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Published: September 27th 2008
The streets of Lyon
Four months later... we are together again!!!! Fernando and Claudio now in their world tour. Since Claudio went back to Brazil and Fernando studied in England a lot has happened.
Claudio went back to his job and worked more 3 months, all the time teased by Fernando's pictures about trips he did in Europe and north Africa. In our minds the image of the Australian backpacker from Portugal and the English backpackers in London kept coming back. Would it be possible fo us to do something like them? And the money? The job? What about the languages? How do we get the visas? Where do we go? How long can we travel? Health insurance? Vaccines? Transport? The pros and cons were considered all the time. The difficulties looked enormous at the beginning, but the will to do was bigger. If we didn't do it now, when would we be able to sell everything and put the career, family and friends on hold for so long?
Fernando had already decided to not come back to Brazil since the beginning. But the idea of a world trip was new to both of us. Claudio had to organize his life in Brazil before
We shared this studio in 3 people
leaving. Quiting his job wasn't easy. His boss thought he had found a different job somewhere and the trip story was just an excuse. But all went good, he worked until the day before departure.
Fernando had sold his car and quited his job before the first trip so he also was ready.
Our first stop would be France. Why France? Because in Africa they speak besides their local language, one of three European languages. English, that we spoke already, Portuguese, our mother tongue and French. Learning French would be our first challenge. France was the perfect place to do it. We contacted Fernando's friend in Toulouse and she arranged a free 9 weeks French course for Fernando. Hoping two months would be enough we signed up for language school in Toulouse.
The initial arrangements for our trip were done by the Internet and our trip route would be decided once we were together. All we knew was there we would visit three continents, Europe, Africa and Asia and we would try to travel by land all the way.
Short before Christmas Claudio arrived in Paris to meet Fernando for the second time. We spent Christmas in Paris, having
The best preserved castle we've seen
for dinner a ham sandwich and a bottle of vine sitting under the Eiffel Tower.
On the way back we had to take the bus, since the metro was closed. Together with other friends after waiting half hour until the bus arrived (Christmas nights don't have so many buses) we jumped on the bus. We would have to make a connection before arriving at the hostel. At the connection station we waited another half hour freezing until the next bus arrived. Happy inside the heated bus we looked outside for the hostel, but surprisingly all we could see was the river again. We took the bus in the wrong direction! We had to start everything again. At the time we arrived in the hostel it was almost 5 am. Cold and tired we rang the bell but nobody answer. The keeper probably had a nice Eve and was asleep. Lucky us we had a pocket knife (to prepare the sandwiches) and Fernando managed to open the door with it!!
After Christmas we left to Toulouse in the Midi Pirineé, to meet Claudia and some other friends for a small trip to Barcelona over new year and afterwards to a
Overview of the city
ski resort. We would be back for the beginning of our classes.
Studying in the same school as Claudio, there was another Brazilian. Pablo. He rented a studio and we arranged to share it with him. It was a tiny apartment which Fernando and Pablo shared most of the time since Claudio had learned the French way and moved into Amandine's apartment.
Thought Claudia we met a nice group of friends: Fabien, Julien and his girlfriend, Amandine, Severine. We had many dinner parties in Amandine's and Julien's place. Together we went ice skating, weekend excursions, night clubs and another bunch of things. They were our family in France. Very patient with our language barrier they taught us not only the language but to live and love the whole French culture. To Amandine we promised to send one postcard from each country we would visit, for her to keep track of us, putting them in her wall.
After only two months our French had improved dramatically, letting us understand and be understood with no problems. And our trip plan was ready.
We are ready to move on!
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