Like anyone who likes driving, when I go to another country I'm always excited to sample the roads there with a rental car that did a million miles of which none were gentle. When I went to Dubrovnik in the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, some of the most stunning roads lay ahead of me. I needed a companion on this journey, and what I got was this white Mercedes E220 diesel convertible.
I know what you're thinking. A Mercedes convertible? Bloody nice for a rental. Well, you're right. It was. Still, it had all the features you look for in a rental car. It did 85,000km in one and a half years (!), the roof squeaked whenever you tried to put it down and got stuck every time you tried to put it up, the radio station could only pick up odd numbered frequencies, and its battery was so worn out it could barely charge my phone and my God was this engine noisy; not the healthy kind of noise either.
The roads of Croatia though, oh my God what a hidden treasure. Anyone who wants a place with some of the greatest roads in Europe must come here. The way they flow from crest to crest looks like finely woven silk. The surfaces are smooth as butter and the scenery is to die for. There is barely any traffic too, which helps a lot. My Mercedes huffed and puffed throughout this whole journey, struggling and straining to keep up with my inputs. I always felt though that it wanted to get to the next town. It wanted to let me enjoy the ride and the scenery and as we begun flowing between the crests together, I felt it enjoying it with me. This Merc has a personality; and it got under my skin.
After three(ish) weeks of wonderful driving with what became my new best friend. It was time to part ways. The rental guy kindly refused my offer of my pocket change and a bottle of beer. I was sad to see the Merc go. It really made my holiday in Croatia that much better and I miss it to this day.