Clermont-Ferrand Travel Blog

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One of our week long vacations begins, and I venture off to Lyon with my newly minted car. I (laugh) convinced my friend Benjamin to contact a bunch of sellers for me, and ultimately find the one to buy. 500 bucks for a working 1984 Renault, upon which I learn stick.

 I arrive in Lyon and stay ay some friends apartment. I speak to some French people for a while about their trip to Morroco, and us Americans watch the film Leon or something. The one with Natalie Portman where he's a killer or something, and he protects this young girl he loves.

I set off, hoping to bring a few with me, but ultimately alone, to drive a little ways over to Clairmont Ferrand. I arrive after a long drive, to explore this gorgeous square quaint city. I pass a cop on the way in and almost turn flat around, as I have no insurance to speak of. But all is well and I park the car. I set out looking for the hostel, finding the beautiful one on a hill in the center of the city.

But it's closed for reconstruction, so I stay in a catholic boarding house down the hill. The place was strangely empty. I remember the tiny closed room with the brown walls and pictures of Mary. I venture out on the town some, spend some time on the University campus asking questions about Voltaire. I catch a flier for a Frank Black show, and I was dying for an American, so I decide to go. The Frank Black show was next week, but I strike up a conversation with a cute, short French girl about who the actual artist was. Turns out the short girl spent some time in California and we have an immediate bond.

The show is by some girl named Emilie Simone or something, and its kind of like Bjork, a little robotic.  After the show we talk, she complements my French, I complement her looks. We go back to her place.

I could have never gone back to Grenoble, now that I think about it, and just stayed a year there. It probably would have been a lot better. But alas, I repart for Lyon, driving up and down windy hills over beautiful French scenery. I stopped to drive around some farm for a while, the most picturesque landscape I have ever seen.

Back in Lyon now, I meet my good friend Vincent and hang around. We go to a bar to meet some of his friends, and I meet a girl from Clairmont-Ferrand. I complement her city, and she seems interested, but she gives a lackluster goodbye a few hours later. There's a party the next day where I try to fit in as best I can between French and English worlds. I am severely out of my element.

I arrive home with stories, mistakes, and comfort. Todd gets back from his week in Mallorca, with great stories about convincing a woman to let him rent a car and driving around the island. He also talks of mythical Barcelona, but I'm skeptical. If everyone thinks it's great, then it mustn't be. Must be some kind of tourist trap... He stayed in Gaudi's hostel or whatever. Marke, Nicole and Colleen spent the week in Barcelona I think.
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photo by: bluemarbletreader