Corsica - Day 7
In the morning I went to the beach. I pondered 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 actually be able to return sooner. Along the beach I walked to the airport a few kilometers outside of Ajaccio.
The sea next to Ajaccio
Upon arriving at the airport I explained what I wanted 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 more than what 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 cheaper 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 found myself somewhere unknown at night and needed to formulate a plan quickly as I wouldn't have anywhere to sleep otherwise.
I knew I needed to reach Gare du Nord station because Bart and I had been there twice before during our cycling trips. After asking for help I learned which of the literally 27 bus lines to Paris I needed to take. The station I arrived at was nearly as large as Gare du Nord but there were no signs indicating how to reach Gare du Nord itself. Eventually I figured out that there was an entire second station for metro lines under the already enormous bus station. In contrast to the busses, the metro did go to Gare du Nord. I walked through a tunnel for 40 minutes before reaching the right line. After a 20 minute ride I finally arrived.
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 in Lille 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 before in Dijon. It was not easy to find a good spot, but I eventually did. I hoped it wouldn't started raining and I wouldn't get caught.