Okay, so I lied. It’s not quite 1500 km, but rather 1443km from Paris to Zalakaros, Hungary. Check side link if you want proof. But please, those 57 km don’t make much of a difference when traveling with two bored children in a rattly old Toyota. Our lego car as we call her. She disassembles and reassembles at will, bumper falling off here, a tail light there. She rattles nervously at over 125 since one window is too frightened to slide all the way into the door encasement. I think it’s claustrophobia. But we love her just the same. Sturdy little baby. Engine smooth and dependable, not a hiccup over the thousands of kilometers. Ah, those Japanese. They may not have mastered shock absorbers but they sure know engines. Of course I must admit that the Germany crossing left me distinctly prey to envy. The BMWs and Mercedes speeding by at 160 or more… I’m sure they had heated leather seats too and a dashboard that makes coffee. Who cares? I only drink tea, Japanese green tea to be exact!
Germany was hell. It took 10 hours to go from Strasbourg to Salzburg. Rain, rain, rain, rain. Traffic at 70 km per hour. 13°C yet dressed for summer. It was August 6th after all. Risked pneumonia at every stop. Thought long and hard about planes. Arrived late in Salzburg. Rain, rain, rain, rain on dark lonely roads to find food. After a hot goulash, a surprisingly tasty cabbage salad and a good beer we discover that the Austrians don’t like French credit cards. Hotel owner and waiter were decidedly discontent with our Frenchiness. Their smiles were tricky. Couldn’t tell if they were contemplating taking in our children as political refugees or considering them for slave labour. Things were looking grim till the American card manifested its suppleness to the Austrian machine. All was saved. Once again the Americans come to rescue the French from the Teutons… We slept well.