A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Eighteyes

Villabe

France

After we had breakfast with our host Nicolas, who surprised us the night of our arrival with sauteed duck wine and music by candlelight and also surprised us the next morning with local bakery croissants, he drove us around Villabe and took us to the local grocery store where everything is locally produced, from cheese to veggies and meat. The store also had a very large outdoor garden area which offered plants and tools for sale. We bought what we expected to use for dinner.

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The most delicious cheeses EVER!!
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As we drove around we witnessed endless fields of brilliantly yellow flowers. We think ufos can spot a yellow dot as Villabe from space...
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Paris...where Michelle believed that people were going to pop out from the windows at any moment singing a welcoming song
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NY in France ads..
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After roaming in Villabe we joined Nicolas in Paris and watched him jam on guitar and flute with other musicians and singers in an apartment living room. Walter joined in briefly by rattling an egg shaped shaker. The musicians were very talented but their music was a little too relaxing and soothing and we both found ourselves drfting off to sleep at certain points during their rehearsal. For lunch we had quiches and coffee and wondered whether Europe hates medium/large coffee cups because the cups were pushing thimble size!

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Guest bed
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Yay, not so scary stairs
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Posted by Eighteyes 20:50 Archived in France Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Bus Trip

Paris and beyond

We left Amsterdam early and approached what we assumed was security at the Euroline bus terminal. But alas, it was just a completely disorganized station with one teller and over 20 monolingual speaking customers. We joined the crowd in order to board our bus. Let's just say all we remember is Hot Pants, "Don't be LATE! Be on TIME!," a euro to pinch cheeks, and what was either a skywriter or meteor.

Pay 40 cents to use the restroom at a bus stop
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We arrived safely in Paris and met up with our host Nicolas who lives in Villabe. He welcomed us to France and drove us to his home and prepared a yummy home-cooked meal by candle light to which we crashed afterwards.

public transit France style
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Sleeping quarters
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Posted by Eighteyes 20:45 Archived in France Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Happy Queens Day

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The day of drunkeness is upon us! Yes, the day when all of Amsterdam gets about 10x more packed than a Thanksgiving parade in NYC is here! We met with our host Hans who is very laid back and cool, in addition to another guest who is staying for a couple of days, Ling, from China. His apartment had some wildly scary stairs that made us feel as if we were going to fall at any moment.

The entire city turned into a huge party as well as garage sale. Unfortunately the city's sanitation workers decided to strike today as well. Everyone dug out mostly random items from their attic and basement and hauled it onto the sidewalks, as far as the eyes could see! There were also plenty of youngins' starting the festivities with Heineken at 11AM. Walter found an interesting wood carving and Michelle spotted an elderly couple selling an item that ought not to be sold...especially used. We saw entertainment such as live bands, young kids doing Michael Jackson impersonations, lindy hop/swing dancing performance, DJs, and European techno dancing that we never knew existed.

The night ended early for us, as we will be up early to catch a 9AM bus tomorrow to Paris. Ling is also going to Paris by bus but unfortunately she has a later bus than us. We explored nearby Hans' apartment and had dinner at an adorable looking Thai place. All was swell until Michelle spotted an unrecognizable hair in her dish. We felt a bit better when they took the drinks off the bill, because it was very unappetizing after that point. We continued the lucky streak at 11PM at a bar across from our host's apartment. It's so close, why not? we thought. Our amazing host left out the tidbit of info to avoid this bar at all cost. We entered to find a grandma serving only Heineken despite the different beers on display (Heineken is Netherlands' domestic/like our Budweiser). Michelle got a very funny look at laughter from a loud couple next to us when she ordered rum and coke. Grandma poured nearly a half glass of rum and gave her a bottle of coke. Class. The couple made odd comments and continued to laugh at us while we quietly sipped our drinks and wondered where the nice people of the Netherlands were. We left after two drinks and discovered that our choice bar is never visited by our host because, as he said, "that's the bar with this area's alcoholics, they start drinking around 12PM." Oops.

No fun with or without luggage
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Ahhhhhh!
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Old school door knobs everywhere
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hot coffee in glasses..handle please!
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sleeping area
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Posted by Eighteyes 17:24 Archived in Netherlands Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Amsterdam

Queens Day bound

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We left Leiden in the morning with our luggage, placed them in public lockers and headed to-guess where-the Amsterdam Library, where we waited to hear from our next host Hans who would give us shelter for the remainder of April. Michelle continued with her school work to the sound of people speaking in English and Dutch and to the smells of the kitchen not too far away, while Walter went to his favorite shops for more post cards and other...er...um items. Michelle printed out our bus tickets that we would need for our France visit.

Posted by Eighteyes 16:43 Archived in Netherlands Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Goodbye Leiden

It's been quite an experience

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We ended our stay in Leiden with a trip to the Amsterdam library where Michelle got some more work done while Walter explored the shops that we wouldn't find in New York. Returning to Leiden in the evening, we attempted to say the long words on the signs that we had been passing for the past few days (try if you will). We met up with our host for dinner and Michelle rode his bike back to the apartment, to which the seat was way too high. We will miss Leiden for its quietness but welcome Amsterdam's nightlife. Queen's Day, here we come!

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Say that five times fast
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Exquisite cuisine or arch nemesis? you decide
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Random guy who was spazzing out for a while...
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Posted by Eighteyes 16:37 Archived in Netherlands Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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