Driving in France

Jul 28th, 2004, 08:58 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,004
Don't stay out of Grenoble. It's a beautiful city and it has the prettiest public parking lot I've ever seen! They have a marvelous art museum and it's fun to ride the little bullet cars up to the Citadelle.

We avoid the Autoroutes like the plague because we enjoy wandering through all the small towns. Admittedly it takes more time, but it is worth it to us. It is also much less expensive if that is a concern.

The roundabouts are great since you can keep circling until you find your road. Often the signs are just past the turn. We found this disconcerting until we accepted the fact and learned to live with it. Just look ahead a bit.

We always take a new spiral bound Michelin France Tourist and Motoring Atlas. Borders and Barnes & Noble both usually have it in stock. If not, try Amazon.com. You won't need any other maps if you get this atlas. It now comes in two sizes and we much prefer the smaller (although thicker) 9 X 12 inch format.

Have a good trip.
SalB is offline  
Jul 28th, 2004, 09:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,642
Autoroutes have their place. We use mostly secondary roads when we get to our general destination, but if we avoided all the autoroutes on our drive down from Brussels to Bourges, for example, it would take DAYS to get there (as it is, it takes 6 to 8 hours). Also, there are some very nice autoroutes--much of the new autoroute from Angers to the central Loire Valley is smooth, fast, and uncrowded (and toll free).
The secondary roads are fine for touring around the areas we visit (i.e., driving from Sancerre to Ainay le Vieil in Berry), but we need those autoroutes to get down there and to get home.
BTilke is offline  
Jul 28th, 2004, 10:26 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5,436
Good advice here!
Can I just point out that rest areas (aires) usually have just a 'hole in the ground' toilet. If you want a proper restroom, stop at a petrol station. But if you have 10 days to drive to Paris, you probably will not use the motorways at all.
Tulips is offline  
Jul 29th, 2004, 01:16 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,083
If you get between tolls quicker than you should have by travelling at the correct speed limit you will be automatically fined. You can only travel 100km in 1 hour if the limit is 100 you do 110 and you were speeding.
Beware they know !!

Mucky is offline  
Jul 29th, 2004, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 82
Sal, guess i should have been more specific re Grenoble. I meant to say that if you don't have to drive through it, it is best to avoid due the constuction and the fact that the directional signs seem to disappear. At least that was my experience.
job816_2 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2004, 01:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 897
Following the 'bathroom' theme a bit - don't be distracted by all the French men (I'm assuming they were. Well, I mean, I know they were men, I'm just not so sure they were French) relieving themselves on the side of the road.

Until my husband and I got used to the roadside manoeuvres we almost crossed the road/rear-ended (so to speak) someone/slammed on the brakes (well, we were trying to learn about a new culture). I'm quite sure the open-air pissoir is common to all countries, but we've never seen so much 'equipment on view' anywhere else we've travelled.

Enjoy the ride.
rickmav is offline  

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