European Road Trip
We thought the train would be our ticket to Europe. We were wrong.
We really liked Rome and weren't quite ready to leave, but we had an appointment out at the airport we couldn't miss. So we took one last stroll through the Piazza del Popolo before it was time to head out to pick up our car. Yes, that's right. We were going to drive through Europe.
Anatomy of a Decision
When we first looked into this European travel thing, we considered a Eurail Pass. I think it's even fair to say we just assumed that's what we were going to do. But the more we looked into it, we found for what we were doing it was rather expensive, a little prohibitive, and left us at the whim of European trains, some of which are not as reliable as others.
We didn't really want to fly all about Europe, either. Our luggage is too heavy to make the budget airlines a reasonable option and flitting from country to country seemed to eliminate a lot of the freedom of movement and spirit of exploration that one can enjoy traveling through a series or countries with no border controls.
AutoFrance Open Europe
We ended up taking a short-term lease on a from Auto France's Peugeot Open Europe program. This allowed us to have a brand new (as in 7 kilometers on the odometer new), 6-speed manual, diesel-fueled, fully insured Peugeot 308 SW (the 2014 European Car of the Year) for almost three months at a cost of just over $3,000 USD. It also comes with a great in-dash navigation system and plenty of room to store our luggage (so we won't have to pile it between the girls in the back seat).
We call her Persephone.
Now I've driven a left-hand drive car on the right side of the road (you know, like it's done in the United States) and a right-hand-drive car on the left side of the road (like you do in Australia and New Zealand), but I've never driven a left-hand drive car on the left side of the road (like I'll be doing in England and Scotland). So that should be fun.
It's also a pretty big car (the largest we'll have driven on the trip—excepting, of course, The Behemoth), so fitting it down some of the narrow streets of old European cities should be interesting as well.
I finally get to drive on the Autobahn, something I've wanted to do since I was a young fella.