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Day 7

Travel Day!  Before leaving Arles, our host gave us some fresh herbs and Guillaume took pictures of the “big”spider that was outside.  So, our goal for this day was to get from Arles to Chalon-sur-Saône.  What should have taken 4 hours took much longer because there were countless accidents and cars that had broken down on the road.  There was one particularly horrifying accident where the car looked like the front part was completely charred and firefighters were spraying the nearby grass with water.

We made a stop at a gas station where people were selling loads of garlic in front of the store.  Lots of vampires nearby?  Inside, there were homemade corn nuts.  Somebody has been to America…
By the time we stopped at the gas station, I had consumed a large glass of water and was still thirsty with no sign of needing to pee.  It was a little hot outside…

And on we continued through Lyon, which was a special treat and a slice of hell.  It was a treat because when I was a child, I had a pen pal from there.  Finally, I got to see a bit of what this place is actually like, although probably different than what was described in letters 20 years ago.  However,  I noticed that the tenants of the apartments directly next to the highway had hung protest signs outside of their windows complaining about not being able to breathe, the lack of trees, having to keep the windows closed, and how there should not be big trucks allowed that way.  The pollution must be horrible and in the hotter summer months in France, must be unbearable because homes don’t normally have air conditioning; they open the window.  Good luck, citizens of Lyon.

We finally arrived in the small town of Chalon-sur-Saône where we are residing in an apartment on rue du Temple; Guillaume and I both immediately agreed that it would be a perfect size apartment for us whenever we have the means to purchase one at a later point.  It has a living room, a kitchen, shower, toilet, and a bedroom. All separate rooms.  The only thing that’s separate in our apartment is the bathroom.  Everything else is kind of just together.

I took a pleasant walk to the Carrefour City (supermarket) and got some groceries for dinner/breakfast/lunch.  People were staring at me funny.  Maybe because my jeans had become so sweaty during the ride that it looked like I’d peed on myself.  Or maybe because it’s just a small town and I’m obviously an outsider.  When finished shopping, there was a little boy with a cute little kitten at the exit.  I pet the kitty, didn’t understand what the dirty kid was saying, and went on my way.

Finally.. some rest and relaxation!

Day 8

I wandered around town on my own while Guillaume took care of himself.  He’s been beat up badly on this trip- blistered feet, sunburn, multiple spider bites, and blistered hands after the tough motorcycle ride.  I wandered into a thrift store and it was pleasant because things were actually on hangers and I had room to walk, unlike the Guerrisol in Paris which is like Hudson’s Dirt Cheap, only without the junk to accompany it.

Chalon-sur-Saône is another place with super tiny streets, although I feel that this town was particularly run down.  I’m also getting jaded after having lived in Paris.  I realized this after I wandered into a 17th century church and was not much impressed.

We had a fairly lazy day, but we did attempt to see a Chateau.  Unfortunately, somebody was about to get married there shortly after we arrived.  Unless I’m getting paid to be there (you know.. playing violin wedding music), I don’t want to be around.  So we left and just started to get rained on when we got back.

For dinner, Guillaume took me to a restaurant called Le Clown Gourmand.  Upon entering, the color scheme reminded me of a former roommate’s bedroom; it had the bright yellows, pinks, lime greens, etc… although it also had lots of clown pictures, ceramics, and puppets.  It would definitely creep out anyone who has coulrophobia.

Despite the bizarre decoration, the food was A-MA-ZING.  I had le croustillant asperges, which was asparagus spears wrapped in a crunchy wrap of delicious at the bottom.  Then, my plate of meat and meat came.  I had no idea what I’d ordered, but here comes this plate of steak, pulled beef, forest mushrooms, and little veggies all in a sauce fairly similar to teriyaki.

Yeah… I garnish my beef with more beef.

For dessert, I had a bizarre tiramisu that had some kind of raspberry paste, some green stuff, speculoos, and overall sweet goodness.

This is officially the last full day of the road trip.  I’m a little fatter (and for anyone who knows me, you know it’s a joke), a tiny bit more tan, and incredibly more familiar with France and taking a road trip on a motorcycle.

There has not been enough thanks for Guillaume having gotten this all together.

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