Trip to France

This is about a trip I took to France in Mai 2009. The trip was no much as going somewhere as it was about going. The trip was the destination

First I will give a list in order of the movies I have made from the trip and then I will explain why I did it and what my afterthoughts are.

Date Morning Departure Afternoon departure
2009-05-16 Leuven  
2009-05-17 Rouen  
  La Ferte-Marce
2009-05-18 Nantes  
2009-05-19 Bourges  
2009-05-20 Nancy  
2009-05-21 Trier  

Why I took the trip

During weekends I already drive around a lot. Belgium is not that big, so after a while you have seen those parts that are near you. During one of these small trips, that take about 2-3 hours I thought why not go any further and that is how I came up with the idea.

The next part was where to go. Belgium was too small, so that was easily ruled out. Looking North there was the Netherlands. There is just not enough space to drive around. Then I looked south and there was a LOT of space. I did not even look any further as it looked ideal.

The preparations

The perparations where pretty easy, although I took much more time then needed. On Google Maps I looked for trips without the use of highways and then looked what would be a reasonable city to reach in one day. Then I looked what was halfway and that was my day trip.

What I came up with first was this round trip and by looking at places between came up with these stopping pointsi

By moving the waypoints, I got to the routes as you can see then when you click on one of the starting points above.

The experience

I will not go into too much detail about the trip. I will say that in the future I will take even smaller roads with most likely a different GPS. There where some things that botherd me and here they are in no specific order:

  • People in campers: A camper or a mobile home is not something you should be driving around. If you want to go camping, take a tent. If you are too lazy, take a hotel. The second will bring in some money to the local community and you will meet local people. If you are not interested in meeting them, stay home.
    If you absolutely must use a camper, buy or rent one with a bigger engine. Buy one so big, you can drive around at least as fast as the rest of the world and faster if possible. Understand that a home is not ment to be mobile, unless it is a tent, so the best option is not to use it at all.
    I can almost hear your excuse `But I am on a holiday!`. Well, the 500 people behind you are not and they want to get to work or get from work and want to get home. I will give you more detailed information.
    Some people will get home later and now their partner thinks they have an affair and a divorce is asked for. The kids will take this bad and turn to drugs and then OD. All this because YOU was too lazy to make a tent and too cheap to take a hotel.
  • Dutch people: Just stay home. Do not visit any other countries. You are lousy divers when you are in your car and loud and obnoxious when you are outside the car. The way you think everything is so nice and cozy (Leuk en gezellig) in other countries makes me want to puke.
  • To the French: Each and every place I went people were drinking Belgian Beer. WTF? What about your wine? Are you soo ashamed of being French that you want to look Belgian? And if you think beer is so great, start making your own.
  • Well, actualy the same goes for English, Americans, Belgians, French, Spanish. If I think about it, the only person who should be traveling is me. All the rest should stay home.

Making the movies

I made the movies using a JVCV hard disc camera. The reason for this is that way I could easily take a whole day of trip on one go. Locking it I did by placing a broomstick in fromt of the pasengers seat between the dashboard and the handlebar and put a locking device on it as can be seen here
At evening in the hotel I would then copy all the movies to a seperate directory per half day trip that contained the different music mp3 files and a file called titlesrc, such as this one and then would run the script timescale to be found here in each directory.
That would then be a great moment to go and eat and visit the city. When I would come home, the movie would be ready and I could delete all the files from the camera, so I was ready for the next day.

As other stuff I had a converter from 12v to 220v, so the cmaera would not run out of power (although that happend once, because I forgot to plug it in) during the trips. I also used a Tomtom for the routes that where made with Google Maps and http://houghi.org/tomtom/