Don't ever miss your flight!!!

Trip Start Apr 14, 2010
Trip End Feb 16, 2011

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Flag of France  , Île-de-France,
Friday, October 1, 2010

"...I have plenty of time..."
Heard that one before?
Yep - famous last words, that's for sure!!!

Here I am trying to get out of Paris.  Missed my bus, so I am trying to catch the next one.  Paris metro is a nightmare in the afternoon, so i decide to get out at the next stop and get a taxi.  What the hell was i thinking???!!!  A taxi, in Paris, in peak our traffic.  Anyway, the driver is great, we break a few speed limits, ran a few red lights, etc.  Just as we get close to the bus terminal, I see my bus pulling out of the terminal.  Now at this point something unexplainable happens!

I yell to my driver: "Follow that BUS!!!".
He obliges.
We swerve in front of the bus and stop.
It's all very USA action movie so far.
I jump out of the taxi, my backpack still on the back seat and the driver yelling " You MUST pay me!!!". But not before I run to the bus driver and start pleading for a seat.  He assures me that the next bus is leaving in 3 minutes and to simply get that one. I shouldn't listen, but the traffic is really starting to build up now...back into the taxi and off to the bus depot.

Long story short, I miss my flight to Venice by about 5 minutes.
OK God, but there better be a good reason for this one...

What to do...?

Another long story short:
It is about 8:30PM outside of Paris.
It is now dark and raining.
I am finalizing the rental car details.
This is going to be a long, long night.

Back to Paris...south to Leon...across towards Geneva.  Triple check the SatNav.  It must be getting very late if I do not trust the GPS to know the shortest path to Italy.  Surly my 10 year old map must know better.  Then I remember something from Geography 101.  The Earth is round and no longer flat, therefore the shortest distance on a flat map is not necessarily the shortest distance on a sphere. I relent to the SatNav. Oh well, Mt Blanc Tunnel it is then...

Now I like my cars, but this brand new E200 Merc is something else.  If only my ego was a bit larger, I could easily justify one of these to myself.  Very nice indeed.

By the time I leave France around 3 AM, the rain finally clears.  I can increase the speed to about 140 kph comfortably.  The roads are fantastic, the traffic very light.  The only downside are the toll booths, but they do make the trip much quicker.

The drive up the Alps into the Mt Blanc tunnel is spectacular even in the dark. The lights of the nearby towns illuminate the surroundings. The winding roads up to the tunnel entrance are nothing like what I expected. be continued...

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