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The Trip to France
- Departure and Arrival

Get rental car

The only attribute we wanted in our rental car was a trunk. We didn't want to worry about parking it car in major cities with a violin and a guitar lying on the back seat. Such was not to be. When we got to Périgueux what was waiting for us was the car we came to affectionately call The Sneaker. It was our travelling companion and co-adventurer. We spent more time with The Sneaker than anything else we did. "Where did you spend your time in France?" In a sneaker.

The Sneaker is a Mercedes, apparently a Mercedes "A Class" vehicle. Not being as brand conscious as we might be, we decided to call it a microvan. It has some styling elements that imply it's a minivan, but it's really no bigger than a Honda Civic hatchback. The major styling element, though, is the one that gave it it's nickname: it looks like a cross-trainer. All it needs are some really long laces—perhaps the jumper cables are white.

De rigeur, the Sneaker had a manual transmission, which was fine with us. It also took diesel fuel ("gazole"), which we came to find out was a lot cheaper than gasoline, and which is very tough to get off your hands.

With no trunk to work with we ended up putting the instruments in the back seat and covering them up with an old French Army blanket, bought from a roadside military surplus store for $7. (Karen also bought a red beret. How French can you get?)

So with the first day coming to a close we, our sneaker, our stuff, and our army blanket headed west from Périgueux to cover the few kilometers to Tocane St-Apre.

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