Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Drive to the Beaches

It sounded like such a simple plan.  We'd cab down to Orly and pick up a rental car.  Then we'd take the A6 to the A13 and arrive in Caen.  Hah!  Double Hah Hah Hah!  First we could not find our way out of the dang airport.  We had no idea the place would be that big.  Then we finally got on a highway and the GPS lost its mind.  After sending us around the same off/on ramp four times in a row, we realized we had a demented navigator.  So, we got on the nearest highway and drove, deciding it would be better just to drive than to circle.  We headed in the direction of Versailles, and were making progress toward the A13 when we turned the wrong way.  So, we got off the freeway, thinking we could get back on going the other way.  Nope, after going through a tunnel we arrived at a toll plaza, on a road going somewhere unidentified.  Fortunately, we were able to back out of the payment area, get over to the right of the road, where we saw an exit with no gate.  We drove that way and out, and then saw a sign for the A13.  Salvation.  This all took about an hour.  It was exhausting.  Our error in all of this was not having a big map of France.  Freeways here do not use compass directions, you navigate to the next city.  Our problem was we could not remember where the cities were, and this caused us to head in the wrong direction.  Lesson learned (again), GPS can not be counted on.  After about two hours, she regained her senses and began talking and charting again.  By then, we had a Michelin map.
We're going to visit the landing beaches.  When we were here in 2003 we did not see as much as we wanted because I was as sick as a dog.  So, we are now returning to try it again.  At present the skies are blue with white puffy clouds, the wind is howling and it's cold.  However, no rain is falling from the sky, so we're happy about that.  Paris was just beyond miserable this morning.
Here is my one photo from today.  This is on the bridge going in to Caen.


  1. Driving in Europe is a bit crazy, right? At least they drive on the right side of the road in France! ;-)

    1. They're actually really good drivers, REALLY good parkers. You should see them wedging their cars into teeny tiny parking places. They know exactly where their fenders are. We just stay in the right lane and do the speed limit on the freeways.

  2. Your post makes me appreciate being camped in red rock Utah... which dirt road to Nowhere will I take today :)
    Box Canyon Mark

  3. Man, driving in France? Out of Orly? You guys have nerves of steel...