Corsica - Day 7
In the morning I went to the beach. I thought about it for a long time but decided I really didn't feel like spending another 12 days alone in Corsica if I wasn't able to hike properly. However, I wasn't sure if I would be able to return sooner. Along the beach I walked to the airport a few kilometers outside of Ajaccio.
The sea next to Ajaccio
I had to go to the bathroom, when I happened to look up I saw this.
The peephole in the bathroom
Upon arriving at the airport I explained what I wished to do. They people at the help desk didn't understand why I was there while my flight was supposed to leave from Calvi. It turned out the fine for changing my ticket was higher than I had paid for it. The prices had gone up so much that it would cost 200 euros just to fly back to Marseille, let alone Amsterdam. The personnel there wasn't nearly stubborn enough to find a cheap ticket, but after they had been searching with two people for nearly an hour they found a solution. I could fly to Paris in 3 hours and then take a train to the Netherlands from there. This way I still lost the cost of my original ticket, but that was OK. After waiting for a few hours I luckily managed to go home relatively soon. The flight went well but it was already around 19:00 when I arrived in Paris.
Clouds from the airplane
I arrived at an airport outside of Paris. Fortunately I had my GPS so I could see I was about 45 km south of the city. This was again one of those situations where I got dropped off somewhere at night and had no idea where I was, but needed to figure it out quickly as otherwise I wouldn't have anywhere to sleep.
I knew I needed to reach Gare du Nord station because Bart and I had been there twice before during cycling vacation. After asking around I learned which of the (literally) 27 bus lines to Paris I needed to take. In the bus I had to pay attention to get off at the right station. The station I arrived at was nearly as large as Gare du Nord and there were no signs indicating how to reach Gare du Nord itself. Eventually I figured out that beneath the station was an entire second station for metro lines. Those did go to Gare du Nord. I walked through a tunnel for 40 minutes before reaching the right line. After a 20 minute metro ride I finally reached the station.
I knew from our cycling trips that I needed to take the train to Lille, which was leaving in 6 minutes. I quickly bought a ticket and got in, not 100% sure if it was the correct train. After two hours I arrived around midnight. There were no trains riding any more and (besides 5 stars hotels) no places to sleep. I decided to camp in the park, just as Bart and I had done in Dijon on one of our cycling trips. It was not easy to find a good place, but eventually I did. Hopefully it wouldn't started raining and I wouldn't get caught.