Saturday, August 30, 2014

About the Roads

Whenever Mac is asked how he likes driving in England he always says he's on the wrong side of the car, on the wrong side of the road, on the wrong side of the ocean.  Truthfully he does very well driving over there.  It helps that we both only drive stick shift cars and that's primarily what they rent you in England.  I don't drive there, I'm the navigator, I interpret what Google directions and our map are telling us to do.
England has good roads, sometimes great roads.  Their freeways are M (for Motorway) roads and they're uniformly great, crowded, but great.  Their next level of roads are the A roads and they're quite good too, always at least 2 lanes, frequently divided and limited access with good sign posting.
The next roads are B roads, rather small, but not too bad.  But then comes the white roads with no letter designation, they're scary, often single track, few signs, no names,  hemmed in by walls and tall shrubs with few places to pull over and let a car go by.
I decided that M stands for Marvelous, A for Acceptable, B for Basic and the white road for OMG.
Mac had printed out Google driving directions for the places we were going to and thought we'd be ok.  Unfortunately Google wants to send you the most direct way and that frequently involves driving white roads. The shortest way is often not the best way, staying on bigger roads is always better.  We were lost, a lot, but eventually found our way to where we were going, usually after a lot of backtracking.
One feature of English roads we really like it the roundabout or traffic circle.  Once you figure out where you fit into the scheme of things ( always yield to the car already in the circle) and which lane to be in so you can take the correct exit, you're set, because if you miss your exit or your lane you just keep circling till you get it right.
Did Mac drive in London? NO !  Once we turned our car into Hertz we'd arranged a car service to pick us up and drive us in, and when we left London they came to our hotel and picked us up and drove us out to Heathrow.  They were great, nice car (Audi), good driver, a very relaxed way to go.  And in London the kindly folks there had written on curbside which way to look for traffic, I guess they got tired of tourists getting ran over.
This is a white road

5 comments:

  1. I like your description of the roads over here Janet!! Did you find any where the grass is growing down the middle of the single track road? They really would have freaked you out I would imagine!! xx

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  2. I think you got the roads sussed! When were you here..............?
    Oh yes..... the country lanes as described by Amy (first comment) We drove down one of those in the dark last night after visiting friends.
    Julie xxxxxxx

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  3. We were in England the middle 2 weeks of August.

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  4. Your white roads remind me of the "grey line" roads from vacations of my childhood. When I was still single digits my mother navigated, and she loved grey line roads. I remember one, over a Pennsylvania mountain, that turned into a deeply rutted logging road and my father's grinding teeth as he navigated our new, 1948 Dodge over it. I graduated to the front seat and the map in short order.

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  5. Kentucky towns--particularly those that are the county seat--are laid out with roundabouts. I've concluded that most drivers [including me] are unsure about who has the right of way, thus, I have mapped out detours to avoid 'Public Square.'

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