Andy & Kate’s Grecian Odyssey – A Brief Note About Driving

We did a lot of it, about 2100km in total, and everywhere we went we saw little roadside shrines by the road marking the point where some unfortunate had come unglued from the tarmac and then from life in short order. These aren’t your normal wilted bunch of flowers by the road, these are mini churches full of offerings and the fact that there are so many of them concentrates the mind rather wonderfully.

The theory part of the Greek Driving Test must be the quickest exam in the history of the world (“Can you see that sign? Yes? You’ve passed, well done.”) and we’re not sure we ever worked out the actual rules at road junctions. What seems to happen in an absence of markings is that people turn up from different directions and, depending on speed, make urgent or really urgent eye contact with each other. Some sort of telepathic code is then passed between the drivers, one mashes his foot to the floor, the others stamp on the brakes and/or swerve, and everyone carries on to the next junction and repeats the process. Still, it seems to work well enough, though perhaps the fact that the hire car we had was a sort of greeny yellow that you can only by rights get if you dip metal in the sea at Sellafield for about five years helped our progress.

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