Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Large parts of continental Europe used to drive on the left hand side of the road. Spain, Sweden, Iceland and Czechoslovakia have all swapped sides. Guernsey has even changed sides twice. We investigate the rule of the road.

article summary —

Do you remember that moment when a famous American tele-evangelist ruffled feathers in his church community as he was caught driving on the wrong side of the road with a prostitute in his car? I've often wondered which transgression Jimmy Swaggart's church judged to be the more despicable: driving on the 'wrong' side of the road or being accompanied in that misdemeanour by a woman of ill-repute.

The world easily divides into places that drive on the right and those that favour a 'keep left' rule of the road. Europe falls, on the whole, into the first category, although there are four member states in the European Union where those of a sober disposition try, on the whole, to keep to the left: Cyprus, Ireland, Malta and the United Kingdom.

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About the authors

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 15.