind and I know that one day, it will come true.
GR58 HIKE IN THE QUEYRAS
The night train from Paris. The impression of leaving for an adventure on the other side of the world while remaining on French territory. Memories of train journeys in China, Burma or Ukraine… Night trains have unfortunately become so rare in France (it seems that this is going to change, it would be ideal!). The backpack is sleeping under the bed. We are rocked by the slow bumps of the rails and the murmur of the rails “tadam, tadam”.
In the morning, I arrive at my destination: the station of Montdauphin. A breakfast at the hotel near the station and a trip to the bakery later, I immediately set off on the trails that took me from Furfande to Chalp, passing through Ristollas and Ceillac. The Gr58 is a beautiful wild walk where I was alone for a long time with magnificent autumn territories.
This trek I did with Greg was done in the early days of my outdoor blog 1001 pas. At the time I was walking with a woven hat (which found a sad end in a lake in Montenegro) and my Peruvian jumper. In short, a completely mismatched look that makes me laugh today with my matching trekking outfit in outdoor magazine cover mode. I think it was also one of the first times I helped with a video shoot before the emergence of GoPro stabilized cameras. We did two great hikes in the area at the time: a tour of the Moyen Ubaye: from village to village and a tour of the Brec de Chambeyron. Beyond the good food and the encounters with the marmots as well as the exchanges with the refuge guards, I remember the view on the 9 colours lake and the passages from the Tête de Frema whose landscapes reminded me of my trip to Chadar.
I recently saw photos of the Refuge de l’Aigle on facebook, currently open dear mountaineer friends, and I remembered my stay in the Hautes-Alpes. Again, hiking and mountains (and yes, when Magda is not with me, it’s mainly on the trails -my first love- that I’m found). In short, despite a failed ascent of the Meije and without having to climb higher, reaching the Refuge de l’Aigle at more than 3000m and spending a night there is like touching paradise. Really, you feel great up there. The guards cook you good food, it’s cosy (even if it’s a communal dormitory) and the view friends, the view. The effort is worth the reward but if these heights don’t tempt you, I advise you to take a tour of the Aréa with a stop, almost obligatory, at the Buffère refuge and their pies to fall madly in love with.