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  • Day405

    Day 406: Bonjour Francais!

    March 27, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

    Alarm at 7:20am - ridiculously early these days! And of course it's still dark as daylight savings time has started. Packed and checked out by 7:45 and at the car rental return desk by 8am. Still dark, of course!

    We'd been a bit nervous about returning this one, since the car hire company has the world's dodgiest setup. They don't record any damages on their cars, they just give them to you as-is, and tell you to take photos and videos of any pre-existing damage. So when you return it, if you don't have photos or videos of the damage already on the car, you're on the hook. And so will be the next person, if they don't notice it, and so on.

    I'd done a super-meticulous walk-around of the car when we picked it up, photographing every single tiny scratch, ding and scuff. Not easy when it's got 45,000 kilometres on the clock! But it paid off - the woman spotted about 7-8 bits of damage that I had photos of, so all was good and we left for the airport.

    We were actually really early - we'd expected the car return process to take longer, so now found ourselves at the airport at 8:30 for a 10:30 flight. Waited around until we could check in, then waited around again on the other side. At least they had spots where I could get coffee and wake myself up!

    The flight to Marseille was about two hours, leaving and arriving on time. Had to go through a passport check into France which we both found odd, though the guy was wearing a t-shirt rather than a uniform so obviously not that serious! Had lunch at the airport since it was 12:30 and our car pick-up was at 2pm.

    Thankfully this one went much smoother, and we had our car for the next 30 days. It's a nice Citroen DS4 - about a Golf size and with quite good equipment fitted out. Only a few thousand kilometres on the clock too, which makes a big change from the last few shitboxes we've driven!

    Picked our way southwards through Marseille to visit a world heritage site - a large apartment building designed by Swiss architect Le Corbusier. We'd visited some of his other buildings in Switzerland and in Belgium, so this takes the cake as my longest-running video project by a country mile! Unfortunately we couldn't visit the rooftop terrace as one of the lifts was broken, and the other was reserved only for residents (obviously).

    So we headed back to the car and drove to our nearby Airbnb. Since it was a one-night stay, we'd opted for a private room in someone's apartment; a young lady who spoke almost no English! Made for an interesting introduction to say the least. But the room is nice enough and we're only here for one night.

    Visited the nearby waterfront for dinner but could only find extremely expensive options for dinner (20-30 euro mains). Ended up having hamburgers at a place in the back-streets for the third day in a row - whoops!
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