Dec
12
2010

France

Our time in France got off to a hectic start. Just as we were approaching Paris it started to snow and traffic became really congested. Instantly, it was recognizable that it was just going to be an insane place to drive in. The most hairy moment was probably as we were traveling around the roundabout in front of the Arc de Triomphe. It’s about 6 lanes wide, with no markings on the road, has about 6 exits, it was covered in snow and everyone just seems to be doing whatever the hell they wanted. Even once we eventually got off the road, our time as pedestrians was pretty hectic too. It seems like the French just park wherever the hell they want, give way at random junctions and we saw several near accidents that were somehow avoided.

Our hotel was literally on the doorstep of the Eiffel tower. We didn’t go up the tower itself while we were there though because any chance we had it was either too foggy, closed because of the snow or the line was too long. Still, it’s magnificent to look at and pretty cool how there are no other tall buildings around.

While we were there, Paris had its heaviest snowfall since 1989 I think, but it didn’t get in our way too much. The full day we spent there we did a bus tour and got off at basically all the stops and saw a lot of the city that way. The Louvre supposedly takes 2 days to do properly, but most of the stuff is pretty boring so we just checked out the more famous stuff like the Mona Lisa. The rest of our time as spent walking around the city and eating some nice food. I tried snails for the first time ever and they actually weren’t too bad. I wanted to try frogs legs while I was in France too, but never got around to it.

After Paris, we headed south-east to Dijon (where the mustard comes from). A much smaller city, we did some walking around there and on our second day there drove 3/4 of the way to Lyon checking out sall villages along the way.

France is the first place, in particular Dijon, that we’ve encountered people who just have absolutely no understanding of English which made for some awkward dining and shopping experiences. We are in Luxembourg for a night at the moment and then a couple of days in Germany and it’s home time for me!

About the Author: Andrew Ferguson

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