Did you know you could travel in whatever style you want throughout Europe? Do you know what could be your favourite mode of transport?
Me? I’m struggling to make that decision as in fact I’ve not done them all.
Now. I’ve travelled by plane on short haul flights throughout Europe whether it was to Hamburg, Madrid or even Zagreb. They were quick and got to my destination without much fuss except for the annoying seat recliner in front of you (please, bring back the knee defenders!).
But then again I’ve also travelled via train especially between Lisbon and the Algarve appreciating the majestic views that shot by the windows of the Iberian continent. Maybe it’s something I could do in the future, take rail trips using a rail pass. But could I cope with the night journeys and having to figure oiut which days I could use as my travel days on my pass? We’ll see.
But then I’ve also taken quite a few buses throughout Europe. Steaming away through on autobahns in Germany or winding scenic routes throughout Croatia were a joy to behold but sometimes I wish I could have controlled the vehicle and to enjoy the magic of being in front and watching the road unfurl before you.
So there it is.
Driving a car yourself throughout Europe.
I’ve still yet to do this.
There’s a reason why.
Europe drives on the ‘wrong’ side of the road than to the UK.
The UK drives on the left hand side of the road whereas the rest of Europe (apart from Ireland, Malta and Cyprus) drives on the right. So, I only know how to drive on the left hand side as I was taught in the UK. What would it be like driving on the right? It would be terrifying!
I do remember some people telling me that they made the mistake of coming out of the ferry from the UK and driving on the left in Calais in France. Luckily, it was very early morning and no one was on the road. They realised their mistake and continued, stressed, driving on the ‘wrong side.’
Even as I travel on buses, I momentarily forget about driving on the right side until I glance at the driver sitting on the other side of the cab. My reaction is something like this:
I totally sympathise.
But you know me, I’m not one to turn down a challenge. So, I oughta drive in Europe. But what could I do to get familiar with driving in this continent?
I’ll just use this info-map made for all of us by the AA.
I think it’s quite a useful tool to plan a driving trip to Europe and there’s so many destinations that I would like to drive to such as Switzerland with its panoramic Alps, Italy and its wonderful vineyards, Austria with its Sound of Music and even Hungary because I’m sure I’ll get hungry when I get there. (whey!)
So what do you think? Where would you drive to in Europe?
So once, I’ve taken a driving trip, I’ll be able to tell you what’s my favourite mode of transport.
Wait, isn’t there cycling? Or how about using our good pair of legs on each of our bodies? Wait, what about a cruise ship?
The possibilities are endless.
But one thing for sure. Just make sure that where ever you go in your car in Europe, just make sure to buy travel insurance from the AA.
Otherwise you won’t want to end up telling a nail biting story about the time you didn’t by travel insurance like I did when I went to Finland…
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I understand people’s apprehension about driving on a different side of the road to what they are used. There is also technically no correct side (as I highlighted in my article titled “We don’t drive on the wrong side of the road, you just drive on the right”)
As you can probably imagine I have a lot of experience over the years of driving in left hand side and right hand side of the road countries.
To be honest you can quickly adjust and manage it. The battle is more in the mind than in reality. If people are really worried then I would suggest 2 things:-
1. Hire a car in the country in which you are driving – then you are sat on the correct side of the car to have a view down the road (so when in Germany you drive on the right so you want the steering wheel on the left hand side of the car. Then you can see oncoming traffic).
2. Also, if need be hire an automatic car. In that way you have less to worry about in terms of changing the gear stick.
I don’t know if you are aware but the Dutch used to drive on the left hand side of the road. It was only changed during the second world war. Germany invaded and Hitler insisted that they drive on the right.
After less than twenty minutes you are used to it. Driving in traffic and keeping your hand on the gear stick are two tips to simplify things. But really, people make such a big deal of driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and there is nothing to it. By the way, how can we be wrong if we are right? :p
Yeah, I drove a RHD car (a manual to boot) and got the hang of it pretty quickly. I say go for it, get a fun car with some pep and drive the Autobahn while you still can.. 🙂