The first French words me and my brother learned by heart on our holidays in France were: ‘bonjour, un baguette, S’il vous plait’.
Me and my brother would walk to the boulangerie with rucksacks that had the same size as our bodies, and enough Francs to buy baguettes and croissants or pain au chocolat if we were lucky. Proud, we would walk back with these delicious smelling breads sticking out of the rucksack high above our heads! These walks, even the fights that we had over who would carry the money or the croissants, are my most fond memories of France. My brother Arne and his girlfriend Marije came to camp close to the Loire to meet us (AMAZING!), so we could eat baguettes together again and relive the old times!
Kiran and I love going to the bakery too. We both agree that France is the best country when it comes to bread on this trip! It’s the smell, structure and taste that make my memories come alive. Just like in the old times the baguettes are not fitting in my bag and would stick out, which is a good excuse for me to eat the bit that doesn’t fit, right after we buy the bread!
When all boulangeries are closed, for all desperate people, they even have 24/7 baguette vending machines in towns!
People always call us crazy when they see what we all drag along to make a meal. But we’re happy to carry it all if it means that you don’t have to live on ‘one pot dishes’ all the time!
But maybe they are right a bit: Kiran’s spice bag has the size of a football, haha!
But hey, we’re in France, eating at least 3 courses is normal here! And it fits the luxury style of all the chateaus around us cycling along the Loire river.
We pass by such beautiful villages and cities!
Everywhere the Corona rules become stricter. We have to wear a mask in the shops and in big towns and cities also on the streets. But if you sit down next to someone on a terrace or in a cafe, then you can take it ofqf! Smoking or eating a sandwich outside without your mask (duh!!) can get you a fine! These rules make no sense!
Luckily for us there are rules that we seem to be allowed to break. Even though wild camping is illegal we manage to find beautiful spots, sometimes in plain sight, and nobody seems to bother.
Combined with our stays at amazing Warm shower addresses(couch surfing for cyclers) and spontaneous invitations to stay the night, we managed to never pay for any accommodation the whole time we cycled through France (we paid once in Greece and once in Italy). We stayed in biological farms, mobile houses, houses out of the 16th century and even one out of the 11th century that had a famous Alchemist living in it, Kiran felt right at home!
Cycling through ‘Swiss Normandy’ gives us a feeling of home. The temperatures dropped with 15-19 degrees (18-22 degrees now) and it rains every day! We thought we had bad luck with the weather, till I saw the post cards they sold in a cafe!
Heading towards England more and more things become familiar. We meet many English people now, the weather is shit, the architecture is more English and you can get English tea and fish and chips in restaurants.
Two weeks ago I thought coming home was going to be quite a shock, but it starts to feel more normal every day.
Still, it’s a crazy idea..
Watch our video about our trip in the Alps:
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