We drove trough Italy mostly on the highway. The costs that come to use the highway are not worth the price. €69,20 from Villach (Austria) to Ventimiglia (Italy). In Austria we pay €80 per year. At the time being we didn’t know better, so we used the highway as the ‘faster’ way to transport ourselves to escape the cold. The saying ‘time is money’ comes here to a good expression.
In Nice (France) we thought: ‘there must be another way’, now that we saw that the prices to use the highway in France are as well high.
Actually we discovered that it is nicer to drive the main routes. This way of driving may be slower, but our bus is slow anyway.
The reason that it took some time before we started using the main road is due to the lack of experience. Just after our couch-surfing visit in Ìmer (Italy) our navigation broke down, so we bought a map of Italy. Not sure if we should get a new navigation, we decided to first try it with the map. We went off the highway to try the main-roads and quickly lost track of where to go. At that moment we decided to go back to the highway. We drove into France as far the Italian map could guide us and bought a map of Europe. Along the way to France we noticed that we actually like it to use a map instead of navigation, it brings us a little closer to the locals since we sometimes have to ask for the way and like this we can improve our languages. Another advantage is that we know where we actually are, since it is easy to ‘blindly’ follow the navigation.
In France we gave it another try to drive the main roads and we where more determined to succeed. So after driving a few rounds on the round-about we found out that the green plates are the signs for the main road. But even after finding this out it was still not done. Sometimes the green plates disappear when the highway is the same direction and when the main-road blend in with the (free)highway. So after a few more circles on the round-about we finally know the system of the signs.
The main route passes only a few towns to reach the next city. For Eli this is great since we only try to drive during his sleeping hours. When Eli wakes up we try to find a relaxed and beautiful place to make a midday break or spend the night.