Driving to Italy

Driving in Europe is similar to the U.S., but harder since everything's in a foreign language

Driving in Europe is similar to the U.S., but harder since everything's in a foreign language

Tomorrow, we leave for our first roadtrip here in Europe. My friend Miriam really encouraged us to fly, as it would be less time in a confined space with two little kids, but I was insistent to drive. It’s about 10 and a half hours, and we’re splitting the trip in two days, with reservations at a hotel tomorrow night in Como. I’ve heard wonderful things about Como, but never heard of it before a week ago.

Now of course the reality of driving is starting to sink in. Today, our friend Gilles reminded my mother that I have to have proof of insurance with me in the car. This became quite an endeavor for my mom, to locate the insurance card. And Gilles is so disgusted with my mother in general, on topics like this, that it turned into a kind of spat as we finished our omelettes. Luckily, my mom found a letter in German that includes her policy number and proof of payment through October; hopefully this will suffice if we get pulled over. I am filled with some terror and paranoia about all of this, and maybe that’s why I insisted we drive: for the terror and paranoia. Some call that adventure, too.

We have six pages of directions from here to Como, courtesy of Mappy.com (much, much better than Google Maps). There are tolls, roundabouts, and borders to other countries we’ll need to cross. And then at the end of it all, there will be the Italian drivers Miriam has warned me about. All this with two kids in the backseat. I can’t wait, and maybe that’s why I like mountaineering too, because I am sick inside.

Note: click here for a map-view of our route. We did a 2,000KM loop from Germany through Switzerland (1,300 miles), south to Orbetello (Tuscany), then north via Florence, Innsbruck, Austria, and Füssen, Germany.

Categories: humor, Travelogue 2009


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