Bonjour!

Our French adventure is fully underway! Yesterday being Navy's birthday, I was determined to have it be filled with delicious French food and gorgeous sights... Didn't happen. We pushed off from the lovely Northern Spanish town of San Sebastián and made our way to the French border. There, we encountered our first hurdle: An unmanned toll booth that only accepted a special prepaid card, or a European brand of credit card (one which we don't have)! As I was driving, the pressure started to mount when the ten cars behind us starting honking. Frantically I pushed the call button, only to have the person on the other end only speak French. No English. No Español. Trying to explain our problem was pretty difficult. In the meantime, a driver from the huge stack of cars behind us, tried to come to our rescue. He paid our toll, but while thanking him, the arm came down, before I'd even touched the gas pedal! At this point, I was near tears. Finally an attendant came and sorted us out and we were off! Cruising down the French freeway, admiring the countryside at a fast pace felt fabulous... Until we weren't. We hit our first batch of traffic right after a little stop in the picturesque, but touristy St. Jean de Luz. This traffic patch lasted an hour... When the heavens parted the sea of cars and we were clipping along at a steady pace again for fifteen minutes we started to feel saucy and were laughing about the toll and traffic run-ins. Surely no more misfortune could strike on my Navy's 35th birthday! Wrong. Traffic. Three hours of the nearly standstill kind. With till booths every 30 km.

Finally, we exited for our destination: The gorgeous town of Bordeaux. After a curious route provided by the GPS, we were starting to think Bordeaux was all ugly factories and sad apartment complexes. Wrong! Soon the bad 1990's architecture faded completely away to be fully replaced by the most stereotypically stunning architecture that always appears in period films based off Victor Hugo novels... Being as this city was built several hundred years ago, they weren't so interested in planning the streets around car travel (rude) and we got royally lost (thanks GPS). Twice. We made it to our hotel at midnight. Just in time for my Love's birthday to expire...

Today has more than made up for yesterday's stinginess of goodwill. We've spent hours walking the narrow streets if Bordeaux, eaten delicious French frites, gazed upon cathedrals which have stood the test of time and faith for hundreds of years... Suffice to say: I now adore France...





   

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An American girl living in Spain...
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