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开最国民的老爷车,穿越法国南部秘境

  In 1878, Robert Louis Stevenson, a novelist and travel writer, rose through one of France's most desolate and sparsely populated regions-the Cevennes in the south. A slow donkey named Modestine. In May, it also happened on a whim. My wife and I also crossed the Cevennes, still one of the most desolate and sparsely populated areas in France. Accompanying us was a slow car, the Citroen 2CV.

  1878年,小说家、旅行作家罗伯特·路易斯·史蒂文森(Robert Louis Stevenson)一时兴起,穿越了法国最荒凉、人烟最稀少的地区之一——南部的塞文山脉,陪伴他的,是一头慢吞吞的驴子,名叫莫德斯蒂娜(Modestine)。5月份,也是一时兴起,妻子和我也穿越了塞文山脉,依旧是法国最荒凉、人烟最稀少地区之一,陪伴我们的,是一辆慢吞吞的汽车,雪铁龙2CV。

  Stevenson described Modestina as stubborn and moody, but also "cheap, thin, willing to work, and has a calm temper." This is used to describe our car, which is exactly the same, it is mint green, looks like an umbrella, has a flip window, a tube frame bench seat, a canvas awning, a creaking single spoke steering wheel, and is mounted on the The headlights on the front bumper reminded me of an over-eager dog's eyes. When driving downwind, the car's noisy twin-cylinder engine can effortlessly reach a top speed of about 60 miles per hour on open roads.

  史蒂文森形容莫德斯蒂娜倔强且喜怒无常,倒也“便宜、瘦小、肯干,有种不动声色的平和脾气”。这用来形容我们的车恰好也挺确切,它是薄荷绿色,状似一把伞,有翻盖窗、管架长凳车座、帆布遮阳篷、吱吱作响的单辐条方向盘,以及安装在前保杆上的大灯,让我想起一只过于急切的狗的眼睛。顺风行驶时,这辆车闹哄哄的双缸引擎能在开阔公路上,毫不费力地达到每小时60英里左右的最高时速。

  As it turns out, there are no roads in Severn, not even as many roads as Stevenson's. I think this is also expected. There is an uninhabited and lush scene here. It is separated by deep river valleys and narrow valleys. Above it are 5,000 feet above sea level of granite mountains and wind-washed limestone plateaus. All of these stunning natural features are worthy of being included in a beautifully framed atlas, and they are densely distributed across a 360-square-mile national park just three and a half hours away from Lyon-this area I haven't heard until recently that although I've been traveling in France for many years, and it's actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site-these convinced me that my wife, Michelle, and I would take a week-long drive here It's a unique choice.

  结果碰巧塞文一带没有公路,甚至比起史蒂文森的年代公路也没多多少。我想这也在预料之中,这里一派荒无人烟、葱葱郁郁的景象,其间为道道幽深的河谷和窄窄的山谷隔开,其上是海拔5000英尺的花岗岩山地和风力冲刷的石灰岩高原。所有这些令人惊叹的自然风貌,每一样都值得单列入一本装帧精美的图册,而它们密实地分布在一片360平方英里、距里昂仅3个半小时车程的国家公园——这一带我直到最近才听说,虽然我在法国旅行多年,并且它其实是一处联合国教科文组织世界遗产——这些使我确信,我和妻子米歇尔在这里进行一次为期一周的驾车游,将是一个别具一格的选择。

  And I thought, why not try the cheap "Deux Chevaux"-the common name of 2CV-this kind of "national model" that was much loved in France after the war? British car journalist L.J.K. Setright has a famous saying that it is "the smartest successful use of minimalism in cars". But using a quaint 2CV to drive a car is a dream I always dreamed of, so when I found out that I could rent a car on Drivy.com-basically an Airbnb car version-I made up my mind . After some searching, I identified a car owner in Lyon who would rent my fully restored 1976 2CV-6 Club for 1976 for $ 70 a day, including additional insurance and 24/7 roadside service support.

  并且我想,何不试一试廉价的“两税收马力”(Deux Chevaux)——2CV的通用名称——这种在战后法国备受喜爱的“国民车型”呢?英国汽车记者L·J·K·赛特莱特(L.J.K. Setright)有句名言,说它是“极简主义在汽车上最聪明的成功运用”。不过用古色古香的2CV来一场驾车游,是我一直以来的梦想,因此当我发现可以在Drivy.com上——基本上是Airbnb的汽车版——租一辆时,我就拿定了主意。经过一番检索,我确定了里昂一个车主,他会以一天70美元的价钱租给我那辆完全修复的1976年产2CV-6 Club,包括追加保险和全天候的路边服务支持。

  Soon after arriving in Lyon, Michelle and I met him at the owner's house—a gentle talk retiree. We signed some documents in his messy little room and left after 5 minutes of trial opening. Before the car left, he solemnly handed me a binder, which contained what he called "the Bible"-some coated laser-printed paper with a long list of precautions for driving this car- — Then wish us all the best.

  到达里昂后不久,米歇尔和我在车主家中见到了他——一个说话温和的退休人士,我们在他凌乱的小房间里签了些文件,试开了5分钟后就出发了。车开走前,他郑重地交给我一个活页夹,里面是他称作“圣经”的东西——一些有覆膜的激光打印纸张,上面列了一长串驾驶这辆车的注意事项——然后祝我们一路顺风。

  Like many plans based on dreams instead of ... uh ... my plan was severely tested on the first day of our five-day trip.

  和许多基于梦想而非……呃……筹备的计划一样,我的计划在我们五日之旅的头一天便受到了严峻考验。

  But the moment that really revealed the loose foundation of my grand plan was when night fell. I slowed down, stopped the engine after stopping in a muddy place, and rested for a while-fighting with the manual rudder and the difficult to start L-shaped gear shifter made my arm sore-I could also study the map to find the best way to go back to the hotel The route is a slightly dilapidated but charming house outside the village of Anduze.

  但真正暴露我宏大计划松散根基的一刻,是在夜幕降临之时。我减缓车速,停到一处泥泞地后熄灭引擎,好休息片刻——和手动舵及难启动的L型变速杆抗争令我手臂酸痛——另外也可以研究一下地图,找到回酒店的最佳路线,那是昂迪兹村外一处稍显破旧但迷人的房屋。

  Then, all the horror screenwriters felt the same way-a car that couldn't start making a harsh, dull sound. When I twisted the key repeatedly and our 2CV engine still refused to start, I instinctively pulled out my cell phone and called Drivy's roadside service call, but there was no signal. I bit my lower lip and looked at Michelle as if she might not be able to get us out of this embarrassing situation, but she just looked at me with the same expression on her lips.

纽约时报中英文网 www.qqenglish.com

  接着,就出现了所有恐怖片编剧感同身受的场景——一辆无法启动的汽车发出刺耳锉钝的声音。当我反复扭动钥匙,我们的2CV引擎还是拒绝发动时,我本能地掏出手机拨打了Drivy的路边服务电话,可是没信号。我咬着下唇看着米歇尔,仿佛她没准有办法让我们摆脱这个尴尬处境,但她只是用同样咬嘴唇的表情回看着我。

  I then did what one would do in a difficult situation: ask the Bible for help. There is a clear smell of gasoline, which shows that I caused the engine to spill oil-using a little more French accent means "flooded"-so, obviously, we have to let the car rest for "a little while." Michelle and I debated the meaning of the word, and decided to wait 10 minutes, during which we sat and said nothing, while listening to the sound of rain on the hood. Finally, I took a deep breath and turned the key. The engine started panting. We obeyed the word of the Bible, and behold, the prophecy of the Bible is fulfilled.

  于是我做了人在困境中会做的事:向圣经求助。有股明显的汽油味,表明我造成了引擎溢油——用多了一些怪罪意味的法国腔调就是,“淹了”——所以,显然,我们得让车歇“一小会儿”。米歇尔和我争论了那个词的意思,决定等10分钟,其间我们坐着没说什么,一边听着车篷上雨点的声响。最后,我深吸一口气,转动钥匙。引擎咳喘着发动了。我们听从了圣经的话,看哪,圣经的预言应验了。

  challenge the limit

  挑战极限

  The next morning, the weather was dry, and the severe wind drove the clouds to move fast in the sky, so that it felt like watching a fast-moving movie. The scene that rose from the dark and horrible night of the previous night is exactly the same as the beauty I imagined: behind the stepped foothills are rugged, sun-drenched mountains, and there is still a little mist in it, several of which Vortex-like air blows away.

  次日早晨天气干燥,凌厉的风驱赶着云在天空快速移动,以至于感觉像是在看快放的电影。从前一晚漆黑可怖的夜色里升腾出的景象,和我想象中的美丽分毫不差:阶梯状的山麓后是崎岖不平、阳光斑驳的山峦,其间还残留着几分雾气,其中几缕被漩涡般的气流吹散。

  If the beauty is still not enough to make up for my decision-driving a scrap car across the treacherous terrain of Mount Severn-then at least it refreshes me and Michelle. At breakfast, we saw six French tourists equipped with seemingly expensive hiking equipment, as if walking directly out of the Patagonian advertising screen, we also giggled. They may be on the Chemin de Stevenson, a popular route meant to relive the 170-mile journey of the Scot and his donkey.

  如果说这番美景仍不足以弥补我的决定——驾驶一辆报废车穿越塞文山地的险恶地形——那么至少它让我和米歇尔的心情爽朗了起来。用早餐时,看到六个法国游客浑身装配着看似很贵的徒步旅行设备,活像直接从巴塔哥尼亚广告画面中走出,我们还咯咯地笑了笑。他们可能是要去走史蒂文森步道(Chemin de Stevenson),那是条热门的路线,意在重温这个苏格兰人和他的驴子的170英里旅程。

  Maybe it was because I started to read Stevenson's travelogue before bedtime—he called the "Seven Mountain Donkey Walk" straight away, and I gradually realized that our moody 2CV was a living creature. When I bed together, I will look at the hotel parking lot like a conditional reflection to make sure our mint green friends do not encounter any bad luck at night. Every morning before returning to the road, when the reassuring noise of the engine sounded again, I would pat the dashboard with a feeling of relief and love.

  或许是因为我开始在睡前阅读史蒂文森的游记——他直白地管游记叫《塞文山脉骑驴行》,我渐渐发现自己觉得,我们喜怒无常的2CV是个活物。一起床,我便会条件反射般地往酒店停车场看,确保我们的薄荷绿朋友夜里没遭遇什么厄运。每个早晨重新上路之前,当引擎那让人安心的吵闹声再次响起,我都会带着一种又释怀、又带些疼爱的心情拍拍仪表盘。

  In fact, as we become familiar with the quirks and blemishes of this car, the similarities between it and Modestina start to look somewhat doomed. Stevenson spent a lot of time telling how he struggled to rush his "she-ass"-that's the name people used at the time-to get her to go faster. "I don't think I can treat this innocent animal harshly; let her walk at her own pace and let me follow patiently," he wrote. But in the end, he chose to be whipped, and he felt guilty afterwards.

  事实上,随着我们熟悉这辆车的怪癖和瑕疵,它和莫德斯蒂娜之间的相似之处开始多少有些像是注定。史蒂文森用了许多篇幅,讲述他如何奋力催赶他的“she-ass”(母驴)——那是当时的人使用的称呼——好让她走快点。“我想我可千万不能粗暴对待这无辜的动物;让她按自己的节奏行走,让我耐心地跟随,”他写道。不过最后,他还是选择了鞭打,结果事后内疚不已。

  The next few days, as I walked through canyons, mountain passes, and highlands around here-here called Kass-I was also worried that our cars would exceed their limits. When climbing uphill and downhill, this Citroen made a harsh noise. On the curvy and aggressive road, there will always be a group of drivers who lost their patience because they could not overtake. Occasionally, it emits a burning scent and rubbing sound, but I am not sure where the problem is. Clutch? brake? Or a motor? Fortunately, our car did not let us down, and we were safely delivered to our destination every night.

  接下来的几天,在塞文一带的峡谷、山口和高地——这里称为喀斯——穿行时,我也担心我们的座驾超出了它的承受极限。在陡峭之处爬坡和下坡时,这辆雪铁龙发出刺耳的声音,在弯曲、逼仄的路上,我们后面总会聚集起一拨因为没法超车而失去耐心的驾驶者。偶尔,它会发出烧焦的气味和摩擦声,但我没法确定问题出在哪儿。离合?刹车?还是马达?好在我们的座驾没让我们失望,每晚都把我们安全送至目的地。

  It ’s not as good as the sky

  人算不如天算

  The last journey took us through the desolate and beautiful Causse Méjean and into the Gorges du Tarn. A winding road runs along the edge of a spectacular, densely populated river canyon, with towering karst walls on one side and low stone fences on the other. Here is the favorite of French motorcyclists who whizzed past us in droves-most of them, like those hikers, dressed in fancy gear-we are approaching Saint-Eni M, spend the last night in this riverside village.

  最后一段旅程带我们穿越了荒凉而美丽的梅让高地(Causse Méjean),并进入塔恩峡(Gorges du Tarn)。沿着壮观、密布着洞窟的河流峡谷边缘,是一条蜿蜒的道路,它一边是高耸的喀斯特岩壁,另一边是低矮的石栏。这里是法国摩托车手的最爱,他们成群结队地从我们身边呼啸而过——其中大多数像那些徒步旅行者一样,穿戴着价值不菲的花哨装备——我们正接近圣埃尼米,要在这个河畔村庄度过最后一晚。

  While eating roast lamb at a small hotel in the center of town at noon, Michelle and I made a decision: to rest the 2CV for a day for the rest of the day. We've asked for it so much and don't want to keep trying. So, we drank red wine at lunch, took a walk along the tar-like clear Tarn River, and then entered the leafy highlands above the village, where we stopped to watch large wildflowers and other subtle things we would miss when driving , Even if driving a car so slow at 2CV. We plan to drive to Lyon the next morning after getting up, return the car to the owner, and then take the express train to Paris before flying home.

  中午在镇中心一家小酒店吃烤羊肉时,我和米歇尔做了个决定:在这天剩下的时间里,让这辆2CV休息一天。我们已经要求了它这么多,不想再继续碰运气了。于是,我们午餐时畅饮红酒,又沿着杜松子酒般清澈的塔恩河散步放松,然后进入村子上方枝繁叶茂的高地,在那里驻足观赏大片野花,及其他驾车旅行时会错过的细微事物,哪怕是开着2CV这么慢的车。我们计划次日一早起床后开到里昂,把车还给车主,然后乘坐前往巴黎的快速列车,再搭飞机回家。

  We got up just after dawn, and the hotel owner helped us put things in the car. In his early sixties, he was known as Mr. Lopez, a joker.

  天刚亮我们便起来了,酒店老板帮我们把东西放到了车上。他六十初头,人称洛佩兹先生,是个爱说笑的人。

  When the car didn't start, Michelle and I were a little annoyed, but not too worried-letting the motor rest for 10 minutes did not completely disrupt our plan. Ten minutes later, the engine still didn't turn, and Michelle and I were worried about biting our lips again. The car owner could not be reached at such an early time on Sunday, and Drivy's roadside service operator told them that they would try to find the nearest repair shop before contacting me. Mr. Lopez smelled a smile and assured me that we really had to wait For a long time, at least a day, because every mechanic within a few miles of the circle was either sleeping or preparing to go to church. A passerby proposed a trolley so that we could quickly release the clutch, and we found that this 2CV car is a centrifugal engine and cannot be started like this. Finally, when the stranger failed to start our engine with his own retro car-it was a Cherry Red Renault 4, and I have to say that Citroen next to us looked really pulling-I got it A last resort conclusion: We have to abandon this 2CV and quickly modify our plan.

  当车发动不起来时,我和米歇尔有些气恼,却也没有太过担心——让马达休息10分钟不至于彻底打乱我们的计划。10分钟过去了,引擎仍然不转,我和米歇尔又是一副咬嘴唇的忧虑神情。礼拜天这么早的时间联系不上车主,Drivy的路边服务接线员则告诉他们会设法找到最近的修车行后再跟我联络,洛佩兹先生闻之笑了,跟我保证我们着实要等很长时间,至少一天,因为方圆数英里内的每位机修工要么在睡觉要么正准备去教堂。一名路人提议推车,以便我们可以快放离合器时,我们发现,这款2CV汽车是离心式发动机,是不能这样启动的。最后,当这位陌生人没能用他自己的复古车成功启动我们的引擎——那是辆樱桃红雷诺4,不得不说挨着我们的雪铁龙看上去真得很拉风——我得出了一个不得已的结论:我们得抛弃这辆2CV,并赶紧修改我们的计划。

  After a free ride, a four-hour bus ride, and a very slow intercity train, Michelle and I sat face to face in a bistro in Paris's 10th district, drinking a bottle of wine Morgan. We got a partial refund of the train ticket from Lyon to Paris, and I finally contacted the 2CV owner. He apologized for the trouble we had and told us not to worry. He would arrange a friend to pick up the car later that week. (I later learned that the culprit was overheating of the ignition coil—the owner told me it was a "classic problem.")

  搭了一趟便车,坐了四小时巴士,又坐了一趟极慢的城际列车后,我和米歇尔面对面坐在了巴黎第10区一个小酒馆里,大口痛饮着一瓶摩根酒。我们拿到了里昂到巴黎火车票的部分退款,我也终于联系上了2CV车主,他为我们遇到的麻烦道歉,告诉我们不用担心,他会在那周晚些时候安排朋友去取车。(我后来得知罪魁祸首是点火线圈过热——车主跟我说是个“经典问题”。)

  I told Michelle that the 2CV would soon return to Lyon safely and she was relieved. "I just don't think it's good to leave it there," her voice tightened with excitement. It sounded like she was talking about children or beloved pets.

  我告诉米歇尔那辆2CV很快就能安然返回里昂,她松了口气。“我就是觉得把它留在那里很不好,”她的声音因为激动而发紧。听上去,她像是在谈论孩子或者心爱的宠物。

  When I sold Modestina at the end of the brigade, and stepped back home in a carriage, Stevenson showed similar sentimentality. "It wasn't until I sat firmly by the driver ... that I realized I had lost my love," he wrote. "I lost Modestina. Until that moment, I thought I hated her, but now she's gone."

  在步旅终点卖掉莫德斯蒂娜,坐马车踏上回家的路时,史蒂文森也流露出类似的感伤。“直到我在赶车人身边坐稳……才意识到我已痛失爱驾,”他写道。“我失去了莫德斯蒂娜。直到那一刻,我一直都以为我是厌恶她的,但这下她不在了。”

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