to Skoda, verb: to drive recklessly

July 4, 2008

The great eastern European road trip is over, from Prague to Split and back again with stops in between.  Overall, more than 1500 miles covering a good chunk of Eastern Europe.  I would say renting a car is a very good way to see Europe, it is quite economical (even with the expensive gas and rental fees) and lets you easily go to out of the way places that most tourists don’t make it to.

For our trip we rented a Skoda, it was a little 4 door wagon with absolutely no power.  For comparison when I got back and started driving my 4 cylinder Toyota Corolla I was surprised by its pep.  The speed limit on most of the highways is 130 km/hr, so of course I tried to cruise at around 140 km/hr.  Getting up to this speed in the Skoda took a little effort, the Skoda was only about 1000 rpm from red lining, and it seemed like we were going really fast but it was only 10 km/hr over the speed limit, and every Audi and Mercedes on the road was still passing us like we were standing still.  Upon returning home and looking at the conversion I realized that 140 km/hr is 87 mi/hr, meaning I was cruising at 87 and sometimes getting up to around 95 mi/hr which might explain most of the painful noises our little Skoda was making.  The scary thing is the expensive cars were still flying by us, they must have been cruising at around 100-110 mi/hr.  If I ever move to Europe I guess I need to buy an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes as apparently that gives you license to drive however fast you want.

We also discovered that a big “L” on the top of your car means you are a terrible driver.  The first time we saw this (but not the last) was in Poland so we dubbed them “Learnskis”.  We decided they must be drivers ed students as that was the only explanation we could come up with for their insistence on driving less than 30km/hr all through town.  If you are ever driving in Europe don’t get stuck behind the Learnski.