car tuning

2 Sep 2007

French Roadtrip part 3

It was quite an experience driving on the wrong side of the road. The weird priority rules still baffle me and they seem to apply in towns and built up areas. Anyway apart from nearly pulling out on 2 motorcycling gendarmes the Holiday went well.

We were looking for an Internet cafe so I could get online. After much searching around rural France we actually found one but it was closed for lunch. Now I thought that the whole idea and concept of a cafe was to serve lunch but our continental friends do things a little differently. When I finally do find an Internet cafe open for lunch I discover that the keyboard layout is just plain strange and took 3/4 of my prepaid time trying to get an @ symbol to appear!!

French lunch hour appears to run from about 12:00 to 14:00 which is pretty good going.
One thing I love about motoring in France is the absolute lack of any kind of parking enforcement on the basis that there are no parking rules to enforce. You can pretty much park where you want and as long as you are not blocking the road it is ok. Pay and display car parks are also thin on the ground but every town and city have free parking areas. In some areas you will notice that you can park on one side of the road in the morning and then in the afternoon it switches to the other side. When you think about the fact that the roads are only wide enough for 2 cars an inconsiderate parker could effectively close the road.

Road side service areas are plentiful but if you want cheap fuel you have to travel in to the in town hypermarches. When you have a British number plate and a GB sticker you can get away with murder when it comes to doing u-turns and pulling out at junctions. I never once encountered road rage and saw some strange things like a HGV driver who just stopped in the middle of a roundabout to ask the car behind for directions and what looked like a 20 year old citroen tank truck for sale which was absolutely immaculate (just through lack of use rather than restoration).

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