8 weeks in our Peugeot 308 MCP auto diesel with GPS ...
My wife and I have just returned from an 8 week Peugeot EuroLease - which could be described as a post retirement trip - and we had a ball. We did spend some time dashing around Europe back in 1997 but this time we we were able to take our time and "smell the roses".
We picked up our Peugeot 308 MCP auto 1.6L diesel with GPS as we left Paris (Orly Airport) and returned it to Paris CDG Airport prior to catching our flight to Singapore. This allowed us great flexibility in what route we took, what we went to see, and how long we stayed in any location.
Just a few statistics on these 8 weeks.
We travelled 11,466km, visited or passed through 6 countries (France, Italy, San Marino, Slovenia, Croatia and Switzerland) and spent 868 Euros on Diesel. The diesel cost amounted to the equivalent of 13cents (NZ) per kilometre, which is super economical compared to the car I drive in NZ, even allowing for the higher cost of fuel in Europe. The car performed excellently throughout the time we had it.
We visited all the historical (me) 'stuff' and artistic (my wife) 'stuff' in the large cities of Paris, Florence, Rome and Venice but also saw some amazing scenery at the Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Gorge du Tarn and the Dolomites. It was a bit of an eye opener, in that while we love New Zealand I am now more aware that we do not have a monopoly on fabulous scenery. Between us we took about 2500 photographs, many of which show us sitting in the sunshine outside street side cafes partaking of excellent, well priced (cheap), red wine or coffee. We were hopeful that the Mediterranian diet might be good for our figures. No such luck, the pain au chocolat and gelato were far too tempting.
This brief resume cannot come close to fully describing the great time we had, so if anyone is thinking of a similar trip our message is 'just do it'. For those thinking of leasing a car our advice would be, make sure you have GPS, and that you get an automatic - there is enough to think about with driving on the right without also having to change gear with your right hand and read a map.
What about the driving of the locals? We were pleasantly surprised. They do tend to drive a little agressively, like 5m behind you at 130km/hr on the motorway on occasions, however we found them generally courteous. Our car had a red number plate identifying us as tourists, and on many occasions I am sure this was recognised and we were allowed to change lanes in cities when we had gotten ourselves into the wrong one, although you do have to be confident and not inclined to panic if you do find yourself in the wrong place.
M & C Reynolds, Apr-Jun 2012