Saturday, May 28, 2011

How Do We Get There?

When we travel together, Marc and I, we quickly fall into a routine:
how we pack the car is figured out and then done the same each day - him
a snack bag is established - him
who will carry the cork screw and open the wine - me and me
who drives - him
and who navigates - me

It all works really well, with the exception, sometimes, of the navigating...

I am usually working from at least one map, but sometimes two while he likes to drive by the sun.
None of which always work, especially when you throw in French traffic circles.
I can't quite figure out the signage for them either… sometimes it all works lickety-split, map and signs in tandem and we zip along at great speed, chatting and enjoying the countryside.

But every once in awhile it all goes awry…

Today presented a totally new scenario, which we are still puzzling over…

We were making our way to Locoronan in Brittany

a particularly lovely medieval village, preceded by Douarnenez on Highway D7. As we approached Douarnenez, the first circle presented no options that were obvious, and by default we always then choose "Direction Centre Ville", believing the signs will lead us in and then right back out again.
Thanks to a great deal of road work, we were taken off the beaten path and landed in a maze of narrow, cobbled streets, seemingly going nowhere. Out of the corner of my eye I spied the water (it's at the seaside) so I suggested we head in that direction - most cities on water have a lovely road that wends it's way along the water's edge that will usually provide directions at some point.
No go, we landed at the port.

We did eventually find the lovely road but it was one way and not ours.
We turned right and then left, thinking we would work our way in the direction we wanted to go but the road kept getting narrower and narrower. I was no longer watching for signs as we were now driving down a street that had high buildings on each side and barely a foot of clearance on each side of the car, with a brick wall at the end. Nowhere to go but forward and hope for a turn - which thankfully there was - a perfect right angle. A slow careful turn later, and we were about to sigh with relief when we saw a lady seated on a chair, her back to us. As Marc tried to avoid her I saw the steps of a building to the left, "You've got stairs!" I shouted.

We managed to avoid both and finally came to an intersection… where all three of the other streets had "Do Not Enter" signs!

We sat there for almost a full minute trying to take in what we were seeing.
We had just run the gauntlet of driving in France and it's all "Do Not Enter"???

We did eventually get out of there, and laughed for quite a time about how three steps in front of a building can become an obstacle.

I'm not feeling so bad about it all though -

I am thinking Douarnenez could even confound GPS!


Laura said...

Well it's no 944, but it'll have to do...

Createology said...

Your story reminds me of the time Mr. C and I were in Spain with a rental car. Driving in Arcos de la Frontera I got us lost. I should never be the navigator as I cannot read a map or signs or know the compass at all! We drove down a narrow lane and it dead-ended. Upon backing up our adorable dark grey car hit a very white concrete wall...OOPS...My Bad. I was in such trouble that Mr. C wanted to just leave me right there in a strange place. The same little car got "keyed" down the entire right side horribly in our hotel garage in Rhonda...I guess we had parked too close to the van next to us and it was some bicycle marathon that day. It was not a good ending when we turned in the car in Granada. It is only money I say! Luckily Mr. C and I are still together and still traveling. I prefer NOT to navigate and definitely NOT to drive. Your trip sounds so amazing and wonderful. Love the tiny villages. Safe Travels...

Marj Talbot said...

Thankfully you're not in a motorhome. A GPS would be nice eh? On the positive, you saw some very nice buildings and experienced avenues that otherwise would have been lost. It's a big responsibility to be the map reader and at times not the most rewarding but only us girls can do it right?

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Jillayne,

Oh your story sounded a little like ours in Champagne. We turned a corner trying to get to visit one of the Champagne houses and it was a one way road.
My husband was quickly able to turn around as the traffic was rushing towards us. We were so grateful for GPS, (called her Claudette) especially driving around the outskirts of Paris.

Happy weekend

FredaB said...

Hi Jillayne

It sonds as if you are having a wonderful time and I am enjoying it along with you as I read your blog and enjoy the pictures. I am happier being with you on the beach then on the twisty turns.

Keep having your beautiful weather and letting us enjoy it with you.



Dorthe said...

Oh my Jillayne, what a drive :)-
I`m happy you came out again,lol- I know how difficult it can sometimes be driving in France and Italy- but almost alwayes beautiful-- I guess you needed one of the other jobs of yours, : the cork screw and the wine, after that experience :)
Wish you a beautiful sunday,dear.

dianehobbit said...

Following Sat Nav in France, we were once taken off the toll road and ended up in a farm yard. Like you it was almost impossible to turn around and it took us hours to work out how to get back onto the main road. You can laugh afterwards and talk about the beautiful places that you have seen and would otherwise have missed. But at the time, I expect you were tempted to just park and open the wine.

Bead and Needle said...

I did this a few months ago, IN THE STATES! A girlfriend and I were coming home from a concert, and ended up in the middle of the local college...and I DO mean IN THE MIDDLE...ON THE SIDEWALKS MEANT FOR WALKING. Took a campus security guard in a golf cart to get us out. I can only imagine in a foreign country, with narrow alleys! I am loving coming along on your trip!

Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Jillayne,
Well you really are on an adventure! Love taking the twists and turns with you. Coming out okay is reason to celebrate.
Your pics are awesome and I am so glad you are enjoying such a great trip.

Haven't been able to comment since blogger has been glitching. Some blogs work and others not. Today seems to be a bit better so hope they fixed the problem. I can make a post but still can not sign into my own blog.

See you soon. Hugs from Texas, Have fun!!
Celestina Marie XO

Anonymous said...

LOL! That happened to us in England twice with a guide driver even! LOL! Who used to be a Bobby, and we found ourselves driving down a one-way street with the locals chuckling at us. Another time, like your narrow lane - we wouldn't have even been able to get out of the car if necessary. Now they're all wonderful memories! As yours are already! :-) Sometimes those adventures end up being the best stories to tell afterwards!

Hugs! Diane

Alisa said...

We had a similar issue in Florence with a round about and "rush hour" or end of the day traffic. I don't know how many times we went round that circle!

Becky Shander said...

I love the joys of getting lost...keep enjoying. The views you've shared are so wonderfully storybook-like.

Shirley said...

Hi Jillayne, i have been enjoying your vacation so very much. I know about getting lost here at times. I probably wouldn't drive in a foreign country. I have been reading just can't always leave a comment. Your pictures are amazing and I love you for sharing your adventure with us. Have a great day. Your Missouri Friend.