30 October 2005

Parking by braile

Someone over here used the phrase parking by braile. It's more true than I first knew. Parking, of course, on a long populated, donkey-paths-turned-roads continent is a challenge. The spaces are small to non-existent. When you find one, then you have the challenge of wedging your vehicle into it.

I'm not as good at the car shoehorn routine as is Dar. Plus I'm driving a car that I can't see out of as well as I'd like. I'm hoping the one we picked out from STL will offer me better sites. So anyway...at the parking garage this weekend I simply chose to go to the lower level where there would be more than say five feet in order to park the car. This is the cowards way perhaps but this is my way.

When I parallel or have to get into a tight spot, it is not unusual for me to get out of the car, see the position and realize I need to correct. So I get back in and try to center it. Here again, I'm hoping once we have our own vehicle and I drive it more and can see better that I'll be able to do this better. Parallel for many people here is a matter of bumping the car behind slightly and the car ahead slightly until finally the car fits- thus braile.

Today, we visited a monastery/tourist attraction site. Yikes, the crowds. There's all saints day holiday this week and perhaps that got everyone in the mood to visit their favorite black madonna, patron of the region. Did I mention this was on a mountain?

People were parked on the two lane highway for ages before we got to the ticket booth that let you "park" at the monastery. We took a ticket and crawled in a line of traffic. People were parked in ditches and on every spare inch of asphalt. Cars seemed to be coming down the mountain so I kept thinking they were people leaving, so we'd find parking. Actually no, you drive up to the monastery where there is a turn around and you drive back down to the ticket taker machine - with no parking or a parking attendant who could direct traffic. Dar cuddled the car up to a guard rail on the highway. I climbed out on his side and we walked back up the mountain. It was amazing and certainly not the last time we'll have a challenge finding parking.


  1. And I thought there wasn't supposed to be anything good about suburban sprawl. ;) Anyway, about your question on my site...how about sometime in April or May. I may be in the neighborhood. Of course nothing definite yet. Just scheming for now.

  2. And I thought parallel parking in KC was bad! Sounds like you have to be very creative in your parking. I love that line "parking by braile"

  3. Can the two of you pick out two vespa scooters and a pair of helmets for STL vehicle? Just had a long flowing scarf and you'll be riding fine.

  4. Anonymous1:00 PM

    Kinda like Braille menus upon request at McD's drive-thru. Thought about putting on the dark-shades and clanking a walking stick outside my car window while pulling up and asking for one.

    Enjoy Spain....make sure you get up to Pamplona!

  5. I always get a bit stressed when I have to find a parking space where there is no apparent space. I never have to find a spot on the side of a mountain, though.

  6. Reminds me of driving in Alaska and through Canada. We had the mountain side going straight up on one side, then a narrow two-lane curvy "highway" (aka the Al-Can) and then a straight drop off on the other side of the car.

  7. now we understand Dar's previously obscure reference to the black madonna.

  8. Miss you! The other day I thought of you as I drove down Antioch. You know how winding and hilly it can get! Then I parallell parked just for you! To bad no one was in front or behind me to bump into!

    Hope to see more roaming darwords soon.