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From Paris to London09.11.2008

Tags: France, UK       Comments: 1

Picture of the day

I can really say we had a great stay in Paris! We could stay in a nice little apartment (called "villa") in the HEC (Haute Ecole de Commerce) where I also had a presentation. They really took good care of us, I have to say, because Thomas found a broken shock absorber and we had to replace it there. Finally we even needed to do some welding, so the HEC offered us their garage where their own fleet is being repaired. Now we have two different shock absorbers, and it is absoutly impossible to find a second one, no matter how hard we try. The original ones are from a dealer in Switzerland, but they have later been stretched by my friend Stefan, so now the fork is being tortured... I just hoped that nothing serious happens, as Thomas said it would be all right to drive like this. It only has to hold for another 4000 km... 

So I left Paris after I met a few journalists on the "Etoile". I parked the car in the middle of trhe Champs Elysee, and the Police came to chase me away. But then I explained to them that I was waiting for some journalists here on the middle of the Avenue, and that was ok for them, they drove away. 

Finding the way out of Paris was a challenge! France is not the world leader when it comes to road signs, and I am not so genious that I always have a map with myself. So I stopped frequently, asked the people and eventually found my way out, into the fields. It is (luckily) not so cold any more, but driving in the rain is not so pleasant anyway. So I made it to Amiens, it was late at night, and I showed up at the Fire Station in downtown. Those men (and one woman) were very happy to see me, and I was surprised that everything went very fast, I got electricity, a warm meal and even a bed for the night. When they showed me an article in their local newspaper, showing me at the ministry in Paris, I suddenly understood why they were so motivated to help me. They already knew the story of my little car...

The next day I started a little bit late, around 10 am, to meet the "pompiers" in Dunquerqu, where I was supposed to stay last night. I showed them my presentation, it was fun, even though I was really tired. So when the sun went down in the evening, they escorted me with their little red Peugeot and a big blue light on theroof all the way to the harbour, where Thomas was waiting for me with the Van. We checked in, got a special pric, and then shipped to the Island... UK!

Customs in the UK didnt care at all about the solartaxi, and a few miles (here we talk in Miles again!) later we finally met our friend Mario. Mario was ou tour guide in Jordan, more than one year ago, when we had to wait and wait for the Saudi visa. It was great to see Mario again, again on a motorbike, like he did in Jordan. He had an orange flashing light in his motor bike, so he blocked roads and traffic so that we could enter London without any risks. 

We arrived at the Swiss Embassy at midnight, and the people there were so kind to open the door for us so we could park the solartaxi inside. Finally, Thomas and me, we found the "Royal Oceanic Race Club", where we were invited to stay. We felt asleep at 2, and our rooms were having the size of rooms not much larger than in sailing boats. Welcome in the world of the big sailors!

The next day I had to be ready at 7, as there was a private taxi waiting for me outside, a Toyota Prius, sent by the BBC. The driver had to bring me to the radio station, where I went on air just before 8. Many questions and answers for quite a while, so all of England could learn about my adventure. I must admit the show went well, despite the fact I could have slept much more tonight... The taxi driver drove me then to the Swiss Embassy, so I could drive my solar car to Trafalgar Square. It rained the whole time there. Welcome to London. I must admit: I wasn't execting anything elsse, hm.



by: eli rudy

06.01.2009 11:01

i would like for a constant email update as to how the mission is going and would also like to let a shout out to my boyfriend andrew smith:)

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