Subject: Auto Rental Eastern Europe
Hi Ziners,

Car rental sometimes poses a problem in Eastern Europe. We have just returned from a trip to Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. We were a group of five attending orienteering events in Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Norway and Sweden over a month. Since most of the event venues were away from major airports, we either needed a long term rental car or use air fare between major airports and rail or bus or taxi to the venue sites. Car rentals in Eastern Europe were proving to be a problem. However, thanks to a bright travel agent, we found something very reasonable. We "purchased" a brand new small Peugeot van on a purchase/repurchase arrangement from Auto Europe. Seats for 5 and all our gear, unlimited mileage and zero deductible full coverage insurance, including full coverage in Czech Republic, Poland and Estonia and all taxes for $1893. The car averaged about 30 miles per gallon. We covered about 9,000 km (5,000+miles) with no problems. Ferry fares were a little steep, but nice breaks.

There was easy pick up and return at Frankfurt. Not only did we have cheap inter-site transportation, and the advantage of a car at our event sites, but we were able to visit other areas, including the fiord country around Sogn in Norway, and the Jotenheimen Mts. in Norway; visited relatives in Sweden and Poland; and even added a side trip to Auschwitz and a short visit to a friend's summer place in Tara Mts. All of these would have been hard to do in a short time by air.

For one person, $1900 can be a little steep, but for a group, it was a great, carefree, and relatively inexpensive way to see much of Eastern Europe.

Bruce McAlister