Life in the Not So Fast Lane—The French Have a Different Approach

The French have a different take on road travel from the Germans and most of the rest of Europe for that matter.  For one they have speed limits no matter where you are the max being 130 kph (or 78 mph)—not intolerable even if you are in a hurry but not the daredevil approach of the Germans either.  The dominance of Mercedes and BMW is replaced by Peugeot and Renault so my little red Peugeot 208 stood a good chance in the “speed” lanes with the rest of France.  Road etiquette remains somewhat the same when it comes to passing—in general no one passes in the right lane and the slower cars and trucks always occupy the right.  So far so good.  There are, however two very big differences in traveling the roads of France versus Germany.  One, is the “invisible lane” and, two, is the “tolls-from-hell” that exist in much of France—make sure you bring a lot of cash and don’t assume that American Express (or Visa or Mastercard) will suffice. Continue reading

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Life in the Fast Lane—the German Autobahn

Jawohl Herr Muscle Car!

Jawohl Herr Muscle Car!

You haven’t lived until you’ve tried your hand at driving on the autobahn in Germany—at least you haven’t had the heart stopping thrill of watching a big, black Mercedes approaching you in the rear-view mirror at a hundred plus miles per hour as you are poking along at what you think is a respectable 75 to 80 mph.  The autobahn like all things German is very ordered with strict rules written and unwritten that you should obey or not, the later at your own peril. Continue reading

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