Cambridge to Den Haag via Paris

Our Elans were built to be driven and not all of us want to to use them on Track Days. If you use, or plan to use, your Elan as a Grand Tourer and have completed or are planning some great trips then inspire the rest of us with the details.

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Cambridge to Den Haag via Paris

Postby VagueShot » Thu 04.03.2010, 09:11

I left Cambridge at 19:00 hours on Tuesday and took the Dover Dunkirk ferry, stopping overnight on the A1 to Paris. It was crap Mercure and I'll be posting something later on my blog about it and the non-Eclipse of 1999, where a Belgian weatherman told me to go to the wrong place. I don't think they've given it a proper once-over since.

I then drove into the centre of Paris, did Montmatre, had a meeting and then left at 4:17, only to get stuck in traffic on the Periphique. I arrived in The Hague five minutes over five hours later having done about 625 miles from Cambridge most of it at about 130 to 140 kph. How many 18 year old cars could do that? Most of it during the day was with the top down, which was perhaps a bit ambitious, but then top down is the only way to travel for safety, as the visibility is so much better.

The only problem was the peage, as to get the ticket, I had to get out. And I had a very irate Belgian behind me. They always seem to be in a hurry. And then around Lille and towards Gent, the Belgian road signs leave something to be desired. It's called logic! Like the signs say follow Gent and then they call in Gand or even miss it off completely. They even manage to give Lille in France a completely different name!

Perhaps, I should write to that nice von Rumpy Pumpy, who heads the EU and complain about his country's signage. On the other hand, perhaps the Belgians drive like lunatics all the time, as they are forever getting confused by their signs?
James Miller
http://anonw.wordpress.com/tag/lotus-elan/ - Ramblings of an anonymous widower and sometimes his ever-faithful Lotus Elan.
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Re: Cambridge to Den Haag via Paris

Postby HJ2 » Thu 04.03.2010, 09:37

Ha, that sounds like a nice road trip!

The Belgian roadsigns are not the best of the world, +1.
A little word of advice: Install a 1 din satnav in the Elan. It makes these roadtrips as you describe so much easier and doesn't ruin the looks of the car.

If you're in The Hague, you're welcome to have a look at my install.
As you can see from the wastegate porting posts, i am not able to drive the car at the moment... :censored:
If you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got
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Re: Cambridge to Den Haag via Paris

Postby VagueShot » Thu 04.03.2010, 10:08

I don't believe in Sat Navs. White Van men always turn up on my drive, as I'm the centroid of the post code, dump the parcels and then I have to find out who it is for. I believe in good maps.
James Miller
http://anonw.wordpress.com/tag/lotus-elan/ - Ramblings of an anonymous widower and sometimes his ever-faithful Lotus Elan.
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Re: Cambridge to Den Haag via Paris

Postby tch » Fri 19.03.2010, 20:44

Hi,

just presented myself on the appropriate forum subfolder and came across your post; being an "alien" in Belgium I chuckled at your description of Belgian roadsign hassles. Even if you speak both national languages (which I do) the signs remain confusing even for the officially insane. I lived here 3 years now and still manage to get lost 2 km from destination because I don't know the exact name of the town I need to get to in the other language.
And no, Belgians don't drive like madmen, they just drive badly. They structurally stay in the middle of the road (any 3-lane highway is 50% overrated, no wonder taxes are so high). Driving licenses were not mandatory till the late 70-ies, so bizarre maneuvres are common (trick: you can spot the most dangerous drivers by short-numbered, worn license plates as these are person-related here). Finally, despite having 60-odd ministers none seem to have any idea on how to build proper roads, potholes are so frequent you may wonder whether you entered into a spacial wormhole bringing you straight onto the Douala-Bamako highway.

Be warned!
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