GR 5 Lodging – France 21, 22 and 23

Day 21:  Thionville, France

Decided to head straight to Thionvulle rather than taking the official trail. So, not long but it was all asphalt on an extremely hot day. With no shade. And still fighting the cold I had gotten a few days ago. Pretty much took the first hotel I found in the city center which was a Kyriad.  Typical overpriced, soul-less, corporate drone. Also, I hate it when hotels provide free wifi but you have to enter a special I’d and password periodically. Most hotels used to do this but now very few do. Kyriad still does and also the wifi expired by 7 am the next day. But the staff were nice.

Day 22:  Woippy

Was heading to Metz and decided to take the bike path all the way rather than the GR 5.  Big mistake. All asphalt.  No shade.  Even hotter than yesterday. Noted that the highs were equal to the high in Houston.

At about 5 km from Metz ran out of water in my Camelback and was down to half a bottle that I also carry as a reserve.  5 km without water, at the end bs of the day, in this weather and with me exhausted is going to be tough. I see a bus stop. I take off my backpack, drink the part of my reserve and decide to catch the next bus into town. This is a tough decision for me. I had walked every step so far and had been determined not to take any vehicles, including golf carts.  Da Fuck!!!!!!

As I’m sitting there, I see a Honda dealership about 100m down and across the street. It’s not a car dealership but agricultural equipment and looks closed.  Actually all businesses pretty much look closed here.  Something about the limited interior lighting. Anyway, I see a couple of cars parked on the side.  I pick up my pack and poles and head over.

It is open with two young guys at a counter inside. They look at me as if I was a Martian, too frozen with surprise to grab their phones and start  recording. I fill up my Camelback. And I ask them to confirm the way to Metz. One says turn left ahead and the other says go straight. I decide not to assume anything and verify that I am walking and not in a car. And am actually looking for a hotel. Oh, in that case, turn right. There’s a hotel just 300m away. It’s an Ibis. Another over priced, soul-less, corporate drone.  But the staff are really nice.  And it has a restaurant. That’s good because there doesn’t appear to be anything around.

Met a couple of Scottish guys at the bar who were heading to Dunkirk on their motorbikes for the anniversary of D-Day. They told me about how a few years ago 25 of them had shipped their bikes to the U.S. and had spent a month riding around the western USA. They had loved it but getting thru immigration and customs had been too much of a hassle for them to try it again.  Shot of view from my hotel window.

Day 23:  Metz

Exhausted, I slept late and got a late start.  First day, so far, where I didn’t know where I was going that day. Walked the 4.4 km to the ancient (that’s what they called it) city center. Had some breakfast, pondered my choices and decided to call it a day.  Saw the Grand Metz and surprisingly for a weekend they had rooms. There was nothing grand about this hotel but it wasn’t a corporate drone.  It had some character and charm.



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