It was a long and arduous ride into the heart of Amiens France to find an a WIFI hotspot for an online rendez vous. The McDonalds in the city centre was my destination. Yet, there was no Wifi there, and none anywhere else at all!
In France, open networks and cafes with free WIFI-- the kind we take for granted in North America-- they just don't exist. I ended up paying something like 25$ to connect with a friend for three hours at a gaming centre. Yikes!
However, my search for Wifi had brought me to the heart of Amiens. It seemed a really cool city. Alas, it was dark and cold by the time I had finished my catchup conversation with Louisa. Somehow I had to figure my way out of the city. I paused and looked about. I had passed a pub 30 metres back.
A singular intuition-- or maybe it was just the cozy warmth of the place-- urged me to turn back and check it out. Reason compelled me to ignore the call of comfort and set off.
After an internal debate, intution won out. I returned for a quick beer for the road.
As I put my bike onto the wall by the pub-- the wall opened! It was a door. A french couple appeared, and curiously questioned the strange cyclist who looked so out of place. One thing led to another, they helped me find a free internet connection, and with incredible generousnous invited me to stay at their apartment that night.
When you travel, one learns quickly that to follow the signs, the omens, the doors that open. A door had literally opened. I gratefully excepted.
Vladmir and Sandrine's welcomed me with wonderful kindness. They shared a late dinner with and made me a wonderfuly warm and dry bed on their sofa. We talked about French culture and graphic design. There aparment was situated right beside a large cathedral. I had all but dismissed it walking by in the dark. They informed me that it is one of the most amazing in France, a 12th century gothic masterpiece, and an UNESCO world heritage site. People come from all over the world to visit it.
And there I was-- by chance! Blessings abound. More next post.