DrivingJune 12, 2017 in France
Perhaps it is wrong of me to generalise about the standards of driving in different countries but several people have asked who is good who is bad so I'll give my impression. We are driving slow compared to most so the speed of the cars on the German autobahn was often at least double my speed but it was safe when compared to Italy where the driving was erratic and rules where often ignored. As you go south in Italy it gets worse and I found the city of Naples to be hard with drivers just pulling out from side roads and stopping you as you drive so they can cross your road. My worst experience was the city of Palermo in Sicily where pedestrians would just walk out and stop the traffic to cross the road. There are many pedestrian crossings in the wide main roads but the people were just ignoring those and crossing anywhere. It happened to many times for it to be unlucky to have it happen to me.
The most scary driving was the drive from Genoa West into France, it was nothing to do with poor driving it was because I was driving towards the setting sun which was also reflecting off my bonnet so it was in my eyes then suddenly we enter a tunnel and everything goes black until your eyes adjust then you exit the tunnel and the sun is in your eyes again. There are over twenty of those tunnels on that road.
The suspension of the car is rather stiff with leaf springs and poor damping so I feel the bumps more than most. Belgium was about the same as England, not brilliant but not bad. Germany has good roads as has Austria. Italy has poor roads and I found that they had often resurfaced the fast lane but not the slow lane that we were using so we swapped to toll roads until we got beyond Rome where the roads got better. Sicily was in places good but more often not so good. Malta is the same. France is like Germany very good.
The cheapest petrol is in Malta and the most expensive was near the French border in Italy. At any tourist resort it cost more than inland.
People wave and beep at our car everywhere with Italy doing it most then Germany and Austria then France and England.
Nothing that has happened during this trip would have me saying never again however I feel I have learned quite a lot and will know what to expect next time.Read more