Monday, March 4, 2013

Planes, Trains, Automobiles Part 3: The Wide Open Road

I realized I never finished the Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. So here it is:

It's time for Part 3 and the end of our trilogy. The last option for intra-continental travel is the one Americans are most familiar with...driving. This is one that I don't recommend for within Europe unless you have guts. The rules don't seem to be quite the same as we are accustomed to.

My Dad drove myself and my mother around central Europe for two weeks. In some ways, it was awesome. We got to see nine countries in record time and didn't waste any sitting in airports or train depots. And, it made it possible to visit things in the middle of nowhere (like the inspiration of Cinderella's castle). But, it always seemed like death was imminent.

The feeling of imminent death was primarily due to the interesting new roadway situations I'd never before experienced. These ranged from street car tracks in the middle of traffic to a signalized roundabout (otherwise known as the Traffic Circle of Death!)

We don't have street cars in Nebraska, and the buses are rare. So, I was amazed to see that some places have special lanes for street cars and other times you drive right behind them. It meant I had absolutely no idea when you're supposed to drive over them and when not. As far as I know, we didn't do anything illegal.

I was also confused by the signs. One looked like, "The lollipop queen will be marching this way." I think it was a school crossing???? Or, there were signs warning you to not hit pedestrians by showing a picture of a person being hit by a car. Thankfully I was able to figure out what was the one way sign. That could have been bad.

But lastly, and most importantly, the Traffic Circle of Death! I can't even start to draw a picture of it because I still don't get it. Random lanes were forced to exit at different spots. It took us 40 minutes to make it through a single intersection. There were multiple u-turns on the highway to get back to the frickin' circle because we couldn't figure out how to get to the exit we needed. I guess they didn't want us to leave Krakow. I was a bit embarrassed by how many tries it took to leave.

A GPS saved us over and over again. So, if you can handle the stress and want to see the back woods, it can work. There is a chance you will end up crying and smashing your head on the steering wheel. Good luck if you wish that upon yourselves.

Until next time, God bless America.

1 comment:

  1. There's no way I'd not accidentally kill someone in this type of driving situation...