WTF Istanbul Airport???


Recently, Istanbul is the only airport I’ve been to that does not have free WIFI.  Or at least the International terminal doesn’t have any WIFI.  Not even the Starbucks inside the airport.  So, not only am I stuck there for 14 hours but without any connection to the Internet.  Because the 14 hours were from…

Evian-les-Bains


Yes, this is the town where Evian water comes from.  The plant was down the street from the train station and I passed by why appeared to be their HQ building.  Evian was a really cute little town on Lac Leman.  It was much more charming than Thonon, which had actually a rundown feel.  It…

Stick a Fork In It


After the last 25 days of hiking on primarily asphalt, the first day of hiking from Thonon-les-Bains was great.  With the exception of the first 45 minutes or so of heading out of town, this was true hiking, off the road.  The first five hours was a steady climb but then after that was a…

TGV


Short video from TGV.  This was after leaving Paris.  Top speed that I caught was just over 300 km/he or over 180 mph. It was fast but didn’t seem fast enough. Until I took the local train for the last leg.   Damn that was slow.    

Comfort


When I did my Camino Santiago, I quickly came to the realization how these long hikes (at least over 2 weeks) bring you back to the basics.  After everything is said and done; what do you really need? One, take care of your health.  Two, food. Three, shelter.  And, finally, human contact.  You can’t emphasize…

GR 5 Lodging – France 25


Day 25:  Pompey Once again had trouble finding a place to stay and had to adjust my plans based on where lodging was available. Found a rather expensive place in Pompey called Domaine de Printaniere.  Given that there was nothing else around, I went ahead and booked what was the last room according to Booking.com….

Grind


This is turning into a grind.  It’s not that interesting.  I’m spending way too much time on asphalt.  And this hunting for lodging and waiting around to check-in is starting to get really old.  Arrrrrrrrgh! The fundamental problem is that the GR 5, outside of the GTA (Grande Traversee des Alpes), is not a true…

GR 5 Lodging – France 24


Day 34:  Pont-a-Mousson Remember when I said that the large hotel chains stay open through the day.  Well . . .   Found an exceptional to the rule today. Kyriad is a large European chain and the one in Pont-a-Mousson was closed when I got there around 3 pm. They have an ATM looking machine…

Smoke


I need to buy some new shoelaces. I asked the clerk at the Thionville hotel if he knew of any place close by.  He was getting off and offered to walk me over to a place that might sell laces.  They didn’t have laces for boots but on the way we had an interesting discussion….

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…

GR 5 Lodging – Luxembourg 5


Day 20:  Dudelange After wandering on to the golf course and over 3 km off track, I found my way back on the trail and walked to Burange. No hotels. Walked on to Budersberg. No hotels. Both are suburbs and that will be a rant for a separate post. So, I backtracked and went slightly…

Family Hotels


In the smaller towns in Belgium and Luxembourg most hotels are small, family owned and run establishments. All have a restaurant attached and that appears to be the primary and original business. Someone figured out that there were a lot of out of towners eating and looking for a place to spend the night.  So,…