Month: September 2016

Another Tour of Europe

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The “Globe Roaders”, Vanessa and Guillaume, are adventurers, travellers and good sports. They were one of the 3000 teams that took part in the Wevan competition. When the results were announced we saw their comment that read: “Wevan didn’t choose us, but it doesn’t matter, we’re going anyway!” Because, in fact, they had been organising their trip for the last 3 years. Between buying the van, completely kitting out the interior, organising leave, and other preparations, it took them 3 years until they were finally ready! They set off on 11 April and since then they have visited 12 countries and put 15,000km on the clock. Our paths crossed in Zdiar in Slovakia, 12km from the Polish border in the Tatra Mountains. There’s nothing like a hike in the mountains to get to know each other. When we returned we set out to look for a spot for the evening and to spend the night. After parking our vans side by side we examine and compare them. Patrick, brand-spanking new, and Drakkar, home-made. We fall …

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Wild peppermint tisane

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Recognising peppermint is easy: the leaves look just like the mint we’re used to, the only difference is at the tip with its little purplish-blue flower. It doesn’t grow alone – look for shrubs. Gather a big bouquet and tie the base together with some string or an elastic band. Hang it upside down and let it dry for 3-4 days. Check that the leaves inside the bouquet are dry too. When everything is properly dry, pick off each flower and each leaf and pop them in a clean, dry jar. Your after-dinner tisane is ready! Once your water is boiling add a dozen leaves and one or two flowers to your teapot and let it infuse for a good 10 minutes. Taste!

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Eastern feelings

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We feel as though we’ve escaped time. As if we’re suspended outside reality, outside our culture. For us, there are no depressing Mondays, no lunch breaks with colleagues, no drinks with friends on the terrace, no happy Fridays, no weekend plans, no work-eat-sleep-repeat, no holidays. We’re losing the notion of time and it’s a strange feeling. We feel like we’re on the fringes, avoiding any standard schedule. Without our normal routine, it feels as though time is a wave that sometimes expands or suddenly accelerates. Writing a daily journal entry helps keep track of the calendar. But days of the week and dates don’t really mean much. The weekend no longer exists without the weekdays and vice-versa. It’s up to us to define each day and give it meaning. We’re free to live life to the fullest day by day. — Sometimes, we have what we call “one of those days”. This happens most often because there’s something wrong with the destination for that day’s trip: closed today, doesn’t exist, wrong GPS coordinates, etc. When …

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Adopted for a weekend

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Randomly meeting people sometimes leads to amazing things. While lost in the Ojcow National Park west of Krakow, we happen upon a group of young French people drinking water from a source that supposedly grants eternal love. Marie, Matthieu, Marc, and Félix come to this tiny village every year to spend time with their Polish family. After exchanging a few words, we’re invited to eat at their grandmother’s house, sharing bread, cheese, charcuterie, and beer with parents, friends, uncles, and cousins. It’s a beautiful summer evening filled with discussions and laughter from everyone. We hear French, Polish, and English in a happy melting pot of smiles and warmth. Our adopted family spoils us the entire weekend. In between meals and snacks served by the Polish mum, we go jogging in the morning and play cards and badminton. We learn that saying “no” is not allowed when she offers us something to eat for the tenth time that day. But who could complain? Everything is delicious. As we’re leaving, a neighbouring grandmother hugs me while speaking …

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Just a night in a yurt

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While admiring the sunset in Korka, we spot this uncommon tent. Planted at the edge of the pine forest overlooking the sea, this big white canvas shape intrigues us. When we get closer to it, we discover the owners speak French. We talk for a little bit and find ourselves invited to share honey tisane inside this teepee-yurt, as Guillaume and Marianne call their shelter. They’ve left their tent and car in Latvia, continuing their adventure to Mongolia on the Trans-Siberian. They’re travelling with Attiloé, their one and a half-year-old daughter who looks like she’s perfectly comfortable with this nomadic environment and this chance encounter. Manu is also here. He’s a friend of the little family who has come to travel a leg of the journey with them. The tent is spacious and comfortable, even for 5 adults. We listen with rapt attention as they recount their Russian and Mongolian adventures and admire their backpacking journey with such a young child. Far from being a hindrance, Attiloé has often been their “joker”. Her big blue …

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The calming cream

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Calming cream for bites, redness, itching! Ingredients: – plantain leaves – olive oil (cold-pressed virgin extract, preferably organic) – beeswax recipe: Fill a jar with chopped plantain leaves. Cover the leaves with olive oil, close the jar and let macerate three weeks. After 3 weeks, heat the wax in a pan until liquefied Strain out the chopped leaves, add the filtered fluid to the liquid wax. Mix in the pan, pour into the bottle and shake the mixture until it thickens. Apply directly to skin whenever needed!

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Baltic feelings

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The landscapes are flat… very flat. Everything is flat, even Peipous Lake, the 5th largest lake in Europe, which is never deeper than 15 m! And Bertrand adds: “Flat landscapes are boring. On the one hand, we can see a long way, but on the other hand, there’s not enough height to get a better view point. It’s challenging to get good photos. ” He isn’t very inspired by the Baltic countryside and has trouble deciding where to aim his lens, especially when he thinks about the stunning Scandinavian panoramas. — Bertrand is kind and I’m conciliatory. We are both profoundly averse to conflict. But every once in a while, we get on each other’s nerves. It’s not easy to be with your other half 24/7 in 6 m2. Today the argument was over what we should or shouldn’t take photos of. Bertrand, the artist, focuses on quality and doesn’t see the point of taking a photo of something he says is “useless”. Me, the hyperactive, would rather have too many than too few. I’m …

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