From A Spanish to A Swiss Autumn

By | 1 November 2021

When I left for Spain Switzerland was just starting to turn Autumnal. Today, when I looked around I could see that Autumn has arrived properly in Switzerland. In Spain the sun is still warm enough for t-shirt wearing and swimming. The sun is still strong enough to change our chrominance.

Yesterday I drove for around 11 and a half hours, with just one stop to refuel. I usually stop three or four times on that route but I felt like trying to do it in a single hop. This is for two reasons.

1. We’re still in a pandemic and I want to minimise risk. The stop I made was quiet so there was little risk of being too close to others.

2. I didn’t want to leave the car unattended for too long. As I am driving alone I don’t want to leave the car alone, in case people decide to steal things, not that anything was visible.

During the drive I listened to Troy, read by Steven Fry. It is interesting, and it is revision for those who have read his other books. There are moments when I struggled to hear what they were saying, due to the sound being lower, and that cars are noisy.

During the drive I enjoyed eating Spanish honey flavoured peanuts. They are easy to eat, not too messy, and good to keep you focused and attentive. During this drive I had to be focused for twelve hours non stop. People say “oh but twitter, social media and television have destroyed people’s ability to focus. I don’t believe this is accurate. I couldn’t drive for twelve hours safely otherwise.

I did see that one car had swerved off the road, into some grass, and then bounced back. I am certain that this person was either distracted, or fell asleep and smashed into the barrier. From what I saw two or three people were standing beside the accident so I think they’re fine.

Two things make driving easier these days. Cruise control, because this gives you the chance to move your leg around, rather than keep it locked and immobile. The second is to drive at the speed limit or slightly below. When I was in France several trips ago I enjoyed driving in France at 130 kilometres per hour. I eventually found that 130 kilometres per hour, in a previous car was more tiring, and that I was comfortable with 120 kilometres per hour. So from then on I always drive at the speed limit or a speed limit that I am used to. For twelve hours the goal is endurance and comfort. I would not repeat the drive within two weeks again, especially with the change from summer to winter time. I think that such a drive is easy once, but that to be repeated it would be good to wait three to four weeks, before making the return journey, especially as a solitary driver.

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