CHINA TRAVEL: FIRST STEPS IN SHANGHAI AND BEIJING

Prepare for your trip to China

China is one of those countries that I absolutely wanted to visit during my world tour . It is also a country that we hear a lot of good and a lot of bad. Before I arrived, I decided (even more than usual) to silence all my prejudices, to show superhuman patience and not to judge. Culture is so different that it can sometimes be difficult to understand. You will see it in all my stories about China, it’s a country I loved, but I hated it at times. It is a country of contrasts, an extraordinary and rich country with very friendly and surprising locals, but it is a country where I pushed a big sigh of relief when I left. I would return with great pleasure, but not for too long periods.

Since I did not apply for a visa before leaving, I had it done in Hong Kong thanks to this agency . I just had to wait 4 days on the spot. I entered by sea , from Japan through Shanghai, without any worries and no exit ticket. I left by land on the border with Laos.

Shanghai, first step

Freshly landed from Japan, I realize that we speak even less English here. I ask Chinese-speaking Japanese to do the translation to find the subway. They accompany me there and so begins my Chinese adventure. The subway is very modern, well signposted and easy to understand. I struggled to buy my first ticket, but then getting to my destination was very easy. I lodge for the next few days at a friend’s house in the French Quarter. She prepared videos, plans and drawings for me to find her studio, otherwise I would probably shoot again. The residence, where she lives does not pay mine, locals shout at me (probably they said hello …) and I finally reach the studio where I rest a few hours. This first contact was strange and exhausting.the French Quarter , an expat district ‘very green, very chic and very little Chinese. In the evening, I meet my friend Renée, who is none other than a Dutch woman she met in Colombia a few months earlier. She will explain to me the basics to survive in China and Shanghai and will help me set up my VPN to have uncensored Internet access in China.

DISCOVERY OF THE COTSWOLDS

The Cotswolds are a hill range in the south of England . With its hilly landscape, the source of the Thames and the small, unspoilt villages of thatched houses and ocher brick cottages, the area is classified as an area of ​​outstanding natural beauty.

Even though the Cotswolds is not necessarily easy to get to without a car, it’s definitely worth a visit, or even spending a few days hiking. I had the opportunity to go there last Sunday with my family. We chose to go to Chipping Campden , known for the beauty of the village. After a nice car ride in this beautiful country, we arrived just at lunch time and we settled directly at the table in a very warm pub ( The Eight Bells ) to enjoy a delicious meal, finished in beauty by a Sticky Toffee Pudding (the best English dessert that can exist, all members of my family will testify!).

Once satiated, we go to discover this cute little town and its houses some of which Chipping Campdeneven date back to the 14th century . The houses are ocher in color and some even have a thatched roof. The gardens are blooming, life seems peaceful and skin merchants rage in the halls and even sell reindeer skins. Chipping Campden is supposed to be very touristy, but we are not too bothered and we enjoy with pleasure the calm and the warmth of this beautiful English summer.

CotswoldsOnce our exploration of the village is over, we decide to take a breath of fresh air and go for a walk in the countryside . We take the height and admire the village from the top of the hills. We reach Dover’s Hilland gambol a little with the sheep while admiring the view. Green hills and mountains of Wales are offered to us.

I found paradise in Indonesia

I found my little paradise in Indonesia. My paradise is on the island of Flores, west of the island around Maumere. My paradise is called Coconut Garden Beach Resort and it’s nothing like an ordinary resort !

Let me count you Coconut Garden Beach Resort , my paradise in Indonesia

The Coconut Garden Beach Resort in Maumere on the island of Flores: my little piece of paradise in Indonesia.  Discover a peaceful eco-resort like no other, which will delight lovers and solo travelers in search of heavenly beaches and tranquility

The arrival in paradise

Climb a volcano at sunrise , hike to the discovery of multicolored craters, escape the threats of monkeys, survive the convoluted roads of Flores, frolic in the waves of a paradise beach in Koka … so many classic activities for a trip to Indonesia, so many activities that tire a lot, especially when we connect the discoveries and trips for 10 days. After a trip to Indonesia and many adventures around the country from islands to islands, it’s time to take a few days of vacation and rest on a paradise beach in Flores.

The Coconut Garden Beach Resort in Maumere on the island of Flores: my little piece of paradise in Indonesia.  Discover a peaceful eco-resort like no other, which will delight lovers and solo travelers in search of heavenly beaches and tranquility

After leaving Maumere, the car launches on a sand track, through a jungle of palm trees. This last stretch of road seems endless and we do not yet see the sea. The palm trees seem denser, darker, more threatening than ever. And then suddenly, an opening in the vegetation, a parking lot of sand and a wedge of sea. We jump out of the car, happy to stretch our legs and to have arrived in a place which seems splendid.

There is no point in running, we have arrived, we are on vacation, and it is time to eat a bit before taking possession of our rooms. Life is good ! I whisper in my ear that for once, I have the right to the best room: the bungalow for honeymoons! I can not believe it! There is a frustrating side of being always the single solo traveler … we are always fed the least nice rooms, the couch in a corner, the rundown single bed, as if I had not reached the status of couple, I was not allowed to enjoy good things! But not this time, I hit the jackpot!

Travels and Wanderings on the Road

Travel itinerary in March 2018

In March, I continued my improbable trip to Europe through two countries, before returning to France, a little earlier than expected.

  • Switzerland –  5 days
  • Berlin – 10 days
  • Paris – 7 days
  • Charente-Maritime – 15 days

My favorite place in March

It already seems a long way off and I already have the impression that 1,000 things have happened since I was there, but I can only mention the terraced vineyards of the Lavaux which have been for me real slap. It was freezing cold (felt 17 ° C), we had already walked miles with my friend Sophie, but landing in front of this view, I could have stayed there in the cold, frolicking between the vines. The view of the lake, the side cut, the colors of winter and of course the fascinating geometry of the vineyards I was blown away and I hope to return when it will be a little warmer!

The vineyards of Lavaux in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland - Trips and Vagabondages over the months - Bilan voyage monthly - February 2018 in Switzerland

Under the snow, in the rain

At the end of February and the beginning of March, snow is flowing in Switzerland. The landscapes are grandiose, but I find myself a little blocked. When the owners of my houseitting, Jasmine and Alex, come back from their trip, it’s a snowy epic waiting for them to get back to their destination. They generously invited me to stay a few days and I take this opportunity to finally visit Lausanne. It is snowing that day and I discover with pleasure the city under a particular atmosphere. I will end the day on the shores of Lake Geneva in Morges. The clouds are always present and I will not have the chance to enjoy the famous view of the mountains.

The vineyards of Lavaux in the canton of Vaud in Switzerland - Trips and Vagabondages over the months - Bilan voyage monthly - February 2018 in Switzerland

It’s already time to fly to Berlin, a city that I have already had the opportunity to visit several times. This time, it is a tourism show that brings me and the opportunity to see friends bloggers franco and anglo and meet new bloggers. It was cold in Berlin and we walk on the frozen channel in the sun. And then, the rain invites itself to the stay and will not leave us really anymore. It’s not a big deal, because we spend our time between lounge, parties, meetings and good food. I finish on the kneecaps, because I’m not really used to go out every night for 6 days in a row! Phew, I’m no longer young, but it was worth it to spend time with everyone! I could not mention them all and I do not have any pictures of everyone, but they will recognize themselves, they made my stay in Berlin unforgettable!