Wow, what a trip! Weather was bright and very hot, so I was driving the whole 600 km to Paris with air conditioning on, so I must have used a lot of diesel during this trip. But more about this later …
Driving an almost new car is great, but its also dangerous to drive too fast. Although my car actually has cruise control I often forget to use it. Which I really do since my trip to France: never forget that police cars do not look the same in other countries ! So passing past dark blue cars with uniformed guys inside is _not_ a good idea at 160 km/h ! It cost me 90 € and stern looks of otherwise friendly french policemen.
Approaching Paris also meant getting into heavy clouds, lightening and raindrops the size of oranges. But as all Paris was commuting home from weekend I was stuck in traffic for the last 100 km and of course arrived pretty late at the Airport to get Belinda. With my usual luck her plane was late and she only had to wait a few minutes (at least she told me so 😉 ).
Heading to the hotel from the airport I saw my tank warning flashing which means less than 50 km to go … remember I still had air conditioning working ? We stopped at our hotel and asked the concierge where we could find some fuel. After refreshing in our room we headed for diesel and found a station, just to get aware that
a) it was not taking cards and
b) there was no other mean to get some diesel there.
So off to the next station: for all those who never have travelled in France: the countryside is lovely but also very empty, some little village here and there, nobody in the streets (France playing against South Korea) and no fuel station in the next village. Belinda spotted a Shell station when we came from the Airport so we managed to find this again: closed !. Oh but on the same street in the next village I was able to spot another station ! Saved ? no, card reader "out of order". This time I seriously began to think of whom of the Ubuntu folks I had the phone number of I was going to call, how to tell where we were (lost in lovely french countryside, somewhere north, err south? err no idea, too many clouds), that we were in desperate need of fuel and it was raining with interruptions and no, we can _not_ push our car to the next fuel station. After boldly driving uphill I suddenly spotted a Carrefour supermarket _and_ a fuel station. And oh, open 24h/24h !
So park the car next to the fuel nozzle, get out my Maestro card: "carte refusée" !!!
Oh but there is Belinda having some VISA: "carte refusée "
But, oh how lucky we are, she’s got another card: "carte refusée".
I was on the edge of tears ! They were only accepting french cards !!!
But, there, other people filling their tanks: up to the first car to ask if he could help us out if we pay him cash: blunt refuse!
Luckily, the next Frenchman was very kind and we finally got the so needed diesel and drove back to Mesnil-Amelot where the hotels are.
We drove around a while to find some nice restaurant but only saw asian or closed french ones. As we also needed to know the time schedule for Monday we went to Radisson where I came across Ogra smoking outside. Belinda and I decided to get some food there and later joined the "Ubuntists" at the bar.
BTW, find Belindas blog in trackback.