Existentialism, which had its heyday in the 1930s and, especially, the '40s, with Jean Paul Sartre, seems to be in the news lately. And making a comeback. What are we to make of it all?
June 22, 2012
Few subjects can inspire more debate among veteran travelers than which countries are the worst to drive in. Is it the intraurban roads of Morocco, devoid of signage, not quite wide enough for two cars and used by maniacs who seem to believe blowing the horn solves all problems? Or the twisty, narrow roads of rural Italy, swarming with owners of new sports cars, hell-bent on showing you how fast they can accelerate? Maybe the insane traffic and parking restrictions of Manhattan?
All good reasons to limits oneself to cabs and public transit. But you can only get so far off the beaten path letting someone else take care of the transit. I'll long recall a tiny little church in Norway, covered with enchanting carvings and pregnant with history from the noble parishoners buried under the floor centuries ago. Experiencing it easily made up for our car being attacked by goats earlier in the day, and we never would have gotten near the tiny town otherwise.
There's also a limit to how lost you can get using buses and trains, and getting delirously lost now and then should be part of the point of travel. One of the grandest and best-preserved medieval castles I've ever seen crossed our path as the result of three wrong turns along the backroads of the Dordogne.
And unless you grab the wheel now and then, your travel stories are bound to lack a certain amount of daring and danger. To whit:
So let's hear from you. What's the craziest place you've ever driven? The junkiest rental car you've ever suffered? Which country has the nuttiest drivers? The most marginal roads?