Why Not Drive Across Europe?

Wait, where do I even begin? Let me start by saying that our original voyage from Scotland to Slovenia took us three days and 1,700 miles. (2,700km). We’d leave early to catch the late-afternoon ferry to Calais or Dunkerque. The first stage from Dundee to Dover would ordinarily take about 8 hours, excluding the ferry ride and a few extra kilometers in France and Belgium. How to buy german drivers license online?

Well, intelligent journey planning can make a big difference, especially when driving down crowded British highways. For example, the M6 is notoriously congested in the Manchester and Birmingham districts. OK, but other than one incident (a collision on the M6 near Penrith in Cumbria), we never had any traffic troubles. The key to success is time. To avoid traffic near Manchester, you should arrive by 10 a.m., leaving Dundee at 6 a.m. We generally drive through Glasgow [A74(M)-M6 towards Carlisle], and starting at 6 a.m. offers you a head start to avoid severe traffic around Glasgow.

We would also make a brief break just north of Manchester before continuing to Birmingham, where you must now take M6(Toll) or face constant congestion on M6 through Birmingham. Yes, you must pay, but the M6(Toll) is a great freeway with excellent facilities.

The next critical step is to travel to the M25 (through the Dartford crossing) before the 5 p.m. rush hour. Even though only a few minutes can significantly impact us, we managed to get relatively far even after 5 p.m. (westbound is far busier during that time of day). So I’d say the rest of the trip to Dover is smooth sailing.

Brugge, Belgium, is unquestionably the most excellent spot to stop before continuing to Germany. This incredible tiny gem is on the UNESCO list of global heritage sites, which merits this honor. The historic district is just stunning. Despite the hustle and bustle, the gorgeous medieval architecture transports you back. Canals, riverboats, landmark stores, hotels, and taverns enhance the experience. Once there, it would be best to visit the excellent Brugs Beertje bar, which serves over 230 bottled Belgium beers and a few draughts but does not offer lager or pilsner beers.

There are numerous hotels to choose from, with rates ranging from dirt cheap and sketchy to 5* marvels. We would generally select somewhere in the middle, and Lybeer Travellers Hostel proved ideal. (inexpensive and quite decent). The most significant part is that its proprietors introduced us to the owners of Brugs Beertje pub and made us a late takeaway breakfast even though we didn’t ask for it.

Roads on the Continent are usually less congested, but it may get awful near Brussels, so avoid driving on its Ring road during rush hour. There is an important message: we never employ Belgian services unless necessary because they are nowhere as lovely as German services, where the meal can be truly exquisite.

Germany is a beautiful country with excellent roads. Still, they can become clogged during the summer owing to millions of tourists like you and me going to the southern European shoreline (I don’t blame them). Nevertheless, Miltenberg, Germany’s most charming town, is a must-see. Follow the A3 freeway south of Frankfurt until you reach exit 469. (this is a motorway but is marked as a B road just past Aschaffenburg). Miltenberg is a medieval market town with a spectacular castle, but you should also admire its terraced vineyards, which are painstakingly made from abundant red sandstone.

Looking east, you’ll notice a magnificent white structure amid vineyards. That’s the Engelberg monastery in Grossheubach, not your average monastery. The wine, beer, and cuisine they serve result from years of research and experimentation so you can expect exquisite flavors.

The drive from Miltenberg to Maribor takes approximately 8 hours. Still, the highways pass through some of the most beautiful sections of Austria, so you will thoroughly enjoy the journey, which includes 32 tunnels. I agree that some people may wish to drive elsewhere from here because Vienna, Graz, Ljubljana, and Budapest are all nearby, but staying in Maribor may allow you to see them all because it is so centrally positioned.

Oh, and here are a couple more pointers:

– Make sure you have Euros on you. (including 50cents coins as you will need them for toilets)

– Bring water, sandwiches, fruits, and fruit bars (you never know when you’ll need them!)

– Unless you have a car, do not overtake other vehicles on German highways by us, the quickest lane!

Here we go, that’s our adventure, and I hope you love it as much as we do, should you ever decide to do it.

Dominika is a regular work-at-home mom (WAHM) who spends her time designing websites and assisting others to live better lives. She resides in England and goes to several European destinations regularly, seeing various modes of transportation firsthand.

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