Changing gear, I pull you tighter to me! I’m your Turbo..

We don’t drive on holiday.  It’s never enjoyable feeling ‘lost’ the first few days, driving aimlessly, being the a-hole slowing down in flowing traffic trying to take in a sight for ~nanosecond.

Besides you ever try to parallel park on amazingly narrow streets with well deserved, applicable insults from effected drivers hurled your way?  I was successful but it was the last time in Sevilla, Spain   It ain’t fun.

Is that Toonces the Driving Cat?

Driving a standard vehicle with the stick on the opposite side one’s used to and having to fold in the rear view mirrors to not scrape the walls.. never again.

My Euro-friends, go ahead and laugh it up.  Many Euro vehicles are smaller versions than their American counterpart.  Though urban Europe has much older, smaller streets.

A Euro ‘Range Rover’ or BMW SUV is ~the same length of a USA sedan or compact car.

Someone lose their Hot Wheels?

Someone lose their Hot Wheels?

An aside: I was driving a Toyota Prius (alright alright get it out of your system.  It’s an ideal ‘kind of a car’ for low elevation areas) through Virginia Beach, Virginia USA following a decent night’s snow fall.  The next morning I was passing, PASSING trucks, 4X4’s, a city snow plow (!) and other macho-on-the-outside vehicles while driving safely.  Manhood thus regained!

Living in Washington D.C. you get behind your fair share of these folks.  Wait you get behind these folks when WALKING in D.C. !

On holiday we prefer close proximity to the train/bus/ water taxi locations.  Though far enough away from their expected noise(s), squeaks.

In this regard leaving no rock/possibility unturned.  Which results in discovering, eating at near impossible to find yet delicious restaurants.  Off the beaten path sights no local nor tourism book discloses and other worthwhile hole-in-the-walls.  Like this:

'Priest Priest Priest Priest'

Yes, a Czech Judas Priest cover band!  It was awesome.  No, the lead singer was not an intimidating bald, gay man but wow could he belt out, ‘Better by You Better than Me’!  I’m not usually a ‘cover’ fan but Judas Priest and this cover band does the ditty justice.

Oddly Renae sat this one out.

Some locals may see you more often while you’re walking and be more forthcoming/apt to give you deals on merchandise, food stalls to avoid altogether or frequent etc., (or lure you in, kidnap and dole you out for nefarious purposes.  Though WE are the gambling type so.. win-win).

To remain fueled for our tramping it’s essential we locate/scout out grocery stores, mini-marts in/near our hotel location when we arrive.

Pick up water, fruits, snacks, cheeses, prosciutto, an earthy bread and bottle of vino for our hotel fridge and provisions for the next day’s journey.  Or resting our dogs and enjoy a late start or day off.

In our experience it’s not worked out well using a GPS system for getting around most destinations.

GPS Fail

As many know a business spoken highly of a week prior to one’s trip may be gone, moved, changed ownership and business or its owner on holiday for a few months the very next week.

Many hotels have excellent free maps (fodors has fantastic, weatherproofed folding maps for many destinations at your local bookstore as I’m sure so do other travel books) and if you’re lucky a travel desk liaison nearby/ in the vicinity.  Grab 3-4 complimentary fold-up maps.  You’ll need ’em.

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