#1 Le grand départ : traversée de la France

Nantes – Aix-en-Provence

En cette matinée pluvieuse du 10 juillet 2017, me voilà enfin parti pour mon grand tour d’Europe et d’Asie en stop. Après des au revoir émouvants, mon père me dépose sur une aire d’autoroute sur la route de Bordeaux. J’avais redouté ce moment:

« Salut Papa, à dans un an!

– Fais attention sur la route!… »

Ça y est. Plus de retour en arrière possible. De toute façon, je n’ai guère le temps de songer à une telle chose. Au bout d’à peine deux minutes, je parviens à trouver une voiture qui accepte de m’avancer. Chercheurs en chimie au CNRS de Pau, Mickaël et Luca m’emmènent jusqu’à Langon, petite ville située entre Bordeaux et Toulouse. Je n’en reviens pas: bien que confiant de pouvoir progresser assez vite, je n’aurais pas imaginé dépasser Bordeaux aussi rapidement.

Muni d’une carte plastifiée de mon itinéraire ainsi que de ma bonne humeur, j’aborde les différents conducteurs se trouvant sur l’aire d’autoroute où l’on vient de me déposer. J’essuie quelques refus, mais ne perds par espoir pour autant. En effet, je ne tarde pas à rencontrer Alexis qui me dit se faire une joie de m’emmener à Montauban, près de Toulouse. Je suis ravis! Ma technique semble fonctionner et je ne tombe que sur des gens sympathiques.

 

 

Alexis est maître de conférences en anthropologie à l’université de Poitiers et il se trouve que son aire culturelle de prédilection est l’Inde, pays que je compte explorer pendant mon périple. S’ensuivent des discussions sur le voyage, l’ethnologie et l’Inde qu’il a visitée à de nombreuses reprises, si bien que nous ratons la sortie de Montauban… Mon conducteur se révèle d’autant plus aimable et fait demi-tour pour me rapprocher.

Mathilde, une amie rencontrée en Allemagne qui habite près de Montauban vient me chercher et m’accueille chez elle pour la nuit. Ce n’est pas encore ce soir que je vais utiliser ma tente! Un bon repas, quelques bières et un lit douillet m’attendent pour la première nuit de ce périple.

Le lendemain matin, Mathilde me dépose à une station essence où je reprends la route. Objectif de la journée: Aix-en-Provence où m’attend mon ami François. Je me fais rapidement déposer à un endroit plus propice par un couple sympathique de Toulouse.

 

 

En effet, je rencontre dans la foulée un autre couple se rendant à Nîmes qui accepte de me prendre. Je m’arrête pour manger sur une aire entre Montpellier et Nîmes, puis poursuis ma route jusqu’à Aix-en-Provence avec une dernière voiture.

Il 14h30: en seulement une journée et demie, j’ai déjà parcouru 1000 kilomètres et n’ai dépensé que 1,5€! La suite s’annonce prometteuse… Mais tout d’abord, petite pause de quelques jours chez François que je vais rejoindre dans un bar du centre-ville.

Aix-en-Provence/Marseille

François m’accueille donc chez lui pour une semaine. Une bonne occasion de se revoir et de découvrir une facette de la France qui m’est encore inconnue. Même s’il s’agit toujours du même pays, le contraste avec ma région natale se fait déjà ressentir. Chaleur étouffante, bâtisses jaunes-orangées, craquettement incessant des grillons: je suis bien arrivé dans le sud.

Aix-en-Provence est une charmante petite ville provençale dont on a vite fait le tour. Nous allons donc à plusieurs reprises pendant la semaine chez sa grande voisine: Marseille.

 

 

Marseille se révèle époustouflante à maints égards. La deuxième ville de France étant bâtie sur une terrain vallonné, un large panorama s’offre au visiteur dès la descente des marches de la gare Saint Charles. Marseille me donne vite l’impression de représenter le monde en miniature. Son aspect cosmopolite est indéniable, on y croise des gens de partout. L’ambiance y est festive, humaine, vraie.

 

 

Idéalement située le long de la Méditerranée, la ville regorge d’endroits où se baigner. François me fait par exemple découvrir l’anse de Malmousque, une petite crique rocailleuse au sud du Vieux-Port.

 

 

Nous profitons de la dernière journée pour découvrir le parc national des Calanques près de Cassis. Falaises, petites criques, eau cristalline: un véritable joyau naturel dont il est difficile de partir!

 

La semaine passée à explorer la région est agréable, et pourtant, je commence à ressentir l’envie de poursuivre mon périple. Prochaine étape: l’Italie.

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25 juillet 2017 at 13 h 45 min

Coucou Yann, tu as raison, le contraste est saisissant et dépaysant. Petite référence artistique à l’une de tes images en noir et blanc mettant en valeur les ombres portées de ces êtres mobiles : Umbehr Otto dit Umbo. Je te laisse découvrir son travail.

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29 juillet 2017 at 18 h 20 min
– In reply to: Anonyme

Je vais aller voir ça merci 🙂

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