Sunday, January 6, 2013

Paris to Turin

I'm in Tromso Norway, which is further north than my record swimming in the Arctic Ocean last summer. The sun won't make it above the horizon for another two weeks so there are only a couple hours of partial light per day. I suppose, questioning my routing choices  may be justified at this point... On the bright side maybe I can get some pictures from the last month posted this way.

About a month ago...

With our original plans overturned by incompatible car rental equipment Corrie and I found a hotel in Orleans with wifi and figured out plan B. We decided to visit Italy and then follow the coast of the Mediterranean to meet our friend Jean-Marc in Montpelier. We found a nice deal on a place in the country near Torino and made that our first destination (our approximate 900 km route, it took us a lot longer than 8 hours). We turned out to be their first customers so we got lots of free coffee and we were invited to their grand opening party. 

Sunset in Orleans
Balcony view of the Alps
Sunset through the haze of Torino
Panoramic from the balcony
Torino castle
Torino has a really extensive Egyptian museum. 
In 4000 years it won't matter what kind of car your drove or how big your house/pyramid were. But, if you have your body mummified, strangers might put your remains on display in a glass case... 
There was almost an inch between the mirrors and the pillars. It was kind of interesting to watch and reminded me of the engineering joke about the width of Roman horses.

A few things I discovered that might be useful for anyone planning a trip of their own:

  • Very few grocery stores in France and Italy were open on Sunday. 
  • Many grocery stores also closed much earlier than I expected. 
  • I found the price of tolls in France and Italy a bit shocking. 
  • We had great luck finding places to stay on the site Airbnb. We often found apartments for less than we could have found a hotel room for. 
  • Camembert is awesome on fresh bread (French or Italian).
  • I found driving with the signs, and rules of the road so alien to what I'm used to was more stressful than driving through the mountains in a blizzard... It made me to wonder if that's how some people always feel while driving... If so, it makes a lot of sense why they don't enjoy driving as much as I do. 

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