Friday, 30 July 2010
Driving in France has been pretty well OK, so far. The roads are uncongested mostly, the weather has been sunny and clear, I've remembered to stay on the right and negotiate roundabouts in anti-clockwise fashion,
and my daughter, Rosie, checks the rear window when I need to reverse. This is because I'm driving a campervan which is a bit bigger than a minibus and a bit higher, too. And, of course, I've been relying heavily on the satnav to direct us from A to B. It works a treat- tap in your destination and away you go with that authoritative voice instructing every manoevre you need to make.
Our route the other day, took us through Rouen; now, our elder son, Phil, a keen cyclist, has travelled France a couple of times, and he advised that Rouen was a difficult city to get through. This was owing to the difficulty he had in departing Rouen without having to use a motorway, which being a cyclist, he couldn't do.
Satnav in hand, I waved his concerns away...
In the event, the satnav took us through a long tunnel in, or near, the centre of Rouen. Then on a dual carriageway, it instructed us to take the underpass, on the left. So we did. It would have been fine, only half way down the slip road to the underpass, I realised that the clearance wasn't high enough for the campervan!
There was no way out but back the way we came. The driver behind me wasn't happy. She waved her arms about, but thankfully, reversed back up on to the dual carriageway fairly quickly. I followed suit (without the arm waving). Rosie was glued to the rear window, warning me about any possible cars, pedestrians, cyclists, dogs, concrete barriers and the like.
There seemed to be several of these underpasses on this stretch of dual carriageway, but we thought better of attempting one again. Fortunately, the satnav got the message and eventually settled on an alternative route, and so we departed Rouen, unscathed , if somewhat chastened!