Well Europe, it has finally happened. I have dreamed of you for a long time you know.
I’ve been on this side of the world for about ten days now… I know what you are thinking…why did it take so long to make a post you lazy blogger. Well for starters, and as you are all already aware, I am the world’s worst blogger.
In addition, I originally planned to make my first post a grand plan of the next three months of my trip… the backpacking plan. However, two things occurred which prevented this from happening.
First and foremost: alcohol… I landed in London to stay with Keates, Blenk, Hannah and Bec and it is no secret that this was cause for endless celebration for the week that I was there. So you can hardly blame me. My first week in London involved Bogan Bingo at an Aussie pub called The Slug (charming), a Mexican feast, an Indian feast and countless site seeing events which always turned into cold ciders on the streets in the blazing 7pm sunshine.
The second thing that has stood in my way is my very (and I mean EXTREMELY) poor ability to plan. Day one, I sat down to look at where I wanted to go in France, not only could I not understand any of the names, but everything is far more expensive than I initially thought. Well… that, and also I am surviving on $50 a day (25 pounds, 30 Euros). So of course things seem more expensive when you have two cents to your name.
How did this happen… note to self: try to actually sell possessions prior to leaving the country. I definitely over-estimated the amount of money I was going to come over here with and because my motorbike hasn’t sold I am at a bit of a loose end. BUT on the plus side, I at least now will have a lot to write about… and probably won’t be spending too much time in museums and art galleries so I can do lots of blogging.
So, back to the bad planning. Thanks to a very handy app Rome2Rio, I took a OUIBUS to Lille in France… if I had done my research, Starshipper(which is now Ouibus) or FLIXBUS(German) can sometimes be cheaper. It just depends on where you are going and how long you are willing to spend on the bus.
My OUIBUS ride was pretty painless, but because its a French company, every time we got to border control I had no idea what was going on and had to blindly follow everyone else on the bus.
I had one night in Lille booked and the idea to make my way to Reims (pronounce Ren) to see the Champagne caves. However, upon arrival, I decided it was probably easier to stay in Lille a little longer and try and look for a Couchsurf or an Airbnb.
My hostel, Gastama, is great. Expensive (21 euros) but great. The atmosphere is awesome, the staff are hilarious and it is close to a tonne of other bars and restaurants in the area. I will probably go into a little more detail in a later post… for now I think that is all you need to know. Oh, and apparently it is the best place to stay in Lille.
Last night I went down to the reception to book a third night and got trapped at the bar because they kept bringing me free beers… My roommates got a little worried, but who can say no to free beer.
Food is easy in France, go to the corner store, buy a breadstick a sausage and some cheese for 6 euros and that will last you three days for three square meals.
Drinking… well, when you are on 50 bucks a day you just have to accept that drinking won’t happen… unless you get trapped at the bar by free beers or forgo eating. It’s also not so bad when you stay in one place for a while. That is one of the main reasons I chose to stay a few more nights in Lille, pretty much just to save on transport.
For now, I am off to go an enjoy more bread and sausage.