Lovely South East France

Lyon Travel Blog

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Andorra is lovely lovely lovely and oh so small. Like a little winter wonderland.  I couldn’t guess the amount of people who live there versus tourist but my guess given the size is no more than 80,000. It is nestled in a gorge of the Pyrenees Mountains.  It is the European equivalent to Shangri la. Andorra I never really knew where it begins and finishes but there are customs agents to give you a very good idea because Andorra  is DUTY FREE!!!  I bought 20 tobacco pouches over the limit. The standard tobacco pouch is 35 grams and cost only 130 euros. I was pulled over because the plates are from the UK, easy decision for customs. Damn the anti colonal resentment of small countries. Being that I was an American, the customs guy didn’t expect a yankee also all was well hidden so no worry.

 A few questions and I was let go.

I have this odd dyslexia or directional stupidity where when my brain says left- I should go right, if I think I should go that way- it is never the right way. This has been going on since I was 7. One thing for the kiddies out there- don’t be an elementary school junkie. Now the GPS has this tormented dementia too… Leaving Andorra, where the people all sing in the streets breaking out in chorus of Fiddler on the Roof, or dance musical numbers. My GPS took me back to Spain, why not France.  Huge snow storm that was behind me now was in front of me. Europeans were putting chain on their tires again, they are cute with those extra precautions!! If there is one news report suggesting travelers get shots, leave the country or saying precaution- use chains… Europeans always follow the warning.

  Americans always (not always, US culture is becoming pussified) judge the odds, likely why we have the highest crime rate in the industrial world.   I led the way for 100-200 kms back through the Pyrenees maybe doing 20mph top speed. Doing the math- it was 8pm when I left the capitol and 4 am when I left the mountains.

This part of Spain (Pynannes), more so South east France is hugely important to Christianity history.  The Cistercians were devote and responsible for the Templer knights. They settled this area but eventually broke from the church when the pope demanded they swear allegiance to him. The Cathers which had originally settled this area in the 10th Century, didn’t recognize the holy trinity. The Roman Catholic church did not support these heretics.

Believing there is only one true god and being Gnostic, they benefitted greatly as the Templers became the power of the church. The Templers saw the roman church as corrupting the Bible and as the money came rolling in, the small sect of Cathers soon were building churches and held much of the money in Europe. The King Arthur and Holy Grail myths stem from this area. There is a very cool book I want to buy, The Cathers. I don’t know if it is well written, but it has a boat load of great pics of the Cather churches of this area. My pics are so so, the weather just sucked the whole time.

After two successive poisonings of the popes,  a pope was installed by the king of France who owed the Templers more money than his life was worth and also was rejected when he wanted to become a templar as a young man.

His personal pope was the first to reside in Avignon’s, (the popes took refuge here in the 1300’s)  he gave the orders to destroy the Templar order.  The Templers were slaughtered here during the only European Crusade called Albigensian Crusade. The Templers Gold remains unfound.

The castles, walled cities, medieval towns spread out like peppercorn on the map. I am now church’d out but art is art. Some good Roman highlights are the Pont du Gard, large free standing Roman bridge, the largest “intact” amphitheater in Nimes, the old Carcassonne castle, the city of Avignon, and Lyon.

One thing I find sad in France- not all French by any means but there are more loud people who have no museum edict.   This whole “Americans are rude” thing, perhaps on large scale government action yes or the stupid American “only child” youth that expect spoiling while couch surfing. Every couch surfing host, has two negative experiences and both are American Uni age students with their head far up their arse whilst being breast fed from their parent wallet. I feel like Obama, “I am sorry. Sorry, I must apologize…”If your French and go to museums politely  whisper.  If you’re an American only child and under 25, stay home. 

Nimes was odd. Met a cool girl, we had a great conversation before my very odd couch surfing host came in the bar and oblidged to ruin any chance I had.

The world needs all the strange people it can afford, though him and I are different on all aspects I learned from him. Try not to talk too much, your bound to say too much. Don’t go once, twice, three times nor four times to Russia and Belarus to find a wife. Don’t accept drinks from people because they may drug you and make your life a mess for a few years. Nor use the website to find a Russian wife. I also found out that tripe is disgusting and I hope to never eat pig intestines again. Chicken or the egg… on Sunday, all the old churches were closed at 10am. I walked around the town humming the 70’s song ‘Killing me softly’. It hurt, really hurt but I was on my way shortly. In Lyon, I met a kind lady, a few years my younger. She didn’t post her photo to couch surfing, quite lovely but she didn’t so the first day I brought green apples and brownies.
If she was a very healthy girl (big) she would have dove on the brownie and spat at the apples. If she was too thin then she would have done the opposite. Normal and she was- she enjoyed both. Lyon is a cool city. Because it is on the banks of two rivers, it hasn’t changed in 700 years. Many of everything, museums, art, churches, and cool people. Here, I completely am under the impression that French are the kindest. I would look at my map and 3 people would ask where I wanted to go (in French!) I bought a kebob and got a free cup of coffee. My host took me to my first cinema in 20+ years!  My host apartment was beautiful, and located across from Lyon University (wink wink). I have said it before and some woman likely will hurl this at me in the future but “God created French women first”.  So well groomed, dressed and the French language- it is like a good dream you never want to wake up from. The only thing that could make France better is to hear Edith Piaf on the streets.

ItchyForTravel says:
You have nice writings.
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011
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photo by: spocklogic