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France is a Good Place Drive

Article by Dan Davis

Driving is the best way to appreciate rural France. The countryside changes every fifty miles or so. Stop whenever you please, explore ancient villages, discover wonderful little restaurants, and set your own pace. Rent your car at the Paris airport, unless you intend to visit Paris first. Avoid driving in Paris.

French freeways are everywhere. Exits are easy to find. Roadside cameras inhibit speeders. Roadside gas stations and restaurants are available at regular intervals. But, you miss the glory of scenic rural France when you only drive freeways.

Get off the freeway onto N” or “D” blacktopped roads. They are the best for sightseeing. There are numerous roundabouts as you approach a village, so it helps to know the names and highway numbers of the nearest towns. There are signs at every exit on the roundabout. If you have don’t see your exit sign, keep going around slowly until you find the right one.

At noon, drive into any village. Look for the packed parking lot. That is the place to have a great lunch, usually at a reasonable price. Buy a pocket French guide that lists menu items in English and in French to help you decipher the strange-sounding dishes.Buy the Michelin Road Atlas to select your route. Each page shows all the roads in each small section of France. Buy the Michelin Red Guide (hotel and restaurant rating guide) and the Logis de France catalog of government-approved two-star inns and hotels with usually great restaurants (info@logis-de-france.fr). If you cannot decipher the French listings, consult a french-speaking friend before you go.

French people are friendly, contrary to common opinion. The trick is to speak a few French phrases. Begin with “pardonez mois” (pard-own-ay-moo-wah), “sil vous plait” (seal voo play) and “parlez vous anglais?” (parlay voo on-glay?). meaning: “Pardon me”, “If you please” and “Do you speak English?”. Carry a Berlitz reverse pocket French/English dictionary to use when needed..

Rent from Auto Europe (888-835-1555). They are always available by telephone. You can drop off your car anywhere in France without extra charge. An International Drivers License is not required. Consider letting your travel agent arrange the car rental and the hotel for your first and last nights.

Choose small manual transmission Class B or C cars that hide your luggage and use less fuel, which is expensive. Air conditioning is needed only in summer. Ask about age restrictions and extra driver charges. Streets in many ancient villages are narrow and will not accommodate large cars. Meandering through villages is part of the adventure.

If you want to experience the real France, driving is the only way, even though it’s more taxing. You need patience, but it’s worth it. Every wrong turn leads to an adventure you

About the Author

Dan Davis, nicknamed Travelin’ Dan because he travels so much, has been an international traveler for over 42 years. Dan found all of the tricks to make his travels stress free and has published articles and booklets showing others how to make their travels easier. To learn more about Travelin’ Dan’s Stress Free Travel Tips, you can go to his website: http://www.stress-freetravel.com

Pyongyang, August 5 (KCNA) –A report on Former US President Bill Clinton’s visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is as follows: Former US President Bill Clinton and his party visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from August 4 to 5. Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the Workers’ Party of Korea and chairman of the National Defence Commission of the DPRK, met with Bill Clinton and his party. During their stay Clinton and his party paid a courtesy call on Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly. Clinton expressed words of sincere apology to Kim Jong Il for the hostile acts committed by the two American journalists against the DPRK after illegally intruding into it. Clinton courteously conveyed to Kim Jong Il an earnest request of the US government to leniently pardon them and send them back home from a humanitarian point of view. The meetings had candid and in-depth discussions on the pending issues between the DPRK and the US in a sincere atmosphere and reached a consensus of views on seeking a negotiated settlement of them. Kim Jong Il issued an order of the Chairman of the DPRK National Defence Commission on granting a special pardon to the two American journalists who had been sentenced to hard labor in accordance with Article 103 of the Socialist Constitution and releasing them. Clinton courteously conveyed a verbal message of US President Barack Obama expressing profound thanks for this and reflecting views on

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