From Prague To Atlantic Coasts I.
A Few Words For Introduction
The trip by car from Czech Republic, via Germany and France, to Spain and Portugal, was planned with my collegue and friend, for time period of four weeks. And just the longest section was reserved for a stay in the countries of sunny Iberian Peninsula. Owing to the duties, which bound us home, we could realize the journey in July (it is true that there is a period of very hot temperatures and similarly „hot prices“ there.). We realized this on spot, and especially our financial means „felt“ this reality. But, we did not worry, despite the fact that we most of time suffered from terribly hot temperatures, indeed!
It is logical that such journey must be planned carefully in advance. Nevertheless, we wish to not that some aspects were underestimated (looking for accommodation, for example), so, this fact revenged to us in negative way later. So, how did we managed everything?
First of all, we needed to solve the question of transport. The car proved to be perfect choice, nevertheless, we took into consideration, whether to go with our own car or fly by plain to Spain and rent a car there, or rent a car in Czech Republic. So, we decided finally to rent a vehicle in Czech Republic. It is true that this item took essential figure from our budget (approx. CZK 25,000 for 30 days, the expenses depend on type of the car, you lease. In our case, ot was ŠKODA OCTAVIA TDI 1.9). On the other hand, crash policy, guarantee against theft or assistance service, all these were guaranteed, and these are very important and essential facts.
What not to forget, when travelling by car: do check in advance, whether your car technical ability (STK) will be valid during complete period you are on the way. Further: you need, except other necessary documents, so called „green card“, evidencing that the vehicle is secured. So, we wish to recommend you to visit the respective car service, in order to avoid any inconvenience.
As far as the driving licence is concerned, standard Czech driving licence proved to be as sufficient, so, you do not need to have the international driving licence available. Regarding documents in general: owing to the fact that the Czech Republic forms a part of so called Schengen Space, your personal identity card would be sufficient document for eventul controls. We had good luck, as no police control checked us on the road.
Nevertheless, as the only exception was visit of Gibraltar, where we were forced to be controlled at border check point. Anyway, before the departure, would you make copies of all important documents and let it to be sent by e-mail, provided you lost it or were stolen to you, you safe your care.
What to dress on for such long journey? The outlet of each traveller would be different, but we are of the opinion that we could mention several matters. A lot of things depend on the length and smoothless of your trip.
A rucksack: small rucksack (for short excursions), watch with an alarm, (standard digital watch is sufficient), electric battery (very good for evening use in camp), book-guide (Lonely Planet - the more actual issue, the better), a knife (the best is of Swiss origin), ball point pen and small note-register (very good for those who intend to write a memorandum), sleeping bag, sleeping desk and a tent (provided you intend to sleep in camps), further gas-cooker (if you decide to prepare your own food in camps), do not take spirit stove with.
GPS Navigation: the more actual maps, the better. Reduction for photo-cameras giving finishing blow, MP 3.
Rope or string (suitable for clothes´ hanging), lighter or matches, safety-pins (this subject is always very suitable!), photo-camera and supplementary batteries, further, something against spleen (mainly during transfers), such as: books, magazines, cards, chess, MP3, etc.
Shower gel (or soap), tooth brush and tooth-paste, sun-burning cream, toilet paper, repelent against mosquitos.
If you wish to rent a car, you are recommended to use better type (Octavia). The costs will reach CZK 25.000 approx.
You have to take into consideration the expenses for combustibles. In Spain and Portugal, these are cheaper as in Czech Republic, it depends on the fact how many kilometres you drive and how „heavy“ your foot would be.
To the next essential item belongs accommodation, for sure. The price level of hostels and camps moves at EUR 30 per person and night, and it would be no exception, that the unit price (in case of hostels) will be EUR 40 (we calculate double room or variant for two persons, car and a tent in campings).
As far as food cooking preparation is concerned, it would be usefull to take with some supplies from your home, as the costs for food are in Iberian Peninsula rather more expensive as in Czech Republic, in case of shopping in supermarkets, or at boarding in restaurants (let´s calculate that an average lunch or dinner will costs EUR 8-10 and eating kiosks are during weekend of one or two EUR more expensive than during working days).
The other expenses are necessary to be spent for public transport and entry into cultural sightseeings. So: one way ticket in Barcelona costs EUR 1,50 and the tickets to museums move from EUR 5 up to EUR 15 for one person.
As mentioned above, Spain and Portugal are much more expensive during summer months, but one exception is the unit price of combustibles (benzin and petrol). Petrol unit price is moving from EUR 1,00 up to EUR 1,20 per one liter, and benzin (natural 95) costs EUR 1,20 per one liter.
So, in next coming weeks, you have the possibility to read in our articles, what about brings such journey, how our experience was, and we are gladly willing to communicate it with you.
Next chapter: the first day - Barcelona is our target.
Text: Maxim Kucer & Jakub Štantejský
Translation: ing. Jan Jonáš
Photo: Maxim Kucer & Jakub Štantejský
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