Just when you’re beginning to spot all the radars on the road, these show up. The new radars they’re installing all over France are higher up than the old box ones and they can do much more than their predecessors. For example, not only will they flash you if you’re speeding by it, they can also measure the distance between you and another car (so the tailgater, whether a local or not, will get ticketed). They come in two sets so they also can measure your speed based on the distance between the two radars. The ones we noticed were about 5 kilometers apart. In other words, if you’re not speeding when you pass the first radar but begin to speed afterward, if your average speed is above the limit you will get ticketed because the second radar is also watching you and clocks you. This means you can get ticketed even though you’re not speeding by the radars (but were in-between). I’m not explaining this very well but simply watch your speed and keep an eye out for these new radars. Of course, if you never speed while driving, you have nothing to worry about.
radar and flash
I’m not advocating that you join the ranks of formula one drivers (please drive safely!), and I realize that it’s best to stay within the legal speed limits. However, sometimes we’re not sure of the speed limit. It’s merely a heads-up because frankly, we just need to know.
For what it’s worth, there are surely apps to let you know where radars are and/or where you can inform them of new radar locations.
Don’t Run Over Randolph Westphal
We were on our way to Lyon when we almost ran over this guy and his two Siberian huskies pulling him on his bike. Instead of running into him, we rode next to him to hand him a donation.
He’s Randolph Westphal and he’s been biking all over the world with his dogs for more than 14 years (around the world 4 times!) on a mission to share his experience as a cancer survivor visiting hospitals, hospices and clinics. More than two decades ago, his doctor’s told him he had about a year left to live because of his cancer but he’s still here 20 years later!
He’s been hit by an 18-wheeler, which put him in a coma, broke his leg, got attacked by a bear and more…and YET he continues.
Here’s more info on him to read about his trials, tribulations and successes. Riding for Cancer, Randolph Westphal (in German)
If you see him, give him some love!
Renault 4L, Both Teeny and Large Versions
While we’re on the subject of feves, I thought I’d share a recent one I found in a tasty galette du roi from one of our favorite pastry chefs in our area, Jean-Marc Bernigaud, who was previously the pastry chef at Trois Gros, a three star Michelin restaurant in Roanne. Typically, the galettes are filled with frangipane but Jean-Marc told us he was bored and added a different flavor: a delicious apple and noisette filling, unusual but expectedly unique and refreshing, in any case. It had a non-traditional design on top, too.
While my feve isn’t as sexy as the Kamasutra feves, I thought it was cute, a teeny tiny Renault 4L, a super popular car in France from 1961 and beyond. It was Renault’s response to their competitor, the Citroen 2CV (what the French call the deux chevaux (two horses)), which is cuter and iconic of old France. (Read more about the 4L here.)
Back to the feve.
A couple of days after feasting on the galette, I saw the Renault 4L again but this time it was a real Renault 4L and the exact same color as the mini Renault 4L feve!
What’s to Eat on the TGV
I thought some people might be interested to see what you can order to eat on the TGV, so I grabbed this brochure and did a quick scan. Click on the images below to see the summer TGV menu and prices in detail. I can’t comment on how the meals taste; I haven’t ordered food yet on the TGV but I think it looks edible, and the prices are fairly reasonable.
They even offer some organic items. Only a couple of things but that’s a good start. We were actually surprised.
There are muffins and wraps offered, which is particularly un-French but oh well.
Air France A380
Just a quick note about the Airbus 380. We flew it to New York during the summer and I have to say, it’s awesome. The photo doesn’t really convey how absolutely ENORMOUS this plane is (It’s the biggest plane in the world). The double-decker plane from Paris to New York accommodated 538 people but other airbuses like this to other destinations can hold up to 900 people! The ride is more spacious and extremely quiet, too, which helps to feel less tired upon arrival. I was surprised to feel good when we arrived. Normally, I feel pretty crappy. Other notables: you have your own screen and hard drive so you can watch films and other media at any given moment in time, and even put a movie on pause if you need to get up, then resume when you get back. No more waiting for the round of movies to end! The downside of this experience is when you have to retrieve your luggage, although they did a great job at JFK pulling the bags onto the baggage claim carousels. It can take a while, but it’s totally worth it. NOTE: Sadly, it doesn’t fly to the west coast. WHY??!