May 13, 2019
|After a traumatic start to our preparations, involving an army of mice invading our beloved home (i.e. the van), we finally crossed into France on May 6th. What astounded us was the absence of people. Not only on the ferry, but on the roads and in the campsites. There is almost no one around. Do the French know something we don’t, or are they running from our UK license plates?
We headed right to one of our favourite spots – Vaison la Romaine. We have the weather for Vaison bookmarked, so in the dark days of November at home, we can get a sun fix by clicking on the link. When we arrived, it was raining…………. hard.
After 2 hikes and a long, hilly bike ride we hunkered down on Sunday while the Mistral wind blew through. Quite the experience with 60 km/hr winds followed by azure skies. After Vaison, we have moved on to one of our other favourite Provencale villages-Saint Remy de Provence!
Things we have learned about Europe this week:
• Britain has become more eccentric. There are now gatherings in towns around a huge sign labeled “BREXITOMETER”. Euro fans gather around and ask locals to put a star on the board depending upon whether they want to stay or leave Europe. In Shrewsbury, many stars appeared on the “Stay” side and only 2 on the “Leave” side. There is no record of what happened to the 2 who voted to leave, but there was a dark alley off to the left………….Ian was not allowed to vote as he is a “non-resident”. See photos.
• Some things never change. The time is 9:00 a.m. and Ian and Liz are driving south in the camper van through France. After eating a customary huge breakfast, Ian turns to Liz and says, “So what are you planning for dinner tonight?”. The response cannot be repeated.
• We have driven through France on numerous occasions, but on every trip we learn something new. This one is a little disconcerting, however. While driving on a major road, other cars seemed to enter from side roads without either looking or stopping. A little odd we thought! There is a “rule” in France, that a sign with an X indicates that traffic entering from a minor side road on the right has right of way. Downright dangerous……………..but this is France. See photos.
• One of our propane cylinders ran out. The camp store was quite a way off, so Ian decided to do the exchange by bicycle (see photos). Liz’s only comment as Ian cycled off was, “If you blow yourself up, don’t expect me to drive the van back to England”. No comment.
• A new one for us. Our old electric kettle blew up, so we replaced it. However, on realizing it was too powerful and may blow a circuit in the camper van we decided to take it back to a different location of the same store we bought it at. We do not expect it to end well. Conclusion to the story next week!
No “Googling” – answer next week!
France spans more time zones than any other country in the world, including its overseas territories. How many time zones is that? Is it:
Until next week!
Ian & Liz