Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help



Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Discussions > Off-Topic Discussion

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10-22-2007, 10:34 PM
Pete Geither's Avatar
Half Fast Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Western Pa.
Posts: 2,417
Any European travelers out there ?

In June of 08, I hope to go to Normandy with my brother to visit the beaches, and graves of our soldiers. I would also like to visit Paris, the Black Forest, other significant wartime sites, the Mercedes Museum, et al. I plan on being there for 2 weeks and wonder if I have to have an "international" drivers license to rent, or drive a car. Is it hard to obtain a room at that time of year at hotels, and is the language a big problem? I am not afraid of a challenge, but is it doable ? This is probably the last time in my life to do this and hope to make it a trip to remember. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

__________________
95 SL500 Smoke Silver, Parchment 64K
07 E350 4matic Station Wagon White 34K
02 E320 4Matic Silver/grey 80K
05 F150 Silver 44K
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-22-2007, 10:43 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,355
It's doable, no problem. You can get an international driver's license at AAA. Don't know about the hotel situation since I had a motorhome when I was over there. I didn't have any trouble getting campsites. Normandy and Paris shouldn't have any language problem. The only place in France where I had language issues was in Brittany where there were few English speakers. Even so, we got along quite well.
If you're going to the beaches of Normandy, make sure to include Mount St. Michel in your itinerary. There's a good D-Day museum in Caen. We really liked Honfleur also. It's the port where most French sailors left to explore the world.
__________________
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-23-2007, 06:19 AM
t walgamuth's Avatar
dieselarchitect
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 35,908
I have been over three times but the first two were over thirty years ago. I had cars each time. Driving in Europe for me is no more stressful than driving here. The international signs are very familiar looking. There are enough French and German words that are familiar that the language, for me is not too daunting either. The toughest thing may be ordering from a menue.

Ordinary conversation is impossible although it is surprising how much you commnicate with gestures facial expressions and a very few words.

I love Europe and would visit tomorrow if I had the spare time and money.

Tom W
__________________
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.

Last edited by t walgamuth; 10-23-2007 at 08:54 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-23-2007, 06:36 AM
Pete Geither's Avatar
Half Fast Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Western Pa.
Posts: 2,417
Thanks very much for the input. It has made me even more excited about the trip.
__________________
95 SL500 Smoke Silver, Parchment 64K
07 E350 4matic Station Wagon White 34K
02 E320 4Matic Silver/grey 80K
05 F150 Silver 44K
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-23-2007, 12:18 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Columbus OH
Posts: 275
I second the recommendations on Mont St. Michel and Caen (in addition to the museum, there is an allied cemetery there). Language could be a bit of a problem in France, but as long as you try, it shouldn't be a big deal.
I've driven in France w/o an international license.
__________________
1984 300TD
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-23-2007, 12:45 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,776
I envy you on your trip to Normandy. Someday, I plan on going myself.

I was in Germany a few months ago and had a wonderful time. The Daimler museum is an MB fans' dream come true. You could probably spend a few days there. If you're a soccer fan you can shop for some sportswear at the Fan Center outside of the stadium, just down the road from the museum. There's also a nice Biergarten as well as the VFB Sports Club if you're hungry. I'd also recommend Zeppelino's restaurant. It's across the street from the train station in Stuttgart.

Heidelberg was my favorite stop. Lots of history there, as it was pretty much untouched during the war. After that would be the Guttenburg Castle. Have a great time!

P.S. Here's few pics' I took at the museum.
Attached Thumbnails
Any European travelers out there ?-dscn1544.jpg   Any European travelers out there ?-dscn1582.jpg  
Attached Images
 
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-23-2007, 01:36 PM
Pete Geither's Avatar
Half Fast Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Western Pa.
Posts: 2,417
Holy Molley !!!! What's the story on the bullet riddled S class ?
__________________
95 SL500 Smoke Silver, Parchment 64K
07 E350 4matic Station Wagon White 34K
02 E320 4Matic Silver/grey 80K
05 F150 Silver 44K
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-23-2007, 01:45 PM
cscmc1's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Central IL
Posts: 2,782
As I understand it, technically that's not an international "license" that AAA can supply you with, but a permit. It can be helpful if you are stopped for a moving violation while in Europe, but I have never been asked for mine in... oh... 4 or 5 trips when I drove a rented car in Europe. If you are a AAA member, you can get one for a few bucks, though, and I don't suppose it can hurt to have it with you.

Check with your credit card company about rental insurance before you go, too. Most will cover you so you can decline the local coverage, but there are certain countries you will NOT be able to drive the car into.

I second the suggestion to visit Belgium; there are several significant battlefields there, and some very sobering military cemeteries.

As for the language -- PLEASE try to learn a few basic phrases; it will go a long way toward a healthy exchange with the locals. I know a very little bit of French, and learned enough German to basically say, "I am sorry, but I do not speak German; do you speak English?" And I always say "Danke" when they inevitably say "yes." Folks always whine about how rude the French are, but every last one I have spoken with has been friendly -- probably because I have taken the time to learn a bit of their language, and have thanked them when they offer to speak English.

The beaches at Normandy are amazing. I was lucky enough to visit them, and many other WWII battlefields, as a boy in the 80's, when there were several veterans at any given location. It was a very moving experience.
__________________
1992 300D 2.5T
1980 Euro 300D (sadly, sold)
1998 Jetta TDI, 132K "Rudy"
1974 Triumph TR6
1999 Saab 9-5 wagon (wife's)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-23-2007, 03:17 PM
Pete Geither's Avatar
Half Fast Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Western Pa.
Posts: 2,417
Thanks again, and I think it will be a good idea to get the Euro chip for my GPS.
__________________
95 SL500 Smoke Silver, Parchment 64K
07 E350 4matic Station Wagon White 34K
02 E320 4Matic Silver/grey 80K
05 F150 Silver 44K
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-23-2007, 03:58 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,355
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Geither View Post
Thanks again, and I think it will be a good idea to get the Euro chip for my GPS.
Yes, a Euro GPS is very useful. I bought mine back in 2002 when I had to actually purchase a Garmin Streetpilot in Europe in order to get a European basemap for it.
__________________
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-23-2007, 06:25 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Columbus OH
Posts: 275
Quote:
Originally Posted by cscmc1 View Post
As for the language -- PLEASE try to learn a few basic phrases; it will go a long way toward a healthy exchange with the locals. I know a very little bit of French, and learned enough German to basically say, "I am sorry, but I do not speak German; do you speak English?" And I always say "Danke" when they inevitably say "yes." Folks always whine about how rude the French are, but every last one I have spoken with has been friendly -- probably because I have taken the time to learn a bit of their language, and have thanked them when they offer to speak English.
Very true, especially in Normandy where they still honor DDay vets every year. Parisians on the other hand are mean to everyone, even other Frenchmen.
__________________
1984 300TD
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10-24-2007, 12:22 PM
ILUVMILS's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,776
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Geither View Post
Holy Molley !!!! What's the story on the bullet riddled S class ?
This car is equipped with the Special Protection option. Bulletproof glass, armor plating, etc. It can even be driven after the tires are shot off! FWIW, I don't think Tire Rack stocks these.
Attached Thumbnails
Any European travelers out there ?-dscn1585.jpg  
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 10-24-2007, 01:15 PM
eagle-co94's Avatar
therooftheroof is on fire
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Hollywood, FL
Posts: 758
So far the recommendations are great. If going through Belgium I'd suggest hitting Brugge (the Venice of the north). You MUST sample plenty of the beer while you're there. Belgium brews over 600 different beers. Let me know if you're going through Belgium as my wife can make some amazing recommendations. She knows of all the US (and non-US) military cemetaries.

While near Paris, I highly recommend the palace at Versailles. I worked at Disneyland Paris on a 6-month contract and got to now the city pretty well. As mentioned before, the French are pretty decent people, but like any big city, Paris has a high concentration of Juliet Alphas. Don't bother going to the Leuvre unless you have an extra week.
When in Germany, you should find the time I'd recommend visiting Dachau, Bergen-Belsen or Buchenwald. Very sobering experience.

I also bought a Eurail pass (which I HIGHLY recommend) and travelled to several other countries. Don't drive in Paris if you don't have to, or have good insurance. You'll spend a mint on parking and can get around faster using the Metro & RER. The Thalys runs from Brussels to Lille, and the TGV runs from Lille to Paris to save you time. That and you can do 120+ (yes, mph) while partaking in the liquid diet and really enjoying the scenery.

My wife wants to go back home for a bit and I'm thinking of going with her so we can go to the Ieper Rally, which is in late June, but that's not that likely at the moment.
__________________
-James

'85 280GE...sold
'96 Impala SS ~ 6-speed 396
'81 Delorean DMC-12. . . . . . . . . . "Life without knowledge is death in disguise." - Hans-Peter Geerdes
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y15...desshopsig.jpg
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 10-24-2007, 01:49 PM
jlomon's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by cscmc1 View Post
I second the suggestion to visit Belgium; there are several significant battlefields there, and some very sobering military cemeteries.
Definitely visit Belgium, it is beautiful and the people are friendly. I loved Bruges/Brugge. The pommes frites guy in the town square (in a green booth if I remember) makes some of the best fries I've ever had. You can get to many of the Flanders battlefields from WW1 there, Ypres/Iepers is close and there are bus tours from Bruges directly there. If I remember right, they still play last post at 5pm every night and stop traffic at the city centre in memory of the WW1 soldiers. It is very moving. Closer to Brussels, you can go to Waterloo and look over the battlefields from the top of the hill. Much of it has been preserved as it was that day, which is very cool to look at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cscmc1 View Post
As for the language -- PLEASE try to learn a few basic phrases; it will go a long way toward a healthy exchange with the locals. I know a very little bit of French, and learned enough German to basically say, "I am sorry, but I do not speak German; do you speak English?" And I always say "Danke" when they inevitably say "yes." Folks always whine about how rude the French are, but every last one I have spoken with has been friendly -- probably because I have taken the time to learn a bit of their language, and have thanked them when they offer to speak English.
I couldn't agree more. Just making the effort or showing that you are willing to embarrass yourself a bit by speaking their language poorly will make them feel so much better about speaking English to you, especially if they are self-conscious of their English skills. I've never run into a rude Parisian any time I've gone, but what I've noticed is that they are very *direct*. They don't mince words and they don't try to spare your feelings. They just tell the truth the way they see it.
__________________
Jonathan

2011 Mazda2
2000 E320 4Matic Wagon
1994 C280 (retired)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 10-24-2007, 04:15 PM
Pete Geither's Avatar
Half Fast Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Western Pa.
Posts: 2,417
Wow,,,, some great info here. I will study the suggestions very closely, and probably make copies and take them with me.

__________________
95 SL500 Smoke Silver, Parchment 64K
07 E350 4matic Station Wagon White 34K
02 E320 4Matic Silver/grey 80K
05 F150 Silver 44K
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page