It’s been a very long time since I’ve owned a car. Over the past few years, I’ve becomed well accustomed to using public transport to get about, and to the additional cost of renting a car when we’ve been back in the UK, fancied a drive up into the mountains, or when visitors are here.
Jo and I discussed the costs involved in running a car some time ago and we came to the conclusion that while a car may involve more cost than the GA pass I’ve been using since 2008, the freedom would more than make up for it. Where we’ve had a three hour journey to Geneva in the past, or even a 3½ hour journey to Melchsee Frutt, where Jo’s godparents live, owning a car would save us hassle and open up much of Switzerland to us. While we can get about perfectly well using the public transport option, the example of going to Melchsee Frutt is tainted by the fact that we’ve had to take a 2½-hour train journey (with up to two changes), followed by a half-hour bus journey, followed by a 15 minute cable car ride. Now, with the car, the journey to the lower cable car station is less than an hour and a half.
The car we chose, after whittling a wide selection down to match our requirements, is a silver five-door 2002 VW Golf 1.9 TDI. We chose a VW for its reliability, a Golf for its size and capacity, and the diesel engine for when we do long-distance journeys. The garage agreed to fit a cruise control unit and a replacement radio/CD player, which sets us up perfectly for trips straight away. Our first short journey out, taken immediately upon collecting the car from Emmental earlier this evening, was up into the Diemtigtal valley, which we’d never visited before. The first of many trips both to places we’ve never seen before, and ones to which we return keenly as often as we can.
(And as the title of this post suggests, I’m also looking forward to having much more flexibility for taking landscape photos as well as for travelling around!)