Friday, 31 July 2009

What I Done On My Holidays #5

The French attitude to parking can only be described as one of 'angry disdain'.

Sometimes it is nothing more than stopping in the middle of the road and getting out, even on motorways. On other occasions, they will happily turn sharply onto a zebra crossing, mount the pavement at a jaunty angle and exit the vehicle by any of the available doors, including the boot. Car parks are easily spotted, not by the traditional 'P' signage but by the scattergun approach to alignment taken by the customers. In fact, if it looks like an East End scrapyard specialising only in Peugeots, Renaults & Citroens, it's almost certainly a French car park.

Cahors is no different, being as it is a medieval town with a massive river through the centre of it and definitely not designed for easy motoring. As such, parking spaces are at a premium and are a) very small and b) surrounded by car-unfriendly obstacles such as ancient trees, lamp posts and riverside benches. Throw into the mix an almost-brand-new hire car with a €1000 excess and yours truly had a certain amount of sweat on, attempting this little manoeuvre in the 35 degree midday heat:

Nailed it though. Even Freyja (yes, that's her, sitting by the tree) applauded.


  1. is that the kerb you're a good foot from? :)

    sounds like the french have the same attitude to parking that I have; I don't so much park a car as abandon it (as my dad would say).

  2. Sort of. The nearest kerb is to a footpath by the river - on which you will also find 'parked' a variety of vehicles. The parking space itself is only about 15" wider than the car and the main road is the other side.

    As an aside, when I retire from the City, I intend to open a wing mirror replacement service in Southern France; I'll absolutely clean up :)