I am currently enjoying a couple of weeks on the beautiful island of Kefalonia with the family. It occurred to me as we were walking round the island that the quality of motoring is questionable to say the least, granted Greece in general is not a place dripping in wealth but still the quality of the cars and indeed the roads is certainly amusing. When you compare this to the holiday I went on earlier in the year to Dubai the difference in motoring is (unsurprisingly) huge!
Kefalonia is a truly beautiful island, previously we have rented a car and toured the island, when we did this the girl in the rental shop gave me some interesting advice concerning driving on the island:
1. One of the main roads on all the maps produced did not exist anymore due to and earthquake “a while ago”.
2. If it rains do not exceed more than 30mph (a big ask in our rental!) as the road surface was not good when wet.
3. When using the few roundabouts on the island make sure that you understand that unlike the UK (or the rest of the civilised world) when you are on a roundabout in Kefalonia you give way to oncoming traffic!
The trusty Fiat Tipo delivery car for the local SuperMarket, typical for Kefalonia.
Really she should have added a couple more details:
4. There is a five way junction on the island that is only marked as a four way on the map and due to its setting on a steep hill three of the entries/exits are blind, so this will result in high levels of utter chaos!
5. MOT standards are not the best so to beware that all other cars on the road should be viewed as potential death traps.
6. The Hyundai i10 is a terrible car and they were all going to have a good laugh about renting it to us after we had gone.
Please note that this is a manhole cover, it is planned to be like this!
The six month old Hyundai itself was so poor on all dynamic levels that if it had anything larger than the lawnmower engine I assume it had it would have been extremely dangerous, serves me right for renting the cheapest car!
Terrible Hyundai i10 very typical rental car of the Greek islands
The motoring population of the island is made up of four categories, small rental cars, battered local cars, endless Mercedes and Toyota red taxis and many many motorbikes. The only cars of note I have seen are a Mitsubishi Evo8, Nissan Pulsar GTiR, a reasonable new X5 and a CLS63 AMG that looked strangely out of place.
Super rare in the UK never mind Kefalonia
Motoring aside Kefalonia is a beautiful island with great people, beaches and food. We have stayed at the San Lorenzo Village a couple of times and found it good for families on a sensible budget.
In contrast Dubai was a motoring delight, new cars everywhere, not a diesel in sight and every performance car possible can be seen all the time. Every hotel I have ever stayed at in Dubai has always had at least one Supercar parked outside it every time I have stepped out of the reception, on a night you can regularly hear the sound of an Italian origin V12 being driven hard around he city.
Beautiful Ferrari 488, I was surprised to see this as they were so new, but then again this is Dubai! Please note the G63 behind
The main aspects of note are as follows:
1. G63 AMGs are a rare sight in the UK because they are all in Dubai, on a trip to the Mall I counted 10+ in a 20min journey.
2. The amount of Supercar showrooms on Sheikh Zayed Road is simply amazing.
3. The premier parking at the Dubai Mall is awesome.
4. Listening to taxi drivers complaining that at 32p a litre fuel is too expensive compared to Saudi is annoying and amusing at the same time.
Brilliantly over the top, imagine popping to the shop in a Brabus 6×6
I’m not actually comparing the two from a point of view as to which has the best cars, London v Dubai would be a fairer comparison but it is interesting to see the differences between the two. One place where material elements are extremely low down on people’s radar and it’s all about sun, sand, easy living and family holidays, the other where it is all about the material element but also an utter commitment from the establishment to ensure all the visitors are supremely catered for, I suspect these are the reasons I love the two places (but remain glad to live in the UK) and look forward to returning to them.
Even the Police run Brabus G63s with 700bhp! Another in the background…
Finally, whilst in Greece we went on a ferry to another part of the island, the loading and unloading was a true sight to behold, if you are ever in Kefalonia I strongly recommend you spend €2.80 (yes €2.80!) to watch the definition of “an accident waiting to happen”….
Loading and unloading the Ferry, very very amusing!…..