Now, this is even a challenge for me. So the first time I ventured around it in my car I took a deep breath, pumped up the volume on my Energy radio station and shouted "Yiheaaaaaaaa!" My kids took one look at me and I knew they were thinking: "Mummy's lost it! She has gone into overdrive. Too many French made her go crazy." I could see their worried faces but at the same time they could not hide the excitement in their eyes. This was going to be a ride they would not forget.
And guess what? It worked. Driving fast enough (but not too fast), aggressively pushing forward (in a way you can only manage if you know your car's dimensions down to the centimeter) and keeping a VERY cautious eye to the right, to the left, in front AND behind, the tactic works to perfection. I steered straight into the center of the roundabout hugging the Arc de Triomph (avoiding the tourist buses which drive at 2 miles and hour) and went round twice. The kids were having a ball in the back.
The tricky bit is getting back out and onto one of the twelve straight avenues including the Champs-Élysées. Luckily French drivers stick indubitably to the rule of right-hand drivers have straight-away which helps avoiding accidents.
Place de l'Etoile at night
So, next time you go around a round-about, shout "Yihaaaa" and think of me navigating around the Place de l'Etoile.
View from the top of Arc de Triomphe
down Champs Elysées