Driving in France Part 1

Exploration is how we come to know the world around us. That knowing is part of the journey home. Part of our reality is the automobile and it is hard to believe that more than four years have passed since this all happened.

During an early visit with my friends at their home in Moulin near Toulon-sur-Allier located in the region of Auvergne, I mentioned that I would be looking for a car. The reality of house hunting without one had hit hard. Not to mention, small villages like I ended up in, rarely have bus service. Buying a used car in my new country, could be a daunting experience. However, in the hands of trusted friends, it all worked out well.

Toulon sur Allier

I went with these friends to their daughter’s to pick up my car. Caroline lives in Nevers which is in the region of Bourgogne (Burgundy) With a second child, Caroline had decided to purchase a larger vehicle and I was assured of a reliable means of transportation. Earlier in the day we went to their insurance company and bought insurance. Wednesday morning I appeared at the prefecture again for the carte de greise “car registration”. In the afternoon we drove to Clermont Ferrand and I was so grateful they were with. It is a large city and I wouldn’t have had a clue where I was going. Besides, I had only driven in France long enough to drive back with the car the day before. It hardly prepared me for this. Besides, the location we were seeking was well hidden and Alain’s car had a GPS system.

Toulon sur Allier

The drive back from purchasing the car was a real kick! Liliane’s husband does not speak a word of English and my French still quite limited. Liliane had Aliane ride with me and he is giving me driving instructions in French. Later Liliane tells me it is because he is a back seat driver…  We did very well as I knew left, right and straight ahead. We made it back to Moulins without difficulty. However, unlike the states, the French hug the right side of the lane and not the left. It takes getting use to. More of this journey in the next post.



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