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That is France. I tried to draw on the map to show where I recently drove, but I found that a Sharpie doesn't work on a computer screen. So I'll have to describe the trip:
- Started close to Geneva (just East of France)
- Went W to near Limoges
- Went N to Tours
- Went NW to north of Rennes (at the coast)
- Went NE to north of Caen
- Went E to north of Paris
- Went S to Paris
- Went SE back to Geneva
Phew! That's over 28 hours of driving, over 40 gallons of gas, and over 1300 miles. This is about the equivalent of driving from Indianapolis to New York and back. And this was all by myself. Was it boring? Surprisingly no. But here's what I learned:
- Don't let your GPS's battery run out. After my first stop, this happened. I needed to re-install the software...wouldn't work=no GPS=I used a map. Old-fashioned roadtrip.
- French tolls are HORRIBLE! If I used the toll-roads, it would have cost me over 80 euros!
- Not driving on the toll-roads saves money (gas and tolls), makes the drive interesting (winding roads, small towns, complicated directions, pass trucks on small roads, etc), and shows more of the actual country.
- Instead of having cops patrolling for speeding cars, they have cameras set up. In theory this is good and efficient. The problem is, they warn you every time there is a camera coming!!! You slow down for the camera, and you're fine.
- France is an OLD country. At first, its charming. After a while, it just looks crappy and dirty.
- You better like McDonald's if you are doing a French roadtrip. This is the only fastfood. Boring. There's a chain called "Quick", but its horrible. Stick with boring McDonald's. And buy McChickens...cheaper than beef.
- Speaking of fastfood...all my avid followers will remember me talking about the packaging McDonald's gives you. I took a picture of the packaging Quick gave me for a burger, fries and drink. Look below.
- Driving in Paris isn't so bad. Driving around the Arc de Triomphe...horrifying. After only one time going around the circle, I got honked at 3 times and almost hit twice (really...almost hit). There are about 8 lanes and 12 streets that run off of it...with seemingly no rules or traffic regulation.