The Longest....Short Day!

Trip Start Aug 09, 2008
Trip End Oct 08, 2008

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Flag of France  , Champagne-Ardenne,
Sunday, September 28, 2008

I got up, had breakfast and chatted with Simon, then hit the road for the 2 hour ride to Tourouvre. The museum I needed to visit opened at 11 am. I arrived shortly after that. They have numerous exhibits about the settling of America by the various European countries. Where they settled. Who had which lands and then the wars and the decimation of the Aboriginal population due to disease.
They also had a room where we could do research on our ancestry. There were minimal tools there but 4 computers  with links to 3 websites and 4 or 5 books on the tables. Only 1 of the books was about general genealogy  of the first French Settlers. The others were about Quebec and specific families. There was less than a page in the book on the name Fisette or Fiset, or Fizet as it was originally written in France. What I did find from this limited source of information was actually quite informative.
The websites had the following information. The first Fiset in Canada arrived in 1653 and his name was Abraham. He was a bachelor and his parents where Abraham Fizet and Catherine Labrecque from the Parish of Saint-Jacques in Dieppe, Normandy. He had a younger brother François and one older and one younger sister, both named Catherine. He married in 1664 to Denise Savard and they had 12 children.
So we know the named changed from Fizet to Fiset when the Abraham came to Canada. Then a few years later the name was changed to Fisette, the way our family spells it now. What I wanted to know was who we (as a family) were before this. This is as far back as my cousin, who made of a family history book, could get information on our family name.
The other information I required was in this book, left on the table right next to the first computer I sat at. Coincidence? I think NOT! This author studies the etymology of names and he did research on our, mostly, obscure name. The "TE" at the end of our name is actually the feminine version of Fiset (being the male spelling).  A lot of names were changed this way for various reasons, often due to the females with this name. The "ET" added to most names is to demonstrate that they are the "little" one of so and so. So this would mean that a Fizet would be the child of a Fiz  just like a Bissonnet would be the child of a Bisson. What the author couldn't find was a history of the name "Fiz". There is no history and/or etymological reasoning to the name like you would find with most names.
His theory is that Fiz is actually "Fils" which means "Son". And so, a Fizet is actually the son of the son of "whomever".  And so the father of the first (Fiset) in Canada was the son of (Fizet), of the son (Fiz or Fils) of someone with another name. The only logical conclusion I can arrive at from this deduction is that I could be related to pretty well anyone out there with some French heritage as all that we are left with from the original name is being the son (Fiz) of someone with a specific surname and the surname has been dropped. You have to look at the bigger picture of how people were named at this time in history. The eldest son usually had the same first name as the father. How would you differentiate them? People now add Junior to the name. Coming from a fishing village (Dieppe) and social class, education wasn't much of a priority either.
In my blog entry last February I had figured out that there are about 400 Fisette in Canada and the United States. I found out today that there are none in France that spell their name that way, there are about 80 Fiset in France and 200 Fizet. I wrote a while back about Katrine having a unique name. Well, our surname is just as unique.
I have come up with this wild theory about why my surname is what it is that ties in with the theory I wrote in Paul's Journey and for which numerous people believe I should be committed for, but I won't expound on it.  But, as everything happens for a reason, I could use my name as further proof that some, if not all, of what I wrote in Paul's Journey is correct and not some wild story of the imagination. But then, really! What? Is! the imagination but a way to CREATE our lives!
Think It! Feel It! Live It!
It was now shortly after lunch and I had no firm destination and or places pre-arranged to stay at. Reims, my next planned stop, was another 300kms away. I figured, it's early, I can make it to Paris and spend the evening there and tomorrow morning. I arrive in Versailles on the western edge of Paris and traffic is nuts. It's extremely nice out and everybody is taking advantage of the beautiful fall day. I'm still dressed up in the full gear I had early this morning when I left Courseulle and it was quite cool out. I'm sweating. I'm able to find a place to stop to take off my cycling gear. The angle of the street towards the curb is quite steep and the motorcycle is almost perpendicular on its stand. I slide my duffel bag a little so that I can access the left pannier where my runners are and the motorcycle topples over. My helmet, which I had put on the right side mirror goes crashing to the ground. The visor doesn't pop off but gets scratched up. Luckily its lower and isn't directly in my field of vision. So, bike drop # 4 or is it #5. I didn't even try to stop the bike from falling over this time. It was actually quite funny.
Now I have to decide what to do. Hotels are going to be extremely expensive and I don't know where the hostels are. I'm starting to think that there was a reason, like the one I mentioned in my prior entry, that I wasn't going to be stopping in Paris. The GPS says 2 hours to Reims. Nothing booked there but then I can stay 2 nights in one place. I'm now taking the fastest route to Reims. This takes me on the main highway around the center of downtown Paris. Traffic is horrible. Mostly stop and go for many kilometres. But I do catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower.
I arrive in Reims shortly after 5 PM and decide to go to the area near the Cathedral, the main tourist attraction. I randomly select a hotel and they are booked solid. I'm told the best place to go to is the tourist office next to the Cathedral. They close in 15 minutes. There I'm given the choice of a couple 3 star hotels in the downtown area at over 125 Euros ($200) a night, unless I wanted a 4 or 5 star place for more. An option is a place (2 star) on the outskirts of the downtown area for 45 Euros. I take that. I get to the hotel after 7.
After this extremely long day of riding, the most kms in one day, I still felt great. The day went by so fast it felt like a short day. The last part of the ride into Reims was on the toll highway with cars zooming by at over 130 kms/hr. I drove by Euro Disney and the fields where real Champagne comes from. It was an awesome day!
I have 2 days of riding left. There's about 200 kms to Luxembourg and 300 to the Frankfurt Airport using the shortest route. There's no reason to take the autobahn. I have one more gas fill and must   make sure I end up in Frankfurt with about 4l. of fuel in the gas tank. I still don't know where I'm going or what I'm going to do for the 6 days without a motorcycle. I'm going to feel lost without a set of wheels. I also want to try and minimize the stuff I'm going to carry with me and so I must stuff as much as possible in the panniers before dropping the bike off and hopefully they will consider everything on the bike "gear".
No reason to fret, everything happens as it should!
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