The breathtaking beauty of the snow-capped Alps, with their wide green valleys below, was totally captivating, drawing us in like bees to a honey pot.
We were on our way from Bavaria to Austria. With such magnificent scenery surrounding us it was hard to believe, that on this particular day, the hills were alive ……… not with music but with my own fear and pandemonium!
John Lennon was totally right when he said, “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid we pull back from life. When we are in love we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement and acceptance.
On this particular day, surrounded by all of this beauty, I was undergoing my own inner- battles.
I was so totally passionate and “in love’ with the absolutely mesmerizing landscapes that were unveiling before my eyes and yet, at the same time, so absolutely terrorized by my better half’s driving, as he was learning to travel on the right hand side of the road.
Should we open up to all that life had to offer on that day or should we indeed pull back and remove ourselves from this terrifying experience altogether? My thoughts spiralled around inside my head. “Should we stop? Isn’t this all too much? Maybe we should give it a miss! Maybe we could just return to Munich and catch up on some of the wonderful sightseeing back there that we’ve missed due to our previous few days of illness.”
But somehow the beauty of these remarkable Alps just kept drawing us in. My love for this amazingly stunning scenery was actually the main thing that kept me going despite my massive fears. At the back of my mind I just kept trying to tell myself.…”It’s only just like riding a bike. You know, you’ll get used to travelling on the wrong side of the road. Give it a chance. Just don’t think about it. For goodness sakes, close your eyes!”
Despite my rampaging inner dialogue, and despite my beloved’s growing chagrin, I was still extremely prone to breaking down and exhibiting full-blown tantrum-like behaviours with utterances such as: “Ahhhhhh! For goodness sake move over towards the middle of the road will you! We nearly hit that signpost just back there! What are you trying to do anyway –kill us or something?”
I’m sure that all of these uncontrolled outbursts must have taken a toll. Certainly, it took away, from what could, and should have been, a totally enjoyable new experience test driving our sleek new black “Beamer” (BMW) which we had just rented for the 5 day journey through Austria.
At the very least I know my own fears and undignified behaviour were taking their toll on my husband. He started to echo his own little mantra:
Keep to the Right. Look to the Left.
Keep to the right. Look to the Left.
Mercifully we did survive after all. Despite my high anxiety levels associated with driving on the “WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD” Austria and the Alps are still among my absolute favourite places in the world. In spite of the irrational fears, it was the amazingly beautiful scenery that had encouraged me to “open up to all that life had to offer with passion, excitement and acceptance.”
Nia Simone said:
These are absolutely stunning photos, KidazzleInk! Your husband’s mantra sounds like the one I used in Australia but I forgot to look to the right when I was a pedestrian. That was the hardest. And I tended to keep TOO far to the left, on the shoulder sometimes, but I gradually got better. It’s tough!
Yes Nia it probably just take time to get used to it I guess. I told D.B. I’d try a blindfold next time! That’s if I’m brave enough to experience a next time.i’ll have to work up to it. America might be O.k. As I think the roads would be much wider.
Simon Bates Photography said:
The cloud formations around the alps are amazing.
Yes I love them.
I can relate to your driving fears (for other reasons), but am so glad you stuck it out; such lovely countryside! A place I would love to see someday, and as an American, driving on the right would be ok. 🙂
Hope you do get to see it. It was all so beautifully green when we were there last Spring and the white snow-capped Alps made the landscape look quite spectacular.
Russel Ray Photos said:
Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!
Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks so much for all the likes. Visit again whenever you’ve got time.
I’m sure it gets better 🙂 As a non-driver I just put total trust in my partner and lose myself in the landscape. It looks fabulous! Love the Lennon reference.
Was that “blind” trust? (only joking). If it wasn’t for the fact that the scenery was so absolutely beautiful I would have taken a blindfold!! But thank you for your lovely comments re my blog.
Nia Simone said:
Love the post – the photos and the philosophy.
You won my drawing for a free copy of Looking for Kerouac! If you would like this ebook, please shoot me an email from the email button on my website, niasimone.intuitwebsites.com.
Thanks for all your support!!
Thanks Nia for your lovely comments. I couldn’t quite get the link to work though. You could Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh wow, these photos are magical! I can see why you were prepared to risk life and limb to travel through this beautiful country.
Yes the landscape was truly amazing…even more beautiful than I’d imagined it would be! I think the fear I experienced when driving was more to do with just being on the other side of the car as well as the other side of the road….more the way I was perceiving things than truly dangerous! Although we did seem to get might close to some of those signs on the sides of the road!
Audie Jean said:
I did find it all rather hair-raising. Any way we actually got back in one piece. I’m pleased about that!
Has anyone else out there ever been as terrified as I was simply by driving on the opposite side of the road? I found it very frightening.