Today’s article is all about From East to West (from Romania to France). It is the first time I ever been on an aeroplane, first time I landed in another country and the first time I saw alone another city. In fact, it was a month of many firsts.😂 So I recorded the most of my trip. So that is why I made a separate article about it.
We start off this journey at Bucharest – RO, at the Henri Coanda International Airport.
The Zoo and La Defense 😍
Paris, in the night.
Since I stood quite a while in France, one day I got the idea to go see the Alps. So I searched on the internet where is the not so far destination where a TGV might go, and here is the clip. 😊 (follow the blue line at first)
As I arrived in Grenoble, I saw the mountains in the distance.😍 I did a little walk just to get a sense of how far they are, and then I came back to the train station and bought another train ticket for Annecy, a town much closer to the mountains. After purchasing that ticket, I had to cancel the one from Grenoble to Paris and replace it with Annecy to Paris. Maybe you, who reads this article, you are already familiar with this, but I was shocked to see that the machine gave me back money and the new ticket. Nothing like this can be seen at airports.
From there I went to see the river, thinking that I might see something beautiful there. Since it was my first month with my Maps.Me application, suddenly I saw a black line on my phone’s screen. I thought that it broke, but as I panned around the map, the line moved. So instead of going to eat, I went to see what that line might symbolize.
And this is how I got in the cable car. In fact, as I was rushing to get in one of those red spheres that were approaching to the point of depart, I saw there was a line of students, waiting to get onboard. So forget about eating, I went straight to the group.
So I climbed up the stairs and waited in line.
Because all those people were a group of similar age like mine, and they were many, so they let me in for free.
Next thing you know, I am at Fort de la Bastille, visiting the caves where soldiers would stay. So here is one place you should go visit if you want to come to Grenoble. From up here, you can get killer views, you can enjoy selfies with the Alps and experience a journey inside the mountain. In fact, I was like I did not fill my stomach, because I climbed so many stairs.😂 And I can assure you, is worth it! After a few hours I bought a ticket to descend the mountain and I went to find a place to eat.
I found a kebab place, but they were accepting only small bills, so I went searching for a place to exchange a 20 euro bill (in fact I had a similar problem on top of the mountain since I could not buy a bottle of water because they did not have change. I could not pay with my credit card either since I needed 10 euro minimum, so in the end, I got a bottle for free). After changing my money at a library ( I bought a magnet) I went back to the Turkish restaurant. I ordered my kebab, but when I had to pay for it, I could not find my wallet. Boy, I was so scared, that I ran back to the library, looking everywhere on the floor for it. I asked them if I left the wallet there, but the lady told me that she saw me put it back in my backpack. So I took my backpack off, took everything I had in it on a table and.. there it was. I apologized and ran back to the Turkish restaurant. After climbing so much, having a huge moment of panic, and eating a lot, I got really tired, so I went to see a park, where a gipsy wedding was passing in huge noise (you can see that in the clip).
After seeing the central area, mostly because I needed to buy a charger for my phone, I went off following the river as my last thing to do before taking the train to Annecy. I arrived at the train station very tired, with 15 or 20 minutes still to spare.
So I went to the station, and there was an Mc Donalds, that had the train timetables. I ordered something to eat (probably a Big Mac, like usual). I do not remember being asked where I go but I remember that at some point an employee came to me saying that my train will come and I should get ready. She packed my soda and the fries 🍟 so I can take them with me on the train.
I was amazed! So far everyone helped me as a tourist, and people have been very generous too!
So here I am, on the train, going to Annecy.
Annecy – FR
Now, if you don’t want to, you can skip reading this story too, and just watch the clip right after, but keep in mind the following:
Have you ever had a good story just to show that luck and bad luck truly exists? I mean I had such bad luck that had nothing to do with me, but right after good luck that also was not for me to control.
It all started on the train, with me reserving a hotel room in Annecy.
I arrived there rather late and so I went directly to the hotel.
As I arrived at the destination I saw that it wasn’t really a hotel, but rather a big villa. I opened the door to the garden, entered and rang the bell.
After a few more ringtones, a women came out in her night robe asking what I want. I showed her my phone with the reservation, and I asked to come in since I was dead tired. She said that she is sorry, she has no rooms, and that she uses the Booking app just for publicity.
Quite angry, I asked for a map of all the hotels, but she said she has none so I left from there and started walking some more (btw I almost did not have internet left or roaming minutes to speak to my parents…)
So I walked a lot in Annecy, trying to find a hotel that wasn’t 100+ euros per night, more because I was alone, and it was almost tomorrow… So I would have to pay a lot of money for just 11 hours (assuming that check out is at 11).
After a few hours of searching, I got really depressed as most hotels had a sign on the door showing that they are complete but they had a lady also sitting at the entrance offering expensive rooms.
So what to do? I was thinking I should sleep in the bus/train station, just like other travellers do.
So I went back there and saw many people covered in warm clothes (I had none) on top of their baggage.
But since I promised my mom I will actually find a hotel, I went to see a last one.
Outside, there was a sign saying that they have rooms, but at 140 (or 120) euros. The American Hotel.
I thought that I really need a hot bath, and I cannot sleep in the station, since I only have a hoody for cold… and is not enough, even if I walked all night.
So I entered, and I asked if they have a room for only me, only this night, and only until maximum 9 a clock in the morning. (thinking that this way he can give me something cheaper).
He asked me right away if I am a student.
I answered yes, but not in this country… and I showed him my ID from the University. He said that he doesn’t need that, and asked me what kind of faculty I am at?
Told him that I am at the Polytechnic University of Bucharest and he said shortly to me that it would be 80 euros. Check out at 11:30 max.
I thanked the receptionist and asked him for my wifi password.
While in the elevator I let my parents know that I am ok, and I found a hotel 40 euros cheaper than all the other ones and I am going to sleep.
In the morning, at 9 or something, I got out from the room and asked what to do fun in Annecy.
The new receptionist told me to go to the ferry and take the boat and also visit the town.
Since I already saw most part of the town, I headed towards the ferry.
There I bought a ticket (it was ultra cheap, but also I was in October) and found out that there is just one trip during the day: at 5 a clock.
So what to do… what to do… Let’s climb a mountain and get wide view shots.
So like that, no breakfast, not even drinking a bottle of water, I went on the mountain.
Just about I reached the entry in the forest, where the hiking route begins, I started being really thirsty. So I checked my map, and I saw there a few fountains, so yeah, there we go! Should I say they had no water? Or the handle to help me open the tap. For one of them, I used my teeth to try to open…
Then in the middle of the map, there was an Info point, and when I got there, I found only a few wood logs, sitting in a circle on the floor, around something that once looked like a campfire. And no humans there, no water. Even at the mini-zoo, there were no people, just some deer behind a fence…
So I reached an opening where you could see this beautiful landscape, clear blue water and huge mountain peaks. I decided to do some selfies on my phone, and call my mom too and show her the view. For some reason never before I did not hear the phone ring that it had only 20% left of the battery so the first time I heard it, I presumed the obvious – it has 20% left.
But no… and soon after, the phone died too.
So from where I was staying, I went straight down, not even searching for a trail. After 15 minutes or so I was in someone’s garden, someone that was actually doing gardening and looking at me rather strange.
I said I am sorry and quickly got off his property.
From there I went to the main road and all I was thinking was where to buy on a Sunday something to drink (since from up there I saw no stores) and how am I gonna be at the ferry in just one hour and a half?
By luck, I found a bus station and some 300m from it a restaurant. I went fast there to ask for directions.
I entered the restaurant and asked if they have water and if they can tell me what time the bus arrives.
The lady asked me if I want to eat something while I wait, it will be quick! So I ordered something that she could bring me fast in like 10 minutes and kept an eye for buses.
And indeed the grilled chicken, the french fries and the salad came very fast. I hardly finished two bottles of water and smoked half a cigarette (in other terms, it must have been 6 minutes?). I gave her my phone to charge it up and got on eating.
Meanwhile, the lady came again asking if everything is OK so I asked for a book or something with the buses. She gave me one, and looked at it:
Monday every 10 minutes, same the next day and so on and so forth.
But on Sunday, there were only lines.
I asked why they are there, and she smiled saying there is no bus on Sunday.
Rather shocked, of not knowing this in the first place, before asking me what to eat… I asked her if she can call a cab for me.
She gave me her phone to do so, dialled and … One taxi driver was out of town, and another one would be there in an hour or so… meaning almost at 5 when I should actually be on the boat already.
Well, for me, the boat was already lost. I thought hey💭 I did not really lose money, just you know… the trip on the lake. I got sad so I ordered for the menu, to order desserts.🍨
The waitress went inside and after a loud discussion, she came with a pain au chocolate and my bill.I put the money on the bill and there was the chef. He told me that after I finish, he gets me to the city and to the boat. I saw him leaving his hat on the table in front of me and his shirt and leaving to his old Land Rover!
So in no time, I put the cake in my mouth, took my backpack and got in his car.
About 2 minutes in the journey, I told him I forgot my phone at the restaurant.
He gently turned the car over, then said a few words in French and🤫 with an even bigger speed, he headed back.
The waitress was already waiting with my phone and charger so I took all and we started again towards the city.
I don’t know how but as we found the street to get close to the boat, and the moment the chef accepted my 10 euros (he wanted no money) for the road, I got on the boat and it started moving. Just like that… I was 10 or 12 seconds right on time.
Half the journey I did not know how I got there, I was so tired and surprised at how my luck turned out to be.
So I took out the camera and started recording.
There is more to say on this journey and even on the ones in Paris but for now, I want to introduce the next phase:
Paris to Brussels – BE
Everyplace I go, and every place you go, there is a story. Of all that I lived, the one that happened in Annecy is the most vividly kept in my memory.
Brussels, for instance, was a different story.
I walked so much and saw so many things (as you will see in the clip or the next week’s article) that some of the stuff I forgot already.
The only thing I remember to be funny is that on no matter what train I was in (from Brussels to Charleroi and then Calais), the station I wanted to go to, was not written. So I got every time very, very concerned. But a whole lot more next week 🙂
In fact, when I was in Calais, before reaching the French Border, the Belgian conductor said to me that he is not sure if the train goes to Calais…
After passing the border, I did not find the new conductor so I got worried. At some point the train stopped so when I got out, I saw most people (I think we were 20 in total in the whole train) going towards a parking. There I found 2 buses. I asked the driver where he is going and he replied: Calais.I asked him why the train doesn’t go there as planned, and he replies: the rail is in works!
Thank you for reading this, or watching the clips or pictures or all!
See you next week, in Brussels!