Monday, May 13, 2013

Traffic and Tolls



Sunday evening after a long weekend (the two national holidays last week meant that many people also took Friday off) is not the best time to be going places on the autoroutes in the south of France. We ended up waiting nearly 40 minutes just to go through this toll booth. And it was one of many we went through on the way down from Paris, each toll getting more and more expensive. It's definitely the faster way to go (until you get stuck in a jam like this) so it was worth it yesterday, as we had quite a distance to cover, but it's not cheap - I think I paid about $60 in tolls, though I lost track after the fifth or sixth ticket. And it's not the most scenic way to travel, either - from the autoroute, it mostly looked like Indiana, though it started getting more hilly as we approached Narbonne and the edge of the Mediterranean. Yesterday morning when we were getting to Padirac and then to the farm for lunch we went on narrow roads through the hills, past little stone-walled towns, and that was definitely prettier, but slower. Today we'll be back on the road for a little bit, heading down the coast, but after all the driving the past two days we might take it easy. However, it's a lovely day, if windy, and there's rain on the way, so if we're going to get out on the beach we should probably grit our teeth and get back in the car for another few hours. And really, it's not exactly a hardship, and looking back over this post I feel rather silly saying that we have to get in the car to drive through olive groves and vineyards and red-tiled towns to the Mediterranean. Frankly, life is pretty good.

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