Monday, September 29, 2008

"I'm driving in my car, turn on the radio"

Tired of the driving-theme songs yet? Plus - they're all really 'old' songs and show my age. Ouch.

In light of the last post, had to share my observations in driving this weekend. Especially for the US readers who've never had the opportunity to drive in Europe.

We went to Salzburg, Austria this weekend. Yes, home of the filming of the Sound of Music. Only one of my favorite movies ever. I wanted to BE Julie Andrews when I was young - at least have her voice because I didn't really want short hair. Sound of Music, Camelot, etc... she was great! Anyway....

To get there, we drove across eastern Germany - through Munich. Plenty of Autobahn to satisfy my fast driving urges.

However, this type of driving requires hands on the wheel at all times and consistent checking of rear/side mirrors. Motorcycles appear from out of nowhere.

Most Autobahns in Europe are only 2 lanes each side. The slower traffic stays to the right and only if you are passing or moving faster than traffic to the right are you supposed to be in the left lane. You DO NOT pass people on the right. It is an offense you can get pulled over for! Likewise, if you are only going 150 kmh and someone is bearing down on you, flashing their lights - move to your right. And don't take offense. There is no speed limit and if they want to go 180 kmh, they can. These rules make a lot of sense - you can better predict what others drivers are doing.

Top speed limit in Switzerland (CH) is 120 (75 mph), other surrounding EU countries are 130 (80 mph) and then Germany with posted limits of 120 or "reasonable, unlimited speed."

What I noticed this weekend.

If you are driving 140 kmh (87/88 mph), it's really nice if the roads are well maintained. If not, it's a bit bumpy and your suspension doesn't like it so well.

That's the secret to speedy comfort - well, groomed roads. Thank you German, CH and part's of Austria.

Lest you worry Mom & Dad - I'm only comfortable going up to 140 kmh with kids and husb. in the car. Only. Yeah, I'm driving and he's map-reading. Plus our vehicle is higher profile than say a 535i - which I'd be totally willing to drive faster should anyone like to loan me theirs for the weekend.


*I've probably done a driving post already, somewhere. But am to lazy to go look for it and am just full of adrenaline once again from a good road trip.


Linds said...

When I drive to Switzerland, I go across the top of France on their fantastic motorways - and then I get to Strassbourg and find the German ones, and nearly die of shock, not to mention get bumped all over the place! Swiss roads are good, but the German roads need some updating.
I love Salzburg too....

Olson Family said...

Have to agree with Linds on the roads out of southern Germany - not quite as nice as those in the Munich area. Swiss roads best in the Eastern portion - A3 - near Liechtenstein. Just in case someone NEEDS to know.