Driving in Greece

It’s very difficult to convey to others how driving is in other countries. It’s completely dependant on what each person is used to, where they’ve driven, and how they’ve been taught. That being said, I felt like I’d give it a go.

I love driving. In my 20s, I’d go for a drive every chance I’d get, and would usually drive for 4 hours or more just for fun. I remember after buying my second car, I averaged roughly 1,000km a week over a 6 month period (15 of those Kms were for work). Yet since moving to Asia in 2010, I’ve done nearly no driving at all. The only exceptions were 2 months in Europe, and our last year in Korea when we bought a car.

So, Greece. It’s actually very similar to Korea in that the road rules are more rough guidelines than rules as such. I learnt several things, including:

  • Lane markings don’t mean much. If 2 cars will fit, then 3 cars will go in it.
  • The hard shoulder is a lane. Empty space = a space to undertake!
  • The speed limit is for wimps. If you go less than 20kph over the speed limit, you will get over and undertaken.
  • Red lights mean stop. Unless you don’t want to stop. Then they mean go faster.
  • If you’re overtaking someone, and are in the oncoming lane with someone coming towards you, don’t worry. They’ll probably just get out of the way. No need to go back into your own lane.

Well, those appear to be the guidelines for the locals anyway. Suffice it to say that I didn’t follow those ‘rules’! But handy to be aware of them. The first time I was driving at 85kph on an 80kph road, and had 1 driver overtake me at the same time another driver undertook me while a truck was coming towards us was a bit of a brown pants moment. But just follow the golden rule of driving in Korea, and it’ll be fine: assume everyone wants to overtake you, and everyone wants to crash. Avoid as necessary. Perfect!

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