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The 14 days of Valentine tribute to the love of couchsurfing continues.

DAY 12 – BALAGNY-SUR-THEREIN, FRANCE

HE: Sound producer

SHE: History teacher

When we left Ulm we had no idea we’d soon be doing this...

When we left Ulm we had no idea we’d soon be doing this…

After Ulm, we drove clear across Germany and France, dropped all our gear off near Charles de Gaulle airport and headed one hour north of Paris.  There we found a nice couchsurfing couple living in an ancient stone house in a small village.  We were their first victims guests.  There was some slight awkwardness.  It came out that Retroman thought couchsurfing was an insane idea.  Retrolady had couchsurfed around Europe and like most surfers, had fallen in love with the lifestyle and wanted to give back to the community now that she was home.  Retroman was uncomfortable with hosting strangers in his home.  He only spoke french and seemed self-conscious about that.  And he didn’t have any kids so what he thought about us descending on him with four, I’m not sure.

Strange, carved rock, near Balagny-sur-Therein

Strange, carved rock, near Balagny-sur-Therein

But like all our other surfing experiences, within 45 minutes, we were a chatty, laughing, cohesive group.  Retrohouse was a treasure trove of cool vintage stuff including World War II maps of Europe, 1970s French Monopoly game, 1950s dishes and all manner of funky furniture, fabrics and clothing.  The kids were in heaven and Retroman was flattered by how interested we all were in his job as a sound producer.  Retrolady suggested a day of caving and rock climbing (free!) in honour of spelunking day.  Another village we never would have visited, people we never would have met, activity we never would have tried.  Another wonderful experience.

MERCI BEAUCOUP!!

Onlyboy reaches the summit

Onlyboy reaches the summit

Retrohat is the Uljhan beanie designed by Desiloop.  According to the pattern, Uljhan is a Hindi word meaning “entangled” or “of two minds”.  Perfect!  She’s gung-ho on couchsurfing – he’s sitting on the fence.  As a bonus, Retrocouple were heading to Morocco shortly after our visit and the Uljhan hat reminds me of the geometric patterns on the famous Moroccan tiles.  It is knit in Cascades 220 super wash wool on 5 mm/US 8 needles.  Free pattern on Ravelry or Knitty.

Uljhan hat as modelled by Paris

Uljhan hat as modelled by Paris