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Citation du moment
« Il n'y a pas de bonnes habitudes. L'habitude, c'est une façon de mourir sur place. »
Albert Quentin - Un singe en hiver

Mikael’s abandoned village

17 Jul 2014 | Risaträsk, Sweden


It turns out that I will have to make my way back home earlier than planned, but I just can't leave without having a look at Mikael's new purchase: the abandoned village of Risaträsk.

So I hitchhike to that village, and make it all the way -even if it takes a while for me and the driver to find the road across the forest that leads to the village-, just to find out that Mikael doesn't live there yet, he still lives in Bastuträsk some 25km away.

Nevertheless, we spend some time there, I also discover his workplace, a little community farm which is nice, and we end up spending the weekend with his friend Tomas in Skellefteå for the Trästock festival where I manage to get in for free, all good!

Lofoten islands

9 Jul 2014 | Lofoten islands, Norway


Time to go full North!

Claire meets me in Prague as she wants to make the way with me, but just when we reach Sweden on the third day, she decides to leave as she doesn't like hitchhiking long distances too much.

Back alone on the road, I literally fly across Sweden, so I decide I could make it in time to the hitchhikers' gathering that is gonna happen on the Lofoten islands. So there I go, arriving the second morning of the gathering.
The gathering takes place on Kvalvika beach, one of the nicest beaches of the Lofoten, where a pair of surfers stayed for 6 months in a cabin they built under a rock, and made a documentary about it.

Over there, It's interesting to meet other travelers/hitchhikers, getting to know them and their ways of life, sharing plans and tips.
The nature is so beautiful and the weather is amazing, even too hot with over 30°C, something that didn't happen for 40 years. The day lasts forever, there is no night here, no sunrise and no sunset, the sun is hidden behind the mountain from 11.30pm to 5am which gives us a bit of shadow, but otherwise no rest from the heat.

After a few days on the beach, I spend a few days in Svolvaer at Isabella's, a local hitchhiker, with a few others (six people in her little tiny apartment haha).

Weekend in Prague

30 Jun 2014 | Prague, Czech Republic


I definitely cannot stay in place, I need to go. North is the direction.
On the way I will stop in Prague to visit Irina and Tanya, Elena's friends whom I met at her wedding.

Spring in France and around

17 Jun 2014 | Paris, Belgium, Normandy, Brittany...


Back in France, first thing was to attend Manu and Elena's wedding in Paris, that what I came back for after all :)

I was thinking of going back South straight afterwards, but after Paris the shock is hard and I really need to run away, so I finally end up visiting Claire and Alex in Belgium for a super weekend that gives me some fresh air.
After that I visits friends in Amiens and Caen, and as I need some loneliness in the nature I decide to walk a few days in Normandy across La Suisse Normande which is a green and hilly landscape, perfect !

I spend the following week-end at Samuel's place in Britanny talking about travels and alternative ways of life, while enjoying good food and pizzas baked in his home-made oven; and then back in Paris for a few days and a week-end in the forest.

It's already one month gone without having the time to think about it, but I'm slowly readapting to the western life. It's gonna be alright.

Back to where it started

17 May 2014 | Le Plan, France


It had to happen. After a quick stop in Lucca, I finally make my way back to my parent's place, walking back the last few kilometers the same way I walk away more than fourteen months ago. That last couple of days on the road throws me back in Western Europe civilization, with all the coldness and the selfishness you can imagine, but also with all the hope and the generosity it gives to people, dreaming of a better world!

Now it's time to look back at what happened these last months and years, to decide of what is next!

Sunny Tuscany

16 May 2014 | Corazzano, Toscana, Italia


We leave Budapest with Flo, Momo and Mik, making two hitchhiking teams, direction Italia! The hitch doesn't turn so well for me and Flo, in Hungary we have some hard time leaving, afterward in Italy it's more that Flo would like to take the train -because if you don't pay they just throw you out of the train, no fine- but I definitely prefer to hitchhike, so the atmosphere is not so good.

After two days we finally reach Corazzano, in Tuscany countryside, where lives my friend Annemarie with her family. She is recovering from a very serious illness, which made her come back in emergency from Lebanon where she was working. I absolutely wanted to visit her, because for me it feels so strange that she would could have been gone, without me knowing, while I hadn't even seen her for a least a couple of years!
And also, I wanted to show the place her parents live to my friends, because it's very close to the kind of lifestyle we had been discussing for ages...

Budapest bachelor party

12 May 2014 | Budapest, Hungary


Incredibly I make it in time. In fact I'm even the first one to arrive. The story is that I promised I would make my best to be in Budapest for Manu's bachelor party, and after a wet night in a field near the Slovak border ("Rain on me as you want, I don't care, I'm in bed now!"), I arrive early morning on site. And to Manu's pleasant surprise, we are some twenty people to make the trip for His weekend in Budapest. We rent a huge flat near the parliament and it's tourist and party time! Even if it's strange to be back in Europe, it feels good to see friends I hadn't meet for more than a year and to share good time with them.

Of course I wouldn't consider I really discovered Budapest this way, but still I'm positively surprised by it, it is actually really beautiful city and looks quite relaxed. To be explored more from the inner side in a further trip!

A bit of Polish countryside

7 May 2014 | Gościeradów, Lubelskie, Poland


Imagine you want to leave a country with strong immigration regulations, walking over a car-only border, when you don't have any entry stamp or mandatory police registration, and of course no visa, only a ticket for a ice-hockey match that didn't take place yet. That's what makes funny stories :-) But unexpectedly going from Belarus to Poland in these conditions went quite smooth and didn't even take too much time.

Finally back to Europe! I did it! All the way from South-East Asia overland. Poland welcomes me with heavy rain, first rain in the last maybe five months, but I don't care, I'm here! I first make a stop in Lublin for the night, but really need to be outside of the cities. I got a couple of days for me, so I visit Gosia and her family in Gościeradów. Gosia is very interesting girl, she just came back from an hitchhiking trip in Africa, that makes some stories to share! So there I am, in the Polish countryside, enjoying hospitality, cycling, cooking... Perfect!

Brest, but not in France

3 May 2014 | Brest, Belarus


As time is pressing me a bit -and also I learn that there is no mountains in Belarus, what country is that?-, I decide to continue my way out of Belarus. But still I got to stop in Brest, the border city, to have a look. There I meet with Igar, a very nice young man who takes me around and teach me a lot about Belarus. His friend describes Igar as a 'couch revolutionary', someone who wants to makes big change in the country, but talks more than acts. Imho, that is not so true, as I see it's more that it's so difficult to try to organize anything that is not government supported that any kind of opposition is nipped in the bud...


1 May 2014 | Minsk, Belarus


Belarus is not a country I had thought of visiting anytime: it's quite closed to foreigners (a 10 days visa costs 60€ plus all imaginable paperwork), omnipresent police, totalitarian political system... Not my cup of tea.
Nevertheless, these days the Ice Hockey World Championship is gonna happen there, and I had found out that if you are a hockey fan (i.e. you bought a 7€ ticket to any of the matches), you can enter the country visa-free! A sudden sign of openness that allows me, a sudden hockey fan, to sneak in and have a look.

My first stop is Minsk, the capital. Coming from Russia is easy: there is no border or any kind of control in between the two countries, I fall asleep in a truck in Russia and wake up in Belarus :-)
Minsk is quite an interesting city: it has been totally destroyed during the second war and rebuilt from scratch according to soviet/stalinist views of architecture. That makes it quite a cold city, with very large streets and huge soviet-style buildings. Everything is in order, the city is more than clean, it feels like if you throw an empty can someone will catch before it reaches the ground. For me who usually likes cities to be messy, and don't mind a bit of dirt, it's quite a shock!

But what contrasts most with Minsk's coldness is the warmth of its people. Belorussian people turn out to be amazing people. They are quite aware of their country's situation but just seem too nice to revolt. So at the end of the day, despite that Minsk is not a city I could feel comfortable in, I really enjoy the company and the time I spend there.