Notes From Around

Current Location: Champlon, Belgium

This is what happens when I try to write off the cuff, I forget to put things down that I had meant to write.

First I wanted to write about navigation in Paris.  Don’t try it, it doesn’t work.  They don’t believe in blocks or building things in rows.  I had the same problem in Hanoi, also built by the French, streets would twist and turn as soon as you get on them and also have the tendency to change name mid stream, as if they forgot the name of the street and forgot to go back and fix it, to make things even more frustrating there could be multiple streets with the same name.  You try and figure that out, the only way to do it is to remember landmarks, other than that good luck.  More often than not I would be lost in Paris.

And as for riding in Paris it’s both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.  Especially the round-a-bouts where there exists some demented scheme of round-a-bouts within round-a-bouts, all with minimal markings and traffic lights in the middle.  Going around the Arc de Triomphe was a big deal for me as that is where the Tour de France ends but the entire time I just recited my mantra of ‘don’t die.’

On to the Luxembourg cycle paths.  If I could choose a country to cycle around as a beginner it would have to be Luxembourg.  The paths aren’t that difficult, they are all paved and excellently maintained.  They still provide some challenges and provide nice scenery along the way.  Now that I am in Belgium I can compare to another national cycle network and hands down Luxembourg has the signage almost perfect.  It’s very accessible for everyone to use and you don’t need to spend money on any maps.  Here in Belgium I find that I’m staring at every telephone pole for another marker.

I should make a shirt ‘Don’t bother me, I’m staring at telephone poles’

This took 5 times longer to put down than necessary, French keyboards are tough.

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