Author Topic: Negotiating the ferry and France...  (Read 8369 times)

Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #100 on: July 29, 2009, 01:48:06 pm »
I never found a fountain marked "non potabile"

... that would be very near the Italian border I guess ; -)

 :P

(as a matter of fact, it was right on the Italian border)

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As a fairly recent development in France, over the last few years, the great majority of fountains are now marked 'Non Potable' (not drinkable) or sometimes 'Non Conseillee' (not recommended) but AFAIK that doesn't mean the water has suddenly become less safe, its just the risk-averse society kicking in.   

Is it also, I wonder, a sign of a more travelled society? About six years ago I was on a business trip in Spain, and one of the "locals" wasn't touching tap water. She said it was because she knew that all the water had pathogens in it, but whereas she was immune to the ones in Madrid, she reckoned that they would be different in Valencia (where we were). As she was a molecular biologist/virologist, I figured she knew what she was on about. So all the drinking fountains you see are "eau potable" for the village's residents, but possibly not for all those tourists passing through.
Have you seen my blog? It has words. And pictures! http://ablogofallthingskathy.blogspot.com/

Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #101 on: July 29, 2009, 02:42:04 pm »
That's true. Some people get a funny tummy of they drink water in different parts of the UK to where they live. Unless you stick to the same brand of bottled water every time though surely you run into the same problem.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #102 on: July 29, 2009, 02:46:15 pm »
That's true. Some people get a funny tummy of they drink water in different parts of the UK to where they live. Unless you stick to the same brand of bottled water every time though surely you run into the same problem.

Possibly why bottled water is so popular on the continent?

(That said, I don't ever seems to have had a problem with tap water or fountain water in the UK or France, but the fountains from which I was recently drinking most likely originated in mountain streams, and were somewhat low in human pathogens.
Have you seen my blog? It has words. And pictures! http://ablogofallthingskathy.blogspot.com/

Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #103 on: July 29, 2009, 10:36:34 pm »
Just got back from trip to Brittany and want to add a couple of things to this thread...

First, my already high opinion of crossing via Le Tunnel has only been heightened. Since the last time I went over, they have introduced automatic check-in - you just drive up to the barrier, they scan your numberplate and a message comes up on the screen, viz "Hello Mr Smutchin!" (or words to that effect) while your boarding pass is spat out of a slot.

Furthermore, if you turn up early and there are spaces on the earlier trains, a choice of trains comes up on the touch screen - you just tap the one you want to travel on. So today we rolled up two hours ahead of our allotted slot and as there was a train just about to start boarding with spaces on, we drove straight through and onto our train with just a few minutes of waiting. Could not be easier.

Petrol is bloomin' expensive in France at the moment though.

d.


Brill system - until it breaks down - then they run empty trains whilst everybody queues at the check-in untill they bring in enough operators to revert to manual system

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #104 on: July 29, 2009, 10:52:29 pm »
Brill system - until it breaks down - then they run empty trains whilst everybody queues at the check-in untill they bring in enough operators to revert to manual system

Well, I suppose these occasional glitches are the price you pay for technological advances - but on the whole, I'd have to say that I think the benefits outweigh the disadvantages.

Spoke to a friend today and apparently they have the same check-in system on the ferries these days too, so I dare say it's less bothersome to use the ferries than it used to be - it's a while since I've used a ferry - but I'd still rather use the tunnel anyway.

Changing the subject slightly, has anyone ever used the Télépéage system when travelling on French motorways? We travelled out on a Saturday and the motorways were quite busy, with long queues at all the péage stations - except for those using the Télépéage lanes. It was OK travelling back because it was a week-day, and hardly any queues at the péages, but I will seriously consider subscribing to the Télépéage system before the next time I travel in France. Anyone know how to go about it?

d.

andym

  • Expat Cyclist
    • AndysRockets
Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #105 on: July 29, 2009, 11:13:24 pm »
Think you need to order some box/rfid transponder thingy for the telepeage.  Not sure how much it is or how to go about it, or how economical it is.

They definitely have numberplate registration for the ferries, even if kiosk is staffed by a real person.  Last 2 years or so they've had my boarding pass etc. ready by the time i've put the handbrake on, and just need passport.
AndyM

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #106 on: July 29, 2009, 11:20:39 pm »
Think you need to order some box/rfid transponder thingy for the telepeage.

That's what I feared. And you probably have to subscribe via Minitel... It would be handy if you could just get a pay-as-you-go thing rather than pay an abonnement, but I suspect the latter is how they do it.

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Last 2 years or so they've had my boarding pass etc. ready by the time i've put the handbrake on, and just need passport.

It's great innit - although slightly unnerving at first to be greeted by name by an inanimate machine.

d.

Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #107 on: July 30, 2009, 08:22:26 am »
Telepeage
Looked into this a year or so ago. You need a French billing address whatever charging scheme you are on.

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #108 on: July 30, 2009, 12:06:00 pm »
You need a French billing address

Thought that would be the case. Never mind. Thanks for the info.

d.



Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #109 on: August 04, 2009, 01:21:53 pm »
Back from our Euro adventure now.  Chamonix-Mont Blanc was great - first taste of the Alps.    :)

Ferry was good, on the outwrd leg - the priorty boarding meant we were actually first off the ferry, but on the way back we were off the boat fairly quickly without it anyway.  
French autoroutes were very good, and we coped with the peage system en route with no problems.  Only saw one French police car both ways; stuck to the speed limit, but seemed to be overtaken by most cars, except those pulling caravans.    Sat nav was very useful especially for negotiating the towns/cities. Went to Switzerland one day (without Satnav) - Mauvoisin/Verbier, and to Aosta through Mont Blanc tunnel another day - but realised again that children don't necessarily appreciate great scenery in the back of a car.  Fortunately we discovered a good Lido in Verbier - they also had an impressive 3-D Tour de F mural, on the main route in.  

The only occasion when anyone looked at our passports was at UK check in Calais on the way back - and they also asked us to lower the rear windows so they could check the children against their photos.  Petrol was pricey and seemed to be around 1.30-1.40 Euros/litre; food/drink - including at supermarkets seemed expensive compared to UK too.   It was hot!  3 or 4 days without a cloud in the sky, 33°C at the end - had one impressive nightime thunderstorm.  Started raining on the final day as we moved further North through France...
Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.  EOW.

Re: Negotiating the ferry and France...
« Reply #110 on: August 05, 2009, 03:50:25 pm »
Hi  You would be better off in an oil burner best price was 0.97 euro/ltr.  Went down to the south and  set the cruise control on the van at 140+  km /hr only moving over for lowflying  dutch and belgians heading for the sun . Had some time to spare on way back and tried the Route National on the way back, only went back onto the Autoroute south of Riems  as traffic built up. Good way to see the country and lots of cafe stops .  Not many police on the road.