On Saturday morning I ventured to Europcar Berlin to collect my hire car, for the journey from Berlin to Munich. I must say that I haven’t had particularly great experiences the few times I have hired cars before – usually the staff are relatively unfriendly. That was not the case at this location! I may have a slightly better opinion on the basis that my vehicle was upgraded from a VW Passat to a Mercedes-Benz E-Class!
I was rather excited:
The LED lights’ colour can be changed – I opted for purple today 🙂
I have never driven such an expensive car, so it is enthralling albeit terrifying to be experiencing this when I am driving on the opposite side of the road to what I am used to and also on the opposite side of the car! Mum and Dad you will be glad to know that today I only hit the curb and drove on the wrong side of the road once each.
In fairness, when I was on the wrong side of the road, I was coming out of a ‘diner’ on the autobahn and there were no other cars around to give me a bit of guidance as to where I should go!
For the first 45 minutes of driving I did not have any music playing, as I wanted to listen carefully to the instructions from my GPS lady. When I collected the car I sat in it for an hour until the attendant had changed all settings to English and had shown me how to work them. He did not, however, show me how to use the gears and they are a ‘paddle’ on the steering wheel which is a bit odd. As it is an automatic it isn’t particularly important (to a point!) so I pulled over when I was able to and played around with them to get the gist of it.
The car has an auto-parking pilot but I am not game to use it. I can imagine that if it went wrong, it would go *really* wrong!
Driving out of Berlin was a slightly harrowing experience and as I was not yet quite used to the GPS I did take a wrong turn. No problem though, I was back on track in no time with Gloria the GPS guiding me on my merry way.
I was mostly on highways from Berlin to Leipzig and boy were they good roads. I felt slightly anxious when I could see ice on the road but I understand that the Winter Tyres on my car do something to help with traction. There are also lots of fandangle lights and gizmos in the Mercedes which I should probably know about, and which I am sure assist in some way.
During one stretch of road, the sun was shining and the road did not appear wet at all so I cruised along and then realised I was going 180km/hr! I felt completely safe and was surprised – I was still one of the slowest on the road!
I stopped at a highway diner for lunch. Very suprisingly they had a Vegetarian burger! I had a coffee too and oh boy, did that leave something to be desired! The burger was quite delicious, though.
I noticed that it was mostly Audi’s that flew past on my left hand side. Some of them must have been going at least 220km/hr. I have bought a contraption which I am hoping will allow me to video tomorrow’s drive. It was so picturesque and I want to share it with everyone!
In Leipzig I found a hotel slightly out of town and paid for a room for the night. Unfortunately I completely forgot that there are smoking and non-smoking rooms and it appeared I had been placed in a smoking room. The staff were extremely kind and for no additional fee and despite the fact I had entered the room, they did not charge me anything extra to move rooms!
Mariah the Merc has a nice undercover resting place tonight – tomorrow’s adventure is yet to be decided, but with the final destination being Munich, I daresay we will be heading South!