Archive for May 28th, 2012

May 28, 2012

Some news from France LXXIII

Back in Brittany after a hectic last 10 days that included trips to Paris/Versailles and South Africa. Now things settled for a while until my next trip there next weekend ::) Paris/Versailles that is.

I wanted to dedicate this post on driving in France in general. I hear it all the time in travel forums, its difficult to drive in France ,and especially in large cities like Paris. Well it is not true at all. It depends how you learned to drive lol!!!

I will expand a bit about me, I learned to drive in the New Jersey ,New York City corridor, and you know what they said there, if you can make in NYC, you can make it anywhere ;YES! Driving in and out of Lincoln and Holland tunnels and crossing the George Washington Bridge prepares you for anything in car driving.

I first was able to drive in Europe in Madrid, big city boy, had no problems there, then came France, and Paris. Well I just came back from another trip to the area by car ,my Ford, the best. American name, German engineering ::) I come into Versailles and Paris in and out with it all the time. In Paris you need to know where the Seine river is ,and will give you directional support to find all things. There are signs in the city, more than any other, and if you know from a map where they are, and where in relation to the Seine, you will be fine. In Versailles all roads radiates from the chateau or palace, right in front is ave de paris, to your left looking out is ave St Cloud and to our right is ave Sceaux, the street of the train station rive gauche is Gen de Gaulle, and it becomes ave Gen Leclerc to your right next street you reach the Cathedral of Saint Louis, if you go from ave de Paris to your left you are in ave de l’Europe to the marche notre dame and continues on rue du mal Foch and the train station rive droite. Once on Foch turn left on rue de la Paroisse to get to collegiale Notre Dame. All was done in a square basis as per the king Louis XIV ::) And the ave de Paris becomes the N10 or D910 right into Saint Cloud and Paris as per the king.

Driving in France, again is easy, many signs are everywhere with the end closest big city listed in black with white background first then the green and then the blues. Green is for N roads=National, and blue is for expressways or A roads =autoroutes. You have many stretches of roads manned by private companies, like on the popular Paris to Normandy and Brittany area on the A13 you have the SAPN  and the traffic radio 107,7 FM even sometimes with reports in English! and the webpage also has information about rest stops areas such as AIRES in French,

You will find tourist information, itineraries,  and weather or meteo on the above site too pretty complete for on the road attack , but of course in French. You, also, can look into Bison Futé site in English for information on all roads, the info is complete, webpage  And, if you need to know where to gas up and the prices the site Zagaz has it all, just click on the department on the map, or on the drop down window choose the town you want. Once you see the best price click on the towns name or service station for all pricing, and directions to the station. webpage

On the tolls, or péages, you need to choose, the Liber-T prepaid lanes, the Cartes or bank card lanes, or the especes or cash lanes. Approach slowly,and get it pay, then take off quickly, its normal in any country to step on the gas to get out of the block,so dont be surprise if that happenned here. The A13 is toll roads from Paris to Caen is 14,70€ one way the rest of the way to my place is on free N roads.

I start on the A13, then go on the A84 by Caen to get to Rennes, here you can go on the N175, then at Rennes get on the N24 to Vannes you will need to get on the N166, and once there I need to get on the N165 to Auray (D768)  or the beaches of Carnac and Quiberon etc. All is one road just change number. The distance is about 550 kms, I do it in 5hrs stopping for gas and quick bite or as long as 10 hrs if stop for sightseeing like in Avranches or Rennes,and having a nice lunch or dinner (this is when traveling with the family only). These are real km and time actual driving, the popular route planner like viamichelin is a good estimate but they seen to give you the times at 2AM lol!!!  webpage

I dare enough this time to take some photos while driving wont do it again, but needed to keep a momento of my driving in the area, usually I dont take these pictures. Dont recommend you do it either lol! I give you a couple more sites I look too, is tha main autoroutes de France site, this will cover all the autoroutes or expressways in France, and the site for the weather here meteo France.  in English version in French

Enjoy the roads of France and give a try is easy!!!. Any question let the road warrior know. Cheers




%d bloggers like this: