Sunday, January 07, 2007

Driving tips, foreign alphabet

The Greek alphabet is difficult for most of us. So is Cyrillic (parts of Bosnia, in particular. See Bosnia Road Ways). Not all signs will have English on them, or an anglicized alphabet, especially in rural areas. This is their country. Expect and respect their language.

1. Write down the basic signs as you see them. Or get them out of your guidebook in advance. Start immediately. Keep a pad close by the driver's seat. Don't rely on guides - the print is little and you will not have time. Do know the international driving signs, but in addition:


All that. If you write them on the backs of your hands, wash carefully.

2. Use a tourist attraction as your anchor. If you want to get somewhere in Athens with a street address, go to the map and find the nearest big tourist attraction to it. Say, the Acropolis. Then, when you get lost, as you will, do not try to ask directions to the street address too soon. Really. There are too many little streets and turns and one-ways. You may even be told that you can't get there from here this time of day.

Find or ask for a motorway heading to the attraction near your destination - like the Acropolis. If you are in a smaller town, just ask for the destination attraction. Cruise around pleasantly while you look for someone to ask about the Acropolis, or find the motorway with the tourist attraction signs - the large green overheads like we have here. Once on a motorway, see if the Acropolis is going your way. If not, get off and on again until you are headed for the Acropolis. Get off there, and you will be closer to where you really want to go.

We did not do this at first, and were very late for dinner.

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