As we were about to leave the ferry at Calais, we saw this Citroen 2CV going on holiday! We thought it was a great idea; taking off in a camper van, with your classic vehicle trailered behind, ready to tour around in. Not good for the camper van's fuel economy though!!
I wonder why it is, as we drive onto French soil, we simply relax and feel laid-back, regardless of the weather? It has a lot to do with the sparsity of traffic, no driving nose to tail, nor waiting to hear on the radio that the road in front is closed because of an accident. On a trip last year, I did come across an accident in France (my first ever in 7 years), by taking a busier route than normal. I sat for an hour while they cleared the debris, but I still made it to the ferry on time, as I always give myself an hour or so to spare. Usually I arrive early at the port, but the ferry people are great and always try to put me on an earlier sailing if they can.
This time we arrived to a cloudy sky, but with some blue patches peeking through; normal traffic flow, not heavy and without too many trucks. Oh, how I love French main roads; that is, of course, if we do not drive via Paris. One trip on the Peripherique (Paris ring road) was enough!! Although it does have overhead signs telling you how long you will be held up for!
|Fields of yellow rape seed|
Here are just some of the many regional road signs seen en route on the motorway through northern France. The road broadly runs south-west, parallel with the northern French coast. For a change, we had decided to take things easier and break our longish journey south with a night's stay at Bourgtherould, a small town just south of Rouen. All of these photos were taken while we were driving at 130kph (80 mph) - the speed limit on toll roads, so they are not the best quality! You can see from the grey sky that the weather was not ideal.
|Cote Picarde or Picardy coast forms part of a region much fought over in WW1. It is known as the least urbanized coast of France, and its hinterland is an exceptional environment for bird life, as can also be seen on the following sign.|
This ruined castle was visible from the main road just before we turned off to Bourgtherould, our overnight destination. Unfortunately, the information sign is hidden by the trees, so its identity will have to remain a mystery!
The Drive will continue as and when I have time in parts 3 and 4 but there are other posts that I would like to fit in between!!