La Blanchie 16270 Suris Charente France
Le Moulin du Chatain
Camping La Viollière
Steve & Tracey Emeny La Grande Vigne 79120 Messe,
Camping Beau Rivage.
Camping Le Puits
Lakes Caravan Park
are, in fact, almost the same as
in Britain with the difference being that in France you
drive on the right and not on the left ("serrez à
droite" means keep to the right). Beware not to forget
momentarily that you should be driving on the right, for
instance after using a one-way street, a refuelling stop
or at a T-junction.
Under the United Nations Conference Treaty on Road Traffic
1968 (which France ratified in May 1977), if a car satisfies
the construction and uses regulations in its own country,
it is acceptable in the country of the signatories.
An international distinguishing sign plate or sticker
should be displayed as near as is reasonable to the national
registration plate at the rear of the vehicle.
You must carry with you the original of the vehicle's
registration document, a full valid national driving licence
and a current insurance certificate (plus a letter of
authorisation from the owner, if the vehicle is not registered
in your name).
Before taking to the road in France, make sure you know
the French highway code well. You will find the official
text of the Highway Code at the website www.legifrance.gouv.fr
Drink and Drive: DON'T! The limit is 0.05% alcohol.
Random breath tests are frequent.
· 0.8mg/litre blood: you will have to go to court;
maximum fine: ?4.500.
· 0.25mg/l blood: standard fine: ?135.
· 50km/h: you will have to go to court; maximum
· 40km/h: you will have to go to court; maximum
· 30km/h: you will have to go to court; maximum
A new category of offence has been created in the penal
code for drivers who "deliberately put the lives
of others in danger". This applies when a third
person has been put in direct danger of injury or death
through the driver's disregard for safety precautions:
?15.250 for causing slight injuries and suspension of
driving licence for a maximum of three years.
You should carry safety vest inside the car a warning
triangle, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, tool kit
and spare bulbs in the boot of your car.
France has 1,500 miles of beaches
lining 3 major bodies of water: the Mediterranean,
the Atlantic Ocean and the English Channel? Altogether
more than 35 million people enjoy France's beaches
in any given year
France is the third largest country
in Europe (after Russia and Ukraine. It is also one
of the most geographically diverse. Its landscape
ranges from the rolling meadows and apple orchards
of Normandy and Brittany to the vineyards and olive
groves of the far south, from the ragged snow-capped
Alps of the Swiss border to the explosive volcanic
craters, canyons, and caves in the forested Auvergne.
Historically too, this has been one of the most important
regions in Europe since the first Merovingians rampaged
across the continent in the 6th century AD. Today,
France is a peaceful if still politically volatile
democracy, but the map of modern France was only drawn
in 1860, and in many ways it is still not one country
but a patchwork of different cultures, traditions,
and strong local pride.
These sensitivities have led through the ages to
appalling bloodshed, but have also created an immense
cultural wealth that has kept the area at the forefront
of the arts for a millennium. The flowering of medieval
Gothic cathedrals, built by crusading kings such as
Saint Louis, were accompanied by fearsome battles
against the Anglo-Norman lords of Aquitaine. The renaissance
splendour of François I's magnificent chateaux
was followed by the ugliness of the Wars of Religion,
which destroyed much of beauty and left the Huguenots
fleeing for their lives. The self-centred glories
of the court of the “Sun King”, Louis
XIV, and his successors, led directly to the Revolution
of 1789 and the executions of Louis XVI and Marie
Antoinette. During Napoléon's brief empire
France seemed invincible, but his downfall in 1815
led to 50 years of rebellion and counter-revolution.
No sooner had these upheavals settled down into another
golden age, the Belle Époque, than the horrors
of modern warfare swept across the country, with the
trenches of World War I followed by the German invasion
and the Occupation of World War II.
France's most enduring legacy is to the senses and
the intellect. Each region has its own cuisine, from
butter-rich Normandy to the foie gras and walnuts
of the Périgord, the basil, garlic, and tomatoes
of Provence, or the cabbage and sausage of Alsace.
French style, too, has led the world. The seductive
clash of philosophy and image has created magnificent
literature, from the satires of Rabelais and Molière
to the social treatises of Balzac and Hugo or the
philosophies of Sartre. A willingness to experiment
led artists such as Manet and Monet to create Impressionism
and George Braque to invent Cubism, while Cocteau
and Satie were at the forefront of the avant-garde.
Singers such as Josephine Baker and Edith Piaf transformed
cabaret, while more recently Roger Vadim and Brigitte
Bardot created cinema's Nouvelle Vague. Dozens of
leading fashion designers have been nurtured in France,
including Balmain, Cardin, Chanel, Dior, and St-Laurent.
Even politicians have added chic, with presidents
Pompidou and Mitterrand sponsoring some of the most
innovative architecture of the late 20th century in
projects such as the Pompidou Centre or the glass
pyramid at the refurbished Louvre Museum.
Normandy is a land of contrasts, of soil and sea. It
is a place to and from which ships set sail and land.
A region where shores, woodlands and pasture-lands blend
harmoniously, making it an ideal destination for lovers
of the countryside and culture.Beyond the coasts of
the Channel, heading towards those of the Calvados,
the horizon gradually returns to a human scale and villas
become more opulent and parasols more numerous. Parisians
travel down to spend the weekend at Deauville. Inaugurated
by the Duke of Morny in 1860, the seaside resort had
its heyday in the twenties. In 1923, it laid out its
famous boardwalk on the sand along the sea front. In
September, American actors and directors meet there,
each year, for the American Film Festival. Deauville,
its casino and race course, Trouville and its beaches
dear to author Marguerite Duras, Cabourg, the imaginary
Balbec of Marcel Proust, Honfleur, the home town of
the painter Eugène Boudin and the composer Erik
Satie... Each beach along the "flowered coast"
has its own style.Major city: Caen, Rouen
Short trip from Paris, and just across the channel
Famous WWII landing beaches, museum and memorials
Historical region of William the Conqueror
The famous Mt. Saint Michel Abbey
Seaside resorts and casinos
Just across the Channel from London, and not far
from Paris, you will find the welcoming region of
Normandy with its varied coastline and rich countryside.
Normandy probably has more significance to North American
visitors than any other part of France.
Normandy gets its name from the 10th-century Norman
Vikings that settled the country. In 1066 the famous
Norman Duke William defeated the Saxon King Harold
in the Battle of Hastings, was crowned King of England
and became known as William the Conqueror. For many
centuries after the descendants of his Norman army
governed England, creating much of the Anglo-Saxon
Paris (city, France), city in north central France,
capital and largest city of the country, on the Seine
River, some 370 km (some 230 mi) from its Atlantic
Ocean outlet at Le Havre.
Paris is situated in a low-lying basin; relief within
the city is generally slight, although the elevation
gradually increases from the river to the low hills
that ring the city's edge. The highest natural feature
within the city proper is the Butte de Montmartre,
at 129 m (423 ft) above sea level. With an estimated
population approaching 10 million, the Paris metropolitan
area contains nearly 20% of the nation's inhabitants
and dominates the economic, cultural, and political
life of France to an extraordinary degree; the population
of Paris proper was 2,148,991 in 1990. The centralizing
philosophy of successive governments has historically
favored the city as the site for all decision making,
thus exercising a powerful attraction on virtually
all of the nation's activities. Only since the 1960s
have attempts been made to reduce the inordinate influence
of Paris in French affairs and to strengthen the role
of various regions and secondary cities.
Paris is the leading industrial center of France,
with about one-quarter of the nation's manufacturing
concentrated in the metropolitan area. Industries
engaged in the manufacture of consumer goods have
always been drawn to Paris by the enormous market
of the metropolitan population; and modern, high-technology
industries also have become numerous since World War
II. Principal manufactures are machinery, automobiles
and other vehicles, chemicals, and electrical equipment.
The cultural and artistic preeminence of Paris has
attracted a large publishing industry and a wide range
of luxury manufactures, such as high-fashion clothing
and jewelry, for which the city is particularly noted.
Most key service activities of the nation, especially
banking and finance, are concentrated in Paris. The
city has made major efforts in recent years to attract
the headquarters of multinational corporations and
is now one of Europe's most important centers of international
business and commerce.
An additional advantage enjoyed by Paris is its location
at the center of one of Europe's richest agricultural
regions, with nearby districts, such as the Beauce
and Brie, famous for the production of wheat and other
crops. This strong agricultural economy has ensured
Paris a reliable food supply throughout its history
and has also created a solid economic base for the
Because the Seine is navigable by barges to points
upstream of Paris, the city is an important port (fourth
in France, by tonnage), with major concentrations
of processing, refining, and distribution activities.
The city is also the principal focus of the national
railroad and highway networks. Three major airports
serve the city.
Roughly circular in shape, Paris is
divided by the Seine, which enters in the southeast
and loops to the north before leaving the city in
the southwest. The river contains two islands: Île
de la Cité and the smaller Île Saint
Louis. The original site of Paris was on the Île
de la Cité and the adjacent left (south) bank
of the river. The Romans established a regional capital
here in the 1st century AD. With few topographic constraints
on its growth, Paris expanded through the years in
a generally circular form and was enclosed by a successive
series of walls for defense. On becoming obsolete,
the walls were demolished, and their sites were transformed
into wide streets and handsome boulevards, creating
vital access routes within the city. Until recent
years, building heights within Paris were limited
to 20 m (66 ft), or about six stories; thus, the city,
although densely inhabited, has a low skyline except
for outlying new developments.
A temperate marine west coast climate exerts an important
influence on the life of the city. Mild winters (January
mean temperature 2.8° C/37° F), cool summers
(July mean 18.9° C/66° F), and well-distributed
annual precipitation make it possible for sidewalk
cafés, open-air markets, and other colorful
attributes of the urban scene to be enjoyed throughout
Among districts of the city that have maintained an
individual character are the Latin Quarter, or Left
Bank, near the Seine, noted for educational and cultural
pursuits; the expensive residential and commercial
districts of the Right Bank near the Champs Élysées,
such as Passy and Auteuil; and the poorer working-class
neighborhoods in the northeastern part of the city,
including Belleville and La Chapelle.
Paris has grown steadily, with interruptions caused
by war and disease, since it was chosen as the national
capital in the late 10th century. The rate of migration
to the city increased markedly during the 19th century
as the impact of the Industrial Revolution was felt.
Migration during this period was especially stimulated
by the construction of railroads, which provided easy
access to the capital. Paris has long been a refuge
for those fleeing persecution and unrest in various
parts of Europe. After World War II, however, and
well into the 1970s, the city's population became
even more cosmopolitan with the arrival on a massive
scale of immigrant workers from Italy, Spain, Portugal,
and Yugoslavia and of former colonial subjects from
North Africa, Sénégal, Vietnam, and
elsewhere. This more recent influx has created a variety
of economic and social tensions in Paris.
The road network is very well developed in France: nearly a
million kilometers, of which almost 8,000 kilometers are motorways.
There is usually a toll for motorways (autoroutes à péage).
Because of their private financing, prices per km can vary.
The toll from Calais to Menton (1,250 kms) is 79.80?. (There
are special exit booths for vehicles with accounts: télépéage
You will find orange emergency telephones every 2 km, parking
and resting areas every 10 or 20 km. 24-hour petrol stations
offer a basic maintenance service, and are located approximately
every 40 km. Credit cards (Eurocard, MasterCard, Visa, Carte
Bleue) are accepted as payment for tolls and at service stations.
The charges for assistance on a motorway are fixed by the Government.
Since November 2000 the tariff for breakdown service and towing
was 68.60?, for vehicles under 1.8 tonnes on motorways or express
roads equipped with emergency telephones. This covers the cost
of repairing the vehicle on the spot (up to 30 mins) or of towing
it up to 5km beyond the next motorway exit.
A 25% supplement is added for assistance at night (from 6pm
to 8am), at week-ends and bank holidays.
Motorists can only call the police or the official breakdown
service operating in that area, and cannot request assistance
from their own company if they break down on a motorway. The
same applies on the Paris périphérique. On the
Paris périphérique panels indicate the time needed
to reach the next exit (Porte) taking traffic jams into account.
To find out everything about toll charges, service stations,
rest areas, restaurants, filling stations, and hotels along
your route, and for details of your journey, consult the website
LPG gas (Gepel/GPL). There are approximately 1.700 stations
selling LPG in France, especially on motorways. www.gpl.fr
There are some 24 hours automatic petrol pumps operated by credit
cards. These do not always accept international credit cards.
A sign on the petrol pump usually stipulates this.
Unless otherwise signposted and on dry roads:
· 130 km/h on toll motorways
· 110 km/h on dual carriageways and motorways without tolls
· 90 km/h on other roads
· 50 km/h in towns. Town name starts the limit, a bar through
the town name is the derestriction sign.
On wet roads:
· 110 km/h on toll motorways
· 100 km/h on dual carriageways and motorways without tolls
· 80 km/h on other roads.
Speed limit of 50 km/h:
· On motorways in foggy conditions, when visibility is
less than 50 m.
Cars towing a caravan: if the weight of the trailer exceeds that
of the car, the speed limits are lower: 65 km/h if the excess
is less than 30%, or 45km/h if the excess is more than 30%.
Please note: 1. During the first 2 years after passing your test,
you must not exceed: · 80 km/h on roads · 100 km/h
on urban motorways · 110 km/h on motorways. 2. On motorways
there is a minimum speed limit of 80 km/h (or 50 mph) for vehicles
travelling in the left lane (ie outside lane).
PRIORITÉ À DROITE AND OTHER ROAD SIGNS
In built-up areas, the priorité still applies and you must
give way to anybody coming out of a side-turning on the right.
However the priorité rule no longer applies at roundabouts
which means you give way to cars already on the roundabout: watch
for signs and exercise great caution.