September 2, 2012

ONE WAY – BUT WHICH WAY?

lorry1

Descartes town centre is not a good place for huge lorries, but like most French towns you see them trying to negotiate the narrow streets.

lorry2

Last summer we watched with amazement and amusement as not one but two lorries tried to squeeze their way through town.  The first almost got completely stuck as it tried to make a very tight right turn.  The driver got out several times to check and just managed to get by parked cars and shop signs with only millimetres to spare.

The next one did a little better by approaching the turn from a slightly wider angle.

lorry3

Then they both had the same problem.  A few metres further on there was an obligatory right turn which was even tighter.

This is difficult to make in a modestly sized car so we knew that these lorries stood no chance.  Which is just as well as a bit further down there is a low bridge and another right turn which would be impossible – and the road leads to nowhere a lorry might want to be !!

Going backwards wasn’t an option so both of these lorries decided to go straight on – the wrong way down the one-way street !!

We wondered why these enormous lorries were trying to get through the centre of town in the first place.  There is a ring road of sorts around Descartes and they were apparently passing through and not stopping – maybe there were roadworks and a diversion through town.  Or maybe they were both using the same GPS device which was having some fun that day.

Since then the one-way direction has been reversed.  It has been reversed at least twice in the years we have been visiting the town !! 

Which all goes to show that you shouldn’t take the one-way street directions for granted in France – not only may it be the other way from the last time you were in town but not everybody goes the right way anyway !!

18 comments:

  1. Blimey that's tight! No wonder plate glass shop windows are always getting cracked here. And I thought Preuilly traffic jams were bad! I never drive through the middle of Descartes unless there is no other option.

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    1. Susan, I was amazed that the first lorry made it through without causing any damage.

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  2. Wow! And those streets are broad compared to the ones in our neighborhood. I wonder how often Marion's Boutique has to replace that window!

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    1. Mitchell, more often than she would like, I suspect !!

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  3. That sort of thing is not for the faint of heart. Or for a Bear.

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    1. Nor for the old lady tottering along the pavement, I think.

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  4. You get a similar situation in the centre of Angles. There it's not a one-way which causes the problem but cars parked on the hills leading from La Place.

    You were in the right place at the right time to get the pics!

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    1. Gaynor, it must make living in these places a nightmare at times, I think.

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  5. I takes lots of skill to manoevre those large lorries, but that's a really tight fit. Glad no damage was done.

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    1. The way they hurtle through some places is positively dangerous and inconsiderate, even if it requires some skill. Descartes is a sleepy little place with shoppers ambling all over the road, not a good place for a lorry travelling at speed I think.

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  6. Do I see the NL nationality plate on that first lorry? It's been a standing joke with us for ages that Dutch drivers, being from a flat country, are unused to contours on maps and think they are roads. Therefore in any foreign country they are permanently lost(sorry Antoinette!)

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    1. Pauline, I would hope there is some logical explanation for the lorries being in such a daft place, Dutch or otherwise !!

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  7. I get chest pains just watching the photos; I admire these drivers.

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    1. Spo, they certainly need good driving skills in these tight places.

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  8. I blame sat navs, I work at the end of a cul de sac and the amount of huge lorries that try & do u-turns is phenomonal!

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  9. Ouch! It can be as bad in the small towns and villages of Mid-Wales, Jean. The things I've seen would fill a book. :-)

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  10. I don't know why those situations are SO funny but they are. Perhaps it is because I don't drive. As some of your previous bloggers have said "you have to admire their driving skills."

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