Monday, September 27, 2010


The last day in France we'll remember with the worst hitch-hiking in our trip. We waited 4-5 hours at the entrance of the highway after Bordeaux until dark. Not one car stopped. We had to sleep near the road in 'largest forest' in Europe, which actually was pretty loose and young, and trucks with dead trees constantly drove around. The next day a Belgian girl saved us from waiting, and the next car with two French women dropped us in Spain. As soon as we crossed the border, the landscape changed. Everything was yellow-brown and for the first time in Europe we saw a shepherd and sheep without fences. Although we had heard that hitch-hiking in Spain is very difficult, the first car we waved at stopped, we had not even put down our backpacks. It was a 30 years old Spanish and when we told him that its our first day in Spain, he replied: 'This is not Spain this is the Basque country '. He explained that their culture, language and customs are quite different from the Spanish, but still he did not want to become a separate country. We agreed that borders are useless.  People should not be divided with borders. One has to feel everywhere at home. He, like all countries which we passed, did not like politicians. Switzerland is the only country where people do not complain about politics, corruption and mafia, and were happy and proud of the management of their country.

Anyway, with two more cars we reached a village in the Pyrenees called Pantikosa. On the way to the mountain we saw buses with well-armed police blocking the road, searching for ETA terrorists. The woman, who drove us to the end of the road and the beginning of the mountain was very smiling and talkative. Although she did not know English we understood each other perfectly with Spanish-English and a lot of laughter. The Bulgarian-Spanish phrase book, a gift from Bulgaria, came into use.

The next day after 6 hour climb we reached wonderful alpine lakes (2500 m) and put our tent there. It was cold, snowing and almost immediately we went to sleep dressed in our sleeping bags. In the morning we were surprised to see that snow is covering the landscape, and our tent 'igloo' resembled a real igloo. We found the path difficultly in the snow and walking on stones covered with snow was pretty tough.

As we walked down the snow disappeared and the sun smiled at us. All the way marmots welcomed us and we saw a large flock of vultures flying around a dead cow. We found a little shelter, where we spent the night, made a fire and dried our clothes. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Sitting in McDonald's again...our escape to civilization, the place where we can use free Internet, toilet and water... McDonalds is maybe the best reflection of todays civilization. Fat, fast-eating people, always driving a car, some of them eating without even getting off their car. Here, in France McDonalds is constantly full of people...from morning till evening the queues are never ending...sometimes we think that people never eat at home.  Even 2-3 years old kids are eating sad. We hope Bulgarians never follow this European tendency...

St Emilion-the town of red wine
We came to St Emilion looking for grape-picking. An old village, surrounded by vineyards by all sides...endless vineyards immense that I got lost on my way to a castle (Gena was waiting for me somewhere with the backpacks) a giant labyrinth with small streets and vineyards on both sides...all looked the same to me. I was running, shouting, asking people...I was wondering whether to laugh or to cry...and after one hour wondering through the grapes I finally found Gena... Sleeping in this region was also a nightmare. There was literally no land without grapes...only castles and grapes for kilometers around. We had to sleep either between the vineyards or in the yard of some castle. Using the tent was impossible. We stayed there one night and decided to continue to Pyrenees mountain.

Dordogne, the big brown river

the pedestrian street in Bordeaux

After 2 hours unsuccessful hitch-hiking to Toulouse, we decided to stay in Bordeaux. Bordeaux- the city that gave the name to a color - the color of wine. Here we stayed 2 days with Julien in a caravan. After that we continued to the biggest dune in Europe on the Atlantic beach. Quite a lot of sand surrounded by the ocean on one side and the biggest pine-tree forest on the other. 

The first bridge in Bordeaux built by Napoleon. When we arrived the traffic jam on the bridge was terrible. 
"The Mirror" in Bordeaux

the caravan
After Bordeaux we hitch-hiked to the biggest dune in Europe - Dune de Pyla - 107 m high and 500 m wide. Really impressing, but quite touristic as well. It looks perfect for sand-boarding, and some people were even paragliding from it. The nice thing about it is that on one side it is surrounded by big pine-tree forest and to the other- the immense Atlantic ocean.

the biggest dune by the biggest forest...

Beautiful but quite touristic place...