In excess of 800km driven across four countries, three days.
European roads: clear, lane discipline – faultless, litter free verges, signs that inform, but only when necessary, clean loos, and services that serve (instead of just pummeling you senseless with junk, and then ripping you off for anything and everything).
My God! you had to adjust every inch of your thinking back in the UK! Almost immediately we had emergency braking for turn-offs (signed-up miles ago), swerving around, lane-hopping and hard braking for signs warning of speed restrictions obviously not turned-off as no hazard existed, lane jumpers, tail-gaters (a criminal offence in Germany) fast-lane hoggers, snappily front-LED’d fashion wagons pelting along beyond their or their driver’s capabilities (it’s shiney – the TV advert was cool – surely this was the life promised to me?)
I swear, in Germany – at 180kph you can calculate a driver’s need to change lane, 1/4 of a mile ahead, calculate what your action might do to the black dot in your mirror, a 1/4 of mile behind you – and smooth yours, and everyone else’s way ahead, without changing speed, or stressing at all, whilst everyone else on the same Autobahn does the identical thing for you, all without thinking. Back on a UK road you’re working 10 times as hard, just to keep from having some utter Gibbon cause mayhem for you and everyone else.
What a bunch of complete Tossers.