On saturday we needed to catch a flight to Paris Beauvais at 6 pm via ryan air. So we took the day easy. We packed our packs, checked out and stowed our gear. We walked down to the waterfront and immediately walked into a pop-up market; people selling all sorts of stuff from nazi military equipment to knockoff rolexes.
After that we got lost on the bus. We intended to take it to the beach and relax there for a few hours, but we were too busy looking out the window we passed it up and decided to just ride it out until they kicked us off. It was fun getting lost, figuring out where we were and working our way back.
We wandered around the neighborhood we got dropped off in as we walked to the closest station. I don’t know if it is me but there is something fascinating about other countries cemeteries. We meandered around a cemetery for about an hour looking at nothing special but constantly interested.
When we arrived at the station we were hungry for lunch and stopped in a local bakery; so basic, but cheap and delicious. This is basically the beginning of our pastry binge and our last meal in spain. They are light and fluffy and delicious, I have no idea how Europeans are so skinny.
It was now about midday, we grabbed our gear from the hostel and headed to the airport. The trains only run every 20 minutes from Barcelona Sants which is the main connecting station, if you’re in a hurry make sure you time it right, cause you could easily miss your flight. We left 3 hours before our flight and got to the gate 15 minutes before boarding. I’m glad we decided to leave early. The bus is another option aside from the trains but i don’t know anything about traffic or price.
Ryan air is cheap but a holy pain in the but if you don’t know what to expect. Here are a few things to expect. They charge for everything if you’re not careful: seat selection, checked baggage, early check in, booking anything other than online, the list goes on so make sure you pay attention to the pages as you book your flight. Some fees you can’t avoid, for example, you must book online, but there is an online booking fee of 7.50eu for every person. It is also slightly more expensive if you use a credit card and not a debit. You MUST print your boarding pass before you go to the airport otherwise there is a 65eu fee to reprint there. Once at the airport you have to go to one counter to get the ticket stamped then go to the normal ticket counter to check your bag. For some reason they cant do it in one location. For us we weren’t allowed to drop our packs at the normal counter either. We had to follow another agent to a nondescript counter and put our packs in a bin to be scanned or rifled through or something, I don’t know. Then we could finally go through security.
For luggage – if you need to check a bag they charge 35eu for the first bag with a limitation of 15 kilos and more for the second bag. For each kilogram over their approved weight it is a 20eu PER kilo charge. So make sure your bags don’t weigh more than they need to.
Your supposed to only be allowed one personal item onboard even if you have a gift bag or a handbag and a laptop bag make sure one fits in another as you go through the gate. They WILL stop you to make sure the bag fits in the approved size which is super small to begin with. On the other hand it is fun to watch people trying to cram bags in those little size cage things. If you need to check it on the spot there is another fee.
Basically just read through the surcharge list. Otherwise the flights are fine 🙂 we even left a little late and got to Beauvais 45 minutes ahead of schedule due to an amazing tailwind. The airport is only about 3 miles from downtown so we grabbed a baguette at the terminal and walked into town. Also when you hear the airport name Paris-Beauvais you think out skirting airport of Paris. NOPE. This is about 60k outside of the paris outskirts and is basically an entirely different town altogether. Think very small town regional airport. No wonder the flights were cheap. Either way we were prepared for it and intended to spend the day there exploring the small towns of france.
By now the sun had been set for about an hour and we still needed to find a place to camp. About halfway into town we found a hidden spot in a very weedy field next to a McDonalds and set up the tent there. Basically this is wild camping. Some people say it is frowned upon and others just say use good camping policies: no fires, clean up after yourself, be respectful of the surrounding, haul in haul out logic…you know the drill. France is less strict about wild camping, Germany is said to forbid it but then reading forums about it they say you may just get a fine and be told to leave. Luckily they have campsites all over the place to avoid any issues. Basically what it comes down to is, use your best judgement, hide your site from normal traffic, be quiet and don’t be stupid and you wont have problems.