Traveling to France by car is a real pleasure! We will tell you about all that is important to know the Russian traveler, who went to this country in his car. Also, this information is useful to those who are going to rent a car to explore this amazing country on their own.
The capital of the French Republic is Paris. The language is French. To the French language, the French are, at least, without enthusiasm and the Russian-French phrasebook definitely does not hurt. Currency – Euro.
Roads in France are considered the best in the world after Singapore. Motorways are really comfortable and very picturesque, and the French are pretty neat drivers. Enough places to relax motorists with free toilets. The fact that these rest areas are often made in places with very beautiful views is also captivating. Toll sections are paid depending on the vehicle category and the distance traveled by it. The tariff is displayed on the board at the entrance to the paid section. You can pay by cash or credit card. Payment may also be subject to travel on some bridges and tunnels. The official site of the french roads is here.
At gas stations, gasoline is paid after refueling. The cost of gasoline in France can be found in the section Gas prices in Europe. By the way, approaching Paris, be prepared for traffic jams …
Roundabout Circulation in France
French roads are unusual for us round the intersections without traffic lights. Circular motion with several exits sometimes makes you nervous – the navigator does not always accurately show the exit. But it is better to make an extra circle than to hurry and go in the wrong direction.
The implicit rule is to enter the circle, to give in to those who are already spinning on it. Although the roundabout in France is of two types. The first type is indicated by the signs Vous n’avez pas la priorit? (you have no priority) or C? dez Le Passage (give way), which states that vehicles moving in a circle have priority. And the second type of roundabout is denoted by the familiar blue sign with white arrows and means the advantage of cars entering the circle and driving according to the “right handicap” principle.
Parking in France
Free parking on the street of the French city is possible, starting from 19-00 and until 9 am, as well as on weekends. Pay for parking in the parking machine, it is usually indicated and the rate. Wrongly parked cars are being evacuated at the expense of the owner of the car.
Finding a parking place in the center of a large French city is very difficult. We observed a colorful picture on the streets of Paris – a mini-machine, traditional for France, bravely shoved other crumpled fellows with its crumpled bumpers to push into a place on the side of the road. So the best way to leave the car in Paris is to quietly go for a walk – specially equipped paid parking (for example, underground) in a shopping center or at any sight (you can right under the Notre Dame Cathedral). Parking in France for more than a day in one place is prohibited. If you need to put the car for a long time, you will need a special parking.
Always check whether you have closed your car and do not leave things in the car!
Important phones in France
- Police – 17
- Firemen – 18
- First Aid – 15
- European emergency number – 112
Features of the Traffic Laws in France:
Traffic regulations in France are similar to European ones. Of course, you need to skip pedestrians at crossings. Pedestrians have an advantage throughout Europe and without hesitation enjoy this right, so beware!
At roundabouts, in front of which are signs Vous n’avez pas la priorit? (you have no priority) or C? dez Le Passage (give way), vehicles moving in a circle have priority. If these signs are not present, the cars entering this intersection have priority.
Speed ( unless signs prescribe otherwise)
In the inhabited locality – 50 km / h, outside the inhabited locality – 90 km / h, on the highway – 130 km / h. The minimum speed on the motorway is 80 km / h. If the visibility on the road is less than 50 m, then the maximum speed should not exceed 50 km / h!
Disposable breathalyzerAliable blood alcohol level – 0.5 ppm. According to the new rules, drivers must have a disposable breathalyzer in the car. From March 1, 2013, a penalty of 11 euros will be charged for his absence. Breathalyzer must be French. You can buy it at a gas station at the entrance to the country (they are also sold in pharmacies and supermarkets). Cost – from 2 to 5 euros.
Low beam during the day is obligatory in conditions of insufficient visibility and when passing through tunnels. It is recommended to use dipped headlights around the clock for all-wheel drive vehicles.
Be sure to wear seat belts, including in the back seat! Children under 10 years old are not allowed to be in the front seats. They can travel only in the back and in special car seats. Children weighing up to 13 kg must be transported with their backs in the direction of travel.
It is forbidden to use the phone without a Handsfree device.
The fine may be paid to the police officer who issued the receipt.
- Warning triangle.
- The use and even transportation of anti-radar is prohibited.
- The radar positioning function in the navigator must be disabled.
- Reflective vest (required when leaving the car when stopping on the carriageway or curb in poor visibility or at night).
- Disposable French breathalyzer.
- Winter tires are required from November 1 to March 31.
- Studded tires are allowed from November 10 to March 31.
- Spare bulbs are highly recommended.
Car route to France
We recommend the route to France from Moscow through Belarus, Poland and Germany with three stops for the night: in Warsaw, after crossing the Belarusian-Polish border, Berlin (or Potsdam) and in Cologne (or Dusseldorf). Thus, the trip to Paris will take four very bright days (approximately 2900 km and 31 hours on the road). France is also included in many of our routes. In Paris or Nancy – the route for autotravel in Europe №1. And if you want to visit the mountain resorts, such as Annecy or the fabulous Cote d’Azur of France, to enjoy a beach holiday, such as Saint-Tropez or Monte-Carlo, choose the European Automobile Route No. 2 …
Find and book a suitable hotel with parking in any city in France for the best price deals using the well-known online service booking.com (booking confirmation, even with the possibility of free cancellation, is accepted by the French visa center when you apply for a Schengen visa for autotravel)
Shopping lovers in the Outlets section of France can find addresses and coordinates for the navigator of the best outlets in the country. How to return the tax after purchases in France – in the article Return Tax Free in Europe.Read More
The countdown of winemaking in France should be carried out from the 7th century BC, when the Greeks, the Phocians, founded Massalia, the current Marseille. They taught the local people the art of cutting vines and making wine.
Decisive role in the development of viticulture in the territory of Gaul still played its conquest by the Romans in the I century BC. Yesterday’s barbarians were surprisingly capable students, and soon the glory of Gallic wine crossed the Alps. The merry produce of the Gauls began to compete successfully with the wines of Italy, and the emperor Domitian, really worried by this, in 96, even ordered to cut down half of all the vines in the Gallic provinces. It was the Gauls who first began to use wooden barrels for transporting wine. They turned out to be more convenient than the usual amphoras and had an important advantage: aging in barrels improved the quality of some wines.
If southern neighbors endowed Gaul with a vine, as a result of the northern Germanic tribes in the 5th century, the Gallic vineyards were almost completely destroyed. In the role of the savior of winemaking the church acted – after all, ino it was necessary for communion. In addition, in the middle of the century, monasteries were a kind of hotels – and what an inn without wine! It monasteries contributed to the spread of wine to the very limits of the Christian world.
Feudal aristocracy also became interested in winemaking. The lover of wine was, for example, Charlemagne, who owned vineyards in the territory of present-day Burgundy.
The merchants also tried to keep up with the sovereigns, so vineyards arose around almost every city. In addition, the antiseptic properties of wine, so important during times of devastating epidemics, became known: the water was disinfected by adding wine to it.
The most important event for winemaking in the Middle Ages was the displacement of one of its main areas to the Atlantic coast. In the XIII century, in the vicinity of Bordeaux, many vineyards appeared, from which famous “clarets” were delivered to London by sea (in England, the Bordeaux wines are still called this way). Every year, in the fall and at Easter, caravans of ships laden with wine barrels sailed from Bordeaux to sailing. The significance of this sea route was so great that in England a barrel of wine was accepted as a unit for measuring the capacity of ships, and it was from its French name – tonneau – the modern “ton” originated.
In the winemaking of another famous region, Burgundy, the Cistercian monks, who founded Sito Abbey there in 1098, played a special role.
Monks consistently engaged in breeding, deduced new methods of trimming. The dukes of Burgundy, who appropriated the title of “seniors of the best Christian wines”, also contributed a lot to improving the quality. Thus, in 1395, Philip the Bold ordered the uprooting of the ordinary “game” on its lands and replacing it with the “pinot” variety.
Sometimes political facts also influenced the development of winemaking. The transfer of the papal residence to Avignon in the early 14th century, in particular, led to an increase in the demand for local Rhone wines, and vineyards around the city began to expand rapidly.
Since the end of the XVII century, in various wine-growing areas, more and more attention is paid to the quality of products. It is to this period that the first texts refer to the meaning of the aging of wine, and in Europe countries connoisseurs of aged wines appear. Under the influence of their tastes, there is a real revolution in the field of production and consumption – wine becomes a “cult object”. And no longer a church one …
With the development of biochemistry, a scientific approach to winemaking. At the beginning of the 19th century, J.-A. Chaptal, a prominent statesman under Napoleon I and a remarkable chemist. One of the operations used by winemakers (adding sugar to the wort) in his honor is called captalization.
The prosperity of winemaking contributed to the free trade policy pursued by Napoleon III. The trade treaties signed by him in the years 1860-1865 opened the way for wines of France to all the markets of Europe.
It seemed that French winemaking had entered a golden age. However, an unexpected attack broke out – diseases of grapes imported from the New World. The decline in yields caused by oidium and anthracnose, made the winegrowers alarmed. However, the antidote was found quickly: the processing of vines with sulfur solutions helped to end these diseases. A more serious enemy was the phylloxera, which appeared in 1863: the search for an effective means of fighting it took almost 40 years.
But the victory over Phylloxera almost turned into a new misfortune for France! A large number of high-yielding vineyards appeared, and this led to overproduction and falling wine prices. Winemakers went bankrupt, and anarchy reigned in the industry: very often wines were falsified, traders in the pursuit of profit appropriated the loudest products with non-standard products …
The situation became intolerable: the prestige of France as the leading winemaking power was put into question. And in 1905, the foundations of legislation governing the manufacture of high-quality wines were laid. In particular, clear boundaries were established for their production areas. The first step in this direction was the narrowing of the permitted champagne production zone in 1910-1911. This caused discontent among winemakers, and the army had to be used to restore calm.
In 1919, a law was passed, according to which the courts made decisions recognizing “rights to denominations by origin for wines produced in accordance with established honest local customs.” After 8 years, the requirements for the quality of the wine were tightened: everything was taken into account – from the type of the soil and the grape variety to the alcohol content and the method of cutting the vines. Finally, in 1935, a law was passed on the introduction of a system of controlled items by origin (appellations). He still determines the process of wine production in the best farms in the country.Read More