Three glorious weeks, fall 1989, rental 190E, 5-speed, 2,500 miles in and around the alps of Bavaria, Austria, Northern Italy, and Switzerland!
We'd done the same trip in 1985 on a motorcycle.
Mountain passes with dozens of hairpin corners and specatacular scenery. On one side of the road there's sheer mountian, it's a LONG way down the other side and there are no side barriers. Thrill to be the first one to spot a bus coming the opposite way and realize you both won't fit through that corner...
A very brief run on the Autobahn, where "slow" traffic in the far right lane is doing 80+ mph, and overtaking in the center means do 100 or so. Remember to watch the mirror in the left lane because even though you're topping 110 and climbing, you may see a distant speck, a flash and then a Benz or BMW will be on your bumper RIGHT NOW! with a 50 mph speed advantage. Get out, pass, get back in, or else!
Biggest thrill? Being the first car at a construction light leading to a one-lane temporary road through the meadows that replaced the road wiped out by an landslide. When the light goes green, it's one-way traffic for 5 miles, no speed limit, no centerline, no shoulder, and lots of curves. Oh yeah, about 50 motorcycles up front with us. Drag race at the light and then try to keep up with 1,000cc sportbikes.
We gave 'em a run for the money, stand on gas or brake as appropriate, drift through corners, etc. while trying not to hog the whole lane so they could pass when possible. We have some of that on videotape somewhere around the house and I still get goosebumps remembering.
Thanks for bringing up the topic, and I appologize for running on so long.
"Please, sir, may I have some more?"