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If you have a chance to come to Lucerne, it is a beautiful city. There are lots of hiking trails and of course the lake, it’s just stunning.

The plan was to go on a roadtrip with my sister, her hubbie, and my niece to the south of France, and then I was going to continue on to Spain. Plans changed, as news of a Family Hike came to light so I wanted to come back for that.

So, in the end, it was my sister and my niece that did the trip. We debated renting a car from Switzerland and driving to Spain, but it was quite expensive to do that. That, and the fact that August is a very busy time in Europe, being the month where everyone typically is finishing up their holidays. So, we opted for train instead of traffic, and we trained it from Lucerne to Lyon in France.

We stayed the night at a local 2 star hotel: Hotel de Normandie – it didn’t have AC, but we had a fan and the staff was friendly. It was 0.1 km from Lyon-Perrache station where the rental car was, so that made it extra convenient.

I booked a car through AutoEuropeEuropcar, and had a wonderful experience there. I was first up to drive and I learned the rules very quickly thanks to my sis! Travel Tips for driving in France (and in general for that matter, unless the traffic is in opposite direction e.g. Britain):

  1. Don’t ever pass someone on the right side – major no-no. Only pass on the left.
  2. Don’t drive faster than the person on the left of you – major no-no.
  3. If you’re in the fast lane, and someone is going faster than you, throw your left blinker on to signal you’d like to pass (doesn’t always work, but always step 1).
  4. When traffic is quickly coming to a slow, put your four-ways on to signal to the drivers behind you to slow down.

I quite enjoyed driving in France, once I understood the rules of engagement. There were also a lot of areas along the way where you could stop for a bite or use the facilities. When we got to Cap d’Agde, we arrived at this really adorable camping site: Le Rochelongue. They have lots of options in terms of accommodation (i.e. camping sites, mobile homes with different layouts). We stayed in a mobile home, and it had everything we needed – a small kitchenette, 2 rooms, a dining room and table/chairs, and even a deck with another table. There are laundry facilities should you need, a pool, and great activities and entertainment for kids. There is even a bar with a little shop onsite where you can get items like milk, and let’s not forget croissants and pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) mmmmmm

Speaking of food… the seafood was pretty incredible. When you walk to the beach there is a strip with lots of restaurants and shops (see post image). You can even go to the fish market and get fresh fish to cook up at home, which we did – DELICIOUS. Nothing fancy – some shrimp, salmon and calamari. We cooked the salmon and calamari in some rosé wine, garlic and butter, and had it alongside some cucumber, and other veggies.

The next few days we soaked up the sun at the beach, enjoyed amazing food, and explored the area. It was great to disconnect with the digital world and enjoy the real world – the smell of the sea, the love of family, the taste of food… all the senses coming alive.

Lessons Learned:

  • Understand the rules of engagement when it comes to driving – not all rules are created equally or enforced the same way
  • Be flexible in your plans so that you can do everything you want with as little stress as possible

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Natalia Edelmann

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