Driving in France -Why December 2018 is About More Than Gas Prices


Driving in France -

Why Dec. 4 2018 is About More Than Gas Prices






Picture on Vox today about riots



Here is the article about what is going on in France on Dec. 4 2018.
Vox Link on Riots

The article above is very interesting, but for those who want to short version, the French government decided to raise gas prices and the French people revolted in a BIG way.  Cars and roads have fires all over France.  French people are blockading the roads so that gas trucks can't get to gas stations, tons of French people rioting with huge amounts of police trying to keep them at Bay.  It is madness in the most beautiful city of Paris.  Shops are boarding up their doors.  People are afraid to be out side. Most people would think this is crazy madness over just gas prices going up.

In Aug 2018, our family drove most of the perimeter of France.  Here is what we learned that I believe is part of the reason the revolt on Dec. 4, 2018 is about more than just gas prices.  A few years ago the French government talked the people into increasing their taxes to improve their roads.  What they instead got is TOLL BOOTHS EVERYWHERE.  They have to pay tolls to do a simple drive from their town to a neighboring town.  We knew that gas was going to be EXPENSIVE driving around Europe, but what we did not expect was that the tolls were going to cost MORE than the gas.  So the French people are rightly frustrated already.  They did not know they were going to pay taxes so that they could be charges a fee anywhere they went.  It also is really good about monitoring where people are.  While fixing the roads they also put in cameras to give out speeding tickets.  We thought we were being very conservative in our speed, but we came back and received multiple very expensive speeding tickets in the mail.  The French people love and take pride in the beauty of their country and have fought hard to have more vacation days than most people in the world so they can enjoy places.  (In fact, we see more French people exploring southern Utah than people from any other country.)  You take a humble people that are not very wealthy on average, and not only charge them for any adventure they want to go on, and hit them hard if they are speeding just the smallest amount over the limit, and then on top of that raise the gas prices, throw in a few more decision by the French government making it easier for the rich and so much harder for the regular working class and you have the REVOLT you had today.
I realize that the French Government would like to limit their people to drive less and drive battery operated cars, but I am not sure their approach is the smartest.  

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POSITIVE SIDE OF DRIVING IN FRANCE

1.  The farm land is gorgeous.  The main crops that are grown, are hay and sunflowers.  We were there in the end of July, first of August and the Sunflowers were all abloom, and the hay had just been rolled.  It was GORGEOUS.  Pictures are not great for we are jisj driving by, but hopefully you can see how beautiful it is.

It surprised me that when we drove through farms with cows, that it did not smell. I have no clue what trick the French do, but even the cow dairy farms were pretty and smelled nice. 


I don't think I could ever get tired of driving on roads lined with bright sunflowers.  It was divine.

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2. Of Course the Architecture you enjoy from your car window is always amazing. 

Plenty of Cathedrals and Churches to enjoy. 





And every once and awhile you catch a castle in the distance.  




Here are links to some blogs on Castles and Chateaus we visited while on our Tour of France.  







3.  Funny enough, we were delighted with the ROAD SIGNS. They spotlight something cool in that area, and why you should exit.  The pictures were always interesting to watch for and see what they spotlighted in the next area.  We wondered if they have major disputes at time for what thing would be spotlighted in each area. 


4.  The Beautiful Ocean and Canal Scenic Areas were GORGEOUS!








5. The Bridges and Tunnels are top notch .  The french don't spend time doing roads up and down mountains, they just tunnel through them.  There was so of the longest tunnels I have ever traveled in France. Of course the old bridges and old narrow tunnels were so quaint and adorable. 



Links to blog posts of cool water areas in France










A last note to beware if you try to drive in France

1.  The majority of cars in France are stick shift, but the stick shift works different than ones we have in the USA, for the reverse and first gear are in the same location.  If you don't practice driving a shift well before going, pay the extra money for an automatic.  It is a hard hit, but worth it. 
2. Pack light.  The cars are super small to get through tiny places and into the small parking stalls.  You can not fit a lot of bags in your car, so pack light.  You will also find that most places that are in great locations have lots of stairs and no elevator, so being able to lift and carry your bag is also important. 
3.  Pay attention to the speed limit and make sure you are under it.
4. Read rules about round about tickets.  About 90% of intersections are round about so you got to figure them out well.
5.  When you are off the toll roads the drive become so much more interesting, so if it is possible to go a slower pace enjoy the break from paying so much in tolls and enjoy the cute off the beaten path towns instead.  

France is so very much worth it to go travel and enjoy.  I am hoping they work out this crazy riots soon and return to the attractive place I love.  Realize there is more to the stories you read in the news, and instead of passing judgement on these wonderful people pray for them to get some help.

Lastly if you are thinking about driving in France it would be wise you check through this website of details you need to be aware of before you go.
 https://www.drive-france.com/
and this website specifically for Americans wanting to drive in France.

 https://thriftytraveler.com/american-guide-driving-france/

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