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T8
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:38 pm    Post subject: Germany, The Swiss Alps and a whole lot more. Picture Heavy. Reply with quote

Sadly I couldn't make the scheduled dates for the superb Alpine tour organised by 'longers' / Fast-Track Tours but that agenda whet my appetite to plan something similar for me and the missus.

Our mutually desired destination was The Swiss Alps, for me to drive as many 'passes' as possible and for her to see the wonderful scenery of Switzerland for the first time.

We're fortunate that our journey time to Le Shuttle is only 40 minutes but previous experience has made me aware that neither of us like more than 6 hours driving in any day so my task was to plan an itinerary that would get us there and back within our planned 6 days / 5 nights and also pack in as many other things as possible along the way.

Day 1.

I was confident that leaving on a Sunday would allow us to get more than half way to The Alps without needing to leave home at an unearthly hour and as my wife had never experienced the delights of the Eiffel Forest I took the chance to also demonstrate to her that it's not just 'The Ring' that has tempted me back to that region at least once every year since 2014.

Sure enough our 08.50 shuttle was early enough to get us to Nurburg by 15.30 even allowing for the hour lost through time difference and a couple of decent comfort breaks. Once there we checked in at very good value for money 'Motorsport Hotel', virtually opposite the Pistenklause Restaurant, where we had promised ourselves one of their legendary 'steaks-on-a-stone' for dinner.



A few days before we left I did some research regarding places to visit in the Nurburg area and was amazed to discover that, despite having stayed within 100 metres of it several times before, that there was a Motorsport Museum at The Ring Werk Motor Centre. It didn't close until 6pm so we were able to spend a comfortable hour or so walking round it at a relaxed pace.




With another hour to kill before dinner we had a quick run up to the Nordschleife to see what cars were still in the paddock and had a brief tour of Adenau taking our first days driving miles to 359.



Over a steak meal and a couple of drinks we celebrated the fact that, despite the weather forecast promising that we would be making most of the journey in heavy rain, we'd only encountered some drizzle and a bit of road-spray. We hoped it would continue for Day 2 - a 291 mile trip to Boblingen (near Stuttgart) via the beautiful Moselle town of Cochem, a decent chunk of Autobahn and a hack through the The Black Forest.

Day 2 to follow.
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Last edited by T8 on Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:24 am; edited 1 time in total
 
  
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infrasilver
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you had a similar agenda as my trip last week, keeping the daily miles down but still needing to get to the good stuff in the Alps.

I look forward to hearing about more of your trip.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pop Corn Pop Corn
 
  
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T8
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

infrasilver wrote:


Sounds like you had a similar agenda as my trip last week, keeping the daily miles down but still needing to get to the good stuff in the Alps.

I look forward to hearing about more of your trip.



I reckoned c.1650 miles in 6 days was enough for a couple of old codgers. Smile

Funnily enough I thought of you when I saw this.



Did you know the museum at The Ring Werk Centre existed. Question

It's well worth an hour of anybody's time.







Day 2 to follow.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to the rest of the trip Terry. thumbsup
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infrasilver
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T8 wrote:
infrasilver wrote:


Sounds like you had a similar agenda as my trip last week, keeping the daily miles down but still needing to get to the good stuff in the Alps.

I look forward to hearing about more of your trip.



I reckoned c.1650 miles in 6 days was enough for a couple of old codgers. Smile

Funnily enough I thought of you when I saw this.



Did you know the museum at The Ring Werk Centre existed. Question

It's well worth an hour of anybody's time.



I reckoned c.1650 miles in 6 days was enough for a couple of old codgers. Smile



Cloud 9 For the Manta

I didn't realise that Museum was there, will take a visit next time I'm there.

We covered 2500 in 7 days so not really very shorts days but the getting there and back took up most.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Nice! Cool

Im very jealous of how close to the tunnel you are. We can write a day off either end of a trip for us to get there.

Great pics. Loving the Audi and CSL touring cars. Thumb

I’m thinking of going back out next year but doing what my mate did last week. Cheap flights to Geneva and a hire car for 5 days. £377 for flights for him and his wife including hire car (just an A3).
40 mins to Annecy for a night then move on. You’re straight into all the good roads. He crammed more passes in in 5 days than I did in 3 weeks.
So I think I may do that next year.
 
  
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T8
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:18 pm    Post subject: Day 2 ....... Reply with quote

Day 2.

So, after an excellent continental breakfast and a top up of 100 RON (25.55 mpg from Kent to Nurburg) we hit the local road towards Buchel and on to Cochem, a picture postcard gem of a place that I discovered 4 years ago and have passed through several times since. My wife has seen dozens of my photos over the years so knew what to expect but was still very taken with how picturesque it is. Only a 29 mile 'fun run' from Nurburg it really should be on any Eiffel Forest agenda. We didn't intend to spend 45 minutes there but as the skies were blue the photo op's were too good to rush.









Our next stage was a 160 mile 'bahnstorm' to Baden-Baden via the excellent A61 where, even on a weekday morning, 100 mph cruising becomes the norm and safe blips to 135 mph are regularly possible.
Unfortunately there were roadworks for a large chunk of the main route south which necessitated a cross-country detour but despite that most of the 176 miles were thoroughly enjoyable. We arrived at Baden-Baden services ready for another tank full of 100 RON and I was pleased to note that despite the cross-country fun and the highish speed cruise fuel consumption remained at a smidge over 25mpg.

Stage 3 of the journey consisted of driving the full length of the Schwarzwaldhochstrasse, better known as the B500, towards Freudenstadt before heading across country to our destination, the V8 Hotel in Motorworld, Boblingen. This 86 mile stint brought the second days total to 291.



I'd heard that the Motorworld complex was something special to behold but seeing major dealerships of Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini and, most significantly in terms of scale, McLaren, all on the same site was still mind-boggling. When added to the individual collectors cars on display in the hotel itself, the specialist storage areas and in the adjacent classic car workshops my decision to forego a trip to Porscheplatz this time around was vindicated.

We'd decided to book a room in the massive new V8 Motorworld Hotel rather than pay extra for one of the smaller 'themed' rooms in the V8 Classic. The view of the reception area from the first floor was unbelievable.



After checking-in we went for a stroll and every corner we turned brought about one wonderful sight after another.











Despite the magnificent surroundings it was very begrudgingly that I paid the required 14 Euros for parking my comparatively ordinary car but I definitely drew the line at patronising the expensive on-site restaurant for both our evening meal and next days breakfast. We found an excellent Italian restaurant about 400 yards away and a very useful cafe next to the station saving ourselves about 60 Euros in total.

Day 3 to follow.
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T8
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:24 pm    Post subject: Day 3 Reply with quote

Day 3.










To do Motorworld justice takes about 3 hours but by spending an hour or so on our arrival evening walking around taking photos meant that we were able to hit the road by 11 am on Day 3. Although my wife had enjoyed both doses of petrol-head's adrenalin it seemed only fair that I should get her to one of her wish-list destinations, Lucerne, in plenty of time to enjoy a few hours sight-seeing.

A top up on the outskirts of Boblingen showed that the high-speed cruising the day before caused fuel consumption for that stint fall to 23.23 mpg. Still not too shabby.

Our plan was to despatch the 172 miles in a comfortable 3.5 hours and arrive at our small hotel next to the lake by 14.30. As is often the case we managed 170 miles in the scheduled time but then spent the best part of an additional hour actually finding the hotel! Fortunately I was able to park right outside it and leave it all night for 15 CHF (about £12).



Check-in and the shedding of two layers of clothes (it was 24 degrees and sunny) had us in full tourist mode by 15.45. I have to say that walking around the town and looking across the lake were bigger highlights of the trip than I'd ever dreamed they would be.







Lucerne is a beautiful place with fantastic back-drops for photographs and the weather was a bonus - especially as the forecast on the day we left England was to expect clouds and heavy rain showers. As it turned out the heavy rain did come but fortunately not until we were walking back to our hotel at 9pm after enjoying an excellent Pizza.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:44 pm    Post subject: Day 4 Reply with quote

Day 4.

Days 1, 2 and 3 had been our journey. On Day 4 we were to reach our destination.

I'd planned a route from Wassen (41 miles/40 minutes motorway from Lucerne) which would then take in 5 major Alpine Passes covering a total of 116 glorious miles.

Our prayers were answered when we arrived at Wassen to find that all the passes were snow-free and open so my route from Gadmen via the Susten Pass before heading to Gletsch via the Grimsel Pass and on for lunch at Airolo via the Furka Pass were looking good.

Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for the mist and rain as at anything over 5,000 feet the roads, whilst surprisingly free of traffic, were very wet and that our views down from the mountains were somewhat restricted.











After a short lunch stop at Airolo we headed across the St Gotthard (Tremola) pass and experienced the famous seven mile stretch of cobbled roads and the dozens of hair pin turns. It's not a road I would bother doing again but had to be experienced. Next time I'll definitely take the paved route.



Our final pass of the day, the Nufenen, was probably my favourite and was certainly the highest. At the summit the rain turned to heavy sleet and whilst taking photos I got caught in a blizzard.





I wasn't looking forward to the descent but as it turned out, half way down the rain stopped, the sun came out and the roads were almost dry.

Arriving at our fairly remote hotel in Oberwald at 16.45 seemed far too early but after a fabulous 157 miles we decided to call it quits knowing that we'd be experiencing the joys of the Grimsel Pass once again the next day on our journey towards France.



Only 3 of the hotels 40 rooms were occupied so the restaurant was closed. Once again we got soaked in the evening but this time it was on the way to and back from the eatery in the village! The excellent 'pork steak on a stone', some delicious pasta and a couple of drinks, consumed whilst remembering such a fantastic day, meant I didn't really care. Very Happy

Day 5 to follow.
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infrasilver
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



You missed a treat if you didn't visit the Glacier just opposite the Belvedere hotel, past the gift shop in the background of your picture is something that still sticks in my memory of one of the best things I've experienced in the Alps. You can walk inside the Glacier and its stunning just standing at the lake at the end looking up at the whole mass.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

infrasilver wrote:


You missed a treat if you didn't visit the Glacier just opposite the Belvedere hotel ..............



Sadly we did miss that treat. A short stop at the Rhone Glacier was on our agenda but the weather on the Furka Pass was so hit and miss that we decided against it. That picture of The Belvedere was the only one I got in that area that wasn't shrouded in pea-soup.

The upside is that it became '#reason1487 to go back to The Alps'. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Terry, what a fantastic journey, write-up and pictures - thank you Thumb

There are some wonderfully picturesque places in Southern Germany and Switzerland, that's for sure. The car looks great in those settings too Thumb

Although well travelled, my other half has never been Germany, Austria or Switzerland - something I would like to remedy with a road trip, if at all possible.

Look forward to the next instalment.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really need to do one of these. Two small children and a dog to get rid of first. Laughing
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. Green I really need to buy a car i can actually drive Grin
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great Terry. Having enjoyed a few euro hoons with you , I’m experiencing a degree of FOMO looking at Cochem again and Pistenklause Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T8 wrote:
The upside is that it became '#reason1487 to go back to The Alps'. Very Happy


thumbsup
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T8 wrote:


The upside is that it became '#reason1487 to go back to The Alps'. Very Happy



This sums it up perfectly! worship

You could road-trip in France, Switzerland and Italy every year for 20 years and see completely new things every time. I love it out there.

I’ve got a dozen new things just from this thread alone. Cheers Terry. Thumb
 
  
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:58 pm    Post subject: Germany, The Swiss Alps and a whole lot more. Reply with quote

Great trip Terry, by the looks of it, and some lovely photos.
It brings back memories of the Dinslaken trip when we stayed at Motorworld, Did you get a 'themed' room ?
cheers
Paul
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:02 pm    Post subject: Days 5 and 6 Reply with quote

Day 5.

Our plan for Day 5 was to revisit the delights of the Furka and Grimsel Passes before hitting the A8 and A6 towards Bern and Basel and on to France.

Imagine our shock when we woke up to find that it had snowed in our resort (a mere 700 feet above sea level) and that the previously lush green 8000 foot high mountains overlooking our hotel were white. Furthermore the temperature had dropped to 1.5 and the car was covered in ice!

A check with our very helpful hotel owner confirmed that ALL the mountain passes were closed. Thoughts of having to plan a massive detour around the mountains started to fill my mind but rather than dig out my trusty maps I questioned 'mein host'. He advised that it would be better to do what the locals all do at such times - "take ze train". Doing my best to stop shaking in my head in disbelief about this suggestion I informed him that we were actually heading home via France, not just visiting it, when he replied, with a wry smile, that "ze car goes on ze train too".

It turned out, purely by chance and good fortune, that we had chosen to stay in the very village that everyone (i.e cars, buses, vans, lorries) heads to when needing to travel when the passes are closed. Apparently for the not too princely sum of 33 CHF (about £27) we would be able to take the Furka Pass Road Train through the mountain, a journey of about 20 miles, to the village of Realp, not too far from Andermatt, on the other side. After a hearty breakfast, defrosting and loading the car we made the 5 minute journey to the station in good time to queue for the 09.35 train.







The whole experience was an adventure in itself and will be a great memory of our trip. After disembarking at Realp we called in at Andermatt briefly for a splash and dash of petrol - to get rid of my remaining Swiss Francs in cash - and asked Helga (my Sat Nav) to plan the quickest route to Mulhouse where, according to the time, we would or wouldn't stop off at the famous 'Cite de l'automobile' museum and home of 'The Schlumph Collection'. Pleasingly the result came back that Mulhouse was 119 motorway miles away and that we should arrive there by 13.00.

The journey from Realp through Andermatt and on to the French border gave us the chance to see The Alps in all their snow-capped glory.



Some of the roads were pretty awesome too.




Sure enough Helga's prediction of a 13.00 arrival time was spot-on so we reckoned on spending about 1.5 hours at Mulhouse before pressing on to Colmar, through the Vosges mountains to Gerardmer and then on to our destination for Night 5, Epinal - a journey total of just under 100 miles.

What a great decision we had made. I'd seen features on 'The Schumph Collection' before but most of them seemed to concentrate on the 200 or so Bugattis barely mentioning the other 200 road cars on display or the fact that there is also a fantastic ensemble of racing cars including numerous F1 cars from through the ages.

The 14 Euros each spent on witnessing the estimated £2,000,000,000 collection in person had to be the bargain not just of this trip but of my year. Rushing round taking photos took me just under 2 hours. To do the place justice would realistically take a full day although in truth pre-1940s cars don't really interest me so another hour would probably have been enough. Sadly a lot of 60s-90s supercars were under dust sheets as there was some ceiling work going on. Guide books and postcards in the gift shop told me what I'd missed meaning this is another place I know will require a re-visit.















Apart from the fantastic piece of artwork at the entrance from the outside there's very little to indicate just how special the contents of this bland looking building are.





A little behind schedule we left Mulhouse and pressed on for 36 pretty cross-country miles to Colmar for another 'splash and dash' (for me and the car) arriving at 15.30.

The next 40 miles were to provide another major memory of the trip and yet another 'must-do-again' note. The road from Colmar to Gerardmer crosses the Vosges Mountains (not quite as spectacular as the Black Forest) but great fun none-the-less, especially for someone who's never driven there before.







From Gerardmer the remaining 25 miles to the quaint French Moselle river town of Epinal were despatched in a leisurely 45 minutes meaning that we checked in at our very basic but clean Ibis Hotel at 18.00.



The road-train journey, 225 great road miles and an unforgettable 2 hours at Mulhouse had got our journey home off to a great start. Unfortunately we were still well over 400 miles from Calais so knew that our final day would be a bit of a chore.


Day 6.

An early night and an early breakfast enabled us to make an 08.20 start for home. I'd guesstimated how much fuel I would need to get to Luxembourg with an empty tank to take advantage of the lowest prices in Europe and 119 miles later I was able to fill it to the brim with Shell 98 RON for (in UK money) £1.15 per litre. Brimming the tank allowed me to calculate an accurate mpg for the last 600 miles as 24.47mpg so I felt sure that the tank-full would get me to Ashford.

If the weather had been kinder we would have stopped for a short while at the Bettembourg Zoo but as the drizzly rain showed no signs of abating we set course for a 62 mile stint to Bastogne in Belgium where I and a few 911ukers had previously visited the Mardasson War Memorial. I thought it would be an interesting stop Mrs T8 and knew that there was a decent coffee shop on site.

Upon arrival it was clear that something major was going on. The car park was largely dug up and the memorial itself was surrounded by Heras fences with scaffolding built around it. It turns out the whole site is being renovated in time for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in November!



Fortunately the coffee shop was open and there was an interesting open-air 'War Art' exhibition featuring a painted tank and several Trabant cars which gave us 10 minutes of fun.







Fully refreshed we set off at 13.00 for the homeward stretch, a 220+ mile hack to Coquelles where we were booked on the 19.50 shuttle but hoped to arrive early enough to catch an earlier train.

Unfortunately large chunks of roadworks, Friday afternoon traffic and steady rain are not condusive to making good progress on French Motorways so our hopes were dashed. A cross-country detour near Mons, through Lens and back on to the motorway added 30 miles but saved some time but with a couple of rest stops the 257 miles took us nearly 4.5 hours so we arrived in good time for our own shuttle but not early enough to get the one before.

The issues of our final days journey were worse than the other 5 days put together. With hindsight the 469 miles (including those from Folkestone to home) were probably always too much of stretch for one day but we did it, with no real drama, and the car not missing a beat. Sure enough we got to Ashford (338 miles since topping up in Luxembourg) averaging 25.34 mpg and were safely home by 20.30, knackered, but really chuffed about all we had packed into our 6 days.

Summary.

In our 6 days we ran up a grand total of 1,673 at an average of 24.68 mpg (calculated not OBC). We'd travelled through 6 countries in mainland Europe and seen many things that will live with us forever.

Writing this, exactly one week after arriving home, I'm already forming plans of how a similar trip with a small group would materialise in future and I just can't wait until 2020.
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ex 2002 Seal Grey 996.2 C4 Tiptronic
ex 1978 Silver 924 Manual
 
  
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