Diary of 29.04.2016, when people are preparing to celebrate Vappu (May Day) in Finland-something belonged to my old story, and now, my other kind of story in France.
While running yesterday, I thought to myself, hey, why not just taking a train and going wherever tomorrow?
And today I did. I was supposed to go to Antibes, because I asked around, and was suggested. I woke up late of course. Because i am a night owl, no matter how much I try to wrap things up and tell myself to sleep early, it always failed. So I couldn’t take the train I planned to. In France, they always have lunch break lasting from 1,5–2 hours, including train services.I spent lunch time at home, then. I have been trying not to pressure myself for some changes in schedule; in fact my life so far has no particular special schedules.
I had lunch, and did some more researching for work. After 14:00, i started (finally) biking towards the beach, sent a package for my boss and then bought train ticket. The train was going towards somewhere, I had no clues about. I didn’t make any researches, as always. I rarely did. The only thorough trips I did find information beforehand were to London and Poland probably. Most of other times, I am either too lazy or trying not to have expectations.
Les Arcs-Draguignan was the first stop. I would imagine it be bigger, just because on the train schedule, the city was marked darker than Mandalieu La Napoule. It was a medieval city, also according to tourist brochures I picked up from Tourist Information (just had to, I knew no one and I couldn’t speak French..). And as always, I never followed them. It was as if an act of reassurance. I am horrible at reading maps. So,basically, I hold the brochures in my hand but not following them at all. Anyway, the point is, Lec Arcs-Draguignan was indeed medieval. Roads filled with rocks, paths are either really up hill or down hill. Houses are quite closed next to each other. Some windows even have clothes hanging out, adding extra colourful touches to greyish and brownish walls. Its vintage sense interested me. Probably because I was in the old town though, I was told by the woman working at tourist information office. I kept walking around, following through corners to corners but then ended up at to the original point. I knew it would happen so, as I did not follow the map. However so, the city was quite interesting I wanted to see if they have same patterns outside of old town. Well, rest of the city looked no different than Mandalieu centre and I was not a big fan of Mandalieu centre anyway. I stayed in the city only for around an hour.
A land whose inhabitants trace back to the fourth millennium B.C., Les Arcs has been attracting people for more than 6 million years…All of our paths, fields, and monuments have tales to tell. There are fascinating people to meet and traditions to discover in this brightly sun-lit land.
Even though the city was nice own its own sense, I went on the train with an unfinished feeling. I decided to get off the stop at Saint-Raphael-Valescure. Tonight will be Friday night, and I figured there would be no need to rush home or anything. I deserved some rest, as well as the excitement. You know, I have not been on the road like this since Sweden. I did short explores around Mandalieu La Napoule, and spent half a day going to see Cannes with my boss. Yet I have not been on a trip of just myself walking around and probably being lost or having ‘travel problems’ (that’s what I have always called my unfortunate incidents happening while I am travelling). So I walked towards Centre Ville of Saint-Raphael first, but area was rather small. I kept following my own instinct, and the crowd. I got directed to a museum of Archaeology. After leaving there, I tried another direction, but was lead towards a local citizen area which was not much different from my city. I know what you think, I cannot expect every city to be different. I do know that, which is okay; but I just did not have much time. As I walked back to train station, I took another risk of new direction. And there was city’s secret—the secret making my trip from good to better. Saint-Raphael has spectacular coast view. There is even a park on top of a congress building or museum (I suppose) that people can enjoy these views:
I was right on time before the sun ran away. His light was not too strong and wind was not much breezy. It was that soft transition from day to evening, and people like to sit on benches being taken away by nature shortly. Romanticism enlightened whole view, and I felt stung catching other couples hanging around, just a bit, because I walked away quickly. I did not wish my “crush” moments with the sun to be affected. Just right next to this park, there is a harbour.
Boats, boats, boats…
After Saint-Raphael, I headed towards home, for dinner and other work stuff I might need to catch up, or not, depending on my mood. Now, here was where my ‘travel problem’ acted, I was surprised it went lost for a while. What I did not realise, was the train I took at 20:14 was not going to my city, as the last one in my city has passed by. At first, I was panicked, assuming it was the express train arriving at Nice Ville. After few deep breaths, I told myself, it would be okay, there could be options going home, even if I had to pay a fortune for taxi. I had credit cards, money, phone not dead yet, and new address noted. I should be okay, after all, nothing new about these anymore.
Fortunately, the train stopped at Cannes, which was much better as Cannes is nearer to Mandalieu. I took a bus, after 40 minutes waiting. I finally got home, being quite exhausted but I still want to write something.
It was a whole package. The incidents, walking lost, jumping from this city to another one, getting bored quickly, but also getting high in awe with everything lively around me; they are what reminding me goodness of being alive. I have always wondered why young generators today are addicted to travelling, as a common thing. I realised, possibly the stress of this fast-paced life make us forget sometimes the beauty around us, even if just flowers along streets.
Travelling is our chance, or at least my chance, to notice artistic touch of the simplest thing. I’d like to be reminded like that. I’d like to be awaken after hours of walking and finding. Just like other post about hiking, journey is tired but final end, no matter what it is–some days, it could be the views I expected for, some days, it is just satisfaction of having an experience—encouraging me to keep going.
See, I am actually much luckier than a lot of people.