Renting a car in Europe - our experience

Old Jun 5th, 2016, 02:27 PM
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@nytraveler >

Say what??! Clearly I spent too much emotional energy worrying about doing something inappropriate and signally to others that we were those typical ignorant tourists. (Of course there were dozens of other ways that we stood out as tourists in any case!)

We panicked when our misunderstanding of road signs brought us to the corner of a small town square. The only way to go was along the edge, driving amidst the diners out on the patios. It turned out that that was exactly the way to go.
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Old Jun 5th, 2016, 02:31 PM
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*signalling
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Old Jun 5th, 2016, 02:36 PM
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@isabel >

What is it about Ceret? We stopped in Ceret for lunch on our way back from France to BCN. We thought it would be quick. Turned out to be "la Fete de la Cerise" (the Cherry Festival). Most of the streets were closed and we eventually just gave up and shimmied into a very tight spot. We wandered around a bit, had lunch, and then faced the challenge of getting out! It took us 20 minutes just to get out of our spot as we found ourselves directing traffic, helping other vehicles get by and out, etc. All good fun though.
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Old Jun 5th, 2016, 02:55 PM
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Enjoyed your post, gennance!

I too named my GPS. Her name is PITA for obvious reasons!

I couldn't find how to put my car into reverse in Italy. Had to have an Italian show me the ring around the gear shift that you need to pull up while putting it into reverse! Now I never leave the rental lot before knowing how to do this!
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Old Jun 5th, 2016, 02:58 PM
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So sorry that I misspelled your name, geenance. Autocorrect on my iPad!
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 05:17 AM
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I can hear her now in her hilariously incorrect and British-accented pronunciation of French and Spanish words>>

geenance - she's no better at German; all those syllables are very confusing for her. [another reason why it's good to have a map so you can guess what city the GPS is pointing you towards].

>

joannyc - when we picked up a VW in Hannover I couldn't even start ours, and after 10 minutes or so of trying, DH went back into the car hire office and was told that we should "drucken die Kupplung" of which of course the only word i couldn't work out was the essential one so in the end he had to come out and show us - depress the clutch of course! Why didn't we think of that? It also had an automatic braking system and engine cut out at traffic lights and we spent the evening of my birthday in our hotel room struggling to work out how to use them with the help of a dictionary, DH's i-pad and the handbook which was of course entirely in German. We had just about got the hang of it by the time we drove it back into the care hire garage at Stuttgart Airport. Happy days!
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 06:02 AM
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Funny post Geenance!

I'm quite used to narrow streets, but still; in Honfleur the manager of the hotel got into the car with me to show me where their carpark was. This was on a sunny Sunday afternoon in the centre of town. I had to flip my mirrors in, and people on the sidewalk had to flatten themselves against the wall to avoid getting their toes under my car wheels.
I was crawling along, and the manager kept saying not to worry, just drive on, the people will get out of the way.
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 01:03 PM
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If we had a "Post of the Year" contest, you would be a contender.

I recognized every foible and folly from my own experience, and some of them happened in the US. GPS is wonderful except when it isn't. If mine tells me one more time, "In two miles bear left onto I-95" when I am already on I-95, I will rip it out of the dashboard and throw it out the window. Oh, you can't do that, can you?
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 07:13 PM
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@schnauzer - >

Unbelievable! But then again, the Italians always are!


@joannyc - >

Love it! I will definitely keep that name in my pocket for future use. And, I'm so glad you figured out how to reverse! I had an 'episode' in Florence a number of years ago where our car broke down only a couple of kilometers from the rental agency. Our biggest problem was figuring out how the pay phone worked. (Before I accepted that it was worth the price to buy a roaming package.) I struggled and struggled before a local came up and told me the pay phone wasn't working!
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Old Jun 6th, 2016, 07:39 PM
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@Ackislander - >

EXACTLY!! That is exactly what we heard every kilometer or so while driving on an isolated rural road that went for miles. Turn onto D-xxx...really? We're already on it! Yes, at this point our GPS was always "Elizabeth" rather than "Lizzie".
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