Arriving in France

As I’ve said before, if you are travelling from Oz Cathay Pacific offers a good solution. You leave home in the afternoon, have a 2 hour stopover in Hongkers and arrive in Paris at around 6 am at Terminal 2.  The same Terminal has a train station ,so you have about a 10 minute walk to catch your TGV to wherever you are going next, if it isn’t Paris it’s worth mentioning that the TGV network in europe is ever expanding and we think that it’s THE way to go .

However on this trip I am renting a car from Avis.  The latest car rental strategy seems to be to quote you an apparently low rental and then load you up with an additional daily rate (13euros) for full insurance with a low excess and GPS at another exorbitant daily rate–you can buy your own for about a hundred bucks. Many travel insurance packages cover up to €4000 excess, so it pays to check this out carefully.
Anyway, I wandered around and found the Avis stand. Car not ready ,would I like to wait with a glass of water?  I said that I would go and have some breakfast. So I went back upstairs to a place called ” Frenchies”.  Please wait to be served. I waited, got seated, and waited, and waited. Half empty, waiting staff wandering about, studiously avoiding eye contact.  And waited.  And walked out.
Welcome to France.
Next door was a Mackkas.  What’s a hungry, coffee deprived boy to do?  I went in it is automated!!  You go to a screen, attempt to identify and order what you want and then pay the screen. You then take your receipt to the counter and, you guessed it, wait!  Anyway the coffee was good.
Back to Avis. The car you ordered ( a Citroen ) isn’t available.  Would you like a Peugeot?  It has GPS. (See above ) . NO thank you to the extra 12€ a day. So they gave it to me anyway. A tiny victory .
So I went where they pointed me, found the car and oriented myself. The GPS was easy to program and the nice lady spoke to me in English. I really needed the GPS just to get out of the airport.  It is tres, tres complique indeed.  But with the help of the English lady I made it onto the road for Normandy, which goes around the outskirts of Paris.
Almost immediately the traffic stopped (5 lanes) and we sat.  A notice came up on the GPS saying multiple accidents next 6 miles, do you want to take an alternative route. I tapped the “yes ” option. It then told me there wasn’t one! So we inched along and I reflected on the trip.

  • Visit former Melbourne friends who have moved to France to set up a B+B in Arromanches on the Normandy coast.
  • Checking out the house after a season of guests have visited and carry out maintenance
  • Taste some wine in Bugundy for my wine importing venture
  • Buy stock for the new shop we are going to set up to sell French imports
  • Visit an old car market and general love in in Lyon and eat some fantastic Lyonnaise food
  • Help our mate Reg. look for a bigger and better apartment in Uzes
  • Look for a car to buy and leave here ,so we don’t have to deal with the car rental people any more

Back to reality.  We have hardly moved.  Everyone is very patient and accepting.  It takes me 3 hours to clear Paris.  After that it’s a doddle
Welcome to France

To be continued when my typing finger stops hurting.

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