Fuel stations in France & Germany

Most Germans I have met don't want to talk about Merkel or the EU.
Those that do hate her and are scared of her and the damage she is doing.
I really do like most Germans I have met.
Fair enough, I've been cornered several times negatively over this matter in recent years. Most recently a German businessman in a hotel bar, he had sunk a few beers as had I. I sensed that a few ears pricked up around us and I'm always mindful of being an ambassador when abroad so I popped smoke before I mentioned anything about the late unpleasantness, which I was about to do.
Someone mentioned the matter to me in Rotterdam two weeks ago, but that was conversational.
I Poland last week I became aware of a significant distrust of the EU and growing nationalism. Both the Cloggie and the Jam Rolls did go on to say how much they still hate the Germans, the Cloggie especially.
But this doesn't relate much to driving in France or Germany!
 
Straubenhardt? I lived for 3 years in the next village - Pfaffenrot.
Lovely part of the world down there. I was thinking of moving there for good a few years ago. Wished I feckin well had now.

Gotta love a place that still has fag machines in the street (not that I smoke anymore).
 
Make sure you have a some shrapnel in Euros before you get there.

You have to pay a Euro to use the bog in German service stations.

If you try and jump the turnstiles it’s sets off a very loud alarm and flashing strobe lights.

The filthy hun bastards.
I wonder if that is because the Romanians have been abusing the authbahn service areas on the way to the UK to sell the Beeg Ishooo?.
 
I think I've been lucky, I've never seen les flics on the motorway apart from around Calais when things were spicy, let alone hanging around toll booths. Been flashed a couple of times and haven't had a ticket - yet. Got flashed this time round in Austria between tunnels, knobheads. The only time I've got really unstuck was in Slovenia without a vignette, wife said it was ok nobody ever checks. €150 later and we're on our way. :roll:
I'd say very lucky, my old son.

Sneaky sods, the Gendarmerie. In days of old Sunday mornings was a time for setting up speed traps behind trees and bushes. Been with someone clobbered in this fashion back in 1983. At the French do pre-warn of a speed camera on their roads-most of the time.

We got caught in Switzerland sans vignette in April 1986-SFR100 to resolve that one.
 
If motoring off the beaten track in France, watch out for the Sunday pm breathalyser stops. In the land where Sunday lunch chez maman is sacrosanct, the cheeky Gendarmes lie in wait.
On the day I was stopped we had been to visit a chateau. Something told me to skip the wine-tasting (probably suspected an expensive trap into buying mediocre wine at eye-watering prices).
As we were heading back to our digs, there was an almighty cloudburst. It had just finished when I encountered the roadblock, and a very soggy copper. My attempt to use my schoolboy French met only with one word: “soufflé”.
When clear, he waved me on. Miserable git.
 
My weapon of choice for the trip. 1993 2.0 Auto, 90,000 miles. My daily drive for the past three years.
I'm looking to visit the Mercedes-Benz museum ( and possibly the Porsche museum nearby, take the Sindelfingen factory tour (where my car was made) and a couple of aviation museums on the return trip.
View attachment 415536
Times that hard mate?
 
Lovely part of the world down there. I was thinking of moving there for good a few years ago. Wished I feckin well had now.

Gotta love a place that still has fag machines in the street (not that I smoke anymore).
Yep. I go back to visit every couple of years, and every time I ask myself why I left. We seriously considered buying a place in Bad Herrenalb, and still haven’t totally ruled it out.
 
Yep. I go back to visit every couple of years, and every time I ask myself why I left. We seriously considered buying a place in Bad Herrenalb, and still haven’t totally ruled it out.
I’m still giving it some thought.

Got Boxhead friends there and in Waldfischbach and Frog friends in Beinheim (part of France that still thinks it’s in Germany).

Lovely civilised part of the world. If we both move there we can drag it down into the gutter!
 
I’m still giving it some thought.

Got Boxhead friends there and in Waldfischbach and Frog friends in Beinheim (part of France that still thinks it’s in Germany).

Lovely civilised part of the world. If we both move there we can drag it down into the gutter!
We cycled from Basel to Strasbourg back in June, through Freiburg, and then through Colmar and the Alsation vinyards to Strasbourg. It was amazing. I just love both sides of the Rhein there.
 
A lot of the French speed cameras have been vandalised or disabled by the Gilet Juanes protesters.
This came about when Macron reduced the speed limit on D roads from 90 to 80kph. The favoured method is green paint over the lenses, although I saw a temporary speed camera in the Charente which had been totally burnt out.
We have a house down in the Charente and go down, now I'm retired, for 6/7 weeks each year, so just a few thoughts on my trips:
One thing you will notice almost straight away as soon as you hit any dual carriageway, is tailgating, and I don't mean 2 or 3 cars back, I mean so close they are almost between you and your missus. Despite the lower drink-drive limit, drink driving seems to be much more socially acceptable in France than it is here. In the years that I have been driving in France, I have very rarely seen a police roadside check. In 7 weeks over there this year, I saw the police maybe 3 times and they were never there for long.

I drive down from Dieppe via Caen and Rennes - a bit longer, but the tolls are only 15 Euro, compared to 64 Euro via Le Mans. The speed limit from Caen to Rennes is mostly 130 kph, but the stretch from Rennes to Nantes, although motorway standard is 110 because it is an RN, not an Autoroute. Most Brits who get caught, get caught on this bit because it is liberally sprinkled with speed cameras.

I have a Santander Zero Credit Card which gives you the daily rate and does not charge commission. It is, sadly, no longer available, but Nationwide do a similar card, which is available - I put as much as I can on the card and sort it out when I get back. I get my diesel from supermarkets, which are generally cheaper and the larger ones are usually split in two, half the pumps automatic, the other half through a kiosk.

AVOID the Bordeaux Peripherique, especially on a Friday evening. On a recent trip to my brother-in-law near the Pyrenees, it took 2 hours to get round and the Autoroute to Biarritz was just as bad. In the end, I came off the motorway and found a D road running parallel which was empty. I find the French would rather sit nose to tail on the Autoroute than find an alternative route.

There is an excellent south west to south east route which we took from the Charente to Burgundy, where my wife comes from - it is motorway standard for most of the way and is free (although whether it will stay free when complete remains to be seen).

I have only ever once been pulled over by the Gendarmes - for ignoring a road sign and they just happened to have been lurking round the corner. My wife explained that I was British and did not understand French road signs - the sign said STOP.
 
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old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
Lovely surpise in the post today, a speeding ticket from France! 45 euros or it goes up quite a lot. For the first day in the country. I suspect there may be others en route.
 
My weapon of choice for the trip. 1993 2.0 Auto, 90,000 miles. My daily drive for the past three years.
I'm looking to visit the Mercedes-Benz museum ( and possibly the Porsche museum nearby, take the Sindelfingen factory tour (where my car was made) and a couple of aviation museums on the return trip.
View attachment 415536
Definitely worth a visit, a fascinating place and well worth the entrance fee. I took my '88 500SEC there in 2017, never did max it on the Autobahn as at an indicated 146mph via GPS I got held up by a dawdling Audi that would not do more than 130.......
 
Definitely worth a visit, a fascinating place and well worth the entrance fee. I took my '88 500SEC there in 2017, never did max it on the Autobahn as at an indicated 146mph via GPS I got held up by a dawdling Audi that would not do more than 130.......

Should've got a 600 Grosser...would've moved a lot of people out of your way...
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Make sure you have a some shrapnel in Euros before you get there.

You have to pay a Euro to use the bog in German service stations.

If you try and jump the turnstiles it’s sets off a very loud alarm and flashing strobe lights.

The filthy hun bastards.
Also in Swiss service stations, although its all villeroy and boch hardware, and you can use the showers, last time I was in one I needed a shave, and bought a nice little pack with soap, towel, razor, toothbrush and paste and tweezers for 6 Euro
however last week I popped down to the mixed loos near Ticino had a pee and then thought lets get a wash kit as I forgot my soap, walked over to the machine and it now sells this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

IMG-20190905-WA0002 (2).jpg




I went back up to meet my brother and some Irish friends and told them, ten seconds later I am sitting on my own as they shot off to see if it was a wind up, on their return the comment, I was thinking of buying one for the crack ensued much laughter and strange looks over our coffee

a few observations on my travels

Leaving Dunkirk, I used to roll down the ramp, wiggle around the port buildings then away, however this time, I met a bloody great gate, closed shut, I had to wait for several other vehicles before it opened, while waiting, I looked to my right and observed a massive new building marked DOUANE and several other signs about inspections for fruit and perishable goods ??


then the following day, stopping for a pee in the service area past Metz, I noticed several motorcyclists mounted on big Yamahas, wearing jackets marked DOUANE, a car marked likewise and full of electronic equipment, and a van load of big cops, one of the fellas was a black geezer I reckon 7 feet tall and 20 stone of muscle, he was real friendly and said its a training run, lord knows why they give him a gun, he could throw you into the channel from there !!

on our return I tried to pay for fuel in Switzerland in Euros, politely refused had to use my card so they get the best exchange rate


and entering Switzerland through Basle, you used to park up and walk over to the office to get a vignette, or collect one when you bought fuel on the motor way

Not this time, a Swiss bird in uniform marches up and wants 40 Euros cash, no cards, and fixes it onto my screen, it was worth it for the pleasure of seeing a UK plated BMW driven by a dodgy looking geezer getting the works, they had him sitting down while they went through his car with a fine tooth comb

perhaps changes are coming ??
 
Also in Swiss service stations, although its all villeroy and boch hardware, and you can use the showers, last time I was in one I needed a shave, and bought a nice little pack with soap, towel, razor, toothbrush and paste and tweezers for 6 Euro
however last week I popped down to the mixed loos near Ticino had a pee and then thought lets get a wash kit as I forgot my soap, walked over to the machine and it now sells this !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

View attachment 417031



I went back up to meet my brother and some Irish friends and told them, ten seconds later I am sitting on my own as they shot off to see if it was a wind up, on their return the comment, I was thinking of buying one for the crack ensued much laughter and strange looks over our coffee

a few observations on my travels

Leaving Dunkirk, I used to roll down the ramp, wiggle around the port buildings then away, however this time, I met a bloody great gate, closed shut, I had to wait for several other vehicles before it opened, while waiting, I looked to my right and observed a massive new building marked DOUANE and several other signs about inspections for fruit and perishable goods ??


then the following day, stopping for a pee in the service area past Metz, I noticed several motorcyclists mounted on big Yamahas, wearing jackets marked DOUANE, a car marked likewise and full of electronic equipment, and a van load of big cops, one of the fellas was a black geezer I reckon 7 feet tall and 20 stone of muscle, he was real friendly and said its a training run, lord knows why they give him a gun, he could throw you into the channel from there !!

on our return I tried to pay for fuel in Switzerland in Euros, politely refused had to use my card so they get the best exchange rate


and entering Switzerland through Basle, you used to park up and walk over to the office to get a vignette, or collect one when you bought fuel on the motor way

Not this time, a Swiss bird in uniform marches up and wants 40 Euros cash, no cards, and fixes it onto my screen, it was worth it for the pleasure of seeing a UK plated BMW driven by a dodgy looking geezer getting the works, they had him sitting down while they went through his car with a fine tooth comb

perhaps changes are coming ??
I’m baffled by your last one - they’ve always done that at the Autobahn border at Basle. Unless you’re saying they’ve stopped selling vignettes at the German service stations on the A5? Which would be new but definitely wasn’t the case when I was there in June.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
I’m baffled by your last one - they’ve always done that at the Autobahn border at Basle. Unless you’re saying they’ve stopped selling vignettes at the German service stations on the A5? Which would be new but definitely wasn’t the case when I was there in June.
Sorry didnt make myself clear, in the old days I could join the motorway at Basle and when I stopped for fuel purchase a vignette
Now you are not allowed in without it being in place
 

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