- Jul 13, 2013
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Lord Pchelovod knocked yesterday 25 March. In keeping to my word, I am posting this the day after he joined.Please announce that I have gone after Monday.
Here are some of his PMs:
Yes, I've read and printed out instructions from Marseille airport to train station by coach/bus, and train station to Aubagne. I'm pretty sharp when it comes to direction.
Let me if know if you'd like my cellphone number, or if you have one. My roaming charges aren't too high.
Tomorrow 6 AM I depart my house and by 8 I take a flight to Dusseldorf Germany, then to Marseille arriving 1345 hours local. Plenty of time to look around the area.
I've printed out a map and marked out the B52 cafe, the hotel, and the camp/base.
I photocopied both sides of my license instead of bringing it. I bring everything I listed above, add or minus one or two items, in a backpack and a gym bag.
I've also bought some metallic sharpie pens with me and marked almost everything (shoes, watch, phone, headphones, sun glasses, slippers, too many to list).
I'm leaving most of my cards. Only my debit card for withdraws/special case spending. I've got around 200 or so euro cash to work with.
I'm well prepared for this, have brought enough clothes and belongings (brought one or two pair extra in case I lose them), and hygiene/personal care products.
I'm ready to give it all. I come without expectations or demand.
The video I posted in the fitness thread of the rope climbing is actually me, but I don't want recognition to brag, or bring attention to myself.
Fitness & gym videos
With everything said, I am in good spirit. I am a little scared because it's a big leap and will change my life.
Bloody hell Joe, the march to the hotel was a long and hot one.
It’s 20 degrees with sun beaming down on me, and almost 3 miles of semi-rural terrain.
Well I can’t complain, if I can’t march this I shouldn’t join.
Hotel is 169.95 (including tax) for 3 nights.
I forgot my hat, coat, gloves, and European charging adapter.
Not a big deal, can buy them.
I’m heading out to buy some stuff, when I return I’ll write one you can post on the forums.
Saturday at 12:39 AM
Okay, it was a long walk to find a store that sells chargers. About 2.5 miles exploring other side of high way and 2.5 miles back.
Picked up some food from boulangerie and some toiletries (airports are nasty with liquids, be careful of vigipirate). Expensive, pretty much ripped off but what can you do?
You can add the stuff below to the quote too:
Landed in Marseille, seems Navettes were to the left of the departures.
Navettes to la gare St Charles.
St Charles to Aubagne via la gare.
Joe recommended a hotel a brisk walk from the Train station.
Definitely get a drink especially during the summer.
Aubagne isn’t as easy to access as Paris. The roads are older, have less paving, and more awkward to traverse. Wear good shoes.
I stopped by a gas station to pick up something to drink, walked past the legion base and museum and to the hotel. I highly recommend eating a meal before getting on the plane (like I did) otherwise you’ll be hungry too.
Saturday at 6:07 PM
Visited museee de la Legion entrangere. Sun was extremely hot, must wear full sleeves and drink water if walking there.
Arrived 0945 early, guard told me to wait a bit (musee ouvrir Dix heurs).
Waited around 15 minutes. General Meow (black and white cat) visited the camp to inspect the troops.
Eventually two Legionnaires arrived to open the gates and parking. I bought an English booklet guide and good 40 or so minutes touring the museum.
Saw the history, the uniforms, the arms and armaments, trophies, paintings, statues, gifts, and the prized left hand of Danjou. Whilst I cannot read French fluently, I could still pick up the key words that allow me to fill the gaps.
It was indeed a very good moral booster, and it’s humbling to make the long walk along the Legion way in the sun.
Sadly the B52 cafe is closed Samedi et Dimarche, I picked up a burger fries and drink across the road.
I reckon 200 Euro wasn’t enough, should bring extra to cover hotel fees and goods you may need to restock before joining.
Sunday at 4:11 AM
After the visiting musee de la Legion entrangere I found out my face got a bit sun burnt. I suggest bring a hat and sun cream during Aubagne summer and spring times to potential recruits.
My face is a little pink and stinging.
I headed for a long trek up the mountains south west of the hotel and Legion base near La Penne sur Heveaune. Sun was still very hot and probably burnt me a little more.
A long walk to the mountain side, and a longer march up the mountain ached my feet and ankles.
I got a sense of tranquility and pride when I turn around and see how far I marched. The cool air has a pleasant aroma and the hikers are friendly.
About a quarter or a third way up the mountain I saw a sign that indicated the further route required experience and maybe a guide.
I wasn’t equipped to climb and I’m not keen on risking injury or worse so I began to make my long trek down an alternative route.
It can be easy to get lost in the maze of residential houses and the mountain. I’m pretty sharp when it comes to sense of direction, but even then I had to double check on my phone.
Important thing to note Joe, this hotel doesn’t serve food all hours and isn’t a restaurant. I made another march later in the evening to the Les Infantes Gates restaurant a mile or two down the road.
Food was about 25 for a meal. Ordered raw beef with egg and chips. First time eating blue meat.
Walked back to hotel, it suddenly got chilly and I’m glad to be back in the hotel room.
Very interesting second day here.
I think any recruit looking to go to Aubagne must understand that this place is far more rural than Paris. You have to be shrewd and aware of where you’re going in Aubagne.
Shops are less common, fewer people speak English, places are more far apart and need a brisk walk to get to.
Sunday I spent some extra time in bed and hotel.
Took a walk west towards La Valentine and made it about 2 or 3 miles before the highways stopped having a pavement to walk on.
Picked up a Polle et tomat panini and walked back to the hotel.
Definitely recommend some sun screen to new recruits so they don’t burn themselves like I did. The sun gets really hot.
Spent the rest of the evening relaxing and marking my belongings.
Sunday is riskiest in my opinion because everywhere is closed. No chance to buy sun screen or anything for that matter unless you travel to Marseille and back. Even the Boulangerie is closed.
Finished the evening with some dinner and relaxation in the hotel diner before the march to the enlistment centre tomorrow.
Currently feel like a fool because I might have forgotten my nail trimmer. I’m also without a coat and gloves but it’s still summer so I’m not worried.
I have about 2-3 days worth of clothes before I need to do laundry.
I’m going to prepare to sleep, repack my bags, and go to bed.
I hope my reports on my three days in Aubagne will be helpful for others.
We’ll see what tomorrow has in wait for me.
Yesterday at 2:55 PM
Just had breakfast and about to update my friends I’m making the long march now.
I read what happened to Guido and his foot. I’m so sorry to hear that. I’ll keep that in mind to avoid the injury too.
Everything has been stuffed back into my bag.
It’s time to make the long walk to the base. I’ll keep in touch.