10.10.20 / Un tout nouveau tout

2020 a été une année étrange. Mais j’ai envie qu’on continue d’être joyeux, malgré les temps maussades. C’est pourquoi je reviens avec un tout nouveau nom et un tout nouveau site, et un tout nouveau logo, afin d’exaucer tous mes voeux pour l’année prochaine.

Projet numéro 1: organiser une tournée bretonne pour apprendre le hulahoop aux enfants. Si vous connaissez des instituteurs qui pourraient être intéressés par la visite de Cap’tain Paillettes, faites-moi signe ! C’est encore mieux si c’est dans des écoles bilingues, car j’ai envie de parler breton. Ken ar wech all!


Hooping in Paris, France. A preview of my capital city.

Here is a little preview of what Paris has to offer, for hooping opportunities.
I’ve started hulahooping last September, I’m far from being a pro, but I’m learning.
I will upload a few videos of my travels, all with a hoop around my waist !


The Hoop Traveller : Vietnam, from HCMC to Hanoi

An old video, back when I had 3 tricks up my sleeve and only had been outside of Europe for about 1 month. I have done quite a lot of growing up since. But I remember falling in love instantly with Vietnam, when I hopped on my first scooter taxi in HCMC, with all my backpacks in tow.

This city, one of the most populous in the world, looks like an unsurmountable mess at first, and it feels like you’re never going to be able to cross that street to get your banh-mi. But it turns out you just need to close your eyes and start walking through the torrent of scooters. Trust them, they don’t want to run you over. Finding your way through the meanders is what makes Vietnam so freaking electrifying!

I included some videos of the landscapes, to make you travel with me. Where are you going to go?
– Ho Chi Minh City : Damsen Waterpark, Chill rooftop bar…
– Tay Ninh : Cao Dai Temple
– Hoi An
– Ti’s Easyrider Tour from Hoi An to Hué
– Hanoi : Vietnam Backpackers Original, new airport..
– Halong Bay : Cat Ba & Castaway Island

Follow my adventures. Every day is different.

Going to Vietnam soon and you have somes travel questions? Great! Those are my favourite type of questions. Type it in the box below and I’ll try my best to answer it. Don’t be shy…


13th June to 14th of July 2014

From Lithuania to Slovenia all in one massive selfie. 🙂


Buda & Pest, the Hungarian way

From the moment I stepped out of the train, I had a feeling Budapest was going to be a lot different from the cities I’ve explored before. Did I get that from the light golden colors the buildings wear to remind you that you’ve landed in a country where it gets hot, hot, hot ? Or maybe from the dodgy looking people hovering around Keleti Station, trying to sell me lavender ? Nevermind the reason, you instantly get the vibe that you’re in the South now.

However, soon after I settled in Budapest, it started raining, as it usually does when I arrive in a new country (Vilnius, Warsaw, Prague, and even Zagreb, at this very moment). So many times I’ve heard « You’re not lucky at all, it’s been super sunny right until you arrived ». I’m starting to think that I’m travelling with my own little rain cloud over my head, ready to crack when I pass a border. After a few hours of rain, I wandered in town to find the big blue Danube. Somehow, the first view I had of river banks made me feel like I was in Egypt. Never been to Egypt, but the riverside and its rounded-roof palaces look a lot like Alexandria in the Asterix & Obelix cartoons from my childhood, so it must be historically accurate.

After the highly touristic weekend in Prague, I was more than happy to spend the week in Budapest like a local. Hosted by the lovely Zsofia, my residence was in a popular neighbourhood of Ujpest, in the outskirts of Pest, built in the 70’s by the Communists, when they were running out of money. Tall identical buildings, made of concrete panels, reassembled here to accomodate as many workers as possible.

By the looks I was getting while taking a stroll in the hood, I understood that not many foreigners dared to come this far out of the city. I really loved how there was no doubt at all, not even for a second, that I was not from here. Everytime I walked in a shop or made eye contact with a neighbour, I could hear « Hello ». Surprisingly though, I found people a lot more welcoming and helpful with tourists in Ujpest (where not many speak english), than in the city center (where they use their English to be plain rude).

Talking about the people of the city, I really have to write a paragraph about the strange population of Hungary. But how to do that without sounding like a spoilt brat from Western Europe is hard. There’s a certain poverty here in Hungary and it’s difficult to ignore the numerous signs of it, especially around Keleti station. Lots of beggars and people sleeping on benches. Some parallel businesses are also happening here, like selling lavender (that has been picked from roundabouts) or cutting cables to resell them. At the time I was there, it was the time of the year when people can get rid of their old stuff and furniture, by just leaving them in the streets. The pavements were covered in broken furniture, electrical appliances, old clothes and magazines. Which is apparently a gold mine for the Roma population, who is particularly poor, and I could see them keeping a close look on the left furniture or cutting cables off the electronical devices. This sight can be a bit surprising for the untrained eye of the tourist just passing by, who doesn’t know what’s happening. However, there’s a good news for the unluckiest of Budapest people, it’s not rare to see homeless people gathering up for parties in the shade of a tree, when their day of begging is over. Somehow, it made me smile to see all these beggars getting over their tough existence to share a laugh (and cheap beers) together. Isn’t that a great news ?

More positively, there is so much more to the city than just the dodgy-looking people. There’s also some truly beautiful buildings (the Parliament, the Palace, the Castle, the Citadelle) that will make you wonder about the geniuses behind those ideas. And more importantly, a few spots in town will offer you some views over the city that will take your breath away :

  • see Buda & Pest from the middle of Margit Bridge at night

  • hover in the Palace to admire the Danube and the Parliament

  • blow your mind away by climbing to the Citadelle where you can see everything.

I’ve had a very relaxing time here in Budapest, just lazing in the sun and simply enjoying the views. As I was craving for a countryside getaway, Zsofia recommended me to go to Szentendre (roughly 40 min away from the city), a cute little town over the Danube with tiny little craft shops and other tourists-catchers. I happily spent my day, out of the crowded town, on a nice river beach, lazing on what must be my favourite thing on Earth : a hammac. Hammac, good tunes and beer and Caroline couldn’t be happier. I had a break from all this tough relaxing to get myself one of the famous Langos, a speciality that could give you enough energy for the next 10 days. The weapon of the crime : a deep fried flatbread soaking in oil, topped with rich sour cream and grated cheese and then drizzled with « garlic water ». Very tasty. Like really stupidly good. But how could it not be tasty with all this fat in it ? I saw many children devouring those things and it got me a bit worried. I was about to call Super Jamie so he could get on the case ASAP. But according to my Czech friend Petra (yeah, they also have it over there, lucky them), she was only allowed one every year, it’s a bit reassuring. I would suggest having the annual langos before the winter, in order to get your fat intake sorted for the whole hibernation.

I wanted to be cheeky and get a second langos before I got on my way. But in the name of professional and touristic curiosity, I went for the famous and traditional Gulyasleves (Goulash soup) made with Hungary’s finest paprika and what seemed to be chicken. Spicy soup but delicious.

It is filled with this lovely gulyasleves and a certain melancholy that I left Hungary on Sunday afternoon, after 5 beautiful days. The best part of it was to have this little routine, having a flat, commute to the city center, going out with Zsofia and Szilard, having a taste of Palinka, knowing enough words of Hungarian to make rubbish jokes… I feel this full immersion into the culture made it one of the best destinations of the trip, as I learnt a lot more than I ever expected. So thank you my beautiful hosts. And thank you Dora for making this come true, now I feel like I know you much better! 😉

And for the bravest, a little bit of history !

After learning so much about communism in Poland, I was curious about Hungary’s past. Well, the least we can say is that it’s not easy to be surrounded by very ambitious undirect neighbours. To name a few countries that fought to get the control of the Magyar lands : Turkey, Austria, Germany & Russia. Someone takes over, then another country frees the country and then takes over. At the very end of the 19th century, Hungarians had a lucky break and got their independence on a very vast land (that had Romania, part of Czech Rep and more). One bad decision (siding with the Germans for WWI) and they were stripped off of two thirds of their lands, during the Treaty of Versailles, which is still bitterly remembered by the nostalgic population. The will to get their lands back got them to side, again, with the Germans for WWII. When they found out what was happening to the Jews under the Third Reich domination, they tried to pull out but got their government replaced by the Arrow Cross movement – pro-germans of course – who delivered the Jews to the concentration camps in a blink of an eye. And what usually happens to Hungary happened again. Freed by the – oh so great – Red Army (who didn’t rape anyone on their way there), those nice Russians did have an agenda and it was to impose communism on Hungary, which they successfully did for a few decades, even though the price to pay for it was a few thousands lives. The House of Terror on Andrassy Utca, showcases the pressure put on the population by the Communist party to keep this failing system working. It used to be the headquarter of the AVO (the organ of surveillance of the Communist party) and where they were taking the « system opponents » to torture them, lock them up in tiny cells and often to kill them. If you want to learn a lot about Hungarian history, that’s the place to go, but fill up with coffee first cause there’s A LOT to read. However, watching the testimonies of fully grown men weaping while detailing the horrors they had to overcome, makes you stop feeling sorry for yourself for quite a while.



Prague, c’est grand, c’est joli, et plein de touristes !

Oh Prague, capitale de la fête en Europe Centrale et ville de la drague probablement aussi. Capitale de la bière aussi, car première pays producteur et buveur, il fallait bien que moi aussi, à ma façon, j’essaye cette destination prisée par les fêtards. Premières impressions…

Je suis arrivée à Prague samedi matin, tombée du wagon à 7h 30, train de nuit oblige. C’était la première fois (et vraiment pas la dernière) que je devais changer de pays tout en dormant. Si ça vous arriver de faire le voyage avec Interrail, pensez à réserver dans des wagons-lits et pas dans des wagons normaux où on est assis. C’est évidemment ce qui s’est passé et j’ai du passer la nuit avec quatre suédois très excités et un coréen beaucoup moins excité. Dormir à 6 dans un petit compartiment n’a pas été chose facile, une partie de Tetris humain a donc eu lieu, pour que tout le monde trouve une place relativement confortable. Heureusement tout est passé très rapidement et on s’est tous réveillés aussi énergisés qu’après une sieste et prêts à aller découvrir la ville. Du moins, c’est ce que je pensais.

J’ai sauté du train, laissé mes affaires à l’auberge, pris une douche, et à 9 du matin, j’étais déjà en mode exploration. J’ai marché sans but, ni plan de la ville, jusqu’à l’autre côté du fameux Karluv Most (Pont Charles), d’où on a une vue incroyable de la ville, mais où on doit cohabiter avec quelques millions de touristes. Après avoir gravi les grandes montées et slalomé entre les apprentis photographes, on peut visiter le Sénat tchéque, le beau et grand château et la Cathédrale (qui a l’air vieille, mais qui ne l’est pas) que l’on voit dominer sa colline depuis partout dans la ville. C’est facile de comprendre pourquoi Prague attire autant de touristes. Comme à peu près toutes les villes que j’ai visitées (à part Varsovie), le Centre historique est un assemblement de beaux et grands bâtiments baroques et il est très difficile de trouver des rues moins jolies. Ce qui me change beaucoup de Brest, où il est très difficile de trouver un seul bâtiment un peu baroque. Ici, toutes les facades sont colorées ou peintes façon rococo, et tout édifice est coiffé d’un clocher or d’un dôme, ce qui rend vraiment magnifique la vue de l’autre côté de la rivière. D’ailleurs, si vous voulez en profiter, il y a deux parcs en hauteur de la ville, à côté du château, où on peut siropter de la bonne bière, sans perdre une miette du paysage.

Old Town Square

Donc, ce jour-là, à deux heures de l’après-midi, j’avais déjà vu la plupart de la Vieille Ville et explorer une bonne partie de la colline du Château. C’est alors qu’une fatigue intense (venant de la nuit passée recroquevillée sur le sol froid d’un train) a décidé de frapper. Ce qui suit représente parfaitement ce qui s’est passé pendant tout mon temps à Prague, car la ville est faite d’un dédale de rues de toutes les formes sans vraiment de logique. Je décide de me la couler douce, je ne trouve pas l’endroit parfait pour me la couler douce, donc je continue à marcher, encore et encore, sans arrêt. Cette fois-ci, je cherche un Beer Garden derrière la gare principale, où apparemment beaucoup de gens regardent le foot et sympathisent. Très bien, je m’en vais, avec beaucoup de gaité. Oui mais voilà, mon cerveau est fatigué et ne suit plus du tout la cadence (après 3 plans de ville à apprivoiser). Je crois que j’ai dû passer 3 heures à chercher ce maudit jardin, dont une heure dans la gare à chercher la bonne sortie. Mes pieds me font mal, je perds patience. Pour reprendre des forces, je me suis enfiler un plat gargantuesque de canard, saucisse et choux (oui, au pluriel, ils aiment les choux). C’était assez pour 3 filles comme moi, tout juste pour un Tchèque apparemment.

Voici la bête…

Mais j’ai besoin de force et de courage pour le Pub Crawl (tournée des bars) du soir, alors je mange presque tout et rentre à l’auberge pour une sieste. Réveillée par des voix de petites anglaises, je me dis « Bingo, j’ai trouvé mes potes pour le Pub Crawl ». A ces anglaises, se sont rajoutés leur ami, anglais aussi, trois gars de Sheffield (Anglais du Nord, certes, mais toujours Anglais), et donc moi, la Frenchy qui aime bien se la jouer British. J’ai perdu les filles plus tard dans la soirée, mais les 3 Sheffieldiens m’avaient bien cachés une chose : leur goût prononcé pour la danse, surtout sur du disco. Rentrage maison : 3 heures du matin, en ayant bu 3 shots et perdu à peu près 10 kg. Mais quelle joie de se réveiller « en forme ».

L’usage du guillemet est très important. Pendant mon temps à Prague, j’ai été un peu handicapée par une fatigue de plus en plus intense. Marcher 6 heures minimum chaque jour, voyager de nuit, sortir le soir, travailler et écrire un blog, est, comment dire, épuisant. Et quand je trouve un petit endroit confortable où m’asseoir, j’essaye de me relaxer un peu. J’espère que vous trouverez assez de clémence au fin fond de vos coeurs, pour me pardonner.

Fatiiiiiiiiigue !

Boules de pomme de terre remplies de lardons fumés avec de la bonne choucroute évidemment. Près de l’ambassade Allemande.

“Petit” grignotage apéro pour une personne. C’est dur.

Du Camembert dans de l’huile, avec des pruneaux ou des poivrons pris en sandwich à l’intérieur. Peu orthodoxe, pour nous Français, mais ça se laisse manger et c’est une spécialité locale.

Balade en bateau la plus barbante de l’histoire. J’en riais presque.


Prague is big, beautiful, full of history and tourists.


The weekend being here and me being in Prague, Central Europe’s #1 party destination, I had to do my share of partying. Even on a Sunday night. And for that, what better partners in crime should I find than a big bunch of Brits.

I have arrived Saturday morning from Krakow to Prague on an overnight train. First time out of three or four nights that I will have to spend this way during this trip. If you are doing an Interrail trip, when you make your seat reservations, make sure that you select a sleeping option (ex : 6 ou 9 ppl compartiments). Because I wasn’t asked to choose, so I ended up in a normal seat compartiment with 4 very excited Swedes and a less than excited Korean. When sleeping time came, we all played human Tetris to find a relatively comfy position to sleep. Hopefully it all went quickly and we all woke up energised and ready to discover Prague, or at least that’s what I thought.


I stepped out of the train, left the luggage at the hostel, had a shower and by 9am, I was ready to rock! Which I did! I went to the other side of the famous Karluv Most (Charles Bridge), where you have an amazing view but need to cohabitate with millions of tourists. If you walk up those steep streets, you will reach the Czech Senate, the beautiful Castle and the very old looking (but really not that old) Cathedral , which dominates the city from the top of its hill. There’s no doubt why Prague attracts tourists from all over the world, the heart of the city is so very baroque and well preserved (and beer is cheap). A paradise for Chinese tourists and other photography enthusiasts, who like to get their camera out, every step of the way.

But the best view I had was from the Beer Gardens overlooking the city from the same side of the river as the Castle, next to the Metronome, or next to the German Embassy. Good beer, good view and some calm, what else can I ask for ?


Old Town Square

So by 2pm, I had seen most of the Old Town and the « Castle District », the tiredness (from sleeping in an absurd position on a moving train) chose that time to fully kick in. So I decide its chill out time… Following the hostel receptionist’s advice, I head to a garden behind the station. What’s following is what happened every day I was in Prague, because Prague is not made of blocks, but circles, triangles, arcades and twisted streets (better be wide awake and well caffeinated). My brain was totally out and I got lost so many times on the way and even spent a full hour in the train station looking for the right exit. I ran out of patience after 3 hours of walking around (literally around). To gain some strength, I went to a truely Czech gastropub, where I had a duck, sausage and cabbage dish, big enough to feed 3 people like me (= the normal portion for any dish in Central/Eastern Europe).


Finished that in two bites!

Feeling brave and already fearing for the upcoming Pub Crawl, I ate most of the enormous dish, then went back to the hostel and had a instant nap. Awaken by the sound of two feminine English voices, I knew I had found my buddies for the Pub Crawl. It was indeed a very English pub crawl : two English ladies, their English mate, plus three guys from Sheffield that we met on the way, and me, the Frenchy who like to pretend she’s British. I ended up losing the girls and setting the disco dancefloor on fire with the Northerners, till 3am, while sober (why does it keep happening?). Good times indeed, and even better time when I woke up fresh the morning after. Since I got lucky the first time, I tried to do it again the night after with a big bunch of Scotsmen (and a LOT more alcohol) and it didn’t end up that well for me (oh headache, oh intense fatigue).

imageDo I need to say anything else? I was tired.

Generally, I would say that carrying my tired legs and exhausted mind through this big city, has been quite a handicap. Yes, I will admit, walking for at least 6 hours every day, travelling overnight, going out till late at night, working full-time and writing a blog, is a bit challenging and truely exhausting. And when I finally find somewhere to sit down, I try to unwind and switch my bruised brain off.


imagePotato and smoked meet dumpling with… Sauerkraut of course! Gotta love cabbage. In a cute pub next to the German Embassy in Malastranka.


Just a little appetizer before real dinner. Just kidding. Can’t finish any plate in this country.


I settled into a cool secluded beer garden in town to write this article. Ukunstatu, it’s called. The very nice waiter made me try some « Pickled Camembert", with a spicy filling or a plum filling. It was certainly worth the try, even though it sounded like a profanation of one my favourite cheeses.


World’s most boring boat ride. Well I was hungover, so probably very hard to entertain.