dimanche 15 décembre 2013

When time stands still.


Travelling. This word itself implies a movement. Going from point A to point B. At least. And indeed you do move. You take the plane, the train, a boat, the bus, drive, or sit at the backseat, you bike, you walk, sometimes you run in order to take one of the previously mentionned transport.
But there many times when you don't move at all. Be it by choice or not.
And no guide book will tell you about those moments when time stands still, either because hours seem way too long, or because these are moments of bliss when time doesn't matter anymore.
I actually love those moments of waiting or just enjoying doing nothing at all, a lot. Sometimes I need a bit of time, I need to be back home to be able to enjoy them but I always end up by growing an amused affection for them.

Among the times where I delibaretely chose to stop moving, are a lot of italian places. Piazzale Michelangelo is one of them. Located at the very top of a hill, overlooking Florence, this place by day or night always makes me want to sit and call it a day.
Burano is also one of them. Venice makes everything slow, your feelings, hearbeat, mind and plunges you into a whimsical almost magical mood. Burano just stops time for me. Everytime the boat comes near its shore I feel excited, happy and once I land a foot on the little paved streets I never want to leave.

Fighting the heat in Burano.

A park in Rome.
And Rome... Perhaps because of the unbearable heat, the crowd that one couldn't seem to escape, the perpetual noises everywhere, or perhaps because I was really not enjoying my time there that much, every chance to just sit was welcome.

The view from McDonalds in Omotesando, Tokyo.

Japan was a tiring trip, a very condensed and emotionaly exhausting one and I can name a few times when we just sat and pretended being busy eating when in fact we were just resting. I even remember my friend falling asleep in McDonalds in the middle of the day.

Waiting for the train to take us to Kamakura. Rarely has waiting for a train been that nice. Japan I miss you.

This summer was my first both as a host and a guest on couchsurfing, and I cannot wait for next summer and meet amazing people again! My friend and I were hosted in Bratislava by an amazing, sweet and really cool couple who made our time there just really nice. And I remember this delicious little café, where we talked about religions, politics, arts and travelling without any notion of time. 

In the Gum. Moscow.

If there's one city I've been to that made me feel tired and not wanting to move at all anymore, this has to be Moscow. The places where we hid, trying to convince ourselves it was ok to be doing nothing were many. Starbuks, Dunkin Donuts, The Gum, monasteries, and the Red Square. I won't lie, Moscow is a bit difficult to love, it takes efforts and a bit of sweat. My friends found it hard to wake up every morning, and I had to wake them up, reminding them we would soon be back to Paris. But during the day, the city being what it is, we just needed some peaceful time. And the best was sitting on the ground of the RedSquare at night, looking at the red builings all lit up. At that time only, Moscow was lovely and very easy to love.

My sister in Prague

Is McDonalds a shelter for travellers? With a bit of shame, I'll have to say yes. In Prague we had an amazing time but it was cold and days were very short. The morning we arrived at 4AM, we fell asleep in the commonroom/tvroom of the youthhostel and then proceeded to find somewhere to eat, and warm up before exploring the city. We indulged a bit on food and on time for this breakfast..

A 2day long wait in Lviv that made us look like zombies.

I never talk about that one destination, but I did go to Sweden, to Stockholm to be precise. And the reason why I never  talk about it is because I simply didn't like it at all. Nor the city, nor the people, nor what we did there, and that implied a lot of waiting in the cold with very little sleep and a lot of stress. I also remember paying an awful lot for vegetarian lasagna in that restaurant, that were not even good. Yes Sweden you aint seeing me again anytime soon!

To be fair I'm not sure where that was exactly. But I am about 80%positive it was in Kiev, waiting for the flight that would take me back to Paris, after my first experience in travelling and many cities and concert venues(remember that time I travelled through Europe following a band?) I don't remember much but I clearly remember how much I stank and how tired I was to waiting that time!

Let me know about your experiences, about the places and times you've spent waiting. And waiting for what?

2 commentaires:

  1. I used to dread flying, especially waiting in the airport. I was always impatient to get to where I was going and anxious because of the flight. This year though I've had a change of perspective. I look forward to time in the airport when I can just relax and read. Now I enjoy every minute that I have nothing to do other than read and write in my journal. I also like to sit in parks whenever I'm traveling and just take in everything that is happening around me. I was in Philadelphia a couple days ago and sat on a park bench for a good hour.

  2. Hi Emy! I enjoyed all of your pictures, especially those of Italy. I've spent one year living in Spain and I remember very well the day of the departure. I was waiting at the airport, hoping for the best time of my life.
    Greetings from Italy ;)