After reading this yesterday- http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2010/02/winter-driving.html
I was reminded of all the driving I used to do when I was photographing for the travel market and my own French picture library. It is a downside to this kind of work. I would often drive 6000 miles in a 2 week period, and by the end of trips like this, would be pretty exhausted. The last time I did something like that I literally couldn't walk for 3 days, and decided that enough was enough.
The post above reminded me of dealing with the different driving conditions, and drivers in different countries.
The first thing to remember is that in Europe, apart from Malta, all the other countries drive on the wrong side of the road. So coming out of the channel tunnel, or off a ferry, a lot of readjustment is necessary.
I consider one of my greatest ever achievements was driving round the Arc de Triomphe in Paris 12 times in a week, and surviving. Anyone who's ever done it will know what I mean. About 100 other roads (well thats what it feels like) converge onto this huge road island around the monument, which is covered in cobbles! http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=9138725
I read once that driving insurance in France covers you for everywhere but the Arc de Triomphe. I don't know if thats true, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. This then leads into the Champs Elysees, which is the only drag strip I know of actually situated in the middle of a city.
Driving in France is not for the faint hearted. Anyone who has seen the film Weekend will get some idea of what its like, though the cannibalism is probably a little exaggerated.
I once ventured into Italy, in the Alps and was expecting all sorts of mayhem. It was however quite uneventful until a car came hurtling past me on a blind hairpin corner. A-ha I went, Italian driving. However they turned out to be French.
The scariest place I've ever driven in was somewhat of a surprise. I decided to try to photograph Luxembourg in a day. It is a very small country. Late in the day I arrived in Luxembourg City. It was like I'd suddenly been transplanted into the middle of the Indianapolis 500. I've never seen cars going so fast and so erratically. Since Luxembourg is a pretty rich country (In the hotels they have brochures on their "discrete banking services") all the cars were pretty upmarket and my Ford Fiesta was completely overwhelmed. The next day I headed back to France which seemed really sedate. That probably gives you an idea of how bad it was.
So having just lost all my visitors from France and Luxembourg tomorrow its back to the usual stuff.
Words and Pictures - Anonymous