"You read that part, right? I DROVE in Paris"

Jennifer Claywood brings the American road trip to Europe, driving 4,600km in ten days: about the equivalent of a drive from the US east coast to west coast.

Yes, reader, our writer braved Paris traffic to bring you this story.

Yes, reader, our writer braved Paris traffic to bring you this story.

Foto: Veit Hammer on Unsplash

KRÖNIKA2024-04-29 09:00
Det här är en krönika. Åsikterna i texten är skribentens egna.

We started with a flight from Skellefteå to Arlanda. 

The car rental process at Arlanda was not encouraging, with one clerk saying:

- You’re going to all these places in ten days? No way.

When I protested, he explained how two girls who came in to get a car for a trip to France had only made it to Denmark. I assured him that would not be the case here. He then warned me that he’d heard the roads in Belgium were awful. Thanks!

Car hired, we then made a quick stop in Stockholm for a wheelchair for my mom and then on to Helsingborg. 

We then took the ferry over to Helsingör, Denmark and visited a tiny aquarium with a very active octopus. Nothing was as captivating as the octopus. I could have spent hours watching this cephalopod but we had a castle to see. 

And lots of driving to do. 

We next visited Kronborg Castle in Denmark, which I gotta tell you, was not the ideal destination to reach with a wheelchair. The air was cold and damp for the long walk up to the castle, but it was worth it.

Inside, Renaissance music drifted through the air, while enormous tapestries and framed artworks covered the walls. A thick wooden door brought us into a multi-domed chapel with intricately carved wooden pews, and as it was Easter Sunday, the location seemed rather apt. 

Next? Another ferry and Germany, where we spent the night in a little hotel with an American flavor. We then drove through Belgium into France. Into Paris.

You read that part, right? I DROVE in Paris.

We found our hotel rather quickly, and I dropped my mother off at the door. Then my son and I went in search of parking. 

The driving was crazy. Cars dashed to fill any gap in the traffic. Motorcyclists constantly bobbed through narrow gaps between cars, repeatedly coming up on my left, kicking my heart into overdrive. 

By the time we found the underground parking area, my son was frantically saying, “There, there, just park there!” 

The calm serenity of the underground space immediately filled me with a deep peace. My blood pressure immediately plummeted and the relief at parking the car in a notably small place was extremely satisfying. 

I immediately took a picture of the beautifully parked car and sent it to my husband. 

I wouldn’t drive in Paris again until three days later.

This is a column and the views are the author's own. The column was origanlly published at norran.se/english, the English part of norran.se.