I love traveling to foreign countries because it allows one to develop perspective instead of existing in a bubble. In the USA we often take the approach bigger is better when it comes to cars (and homes). In Europe functionality trumps everything. Cars are sized to maneuver within the confines of small streets and used only when the train, a bicycle or one’s feet won’t do. Hardly 48 hours ago I was on a walking tour of Amsterdam, truly one of the most spectacular cities I’ve ever seen. Amid the snow, ice and bitter cold temperatures here are a few cars which captured my lens. A revolutionary rental car concept which exists stateside as well, Car 2 Go uses the electric Smart Car to offer efficiency and usability to those who need wheels on the go. Yes, apparently those cute little tires get around good enough in the snow. There are always the neat little efficient cars not available in America such as the Citroen C1. This could be a whole post on its own: how come we don’t get the cool stuff. The Renault Twingo is a spiffy customizable car for the commuter or city dweller. I finally found a Hyundai which isn’t a knock-off design from another car manufacturer. The narrow four door Hyundai Amica appears more like a toy than a car. Collector cars to some, daily drivers for others. A Tesla makes for great winter eye candy. I also spotted a Fisker Karma or two winding through the streets. According to our guide, the man in this picture is some famous Dutch celebrity, but I was really interested in the bikes.
Bicycles were everywhere in both Amsterdam and Cologne. The Europeans are not about excuses. Three inches of snow and freezing temperatures are not reasons to forgo using a bicycle. Bikes rule the city streets with their own lane and traffic lights. Short honking horns and bold bells were a not-so-gentle reminder on more than one occasion, I was in their way.