This article was written on 09 Aug 2005, and is filled under Fahrradtourberichte aus..., Lyon.

Oh what a day!

As someone had to have a look at the bikes, I was the first to write in Montpellier.
Of course, now I’m surprised of what Jon was complaining about. But what makes me feel mad about it is that he didn’t tell me – or not in the way he explained the situation here.

I think I don’t have to feel sorry, because on the one hand I didn’t force anyone to do something, it was also his choice to do this trip.

On the other hand I think one has to be consequent in what he’s doing.

I know it sounds hard, and I also know that it is hard – not just for Jon.

Thanks to Anja, I think I’ve already reached the point where I can say that the trip was worth all the stress and effort, all the strain for the body.
In general, I also remark that it’s not that problem for me to abandon so called modern comforts – and we met a lot of people that have a lower choice of what to eat every day 😉

To end up with the present first, I’m writing this out of Lyon.
We arrived here yesterday in the afternoon and booked two nights in a youth hostel.

Yeah, if this is the kind of civilization Jon meant… I don’t know. Six persons in one room – two of them snoring all night. Uncomfortable mats, but I’m not complaining, because by now, I don’t regret any choice we made.

But before I explain why the things influence me in the way they do, I want to shortly summarize what has happened in the last week, which places we’ve been and how we got to Lyon.

On last tuesday, we made it to N̨mes, where we slept at a camping ground again Рafter four nights without that comfort.
We spent a lot of time there on the next day to sleep and to wash our clothes, and after having bought food again we continued late and just reached the famous Pont du Gard on the way to Avignon. Again, the wind did a good job to keep us slow.

Betimes we think there are even some gods betting if we succeed or not, and to make their game more interesting, they make the wind a bit stronger intentionally – just to enerve us. But it doesn’t work, hehe.

The Pont du Gard is said to be the second most visited french sight behind the Eiffeltower in Paris. So we were not amazed of the good touristic infrastructure whereby they were beautiful parcs and everything they build somehow fit into the landscape.
We also found a nice place for the night and went to the touristic centre, where the toilets stayed open all night and we had light to read and write.

But on the way to that illuminated place we had our first meeting with a security member. Later, he found us again while reading and writing and told us that it was forbidden. We were really sorry, but we could not find signs that told us that before. So we could last another hour. The parc and the pont have been open all night, but sleeping there was forbidden. Strange.
So we wanted to find a hidden place on that territory, but it seemed like the security always knew in which corner we’ve been.

Imagine yourself being packed off a parc at 2 am. so we left the whole area and found a left ground, where we could finally sleep – with a view to the roman aqueduct.

On thursday, we entered the touristic area again to use the washrooms. I also jumped some times into the river before we left.

Avignon was likable, but I expected a little more of it. We also came up to Orange on that day, but this city wanted itself to present as something it surely wasn’t. Do you think this antique theatre there was unique in europe, although it was build by the romans?

It was not Friday the thirteenth, but on Friday it happened. The bowden cable of my transmission broke after having started the second trip that day.
It was only a little rope, but I needed to fix it somehow, because otherwise I would have had to use the highest transmission. Still the wind was blowing against us. Fortunately there haven’t been hills on the route to Montélimar, and we somehow made it with a self-built improvised construction.
Jon was a lot faster than me and was lucky to find Simon to talk with. Simon (45, GB) decided to start one day with his bike. He went from Calais down to the Côte d’Azur, then to Avignon wanting to meet a friend who hasn’t been there. Down again to the coast and finally northwards, where our ways crossed each other. This was the first time someone accomplished us in the night. We talked a lot and were a bit surprised how someone could have seen so many different places while working in the food and fruit industry. He got up at six, me at ten.

It was Saturday and I just wanted to fix that rope before going on. Montélimar was supposed to have at least three different bike shops, but noone could help me. I bought the tire with that kind of transmission one month ago, but in france they either don’t know or simply don’t have that type.

At 12 am the shops closed for the brake. I was a bit depressed, but it had to go on. There must have been a solution. I had to overcome a big agony, but in a small town (I even forgot the name of it) there was another bike shop. I tried, just wishing that someone could do something. The guy there also didn’t have the right pieces to fix, but he constructed something with pieces of a motocycle. I am relly thankful for what he has done on a staurday afternoon, because now I know that I would have not endured that sunday without the working transmission. We reached Valence – and I felt kind of a new human being. All worries seemed to be blown away, which helped us a lot, I think.

While eating Ravioli (out of a tin, of course) in a parc in Valence there appeared two strange men and a dog. The one man was mentally handicaped, the other was supposed to guide him. Instead of walking around with the disabled, he just let him stand in a corner together with the dog and talked with us. The conversation was about all the beautiful cities we had seen and he had seen, but what interested him most was if the cities would have been „open“. Jon also sais he was into me, but I don’t believe.
Funny, what different kinds of people one can meet.

Valence, Saturday evening and 110 km to go to Lyon. On Sunday, we went about 83 kilometers through the most ugly place on that trip so far: Roussillon. We reached a hill behind Vienne, but there weren’t left grounds so we decided to ask someone if we could spend the night on the grassland next to his property.

Now I think we will do this more often, because they were really nice. An old couple of farmers, and after we had build up our camp for the night they visited us and asked us if we wanted to have something to drink and eat. We declined saying we had enough for the night and the morning, and so they left.

I have to correct myself, because I do regret saying no – I just imagined to have a nice glass of wine in the middle of a mountain, watching the stars – wow.

We still cannot realize what happened the next morning.
They brought us Coffee and something to eat, like bread, yoghurt, different types of marmelade and so on. Unfortunately we have already eaten before.

We were impressed of what they’ve done for us, but it went on with four different kinds of cheese and orange juice.

Yes, we will ask more often now.

Lyon was reachable behind some real mountains, even with a working transmission it was exhausting.

The Youth Hostel is situated on a hill within the old part of Lyon. You have a lovely view throughdown the city and we met two swiss guys while standing in the row at the hostel’s receiption.

We spent the afternoon and me also the evening with them. Yes, Jon and me devided ourselves, which is important when staying together for such a long time. I liked both of them, we drank a bit and had nice conversations, and I can state proudly, that I yesterday had my first experience with good live Jazz, which really impressed me. Trio Azurite.

Today is the day of visiting the city, but the famous train station was not that impressible.
But I found some places to have a Shisha and a D̦ner РOh what a day!

I have to add that the wind which blows against us constantly from the north is called mistral and is supposed to stop behind Lyon. Also the land should become flat. We’ll see. Tomorrow, we will take part at a guided tour through the old part of Lyon, which is Unesco-protected.

The sun is shining, everything is alright, I am enjoying this trip more and more, Oh what a day 🙂


  1. pitfisch
    9. August 2005

    Still something to add.
    I know that there is noone who would write me, but if you wanted to send me a sms, don’t do it, because the display of my cell phone is broke 😉

  2. Anja
    9. August 2005


    really interesting news! Why dind´t you have the idea to
    ask for permission to sleep on somebody´s grounds before?
    Seems like the French are not as unfriendly as thought
    before 😉
    Wish you a nice stay in Lyon and a safe and easy trip afterwards!


  3. Chrischen
    10. August 2005

    today i found the time to read the newest entry of your weblog.It is really interesting to read what kind of people you met and which places you see.Yesterday we writed via MSN and you told me to greet some of the teachers and look at the glass case. So today I ran trough the school and tried to find the 4 teachers and looked at the glass case but there was nothing.As I talked with Monsieur Raubach I mentioned the postcard but he said that he don’t know something about that card.A few hours later he told me the the card is in the staff room.As I met mr. Sander I asked him to put the card into the glass case after a short discussion he put the card into the glass case. All in all the teachers(Herr Raubach,Herr G.,Frau Bilk & Frau Schenk) were encouraged to hear about you two.
    Have fun!

  4. Anja
    16. August 2005

    long time – no see
    where are you guys?
    hope everythings fine!
    whole crazy family is planning for the „Drachenboot-
    cup“ next weekend.


  5. pitfisch
    19. August 2005

    thanks for your replies 🙂

    chrischn: great news, hehe. I hope some students also smiled after having read the card…

    anja: please stay calm, everything is fine, as you will see.
    although I thought the next part of our story would not be that interesting… there’ve been a lot of surprising moments – again 🙂

  6. Jacques and Hobi from Lyon
    20. August 2005

    Hy, still now us! We are the two Swiss from the waiting queue/ youth hostel and Live Jazz in Lyon!
    Well, was a cool time with you in Lyon! But we went further to Bordeaux (very ugly place) and then to the Atlantic cost to Arcachon(Realy nice Place!!! With a 120m Sand dune).
    Now, after getting picked up by a friend by car, which then broke down a day later we got to roses (Very beautyful place at the Sea in Spain)and have yesterday reached Barcelona!!!!!
    Great place!!!!
    But anyway, with you further more a good trip to amsterdam and don’t smoke too much in Amsterdam 😉 ENJOY!!!

    Jacques & Hobi

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