From Prague To Atlantic Coasts II.
The First Day (Monday) - Barcelona is Our Target
The travelling fewer is on its top. Last controls of all pieces of luggage were effected, and a deadline for car collection from rent-office is coming. Despite the fact that cloudy sky welcomes us outside, our resolution remains unchanged. Nevertheless, we manage to leave Prague at noon, and our GPS navigation system is informing us that Barcelona, our first target, is nearly 1700 kms distant. So, after two hours´ drive through West Bohemia, we arrive to Germany and admire famous quality of local highways. At the same time, we tried to test the speed features of this motor vehicle, and we drove as quick as possible, in order to shorten the time period, being on the way. The motor was O.K., and we passed one horizon after the other.
So, we rode through Germany quite quickly, an at sun-twilight we arrived to French border, and paid a toll for the first time. Anyway, we had to take into consideration that the speed must be limited to 130 kms/hour, the speed outside communities is allowed to 90 kms/hour, and in localities you are forced to slow down to 50 kms/hour! Moreover, it is not obligatory to drive with illuminated reflectors (the same rule is valid also in Germany). Apart of this, we wish to recommend you to keep the limited speed, as the fines in France are quite high. If you have good luck, you would pay a fine of couple of EUR, if not, the penalty would be much more expensive. So, Volkswagem vehicles were changed with local Peugots, Citroens and Renaults.
Even a change in drivers´ behaviour could be noted. French drivers are evidently well-wishers of inconsiderate (unexpected) and chaotic way of drive, (Nevertheless, we noted later that the other nations could be able to give car-driving absolutely different dimensions), so that we had to be very patient. Finally, at seven o´clock p.m., we started to look for a place where to spend the first night of our journey. The GPS navigation gave us some tips for campings (however, we found none!) and just in a moment when we were too desperate, and during going astray through French countryside, our efforts were saved with finger-post to Huanne Camping. We went through several small villages with massif stone houses, arriving to the camping, situated inside picturesque valley, surrounded with forests. The camp owner (a lady) spoke only French and a little German, did her best to convince us that our homeland was not Czech Republic, but Czechoslovakia, and a fact that our country belongs to European Union Members, was obviously a novelty for her. But most surprising for us was a fact that we had to pay EUR 30,- for accommodation. On the other hand, the traffic in camp was rather busy. On small platform, there was a performance of Latin-American dances, accompanied by music, and the lookers-on, mostly tourists from Germany and the Netherlands, applauded rhytmically.
Anyway, the quality-level and cleanliness of this camp pleased us a lot. Making comparison to similar campings in Czech Republic, we have to learn a lot! Except reserved places for tents and caravans, very nice and cosy chalets were situated there. Moreover, good night greetings were sent to all by loud voice of frogs´ croaking. Anyway, our sleep was calm and fresh.
Next chapter: still in France!
Text: Maxim Kucer & Jakub Štantejský
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
Photo: Maxim Kucer & Jakub Štantejský
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