Drive from Rennes to Mont St Michel

Old Mar 14th, 2023, 01:40 PM
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Drive from Rennes to Mont St Michel

Hello Fodorites

On the advice received previously, I have organised to have an overnight stay in Mont St Michel (as opposed to a horrendous day trip from Paris) - we will drive to MSM from Rennes in the afternoon, stay the night on the island, do some more sight seeing in the morning, and then depart for Rennes mid-morning before the tourist hordes pick up.

I am a seasoned driver however I have never driven on the right side of the road (I'm an Aussie).

Any tips or advice re the drive from Rennes to MSM? I am sure it will be a breeze but thought I'd gauge for whether there are any things to be conscious of, particularly given this will be my first time driving on the other side of the road.
victoriainwanderland is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2023, 06:00 PM
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If you can, see if you can just drive around a car park (or similar open space) a bit before taking off on the open road. If not, you miss out on the chance of getting used to the car. Also - try finding small roads to drive on - I believe from Rennes to MSM the roads are all 2-lane roads (or can be if you choose well). Less traffic to think about, also prettier (for the passenger at least). Bone up on road signs and road rules before you go. And take extra care with roundabouts or right/left hand turns, as it can be confusing which side of the road you turn into.

lavandula is online now  
Old Mar 14th, 2023, 09:56 PM
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We are also Australian and have had several trips with a car in France. I do not drive, just navigate. Lavandula's advice is spot on.

My husband familiarises himself with all the controls, changing gears with his right hand instead of left etc. We also try to begin on smaller roads rather than straight on to an autoroute. He follows the mantra ' tight right, loose left '. Remember that a left hand turn in France is like a right hand turn here - across a lane of traffic. Take care going into a roundabout. Enter to the right, and what is the first exit here will be the second or third exit there, depending on how many exits there are. Also take care when exiting from parking. Look up the road signs and watch your speed. The limit can change from department to department. The limit drops to 50 as soon as you pass the town sign, sometimes lower. If you stop at lights, sometimes there is a small red light almost at eye level and if you go past, you cannot see it.

We are leaving for France in five weeks and have been doing some street viewing to check our route away from Lyon airport where we collect our car. This gives us an idea on what to expect, which lane to be in and where we need to exit. It is not an autoroute but is a large 4 lane road for awhile. Once you are on the road it is easier as you follow the traffic.

Good luck.
rhon is offline  
Old Mar 15th, 2023, 12:17 AM
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Add a sicker to the dashboard in line of sight with an arrow as to the side of the road you need to keep toot. Just take your time on exiting junctions. Keep the speed to the limit as there are a lot of speed controls. Familiarize yourself with the traffic signs.
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Old Mar 15th, 2023, 10:00 AM
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Lots of good advice above. We found the roads in Brittany to be excellent and often scenic, with wildflowers growing alongside.
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Old Mar 16th, 2023, 05:27 AM
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When switching sides I find:
* It is important to "think right", but also "hug the center line"; that's because driving on the other side you can tend to forget about the space between you and the curb, and if you drift that way without thinking you will hit your outer wheels on the curb and possibly cause damage (this actually happens often!);
* You might find yourself doing well minding roads with painted lines because they are a constant reminder that you have to make a choice, but if there are no lines painted, or when pulling out of a driveway, it is then that people are most apt to forget to stay right, and will pull out of the driveway on the wrong side.
* Everything is better after a night's sleep; the mind makes mental adjustments during sleep that makes other-side driving more automatic.
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Old Mar 19th, 2023, 08:41 AM
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A lot of the roads are not busy, but of course this doesn't really help you. It is easier when there are plenty of cars to show you where you should or should not be on the road. I have driven on the "wrong" side of the road in several countries (Australia, South Africa, Malta, Mauritius...) and never had any problems EXCEPT on mountain roads where one tends to drift around the lanes on the curves. You won't encounter any mountain roads in Normandy or Brittany.
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