June 9, 1997
This is our last few hours in Paris. I am sitting here finishing my breakfast and thinking that today we are going to travel to Chartres and then on to Colmar in the Alsace region of France. All seems to be going OK this morning, no complaints from the kids and Jason appears to be fine, and no one else is “ill” either.
While traveling to Chartres we encountered a trucker’s strike on the highway from Paris. This caused us a delay of two hours in getting to Chartres. Apparently this strike was a protest of working conditions for truckers and also having something to do with Spanish drivers too. I am not sure of the details but I’ve never seen so many trucks blocking an interstate highway! I cannot imaging this happening in the United States!
We sat at a complete stand still for at least an hour. But we all were entertained! The truckers were making the most of the situation by breaking out their lounge chairs and having parties alongside the highway in the emergency breakdown lanes. We were especially appalled to see many of them, after one too many glasses of wine, non-chalantly relieving themselves along the side of the road. You should have heard the girls in the bus squeal with indignation!
January 2008 Reflections: I did some research about this strike in 1997. Apparently the newly elected Prime Minister Lionel Jospin caused a big upset during this time and it all came to a head in November 1997. I believe the “strike” we encountered was only a sample of what France and the EU was to see in November of that same year. So…Europe is full of surprises and you never know what’s going to be thrown at you. The key, then and now, is to make the most of the situation.