Where do I go
Follow the river
Where do I go
Follow the gulls
With only two fix points on my trip—my destination Moux and the seller’s house near the de/fr/lu-border to pick up the scooter—and at least 1000 km on the shortest route between them, where does one go? Usually people do follow the river and the gulls down the valleys of Moselle, Saône and Rhône since Roman times. But as a teenager I already did a big tour in a camping car with my parents down the Saône and Rhône. I had seen these cities and their (very impressive) cultural heritage already. And around 2008 some of them again with an ex-partner of mine. Additionally with COVID-19, dense settlements and indoors entertainment sounded less attractive than ever before. Hence I decided to plan going further west and in the south through the mountains. Specifically I wanted to see the high plains of the massif central, the Puy the Dôme and Le Puy-en-Velay.
Because my scooter is slow and I don’t like to be overtaken by 16 ton lorries, I would try to avoid the routes nationales and only take smaller routes départementales. I knew that it would be pointless to make precise plans that far in advance. Hence I created a map with loose points of orientation, namely all French UNESCO world heritage sites, all plus beaux villages de France, all grands sites de France and some camping municipales for orientation. I did this with the aid of a few table sheets and google’s my maps and I would love to share my private map with you. Unfortunately some French institutions have a very narrow understanding of what their data should be used for and somehow believe, that it is good for tourism to limit the use of data about nice touristic destinations. My map allowed me to navigate spontaneously while being aware of attractions nearby using my phone mounted to the scooter’s handlebar and I can only advise you to make yourself a similar one if you go on such a trip. It does not take longer than an evening, maybe two for hundreds of data points. And if you vote in elections, keep in mind that the legal situation is extremely unsatisfying and holding the European media and cultural landscape back. A list of names should not be protected by copyright. Imagine what would be possible if we could collaborate on making maps with such data for general usage by everyone!
To pick up the scooter, I chose a train route from Berlin via Cologne using FlixTrain. There I would change for an IC by Chemin de Fer Luxembourgeois via Koblenz to Treves where I’d board a very small Deutsche Bahn regional train.
Claude is one of the protagonists in the musical Hair, written by James Rado and Gerome Ragni. He sings this songs after pulling his military service draft card out of the fire he had threwn it into just moments before. ↩︎