Archive for August, 2012

The streets of Paris are pretty quite on a Sunday morning – even around the Gare du Nord things are quiet. You may pass an occasional homeless man who’s still sleeping soundly in his sleeping bag, but even the cafes seem deserted.

This particular morning the clouds were creating beautiful patterns in the sky. It was cool and perfect.

The best way to spend the first morning of being 30 – walking the empty streets of Paris with my LP.



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Rue La Fayette – crossing the bridge over the Gare de l’Est train yard.


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Paris. I used to live there.

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escaping the heat

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Kehl is cool (and German).

Take a trip over the Rhine (see band). Walk along the riverside park. There’s so much to discover in this sleepy border town – a 144 ft/44 m high wooden tower overlooking a beautiful park with an enormous playground, running track, water features, a lake with paddle boats and a cafe/biergarten called Rheinschneck. It’s my new favorite place to spend a late summer evening with a pint and my LP – plus the currywurst is yummers!


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The HRP Grand Depart is in 19 days.

Preparations: for the last few days I have been focusing on creating a gear list, making stuff sacks and sorting maps. This means creating an Excel sheet that lists everything that will be going in my pack – then weighing each item on my digital kitchen scale (compass, socks, tent, toothbrush, etc.), cutting a lot of nylon (for the stuff sack), getting frustrated with my sewing machine and finding refill points along the French-Spanish border.

For the pack, I’ve got a light-ish base weight: 8 kg or so. Last Saturday I took a hike up Mont Sainte-Odile with a 9 kg pack. It was a really hot day, but I managed without any issues. It was a “test run” with the pack. I know that 20 km/600 m day in the Vosges isn’t a 20 km/1200 m day in the Pyrenees…and the next day I didn’t get up for another 20 km…but it was a test. In my opinion I did pretty well – I made the 10 km descent at over 4 km/hr.

Back to work.

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I don’t actually have a “nightstand”  – what I do have is an IKEA POÄNG chair on my side of the bed that serves as a nightstand. I have dreams of it becoming my reading chair. Alas, most days it’s covered in clothes, unfolded towels, unmatched socks or unopened mail and of course a pile of half-read, browsed and going-to-be-read books.

A Google search of “What’s on your nightstand?” with quotation marks gets 379,000 page results (in 0.21 seconds)  about books. If you then click on the YouTube link the results are frightening…GUNS! 11 videos about guns. The weirdest video may be this 37 second gem “What’s on your nightstand ? When your [sic] asleep….”. Watch it!

Weird. What’s weirder is the faux marble bedroom set in the tiny room.

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