Somehow the flight from Seoul to Paris seemed to take a very long time, even though it was no longer than the Auckland - Seoul flight. We finally landed though and waited ages for our bags to come through. Then just as we walked towards the final gate to customs, some very serious men put up barriers to the customs area and blocked the way! Someone had abandoned their luggage and the place went onto full alert! Just what several hundred passengers weary from a 12 hour flight needed! The crowd grew quickly and there was quiet grumbling until some clever official decided that it was in everyone's best interest to just open a gate and let us all out of the terminal. Dazed and confused we all pushed and shoved until we got out through the single doorway. We thought the fun was over, but then had to find where to catch the shuttle bus to our hotel for the night, what seemed simple took us another hour at least...we had finally arrived in France!
When we arrived at the hotel we sat at the bar while the queue of people checking in slowly diminished...very good idea. Figured a beer was a hearty meal for dinner and basically crashed for the night. Slept like a log until about 3.30am then dozed for a few hours until the sun came up. After breakfast we went for a stroll around the neighborhood and in the space of 15 minutes had a truck driver and a man on a scooter stop to ask us for directions...soon became apparent that we had no idea! Then it was back to the airport to get picked up by the shuttle to collect our brand new Peugot 207 car that we have for the month.
So next adventure was remembering how to drive on the right hand side of the road (challenging for the first half hour then like second nature), made much more exciting by having to traverse Paris on the first day of school holidays! Only took us an hour to drive the first 33 km - awesome stuff! Very grateful that we had the foresight to hire a GPS...Mrs Garmin is very helpful!
We had a long drive so rather than take the scenic route decided to charge on down the autoroute to our destination Ile D'Oleron on the Atlantic Coast. So nothing much to see...a motorway is a motorway anywhere in the world really. Was nice driving past paddocks of sunflowers though, will endeavor to get some photos and figure out how to add them to the blog in the next couple of days. Our island destination is connected to the mainland by a huge bridge - very impressive. Our hotel is very cute, nothing flash but run by a lovely couple of men (best guess is 'special friends'), on the smallest of roads, barely a car width, but seems nice and quiet and secluded. We had a quick visit to the beach but the best beaches are on the other side of the island. Then out for dinner at a seafood restaurant which seemed obligatory given that the island specialises in Mussels and Oysters. The local mussels are miniscule compared to our gigantic Greenlipped mussels - felt like I was eating babies!
Now lying in bed watching TV and Dave is just starting to make little snoring noises...so looks like sleepy time.