Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Old friends, new friends and a music festival

Two weeks ago I received an email from my friend Tara saying she had found a cheap plane ticket to Europe. Six days later she arrived for two weeks!

I planned to go to a music festival the following weekend to see a very old friend of mine, Julia, who I hadn’t seen in 18 YEARS, so Tara came along! Bright and early, Thursday morning, we grabbed our bags and took off for the metro. Not realizing the time, we managed to completely miss the train. Running through the metro like maniacs and pushing people out of the way didn’t seem to help, and we ended up taking a train and bus for five hours to get there instead of what would have been a direct two-hour trip.

When we arrived, things went much more smooth. We were just outside Dijon in the beautiful countryside for the weekend, and it was really nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Julia met us at the train station and took us to Flavigny, a small medieval town near where she lives in Semur to see it. This was also the set of the movie Chocolate, so we enjoyed seeing the church and shop from the movie. We then went back to her place to get ready for the music festival the next day.

Tara and I spent the next day navigating the streets of Dijon, trying all the flavours of mustard that exist and braving the sales in the stores along the way! In France, June 21st is the start of all the sales in France, so we were taking advantage of that! That night, Julia took us to the festival with all our stuff to camp on the grounds.

The festival is called Vacarm le rouge (, and Julia and her friends organize it annually. They do everything from building all the tents and BBQs, making the food, organizing the washrooms, bar and sleeping arrangements and it seemed to go off without a hitch! The bands were great, many from the area and the turn out was fantastic.

After two days of late nights, heavy drinking and tons of dancing, Tara and I were ready to head back home, so Sunday morning, we once again took off at the crack of dawn for our train home. Of course, we missed the early one! Forced to sleep in the train station like hoboes surrounded by our things, we vowed to never risk missing another train again.  

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