(France) What would it be to live on an ecological house?

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[14/02/10~14 (D+898) France/(to Ferran)]What would it be to live on an ecological house?

What is the meaning of living on an ecological house? By chance, I’ve met people who live like this way.


I was excited to cross the border because I wanted to take a picture of the welcoming sign on the border. As I kept going, I couldn’t find a French flag. Am I already in France?? It is very crowded with many shops, people, and cars as if I am back to Africa. No..No.. it is not Africa because there are too many nice cars.



There are 26 countries in the Schengen area. They have an agreement so that the citizens of each other country can cross the borders without a permit. Also, each country can save money by eliminating immigration on the borders.
Some of Europeans said that it is like the United States because they can move freely to any place and get a job in a different place. The only difference between United Europe and the United States is when people cross borders in Europe, the cultures and the languages are completely different.



There was a hard uphill for one hour before the border. As passing the border, I start to cycle on a downhill. One disappointing is the road is too bumpy!!! How come? I though France is one of the richest countries in the world. But true thing is Spain which has had crisis has much better road than France.



I have cycled really hard today that I arrive in my destination’s city at the day time. It seems every European countries has similar thing. For example, there are many roundabouts; they love to save electricity; they love to blind their window whatever the house locating in front of the ocean or mountain.



He carries four dogs. When I enter into the city, I am so disappointed again that there are full of garbage. How come in the richest country??? It is totally different image than I expected.



The next day, I look around the center. It looks a bit cleaner than the entrance of the city.
The host with which I have stayed said that her house was not too old that she could change interior. I asked how old her house is. “It was built around 1800s”
“Then what is the old house in France??”
“The house which was built around 1500s is old house that the government doesn’t allow people change the interior.”
It is surprising to me. If there is the building which was built in 1800s in Korea, it is ruins.
I doubt a bit that why people in Europe keep using old house which is uncomfortable. It looks beautiful from the outside, but I think a new building is much better for the living.
I guess there are maybe two main reasons that one of things is people are a bit conservative. And the other thing is people like to live on the old house, because they can feel they live from the past to the present.



It is funny.. blah blah blah



I was wondering why he keeps standing over there. As closing, I see it is manikin.




The castle of Pelipigna.



I was about to buy a sim card, but I decided not to buy it. It is around € 15 to € 20. If I buy it in every country, I will spend too much money. I see there is at least one McDonald before entering to every big city in France. (There are not many McDonalds in Spain) that maybe I can use WiFi without the problem.



Let’s cycle in France. Oh.. There is a bicycle road. Here is one of good things in France. But it is not too long.



It is impressing that there is a bridge only for cyclists and pedestrians.



There is Pyrenees Mountain. It is one of good things that I can keep seeing the beautiful mount.



I go to the market to buy some food. It is so funny that they sell wine as if they sell some cheap snack.



Usually the price should be written on the paper. But here they use the machine I can’t see easily to figure out which the cheapest is. Maybe the market uses it on purpose to bother people like me who loves finding cheapest one?



Anyway these days I am having so much fun to do shopping. There are always cheap foods!!! I am feeding myself in Europe super much better than when I was in Africa
Baguette 0.5, Sausage 1.58, Banana Yogurts 1.05, Cheese 1.34, Chocolates 2.54, (Chocolates are not for me, but for host. It is around Valentine day.)
Total € 7.01 = $ 10
(I try to choose the cheapest that usually the other product is a bit more expensive.)
(The cheese I bought is too strong as much as a blue cheese. I heard it is typical French cheese. I try hard to finish it. hahahahaha)



There is a strong wind today, but the view is fantastic beautiful.



It is so pretty to cycle between the lake and the ocean.



I am wondering that if I cycle here in the winter how it would look like.



My host comes by train and joins at the middle of the route. We cycle beside Canal du Midi connecting from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, which was used long time ago for transporting. Now it is used for touristic thing




What is this? My host says she has never seen this one, though she has cycled here lots of time. I don’t think it is an otter.
The road is so bumpy that we get out of the road before 10 km (6.25 mi) to the city, and cycle on the small road.
(The name of animal is coypu)



At the next day, I cut my finger while cutting the sausage.(Maybe I was too hungry to eat only sausage? hahaha) The knife is new that I bought in Spain at the Chinese shop. But it is made in Spain!!! It was only € 2. It is too sharp, although it is so cheap. Almost over 20 minutes there is bleeding that I can’t wait. I just put some band and cycle again.



I heard that Carcassonne is beautiful city. Just before the city, I stopped at McDonald to use WiFi and checked the google image with the word of “Carcassonne”. It was stunning that I feel like I must see it although I don’t have enough time for cycling.


Cité de Carcassonne

It is a big castle. At the inside, there are hotels and many different shops that I feel as if I am walking in the Middle age.


Cité de Carcassonne

It is free to enter. There is only fee to enter to some big building around $ 10.


Cité de Carcassonne

It is the scenery where I can see in the Disneyland’s animation.


Cité de Carcassonne

Cité de Carcassonne

Cité de Carcassonne

Cité de Carcassonne

There are main two historic architectures, Mont-Saint-Michel and Cite del Carcassonne in France. Mont-Saint-Michel is near Paris, and Cite del Carcassonne is near the south east part.
Carcassonne is very famous because of the biggest castle city in the world and being kept very well.


Cité de Carcassonne

Since BC 6, local people started living at the top. Since AD 3, it was being built with the Rome way. AD 12~13, it was finally built like now.


Cité de Carcassonne

18 century, it was ruined too much. 19 century, it was rebuilt by Jenan-Pierre. It was registered on UNESCO in 1997.


Cité de Carcassonne

It is the stunning castle I’ve ever been.



I spent too much time in the castle. The night is coming. It is a bit stressful to cycle in France that there is no shoulder in the secondary road. And in the city it is too bumpy that I feel like I come back to Africa.



The sun will go down quickly, I am sure.
Again I cycle at the late dark. I use two lanterns which is just for the city that it is not enough to see clear. My destination is a small village that I cycle in a small road. Actually there is no any car, and it is too dark.



It is the scenery from my host’s house at the next day.



Freydoun is from Iran, but he had lived in Paris all his life since young age. He retired around 60 years old and he and his girlfriend came to this small village whose population is only 100 people.



But this house is so unique ever I’ve been. I’ve heard lots of explanations about the house from him. So, the one at the down is a small pond. But the one at the upper is not a pond, but a swimming pool!! He dug deeply and widely, and put huge plastic boards. Around the pool, there are plants which filter the water. It is nature swimming pool! Especially it is the hugest pool for only one house ever I’ve seen.
He collects the raining water and saves to the huge tank at the underground, which he can use all year. The left water is flowing to the swimming pool and pond.
He uses a solar panel for electricity. There is always left electricity that he sells it to the government. He uses hot water from the solar panel.
He also keeps the water which was used for the shower. He uses only natural shampoo and soap. Before I took the shower, he told me I should not use my shampoo, but use the one they use. It was my first time to use natural shampoo but the smell was good and I could make bubbles like a chemical one.
But it is okay to use any toothpaste.



It is very quiet place, but he uses three sounds isolations. When I was into his home at first, I though he used heater much, because it was really warm. But later I realized that he never used heater. The house is warm, because three isolations make house keep energy which got at the daytime from the sun.
(I remember one thing that when I stayed at some cheap hotel around Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the hotel was really warm all day, because it was built like vinyl greenhouse. At the top there was huge kind of vinyl roof.)
The washroom is also very unique. He dug the ground and put two big containers. The way to use is like this. There is the order! After doing job(?), I have to wake up little bit and put one cup of soils and sawdust. After that, I can use toilet paper and throw at the bottom.
(I remember another one that when I stayed at a host house in Arusha, Tanzania, my host was from America. He dug deep deep deep deep ever some meters for a toilet 20 years ago. Their family has used that toilet over 20 years. (It looks like bit normal one which has a cover. The toilet is at the inside of the bathroom.) At the inside of hole, there is some pipe to let the gas go out. Maybe because of that, the excrement goes down and down and down. )
Actually there is one different thing. There are many dung flies occasionally at the toilet of the American house in Tanzania. But here is no dung fly in the toilet of this house.



There is a huge big difference. Freydoun makes human’s excrement to compost. This is why he uses two containers. He covers and closes one container for a year while he uses the other one for a toilet. After one year, he can use the one which have closed and kept for compost.
(I remember the other one [Come on… I remember many thing, because I’ve travel over 2 years.. ] that usually African people dig ground for a toilet as well. But they don’t dig deeply like American’s one neither use as compost. When the hole is with full of dung, they just cover with soils and dig another hole for a new toilet)



The left one is going compost now. The right one is the one now they are using.



Small woods, garbage from the food, and soils have been becoming to the compost. When I help to move compost from the left to the right with a shovel to make air circulating, he puts something on the top from a small container and tells me “It is from another toilet at the outside. It is almost going to compost.”……. The brown one is…. that….
New world….. I’ve never thought that my dung could be good……..I mean it would be used as good thing…………….
Good to know….



I move all compost.



When he uses a small wood (small branch), it makes the space between compost, and makes air circulating. It is really natural compost which is not mixed with any chemical thing.
Here another mission is. I cut the wood to make small with a big scissor which is at the down left on the picture and pass to him. He will put the wood into the machine, and he can get a small branch for compost.



Yeah finish!! To cycle is much easier! Hahaha. I was wondering about one thing whether he is a vegetarian or not. He said he eats usually meat one time a week and that’s enough. If we eat meat all day, it is waste of the land to keep the animals, he said.



He has never been too sick seriously since he moved here.
I think it is very difficult to live on a biological house for me, because it is too expensive and a bit uncomfortable.
His house is on somebody’s book about the ten biological houses in France. Sometimes students come to his house to learn.




He uses different bicycle. I ask I can try his one. But he says I have to learn how to cycle although I am cycle around the world over two years, because it is different type.
He is going to buy some vegetable from somebody that he can become company with me for a few kilometers.



I didn’t know what kind of house I will stay before I came to their house. It was really interesting house, and I got the time to think about the earth again.
The animals and the plants are circulating on the earth with many ways to each other. But humans are going far away from the nature and close to machine as using the brain. Although it will take more cost and be more uncomfortable to live with ecological way, it will be worth. I think to live with biological way means to join circulating of the earth.

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  1. Nice to see Perpignan castle visited. Still hoping u see UK as a break from schengen area. All the best

    • Yeah,, I am thinking to stop in UK for 6 months if I am lucky. Anyway never knows the plan which is changed all the time. haha
      Thank you!

  2. All the best 🙂

  3. Hello Jin,

    When you were in France you “wondered” about the electronic pricetags in the supermarkets.

    However, they are Not ment to confuse or mislead customers. Although i agree that they are sometimes a bit hard to read they have a big advantage. Personel uses handheld terminals to do checks for (real) stock, decisions to order extra or less extra stock etc.

    Those terminals however are bluetooth equipped. And they also take care of updating al those electronic pricetags for ie price and info. In other words, supermarkets that use those pricetags always inform you with the correct pricing, so the pricings as they are in the main computers and at the payingterminals.

    Tip might be that you almost always can turn those holdingstrips up so the tags are more easy to read, especially when closer to the ground. Those tags do not have multicolor displays nor backlighting since, as your cellphone, that would cost a lot of energy. Instead they have the same simple low-energy type of screen as ie your bicyclecomputer.

    If ever you visit France again, take another (bicycle) tour in those huge malls and enjoy those tags haha !

    Have fun (and tailwinds),

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