We made it to Verdun, but not exactly on schedule. We were ready to hit the road around 9:30, but we had barely gotten out of town when our van stopped. Luckily it stopped before we entered the "peage" road that had a tunnel. (Peage means get the coin purse ready, toll coming up). I learned some new vocabulary; where we stopped there were two options, par le tunnel or par le col. The section option is through a pass.
Anyway, after quite some time figuring out how to get in touch with the rental car folks, we were rescued by a tow truck driver who took us back to the VW place. We arrived right at lunch, but the folks assured us that they could have us back on the road in our van in a short while after lunch. So off we trotted to find lunch ourselves, and then they were on our problem. It seems the VW diesel vans have to have an additive "Adblue" which no one bothered to tell us about. The assistance folks on the phone were great, the tow truck driver was great, and so were the VW people. The assistance staff (Rafael) assured us we had done nothing wrong, that the car company should have added the magic ingredient before we left.
We made it to Verdun this afternoon and plan to carry on tomorrow. Probably this story will get the most air time when we return.