Hawaii Vacations: 7 Great 4-Star Hotels
Here's several 4-Star Hawaiian hotels that offer first-class accommodations and beach front views.
Sheraton Moana Surfrider - This historic hotel has been lovingly restored and maintains it's circa 1901 charm. Located on Waikiki beach, it offers high tea and sunset buffets.
Driving in France Training for Le Mans
France, one of the largest countries in Europe, has a very good system of roads. However, in France, all the "A" roads, that is the autoroutes, are péage (toll roads). Toll roads are indicated by blue signs, while the free roads are marked by green ones. There are always signs at roundabouts indicating more than one way to the same city. The blue signs at the crossroads will identify the road that is péage.
Péage highways have some portions that are free, usually the sections that allow free access into major cities. But when there are tolls, they tend to be much pricier than the tolls in the U.S. Unfortunately, the maps don't always indicate which portions of péage roads are free, but there may be signs at the intersections. Keep your eyes open.National roads are designated with an "N" on the maps.
There is a large network of these two- and three-lane roads that goes from town to town. While they are old, they are generally in very good condition. They are the equivalent of the old Route 66 in the US.
However, they are mostly in better condition than Route 66 because Europe's roads were pummeled in two World Wars and therefore rebuilt after World War II. The "N" road that winds across Normandy parallel to the sea, for example, is the same route that American troops followed getting off the beaches after the D-Day landing in World War II. "N" roads are shown in thin red on the maps.If you haven't driven a three lane road before (the center lane is supposed to be for passing), just remember the old joke: "they have a right lane, a left lane and a suicide lane". It'll serve you in good stead.Which kind of road should you take? It depends on what you need at that moment.
If you are in a hurry to get to a particular place, or have a long journey and a tight schedule, you may want to take the highways. If you are in Paris and need to be in the south of France at a particular time, for example, it might be worth the cost to take the highway and pay the tolls. In addition, even though you may not want to use an "A" road, it may be the only one going in the right direction.
But those non-scenic "A" roads are always full of trucks and cars traveling at breakneck speed and driving on them can be quite stressful.If you'd like a good look at the countryside, try those two-lane national ("N") roads. They go through every tiny hamlet that lies in their path and lead into every city. When you find yourself entering a town, you will have to travel at city speeds. "N" roads will slow you down, but you'll also see a lot more. You might even see something that you want to stop and visit.
Of all the slower vehicles in France the farm tractors are the slowest and the drivers in France seemed quite content with their lack of speed. This can be humorous because the French, like nearly all Europeans, drive so fast. One theory is that they are all (1) going to a fire, (2) late for an appointment, or (3) practicing for Le Mans.
Sometimes on the main streets of little towns there are not many places that one can park in safety. Places where one can park are marked either with a "P" painted directly on the pavement or by a roadside sign with a big huge P on it. You always have the option of going onto one of the side roads and looking around for a parking space. And, as you drive through, there may be unexpected Roman ruins or medieval towns or open-air markets to explore.Outside of towns, there are rotaries (traffic circles) where roads intersect.
Within towns and villages there are traffic lights instead of rotaries. The traffic lights in many French towns offer a feature that is puzzling at first, but really is a great boon to driving. Traffic lights on poles at street corners have the usual large set of red/yellow/green lights at the top of the pole, but there is another set of small lights at just about eye level when you are stopped.
Because these lower lights are so easy to see, you don't have to crane your neck upward.Often, when a city lies in your path, you will reach the outskirts and you will find yourself following signs that suddenly make you change your direction. For example, you are going south and the city that you are entering is directly in your path. You continue to follow the signs that indicate the city that the map shows should be next on your route. Although this city is directly south of you, suddenly the signs for that city indicate a sharp turn, leading you in another direction.
That's because you may not be able to go straight through the town. Cities are very old and the inner areas may have narrow streets or low overhangs. Traffic is therefore routed through the outskirts.When you leave the city, you will join the original road again. This process can take quite a chunk of time and may also be very confusing.
This is one place where you can get lost quite easily. The trick is knowing which towns beyond the area directly in front of you are on the road that you want and then following the signs for those towns. Eventually, you will re-enter the road to your ultimate destination, i.e., the one you were on when you first entered the city.The traffic circles are also a bit confusing.
The basic rule, which is new in many parts of France, is that cars in the circle have the right of way. But this is not always the case. The rule is in effect only where there are signs at the entrance to the circle that say either "Vous n'avez pas la priorité" (that is, you who are entering the circle do not have the right of way) or "Cédez le passage" (those entering must give way to cars in the circle). If neither of these signs is present at the entrance, the rule reverts to an old rule that gives priority to cars entering the rotary!.There is no doubt that this is both confusing and dangerous, because one has to notice the absence of a sign rather than its presence.
Fortunately, not even the French drive fast in this situation. Be careful at rotaries.Once into the circle, however, you have to take the correct exit, which hopefully will be well marked.
If you miss it, or if you are not sure which exit to take, simply go around again until you are sure. No one is going very fast in the roundabout, so even if you make a mistake, it's not likely to create a problem. Sometimes your exit is marked "Toutes directions" meaning that you can get to any location by going that way.
.Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Travel.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.
By: Michael Russell
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