Author Topic: My road trip to Switzerland, France, Italy and Monaco  (Read 9885 times)

Offline z3i

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My road trip to Switzerland, France, Italy and Monaco
« on: June 07, 2013, 10:38:50 pm »
Alright then peeps, the polo is being driven to switzerland for a hammering round some amazing mountain roads tommorow 2500 miles, shes been rather unreliable so im a little nervous
spent an insane amount of money and a serious amount of weekends rain, shine or snow fixing the car ready for this
going through france, italy, monaco and switzerland
see you all in a week
wish me luck
Taylor
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 10:50:58 pm by z3i »

Offline Robin

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2013, 10:43:17 pm »
We did this trip a couple of years ago and it was wicked!!!

Enjoy yourself.

Some cool pics of our trip here:

http://www.s2ki.com/s2000/topic/845979-road-trip-to-monaco-now-with-pictures/page__fromsearch__1

Offline Etches

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2013, 08:40:12 pm »
Have fun mate! Get some pics n vids if you can

Offline Alex

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2013, 09:56:54 pm »
Sounds good, I've done trips like this but not in the Polo. Some amazing roads down there - if you're in Monaco make sure you take in some of Route Napoleon north of Nice.

Offline z3i

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2013, 06:48:31 am »
Morning all :)
we did 600 miles all together yesterday, met my mate in his mx5 at clacket lane services then went to the folkstone tunnel port, made it across fine
Yesterdays idea was to get to boring part out of the way so we did 550 miles of french auto route
boring but the fun stuff begins today :D
we were gonna camp camp last night but were all sooo shattered, driving from 3;30 in the morning till 7 in the evening, so we found a rather nice hotel to have dinner and well deserved sleep (and free wifi)
the polo broke down once so far, it was insanely hot and we pulled up to get petrol, went to start and got nothing, fuel pump was priming but no starter, so bumped it, and has been ok so far. Think the starter motor or relay is bust

but in genral she hasnt missed a beat, engine has been sound, charger is going well. Though she is alot slower, all this intense heat, dodgy fuel and lack of front mount intercooler has resulted in serious lack of power and major pinking
If we find more wifi ill keep you updated :)
thanks all, Taylor

Offline z3i

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 05:45:40 pm »
Well hello peeps, i can say i made it back safely (just)
my mate on the mx5 forum has done an awesome write up of our trip so these are all his words, i added my pictures as his wouldnt work and i will add some pictures at the end
this was the most awesome week of my life, i cant describe how much of an awesome feeling it is to look across into the horizon and see miles and miles of twisty cambered roads with hairpins like youve never seen and just hammering the polo round them, insane
so here we go

An unforgettable roadtrip

So last night at 11.30pm I pulled up home after 9 days on the road, travelling across Europe to the best driving roads and most amazing places I’ve ever been. This trip had been 2 years in the making and after various self imposed deadlines that came and went without any action we finally had a small group of people ready to set off very early on the 8th of June for a trip that would exceed all expectations. I’m sure this is someone that either many of you guys have done, are planning to do or plan on doing at some point, so I thought I’d write up my experiences and hopefully provide some useful information for others in future.

First of all let’s go through some stats:

2 cars (my Mazda MX5 and a VW Polo G40 Supercharged)

4 people

2620 miles

4 countries (France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco)

£431.15 worth of fuel

£185.59 in tolls

1 broken clutch cable

I did carry out some preparation on the 5 before leaving – carried out a full service including brake fluid, replaced front pads with Axxis pads and gave everything a good check over. The car didn’t use a drop of any fluids in the whole trip but I’m glad I upgraded the pads as on one particularly enthusiastic downhill run both cars brakes started to overheat, there was smoke pouring out of the front brakes of the Polo and a nice colour change on my discs!

So onto the trip – I’ve got some photos that I’ll add in as I’m going along but they’re only off of my phone. We took over 3000 photos between us on the 2 proper cameras we took but I’ve got to wait for my mates to sort through, edit and then send me them! As soon as they do I’ll post them up as there is some once in a life time photos (including a priceless Mercedes 300SL rally car on steel wheels parked on the edge of mountain pass, more about this later!)

We left home at a ridiculous 4.15am to meet at Clacket Lane services with the other guys in the Polo for 5am, then straight down to the Eurotunnel for one of the 1st trains out. I’d definitely recommend the Eurotunnel, was good cost wise (about £120 per car I think?) and we were in France within 2hrs (including check in, boarding etc).

So straight off the train onto the French motorways for a couple of hundred miles down to Reims. Before I post up the obligatory Reims grandstand photo (awesome and wierd place, so worth a stop to break up the long motorway journey) I have a couple of observations on driving in France:

I’d never driven abroad before, ever. Driving on the right did somehow seem very natural and apart from the first few minutes where you’re consciously not trying to drive on the left it was actually very easy and problem free. All 3 of us driving during the trip had no problems at all.

French motorways are fantastic. Yes they cost a fair bit in tolls but I think you pay for what you get. Well surfaced, quiet (we could sit in the slow lane for miles without seeing/overtaking anything), decent speed limits (80mph in most places) and everyone seems to be able to drive correctly (no middle lane hogging, driving too slowly etc). However they don’t seem to care for speed limits with trailers, we got overtaken by many cars towing caravans or trailers at over 90mph down hills!!

Also the services are generally very good and frequent, nice picnic areas and restaurants, if a bit dear (but when aren’t they). In fact when we pulled up at the 1st petrol stop at a motorway services the whole experience set the tone for the trip – both funny and awesome all at the same time. At first none of the pumps were working and everyone (of various nationalities) looked very confused. I thought I was doing something wrong and that there may have been some strange way to fuel up in France but after some time and various broken conversations it was determined there was a computer error and they started working again. At this point a large queue had built up and the Polo (after probably the longest stint of it’s life without breaking down) decided not to restart and was blocking a pump! A quick diagnosis suspected a sticky starter where it had got so hot and it was swiftly bump started into action and this problem didn’t occur again for the rest of the trip, bizarre!

As we were paying and getting ready to leave a group of Brits pulled in that made our cars look shit in comparison! A caged BMW M Coupe with huge wheels and a spare set of track wheels in the passenger seat, a caged up and stripped out Porsche 911 and a brand new Lamborghini Gallardo being driven by a very attractive lady! We’d already been passed on the motorway by countless Aston Martins including a 70’s Vantage convertible.  As a group of car lovers this was the first of many chance encounters that we had with some amazing vehicles on what would have otherwise been just a normal road! After we gawped at said cars for a while continued down to Reims.

Now for the photos:





After Reims we continued to destroy the miles of motorway up until about 6pm when we were about 50 miles from Lyon. I’d planned on camping near Annecy a bit further south (we had planned mainly to camp to save money) but the weather had turned very wet and we’d had a long day of driving so after a bit of phoning around in my broken schoolboy French we booked a couple of rooms at an Ibis at Bourg-Jasseron services. This was good in 2 ways – first of the all it was quite reasonably priced (£70 for a room) and it had an amazing restaurant attached to the services that served great steak, burgers and beer! It also had a little pond outside with a waterfall and was generally very nice for a motorway hotel, so good in fact we stayed here on the way back as well. Then to bed for the first foray into Switzerland on day 2!

Up nice and early (another regular occurrence for this trip) and the sun was shining! As headed towards the border and the Mont Blanc tunnel, the road started to weave up into the mountains and brought some stunning views with it. Where else can you grab a sandwich from a motorway petrol station for breakfast and eat it while looking at mountains!


I’d liken alot of the roads to the arcade game Outrun as they weave in and out of mountains, on the side of mountains, over mountains and through them.

Soon we reached the Mont Blanc tunnel, and drove through into Italy. It was cool to do it once but I wouldn’t bother going that way again. There’s many other tunnels in Switzerland that are just as interesting and don’t cost 40 euros.

In Italy we had our first experience with Italian drivers, they are mental, and not in a good way. They will overtake anywhere and without any regard for the laws of physics. The amount of times we were overtaken into blind corners by 20 year old Fiat pandas or huge trucks/SUVs was ridiculous.

The plan was to head over the Grand St Bernard pass but it was closed due to snow (one of a few I had planned to do but couldn’t due to snow but at least there’s a good reason to go back!). We headed through the tunnel instead and as we entered Switzerland we were greeted with what turned out to be a typical Swiss road – smooth, empty, cambered in all the right places and with stunning views.



So a great drive down this road, a little detour through a town at the bottom and north towards Interlaken (our 2nd night’s stop). It’s worth mentioning we didn’t pay for the Vignette to use the motorways in Switzerland and I’m 100% glad we didn’t. The roads we were forced to use instead were all amazing roads with no traffic, and we navigated the whole of Switzerland without the need for it. If you’re going there, save yourself £50 and have alot more fun instead.

We drove up through the valley then onto route 11 from Aigle to Spiez. Such a fun road, it’s impossible to even compare to anywhere in England and this was just the start. I only planned on using it to get from one place to another and yet I had a massive smile on my face all the way along to Interlaken.

Along this road we made 2 more observations about Switzerland; it seems like a place where they actually love cars, and the Swiss are also mental but in a good way this time. There was so many modified, rare and interesting cars all over the country, from slammed VW’s to big old American Cadillacs, loads of Evo’s and Imprezas and even some cars that looked like they fell straight out of Fast and Furious (Mitsubishi Eclipse anyone? Or a bright orange Mitsubishi GTO?). They drive them properly as well, but whereas the Italians were reckless the Swiss drive with a massive level of skill and respect. Going faster than them? They’ll slow down and indicate for you to pass. Going slower? They’ll always overtake, but only when it’s safe to do so. It was driving heaven all over the country, I really can’t make a big enough deal of this!

That afternoon we arrived in Interlaken at a fantastic little campsite just across the road from a lake – Camping Alpenblick. The lovely people that worked there were happy to see us, made a great schnitzel and served coke in massive beer mugs. They even went out of their way to see what passes had opened for us.





Also the toilet/shower facilities were out of this world for cleanliness and quality, I’d bet most 4* hotels wouldn’t match up. If you’re in and around Interlaken, stay here!!! A quick wander around local area and we went to bed as the rain was closing in again!

« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 07:18:05 pm by z3i »

Offline z3i

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 05:46:19 pm »
Day 3. This was meant to be THE day. The day to all end all days. Unfortunately as confirmed by our Swiss campsite owners last night the Grimsel pass and Furka pass were still closed due to snow. Bugger. This also meant a LONG drive around the lake to the North west as there is no other way across the mountain range (and we didn’t have the previously mentioned motorway vignette). So we set off even earlier than usual as it was raining (about 6am) and headed up towards Lucerne and around to Altdorf then Andermatt. We did find some great roads around the lake but alot of it was slow going through small towns. Bonus was we found a Mcdonalds for breakfast (typical Brit tourists). I hadn’t planned on doing the Gotthard pass originally due to time but as we’d spent many hours on more ‘normal’ Swiss roads (still a damn sight better than anything here I must add) and it was open we thought a trip up and down the Gotthard was in order. This was 100% worth doing.

It was pissing down at the bottom and again on one of the minor roads we had to take due to lack of motorway pass we had a great drive up through tunnels, hairpin bends and wide sweepers without seeing another car. Being able to drive the car on the limit, on the road, in the wet was a great experience. Again all fairly safe due to lack of traffic, smooth roads and ability to see 2 or 3 corners ahead at a time.

By the time we got halfway up the scenery was spectacular, the roads getting wider and faster and we were getting closer to the snow. We stopped a couple of times on the way up to check out some amazing waterfalls and bridges, but when we reached the summit it really got crazy. On each side of the road was drifts of snow over 6 foot in height, they literally dwarfed everything in sight. A quick stop at the summit and we hooned it back down the other side. The south side is shorter in length but the road is twice as wide allowing for some really fast turns. We got to the bottom, turned around and smashed it straight back up again, stopping halfway for some photos.





 
After we went up and over the Gotthard again we headed back down to Andermatt and across to Chur. I can’t remember much of this road to be honest, it was a fairly general alpine road. This doesn’t mean it was boring however, nothing was boring in Switzerland. We did see some awesome looking VW Beetles parked up at a restaurant though.

When we got to Chur I had planned to stay in a Hostel for the night. Only problem was the one I had picked looked like it was in the only ‘red light’ area of Switzerland, didn’t mention that on the website! A quick rethink and we opted for the trust Ibis on the edge of Chur, found opposite a car dealer selling brand new Camaros, Vipers and Mustangs! This was alot more expensive than in France (Switzerland is quite an expensive place overall it would seem, for example a Big Tasty Meal at Mcdonalds is about 14 euros, the best part of £11-£12) but it served a purpose for the night. Also as we had checked in around 5pm we had time to do the last drive of the day, up the 130 odd hairpin bends to a little village called Arosa. This was a great 20km odd of driving up and then back down again and Arosa looks a lovely little place, if a little sleepy. Also had the chance to get the roof down in 5 for the 1st time in the holiday and experience mountain driving + exhaust noise in the sunshine.
 

On the way down I swapped cars and became passenger in the Polo, which is a crazy little car. The previous owner had upgraded all the internals and along with the factory fit supercharger it’s rapid. Driving with it for 9 days has brought forward supercharging my 5 now, even for the noise alone!

We chased a Swiss Citroen Berlingo van on the way down and it true Swiss style was hammering down the mountain, the way this thing was going round corners was unreal, we struggled to keep up at points!

After this great little evening trip we called it a day in preparation for day 4 - the Stelvio pass, Lake Como and what ended up being my favourite day of the whole trip.

Up slightly later today due to a dodgy Mcdonalds for dinner last night (it was right under the hotel and we were tired, don’t judge me! We ate locally for the rest of the trip!), we left about 8am. Headed southeast then northeast to Davos.

Before I go any further I must say all the roads we took today we’re special. Every single one.

From Davos we took the very cold and snowy Fluelapass to Zernes then onto the Ofenpass.

The Ofenpass probably takes the award for favourite driving road of the trip. It was so fast, so open and the corners were all perfect. Perfectly cambered, great road surface. It was just amazing. At the top we stopped for a group photo, (to follow shortly) then hammered down the other side towards the Italian border. This is the point the brakes overheated on both cars, it was hilarious fun but also a little scary!!


A quick dip into Italy (obvious by the lesser quality road surface) and we were sitting at the bottom of the Stelvio pass. With the sun out we got the roof down and followed the traffic up the pass.

So the Stelvio Pass...

This is not what I would call a great ‘driving’ road. It’s too tight, there’s too much traffic and cyclists and when we were halfway up it started snowing. It is however an awesome bit of road building and an experience that everyone should have! Plus at the lower parts the hairpins are tight enough that you can boot it out them in first and get a bit of oversteer going J It was probably quite quiet due to the weather but we still got stuck behind a campervan and slower drivers, I’d imagine it’s a nightmare in summer. The view from the top was unreal, especially again in 6 foot deep snow with skiers coming down the hill behind us! Also I would highly recommend getting a sausage from the stall on the right as you first come up the east side of the pass, it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, and that is no understatement! I’d go back again just for that.

 




 

So after half an hour of getting cold we headed back down towards Bormio (this side is a bit more open, more fun to drive but less spectacular) and across another great little pass to Livigno (fill up with fuel here, it’s a tax haven and I think we saw fuel around the 1 euro mark compared to 1.6 elsewhere!). After Livigno we headed south back towards the Swiss border and along route 29 to St Moritz. This was another road that I had just chosen to get from one place to another but turned out to be one of the most fun, again the combination of great visibility plus wide, fast, sweeping bends really was a winner.

Down pass St Moritz and all the way to the Italian border was another great road. For the best part of an hour we were going down and down towards Italy past beautiful lakes and forests. It felt like we were heading to the centre of the earth. The wierd thing is you have these massive lakes probably a few km in length and up to a km in width, you’re driving around them then you drive 500m further along  the road and your heading down again, below the water level of the lake. It blew my mind a little bit! Haha!

Across the Italian border we actually had our passports checked for the first time since entering the Eurotunnel, and this was only because we were looking at him like he should do something, he probably felt obliged to check them.

The temperature change in the last few hours was also notable, from near freezing at the top of the Stelvio we were now up to about 28 degrees, it was a bit of a shock to the system. The next hour to our campsite at Damaso on Lake Como was fairly uninteresting, apart from avoiding death from crazy Italian drivers. I can’t stress enough how different the driving is between 2 countries, and I’m pretty sure we were the only people in the country sticking to the stupidly low speed limits.

This was all made up for when we reached our campsite on Lake Como, a lovely little family run campsite called Camping Le Vele. This is another definitely recommend from me, showers and toilet block wasn’t quite as good as in Interlaken, but they were very friendly, offered for us to squeeze onto 1 pitch to save money (we took up the offer) and it had a pool (which would be used over the next 2 days we were staying here for). It was also right on the lake and the main street with some lovely pizza places.

We set up camp in the warm heat of the sun, wandered down the street and watched the sunset over the mountains around Como while eating an authentic Italian pizza and sipping a beautiful cold beer. We were pretty much halfway through the week and life couldn’t get much better than this day.




 

The next day's plan was to chill out and then hit the Splugenpass and San Bernadino pass, with a trip to the Lamborghini and Ferrari factories the following day. After one last night around Como we'd when head south to the coast, Monaco, the south of France, French Alps then home. Some of this happened, some of this didn't, some only happened for half of our little road trip crew.

We'd had such a perfect trip so far and it had all gone pretty much to plan, we were going to have our share of bad luck over the next few days, but karma would make sure we ended the trip on a high.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2013, 08:00:07 pm by z3i »

Offline Etches

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 06:32:22 pm »
Sort the photos dude, absolutely cracking write up by your mate! Gutting about the cable, i've always got a spare un in the boot!

Offline z3i

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2013, 08:18:10 pm »
Friday now and it was another early start again, a sad look back at our campsite as we left early again and we set off down towards the Italian coast, the stress of Italian roads still playing on our mind. The first part of the journey was as expected really – being tailgated, cut up, mopeds and bikes everywhere and as we got closer to Milan it got worse. Luckily sticking to the motorways this time didn’t take long to get around Milan and onto the toll roads down the coast where the standard of driving was much better and alot less congested.

We reached the coast and southern France by late morning along some more motorways (avoiding the coast road for stress free driving) and were heading into Monaco for lunchtime.

I couldn’t quite work out Monaco, it was an impressive place to come into from the cliffs above and was actually easier to drive around than I expected, but couldn’t really see the overall appeal.

We parked at the train station in a cool 14 level multistory carpark that went down into the cliff face (cost 7.50 euros for abour 2 hours). A few fancy cars in the car park (limo, Lotus Evora) but nothing really that special. After spending ages working out how to get down to the marina (the place is like a bloody maze! You think your heading down then you get forced to walk back up again) we wandered down a side street past a fairly plain looking dealer. Then it became obvious it was a Ferrari dealer when we spotted the cars parked outside and in the workshop – Enzo, F40, 288 GTO. Insane!

After gawping at them for ages like little kids we made our way to the marina, had some lunch and looked at the size of the yachts. Seriously, these people have outrageous amounts of wealth! We walked the Monaco F1 circuit back up the other side of Monaco and then more through luck than judgement found our way back to the car park and headed off to our campsite for the night in Antibes.










 

I’m going to throw this out there now. I hated the south coast of France, I can’t find the appeal in it. It’s noisy, dirty, overpopulated and just not that nice! Our campsite didn’t help this either. The staff were nice enough but in general it was just like a shit, sunny British holiday camp. The camp was huge, the pitches were rammed in there, they had ‘live’ entertainment and a crappy restaurant, and it was just a bit depressing. The toilets were worse, no seats, stank of shit and no lights at night. Great.

We thought we’d go explore to see if we could see any redeeming areas, but it just made things worse. It was slap bang in the middle of a run down industrial area, the local train station was mostly boarded up (but still in use) with graffiti everywhere, the beach was behind a fence and everything just looked so run down. People slag off Spain and the Algarve but from what I saw I’d go to either of those 2 areas every time. Also I would definitely not recommend Camp Du Pylone, unless you like above features in a holiday, which in that case crack on!

To make matters worse the Polo’s clutch was apparently getting heavier by the moment. They have a weak pedal box that after abuse can deform putting extra strain on the cable, it had already been replaced before for snapping a clutch cable so this was a big worry.

We went to bed early, a bit deflated but knowing that tomorrow we were going to hit the Col de Turini and Col de Bonnette (Europe’s highest road).

We’d paid our bill the night before and set off about 6.30am along the coast, then headed inland at Nice and things started to look up. The campsite was well behind us (we’d all had a very good nights sleep incidently!!!) and we were heading up in the mountains when a garble call came over the walkie talkie. Something about clutch cable. Looking up the Polo had disappeared out of my rear view mirror. Another call on the radio confirmed our fear, the cable had snapped and they’d had to pull over. We turned around and headed back to find the clutch cable already stripped out and being inspected.

Before I go any further I need to stress the importance of decent walkie talkies for a trip like this. It would have been impossible to navigate and communicate between both cars without them. Mine we £50 from Amazon and were perfect, I’ll dig out the link if anyones interested.

So, the Polo. The cable hadn’t snapped luckily, but it had pulled itself out of the plastic grommet that connects it to the pedal box. After some head scratching we bodged together a repair with some cable ties holding the cable in the grommet. It seemed to work pretty well. For about 5 miles.

This time it was game over, the cable had cut through the cable ties in a few depresses of the clutch and without any proper gear there was nothing we could do at the roadside. We were gutted, the guys in the Polo even more so. Thoughts of them getting towed all the way back home across France, or worse having to wait until Monday for a repair (today was Saturday, Eurotunnel booked for Sunday night).

This was our bad luck. But we were about to get lucky again, for both parties, in different ways. RAC were called and sent a very nice French gentlemen out from Nice to pick up the Polo. He spoke great English, had a sense of humour and was interested in the car. Good start. He loaded the Polo up and headed back to Nice with Taylor and Tilly in his cab. We carried on to the mountains, a bit quiet, missing half of our special little group.

We’ll come back to our day in a minute. When the other guys got to Nice they ended up in a little back street garage, a little back street garage with a special interest in rare European cars. They had a Golf G60 Rallye, Porsches and various other cars and were very interested in Taylor’s G40. They carried out a cracking repair to the cable and pedal box within a couple of hours, charged only 60 euros and got them on their way. I have no idea what the garage was called but they saved the trip from ending in disaster. The other guys were too far behind now to hit the mountains so had to slog up the motorway from Nice to the services for the last nights stay, but at least we could have a beer and some dinner together, and head home together on Sunday night.

Meanwhile about 5 minutes after we left the Polo being loaded onto the back of a truck we came across the kind of roads we were looking, stuff that looked like it was straight out of the Monte Carlo Rally. Little bridges, sheer cliff faces, lovely little villages, this was the south of France I was looking for. We couldn’t quite stretch to the Col De Turini as we were behind time due to the events of the morning so we cracked straight on the Col De Bonnette.

So we were hacking along some more great wide roads, dipping in and out of valleys, along rivers, when a couple of classic 911’s came flying past heading the other way. Another couple headed past as we started to climb the Col De Bonnette. Then a couple of E-Types. Then some more 911’s.

Soon we realised by pure luck, and mainly due to waiting for 3 hours with a broken Polo that morning, we were climbing the Col De Bonnette, the highest road in Europe, as exactly the same time a classic car rally was coming down it. Soon the only noises we were making were gasps and grumbles as all kinds of amazing vehicles came past us, at full chat, down these mountain roads.

Now there was plenty of awesome 911’s but soon we had a Lancia Stratos. Ferrari Dino’s. Ferrari 275’s. Shelby Cobra’s. Another Stratos. Old Alfas all over the place. Renault 5 Turbo 2. About 20 Porsche Speedsters. And about 5 Merc 300SLs, coupes, convertibles and the previously mentioned stripped out rally-spec on steel wheels. We rounded a corner and it was sitting there, on the outside of bend, no-one around it. Many photos were taken. (I will post them up when I get them!)

It was truly mind blowing and just the kind of luck that turned this trip from a great trip to a once-in-a-lifetime trip. As we carried on up to the top we passed more and more, they nodded and waved at us, we nodded and waved back. I think about 600 photos were taken in just this climb. Truly petrolhead heaven. Oh and I did I mention the pass was as good as anything Switzerland had to offer?

After coming back down the other side we spent the rest of the day trundling onto our trusty Ibis on the French motorway, stunned at how a shit start to a day can evolve into one of the most memorable days of our lives. It goes without saying the guys in the Polo were gutted, but if it wasn’t for them breaking down we may not have seen what we had seen. Karma!

Another massive steak that night at the services, 2 massive beers and lots of time running through the photos of the day and we went to bed exhausted from the day’s events.

Nice lie in on the last day, and a boring trundle up the motorway to Calais. It was a nice time to reflect on the week and all the crazy stuff we saw and did. We were running way early, so could have stopped either at Calais and just hung around for 3 hours or split up the time to waste and stop at some services on the way for an hour or so.

We chose the latter option and I’m glad we did. After stopping at the last services for a couple of hours we headed onwards for the last 150miles to Calais, and again by pure luck we were on the motorway at exactly the same time as a local VW festival was kicking out. There were Golfs, Beetles and Audis of all types everywhere. If anyone is familiar with the VW scene I’d imagine you’d recognise alot of these cars, the Milestone 71 Mk1 Golfs were there, Rotiform Porsche 911, pretty much the cream of the crop of UK/European VW’s. They filled the next petrol station we stopped at and passed us regularly on the motorway. We had a VW car show en route to the Eurotunnel and then in the car park of the Eurotunnel itself.

Just our luck J

The rest of it is all a bit of blur to be honest, got the 9.20 Eurotunnel, back in UK an hour later. We grabbed a Mcdonalds at Clacket Lane services, exactly where we’d started 9 days ago, where we already started discussing our plans for the next trip. Bring on 2015, 2 weeks in Europe, maybe Nurburgring and Germany thrown in this time as well!

So there it is, my little trip to some hills to take some photos! Hopefully many more (better quality photos) to follow! If anyone want's any of the routes I've described or any information at all just ask on here or PM me!

all his words, done a fantastic write up i didnt feel the need to do my own
really owe it to him as he planned everything and really made the trip of a life time happen
between me and my mate we have taken 3500 photos, so going through them is rather slow, but i will add them up as i go along and a detailed description of how the car did
Thanks for reading Taylor

*all sorted now with pics, think i missed a couple of days out when i first posted (the middle section)*

Offline z3i

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 08:22:17 pm »



Offline Jester

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2013, 09:33:14 am »
awesome read! some of those photos are amazing.

always wish I could do something like this.

Offline z3i

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2013, 12:22:48 pm »
awesome read! some of those photos are amazing.

always wish I could do something like this.

thanks peeps :)
i highly recommend it, as soon as we got back all we have been doing is talking about going again for 2 weeks in a couple of years time. You wont regret it
Taylor

Offline SamG40

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 12:36:38 pm »
Cant believe there is still snow on the Stelvio. I took my G to Germany last year on a bit of a road trip and loved it. Reims looks like a good place to stop, and you look like you had a good laugh.

Offline Alex

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2013, 01:08:16 pm »
The roads around the French Riviera, Switzerland and bits of Austria and Northern Italy are amazing. Never been able to drive them in the G40 though - its' something I'd love to do.

Anyway, I'm on a tangent. Great pics, cool write up too. Very jealous!

Offline z3i

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Re: Road trip switzerland tomorrow :)
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2013, 03:41:53 pm »
Yeah me either! Snow in june! It was really heavy too! And a few of the passes were still closed due to snow!

if the G was a bit more reliable it would be the best car to do this trip, its so small light and nimble that it makes the hairpins so much fun.

Cant wait to go again! 2 years to get the car ready lol