Driving the French motorway (at half-term holiday)

It was more than a week ago when we went driving the UK motorway for some errand;  this time, we had to cruise the French autoroute starting from Paris down to our home in the south of France.

According to our GPS, the drive takes about 9.5 hours, but in reality, it took us twelve long hours due to the almost snail-speed traffic on the first half of our journey.  It was the start of the Half-Term Holiday in schools and the first weekend of the Grand Depart – a kind of Exodus where Parisians leave the capital all at the same time to hit the road leading to the skiing resorts of the Alps. So while H drove the trailer-towing van, I was clicking my dear camera away!

I invite you to travel with me –

We left at about 6am, still dark, but after an hour of driving, we were rewarded with a beautiful scene of sunrise.

It was a foggy day and visibility was very low.


One reason for the traffic was due to an accident

You can tell it’s holiday time when car roof boxes are part of the motorway landscape.

Or skiing gadgets, if it’s the winter

Long traffic as far as the eye can see

Thre are castle signs for history buffs


Sometimes no signs are needed as you just drive past them!

Often, you have to look up high so as not to miss them

These castles are as old as the medieval age

These are farm castles perched high above vineyards


Some weird constructions crop up every now and then


As we drove closer to the High Alps, snow gets thicker and thicker

But approaching the Mediterranean sea, we see more and more boats on the way


Boats for the amateur or the pro

Or for the practicing yachtsman

Families have to equip the car for hyperactive kids


And the State has to equip the motorways  for all types of needs



This is the  Port of Lyon which dispatches and receives cargoes via one of the most important waterways in Europe, the Rhone river.



Every now and then we would stop to stretch our legs – just like this dog and his master

Or have our picnic at the tables provided at motorway stops

Our journey continues and we are blown away by the staggering architecture peeking from above

And before we know it, we arrive at the cypress-ridden south of France

where traces of medieval past still proudly stands

Welcome to the Cote d’Azur!

(It was getting dark, hence, the blurred shot!)

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2 thoughts on “Driving the French motorway (at half-term holiday)”

  1. Thank you for taking us along your fast-paced trip to the south!
    Gorgeous sights, and you captured the ever-changing sights so well.
    Love the dog and the master, well caught!
    I hope you had a wonderful break down south and a safe trip back home,

  2. Thank you, Merisi, for the kind words! While Paris was barren of flowers when we left, the coast along Menton and Ventimiglia is exploding with floral display! Add to that is the turquoise mediterranean sea and with the hills and perched villages as backdrop, it’s like a different planet here! It’s still cold but the landscape is pure delight! And oh, I am hearing Italian spoken again, I love it!

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