Theme: Places – Destinations, Take 2

A car is for more than driving to Ikea, the shops and the petrol station. 

Chantilly, France
Chantilly, France

On the way we are supposed to enjoy the experience (driving dynamics and all that) yet they are a means to an end point, aren’t they? So, how much of car ownership is about the idea of going somewhere nice whenever the mood takes you? This provides me with the opportunity to reflect a little on the destinations I have not yet reached with a car.

Top of my list is Chantilly, as it happens. The appearance of Chantilly in my other post on destinations was not entirely coincidental. The reason for this is that about 12 years ago I had reason to visit the town and I recall a small corner of it I really want to see again. There is a café outside one of the gates into the Hippodrome and you can sit at some tables under a few trees. It is either very uniquely Chantilly or else wonderfully redolent of a whole way of travelling around France that I earnestly hope still exists.

I think the image (above) is the place I have in mind. My recollection is not of the café but the view from the café, and more than the architecture I can remember the shade, temperature and time of day (a brisk February morning).

So, what’s holding me back? For one thing a car is a ludicrous mode of transport to use to go to get a cup of coffee. The distance is 1195 kilometres and will take eleven hours if all goes well. I probably ought to take a plane or train. And yet. I have a wish to park the car, get out, stretch a bit and sit down and look at my car in Chantilly to enjoy the ludicrousness of taking the vehicle all the way from Denmark to France. It is the stupendously pointless nature of the car in that setting which is more than the majority of the experience. After that Chantilly is super place to visit for a few hours. Richard Burton mentions taking a trip there in the late 60’s with Elizabeth Taylor, all black and white, diamonds and Chivas Regal, I expect, with a bit of shouting and inappropriate behaviour.

The cost in petrol (Jutland to Chantilly return) is about €300, I would think. I’ll also eat €40 worth of Pringles and Rittersports en route. If I want to avoid that in the manner of Archie Vicar, try a multiplication factor of 3 for the food bills. So, for the moment, it’s a bit of dream.

So, dear readers, do you have any aspirational destinations that remain out of reach “for the moment”?

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

One thought on “Theme: Places – Destinations, Take 2”

  1. Linking pieces, I have a vague recollection of someone telling me about an impressive underground car park in Granada .. or Seville. This probably isn’t true, but true enough for me to regret never having visited Granada (in a Cadillac) .. or Seville (in a Ford).

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