Driving licence

Until recently driving licences in The Netherlands were valid up to someone's 70th birthday. When reaching this respectable age renewing the highly valuated document was a bit time consuming as a declaration of a physician was part of the procedure. The wise Dutch parliament changed the law, however, and as from the 1st of January 2014 a driving license is automatically valid until the age of 75! The reason? People nowadays are fitter than some generations before the present ones. And right they are; look at all the activities we are still capable of doing! Here the new driving licence ('Rijbewijs') for the male part of the two of us is shown. On creditcard format. Valid until joining the Methuselah-club, so to speak. A very useful size indeed; a proof of identity is carried around on a permanent basis. (The former format was about six times the size of a creditcard - if not more.)

When visiting The Netherlands last november we had heard about the new regulations regarding the renewal of a driving licence. So, smart as we are, we hoped to be able tu renew the licence based upon the new law. Alas, the old rules still ruled, so to speak, and the new procedure only applied not earlier than the 1st of January 2014. To make things worse one has to show up in person, so last week The Netherlands was visited by train. This picture shows the three tickets regarding the voyage back into France. All first class, using the frequent cheap week-end-tickets on offer. To start with the Thalys (high speed) from Amsterdam-Schiphol (a useful place for hiring a budget-car) to Paris Gare du Nord. The train was delayed 28 minutes, so it was a matter of going 'on the double' when using the metropolitan lines 4 and 1 in Paris to bridge the gap towards Paris Gare de Lyon. Then there was a delay again. The TGV (high speed) arrived 10 minutes late in Lyon. A dash to the third train to Roanne (not high speed at all) was needed to catch it on time too. Phew! All in all the voyage takes 8 hours. Not a train was missed - only some heart-beats.

La Loire on Sunday the 9th of March 2014 by beautiful late afternoon light. Lower than last weeks. The river has not been bad at all this winter. Coming week we'll travel to good old England to visit family and friends. There will be no blog-page next week. Sorry! After that we probably will start the cruising season, so don't stop watching this blog in the future, please!