How to get to three European countries in one day?
How to drive a car abroad?
A series of tips: life stories and recommendations for driving a car in Europe and Asia – my and more experienced car travelers
How to get to three European countries in one day?
(rent a car yesterday, ride today, return it tomorrow, pay rent and car insurance per day)
My wife and I burned in Spain from a habit of the sun in early May.
Especially – she. The waiter, seeing her in the evening, exclaimed: Tomaatee.
Morality: sunscreens are part of your medical safety …
But now – not about that.
Beach-beach-sea-sun were excluded from the list of possible entertainment for several days. Let’s go roaming the streets. They began to look at the rental offices. Cars – from 50 euros per day. And insurance. And gasoline. And toll roads. Noticeable budget hole.
We look – a couple: husband and wife. They also rumble in the same desks as we do. Asking the price.
We talked. They also want to go to Andorra. View the mountains, the snow in May, the waterfalls. Go shopping. And – they also doubt the costs.
And they agreed – four to go. Costs – in half. Now fine. And then I got the excitement of sports and financial. I went to the most attractive of the owners of the offices (they are there 500x meters from the shore – they stand in a row). I say:
– So we want to leave at 6 in the morning – you can?
– And you can arrive at 12 at night..
The owner takes my rights, the passport, looks at the documents, in the face, looks around for some reason … Takes me under the elbow leads symbolically to the side.
– Come on, ”he says,“ so we will agree: you take the car today before closing, go to the hotel QUIETLY (he showed with your fingers how we will ride on tiptoe), because I will not turn on insurance for today … And when you return, drive the car to mine to the office, here (he showed the place that he would leave free, drew his palm in the air – both the place and our agreement with him). Throw the keys in this box (showed a tiny mailbox on the office door). AND – EVERYTHING!
– And car insurance during the trip – will be FULL? – I ask.
The owner sighed wearily, nodded:
– And mileage – no limit?
– And to Andorra by car – you can go?
– Actually, you can’t … But YOU – you can!
– And return through France by car – you can?
The owner sighed desperately, nodded:
In the evening we parked the car in an impassable deadlock under the windows of the hotel. We agreed with partners on the trip that they would come at 6 in the morning (they lived nearby). And in the morning we left on schedule.
Nothing special to tell about Spanish roads – good, long and serious. There are few cars, there are plenty of signs, almost no maps needed, there were almost no navigators then, it was scary to go through the tunnel as always. We looked at the landscapes, ate in a roadside cafe. Three hours drive, and now – the remains of the border barrier.
Desired by all four crew members, there is no one to put the stamps in the passport, so having signaled symbolically “the border by car”, we go further. In the capital of a tiny state, they were divided with satellites for several hours – in accordance with different interests; went shopping – everything is the same as usual: tasty, beautiful, for shopping – a little expensive (not a trading country, but a tourist country).
But then the fun began! The road curled between the mountains – higher and higher. Almost immediately it got colder. I was afraid of a decrease in pressure (more than 30 years have passed since the torsion of the “serpentines” and the game of basketball in the foothills of the Pamirs, near the famous high-mountain skating rink Medeo), but I did not feel anything until the pass.
We took a lot of pictures of crevices and gorges, skiers on snowy slopes, and ourselves played snowballs – coarse-grained “warm” snow falling apart in hands.
Especially bright and cheerful are the pictures of women laughing desperately in transparent summer dresses against the background of snow and in the wind with splashes from waterfalls.
But here is the pass. Descent Here you need to be more careful. That’s where the experience of the Crimean and Cyprus serpentines came in handy. Moreover, I want to stop more often for photo shoots.
Finally, the road expands by a dozen lanes: entrance to France – there used to be border control here. And now (about woe to travelers for the sake of cliches!) – he is again gone.
But in France we got a little lost. But we enjoyed the beautiful views of the surroundings: the near mountains on the horizon from which we had just descended, and the verdant, well-groomed fields along the roadsides. We drive slowly, because the road is provincial, not quite matching the map. No cars.
Suddenly, a car appears ahead, rushing at a speed of much more than 100 km / h. For a hundred meters from us, he jumps into our lane. I press the brake with all my strength, the steering wheel is straight (the road is narrow, a steep ditch on the right). A dozen meters from our hood, the oncoming car returns to its lane, its driver laughing out loud.
In Barcelona, they explained to me that in the border strip, and indeed, many Frenchmen do not like the Spaniards, and it was just the reaction of the French driver to the Spanish license plates of our car.
But there are directly opposite cases of the clear friendliness of the French towards the Russians.
My friend and wife, returning from France to Spain, got lost late in the evening in the French wilderness. We stopped in a tiny village by the bar. Come on. Everyone is drunk there. They don’t know English. Explained by gestures, tried with a map – visitors refused to read the map.
One of them suddenly raised his hand, calling for attention. He took out a bone from his pocket. In turn, all the drinking buddies made a throw. As a result, everyone burst out laughing: the host of bones lost. He smiled, made a gesture to the guests: wait; He pointed to the clock – 5 minutes. Came out staggering, barely finding the door of the bar.
A few minutes later there was a beep. Everyone went out onto the porch. The loser was driving (do not try to repeat.). Pointed by hand: follow me!
He led Russian tourists to a dark forest winding road, about 30 km, to the very border with Spain. Waved and left.
Tips: On mountain roads, even a driver with experience can make many mistakes. He will have to forget about the beauties of nature, the lap of the passenger and the sandwiches in the back seat: the slightest carelessness can be very expensive.
A guide’s joke on a bus on a mountain road in Bulgaria on the way to the “Shipka Monument”: Anyone who more accurately calculates the number of turns will receive a prize! Bus passengers begin to count. I personally got 72. Before leaving the monument, it turns out that there were only two turns: left and right.
Moving along the serpentine, it is necessary to reduce the speed in the corners, so as not to go into the oncoming lane – after all, the driver of the car traveling along it also cannot “peek” at the turn. Learn the rule of experienced “highlanders”: give a short but distinct sound signal before the “closed” turn (it’s better to press the sound signal five times than the brake once), and at night also flash high beam.
The descent is much more difficult than the ascent – it is during the downward movement that most of the incidents happen. Rolling down while holding the car with brakes alone is not possible. Firstly, because pads overheating from prolonged operation lose their effectiveness. In addition, the brake fluid heats up as a result of prolonged contact with hot brake mechanisms. This may cause a boil. Bubbles, which are formed in this case, disable the hydraulic brake system, and they completely lose their effectiveness. When driving downhill, you need to slow down the engine by releasing the accelerator and engaging one of the lower gears.
Are you going to drive your car abroad, or rent a car in Europe? Want to get hundreds of tips on traffic rules, traditions, countries and borders, dozens of examples, illustrations, links?
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