Ten minutes later we left the lower level of the airport and found ourselves in the Avis carpark looking for a silver Opel Meriva. Bags in the back, Susie in the passenger seat with maps in hand, we pulled out of the lot and eventually found our way to the A1 south to Paris.
From there we picked up the Peripherique east to the A6 looking for the A10 in the southern suburbs of Paris. We missed that connection once, turned around -- easier than it seemed at the time -- and eventually found ourselves on the A10 in search of the A71.
It was about this time that we tried our credit card to pay the toll. I can safely say that US credit cards, even the ones with the magic chip, at least ours, will NOT work at the tolls booths on the French autoroutes. Seemingly unable to go any farther, one of the toll booth workers took pity on us and helped us work through our frustration. Please note, however, that many of the toll gates have NO one woking the booths at all. We were lucky.
Cruising down the A71 to the A20 we got off just north of Limoges at exit 28 for Oradour sur Glane, our first stop on the trip. We took backroads to the N141 west to the D9 and then up through the village of Oradour sur Glane a few kms north to our bed and breakfast, "Le Moulin de la Fauvette."
|common room and dining room|
Located on a rambling piece of property along the Glane River, we were greeted by hosts Amanda and Michael, a pair of Brits who have operated the B and B for five years or so. Since it was quite late by the time we arrived, after dropping our bags off we got recommendations for dinner, settling on the Auberge de Veyrac, in Veyrac just south of Oradour. So we double-backed through the village, stopping off at the post office to withdraw cash from a hand ATM and returned to the D9.
Seated in a glass-enclosed terrace overlooking the rotary (actually nicer than it sounds) we ordered an aperitif and toasted our arrival in France.
We spent a quiet evening enjoying the fact that we were in France: the food was delicious, the service pleasant (French only) and we took a leisurely drive back the the b & b. Certainly the key benefit of going right from a night flying to driving halfway down the middle of France was we established a rhythm straightaway; no jet lag, no sleeping for three hours in the middle of the day.
|guest for dinner|
|Limousin beef avec frites|
NEXT: Oradour sur Glane, the Martyred Village