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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious


Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 8457
Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:10 pm    Post subject: The Greatest Hits Tour, Alps, Dolomites, Venice, Lakes. Reply with quote

I had wanted to take the missus out to experience the sights of the Dolomites but being a 2 day run there and 2 days back due to a slower pace than normal (with Passenger), I wondered if it would be possible in a 7 day trip? I chose some nice places to visit and stay to make it more bearable for her due to the miles we would cover each day.

The reason for the Greatest Hit Tour is to go back over some of the places I had already been several times with a convoy of other cars and that had stuck in my head as somewhere I wanted to return but I also wanted to add a few new experiences to the list.

I had been trying to get my 996 gearbox sorted out in time for the trip with 3rd gear losing a couple of teeth but it turned out I’d left it too late to get it fixed in time. I was leaving on Saturday 28th and only got the gearbox back in the 996 on Thursday afternoon. I ran the car on axle stands and went through the all the gears, it seemed to put drive through all 6 fine (apart from the original noise in 3rd) but I found I had a bit of a vibration through the car that wasn‘t present before, whatever was causing it I didn’t want to risk it failing and there was no time to remove the gearbox again.
I was genuinely gutted that all the hard work I had put in over the last 2 weeks in preparation was in vain and that the 996 would not be going on this trip.

I mentioned to her that it didn’t get fixed and she said we’ll have to go in the Skoda (Octavia Estate) then, it’s new, comfy, all mod cons, spacious, aircon etc, it made sense and I took to the idea.
It was going to be a little boring in that and any car pictures would be un-interesting but it was the best plan.

I woke up on Friday morning in a totally different frame of mind and just couldn’t face taking the Skoda, the 944 was stripped out for track days and had bucket seats fitted and was not a good idea but I had a plan, I refitted the rear carpets but because the rear seat wasn’t fitted (the luggage blind normally fit to the seat back) I had to weld up a bracket that would take the hatch blind to keep our luggage out of site whilst we were away from the car.



I also re-fitted the original steering wheel to aid comfort.

The issue with the bucket seats was resolved with a pair of my old 996 comfort seats, the spacing between the rails were exactly the same, I just had to drill two holes in each frame to bolt them into the 944’s base threads, I even managed to wire up the driver’s seat to the electrics and have that working on the switch.





I drove the 944 back from my garage leaving the Skoda there and presented the 944 to her, I got the dirtiest look you could imagine, aircon was her main concern but I said were taking the 944, I can’t face taking a Eurobox. She shrugged and that was it, the 944 was going.

I packed extra tools and spare parts I had lying around, duct tape, cable ties, Velcro all the things I could think of ready for an early start the next day, although I couldn’t see why it wouldn’t make it there and back, it’s fairly well maintained after-all.
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Alex
Le Mans
Le Mans


Joined: 06 Mar 2014
Posts: 17006
Location: The Ribble Valley, Lancashire

2000 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those seat look great in the 944 thumbsup

Hurry up! Where's part II? Grin Pop Corn food food
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious


Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 8457
Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They work a treat and my rse is very familiar with them, it was like I was in a 996 a lot of the time due to the seats.
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G2
Albert Park


Joined: 26 Oct 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This has this has the makings of the euro trip of the year. That 944 has done more than most cars on here put together Thumb

Pop Corn
 
  
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HSC911
Long Beach


Joined: 23 Jul 2014
Posts: 6679
Location: Bedford


PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

worship
 
  
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious


Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 8457
Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Day 1.

It was an early start with having a 3 hour run to Eurotunnel, the first excitement of the day was only 20 minutes into the journey when I past a convoy of Turbo nutter boy racers (I assume they were show bound) at my usual pace they all decided they couldn’t get overtaken by a 33 year old 944 and turned up the wick coming passed me one by one at well over a ton, the next thing we see is the biggest cloud of oil smoke, completely blinding the view ahead, I couldn’t see anything through the windscreen, it was like someone had thrown a white blanket over the screen and I was worried there may be a stranded car in my path but I was also mindful not to slow too much as something could rear end me.
I moved to the hard shoulder just as I came out the other side of the smoke. One of the Clio RS’ had lunched his engine and his tail pipes were still on fire from the oil it had dumped through the engine, I just sailed on past in my 33 year old sh***er. Its times like these that I sometimes wish I had a dash cam.

We got to the train on time but I had forgotten to change the reg of the car on the booking, I went to a booth with a human and that was dealt with easily. Got on the train with only a 30 minute delay and that was it we were in France. The final destination or the days was a place I know well, it’s one of my favourite cities in France and I stop here regularly on my way through to the Alps, Metz.

As we drove off the Eurotunnel, I got around a mile before I drove over a big, sturdy piece of rubber in the fast lane, it made quite a noise under the car, I assessed everything as I drove along but everything seemed fine, I think it was a lorry mud flap or a piece of tyre?

It then started raining, something we had expected in France so with the wipers on for around 20 minutes, the nearside wiper arm decided it would try a break for freedom, it then got tangled up with the offside one and both just sat on the screen crossed up and not moving, I could just about see where I was going and pulled off at the next junction to fix this back on. This is when I realised I had no power steering as I came off the very tight, looping back on itself, slip road, that was a big surprise at first, but once stopped I popped the bonnet and found there was no P/S belt attached and deduced that the big piece of rubber had taken this with it.



I fixed the wiper, the nut had just come loose, and got a few cable ties to wrap between the pump and the crank pulley, this just slipped and didn’t work but no P/S on the Autoroute was fine, it was the upcoming passes I was more worried about!



With using a smaller engined car than normal my fuel stops were further apart, I didn’t need fuel until well over an hour into France so I brimmed it to the top, further down the road when hitting 3 figure I got a hesitation every time, dropping it below 90 and it cleared but that wasn’t going to get me anywhere very quickly, I stopped for a break and we heard gurgling coming from the rear of the car at the fuel filler, I opened the cap and air rushed into the tank. I then realised why it was hesitating, I just didn’t brim it to the top from this point on, it had obviously got fuel down a breather or similar, it ran at 3 figures fine after this.

So after an eventful day we arrived in Metz I parked up and went out for food and drinks and to reminisce. I lived in this city for 3 months and after I moved to Paris I still went back every other weekend as I’d made quite a few friends in my short time here, I still love to come back when I get the chance and is a good drop off point to get to the Alps.







The city comes alive at night and is very photogenic.




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Marky911
Magny-Cours


Joined: 04 Jun 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice!!
I was wondering if you were going to write it up. I thought you’d done it minus 3rd gear. Good decision not too I think.

You’re a braver man than me deciding on the 944 mind. Nothing to do with doubting the car, I simply mean how late it was to be prepping a car for that size journey. Kudos! Cool

Great work on the seats. Great work on the whole lot actually. Very Happy

I know you recommended Metz to me. I’ll definitely use that as a stop off next time. Looks nice.

I’m looking forward to seeing what your favourite haunts are. Notepad at the ready. Thumb
 
  
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious


Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 8457
Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marky911 wrote:
Nice!!
I was wondering if you were going to write it up. I thought you’d done it minus 3rd gear. Good decision not too I think.


I probably wouldn't have if I'd taken the daily driver but can just about get away with a 944 road trip thread on a 911 forum puh

Marky911 wrote:
You’re a braver man than me deciding on the 944 mind. Nothing to do with doubting the car, I simply mean how late it was to be prepping a car for that size journey. Kudos! Cool


Its not the first time I've been fitting bolts last minute to get a car ready for a road trip, the engine rebuild was the closest to thwarting me but I managed to run it in or 400 miles the day before taking it to the Alps.
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Last edited by infrasilver on Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
 
  
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
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Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 8457
Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Day 2

Woke up and headed into town for breakfast but before we went back to pack the car I had another wander around. When I lived here this was the hotel I lived at, it’s a little tired compared to what it used to be but it still holds good memories and was the reason I stayed here, it used to be quite impressive with small boats turning up to the hotel and café.





Once back at the car it was time to pop the bonnet again, I asked if we (she) had any tights or stockings packed, we did so I took one leg of a pair to wrap twice around the pulleys, this did initially seem to work but when I turned the steering wheel I could see the pressure was too much and the nylons were slipping on the P/S pulley. We headed off anyway, knowing it was going to be another Autoroute/bahn day.



Once on the move I noticed the odometer had stopped working, 189 miles into the journey, so this must have stopped working before even getting to France, which was a pity as I was looking forward to getting to 200,000 miles (currently 191k) in the near future, one more thing to fix when I got home.

We skirted past Stuttgart, I would have liked to have stopped if we had the time but we were heading towards Neuschwanstein Castle just near Fussen and before the border to Austria.

I had passed nearby here before and do have a picture of it from afar with the 996 (and 8 other 911’s) in front but I have never been up to it. It’s a stunning piece of architecture and after having a quick walk around we went to Marienbruke Bridge to see it from its best side. Well worth a visit if passing, although this bridge does get very busy with everyone wanting THAT shot.



2019



2014



I must have seen around 20 911’s, a few Boxsters, a couple of 356’s and even a bright yellow 914 in this area driving around with it being a nice day and a Sunday, everyone had taken the opportunity to get their Porsche out before the Winter set in.

I had a surprise after a little while in Austria, a sign popped up in front of me, Fern Pass, I didn’t realise I had put this in the route and assumed it was a straight drive into Innsbruck but then again there aren’t many roads, including the Autobahn that don’t have stunning views in Austria.

Arriving in Innsbruck we parked in an underground car park but as soon as we dropped down the car park ramp I got a whiff of burning oil, then when I stopped at a parking space the car started smoking from underneath, it WAS oil smoke so I parked up as soon as possible, next thing we know the car parks evacuation alarms starts going off and everyone that was in there, only around 6 people, left the place hurriedly, I just popped the bonnet and noticed some oil on the cam cover some of which had dripped onto the manifold and burnt off in a cloud of oil smoke. We grabbed our bags and headed out of there ASAP, before anyone arrived from the emergency services.


Open Youtube Page


We ate at my favourite restaurant in Innsbruck, it’s always full of locals, they do traditional dishes that are excellent. http://innsbruckplus.at/goldenesdachl/

Today’s Route.


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pzero
General
General


Joined: 18 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

infrasilver wrote:


2014




Good memories Chris. thumbsup
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious


Joined: 04 Oct 2010
Posts: 8457
Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thumb
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T8
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: The Greatest Hits Tour, Alps, Dolomites, Venice, Lakes. Reply with quote

infrasilver wrote:


I had been trying to get my 996 gearbox sorted out in time for the trip with 3rd gear losing a couple of teeth but it turned out I’d left it too late to get it fixed in time .....

......... I woke up on Friday morning in a totally different frame of mind and just couldn’t face taking the Skoda, the 944 was stripped out for track days and had bucket seats fitted and was not a good idea but I had a plan, I refitted the rear carpets but because the rear seat wasn’t fitted (the luggage blind normally fit to the seat back) I had to weld up a bracket that would take the hatch blind to keep our luggage out of site whilst we were away from the car ............

.......... I also re-fitted the original steering wheel to aid comfort.

................I just had to drill two holes in each frame to bolt them into the 944’s base threads, I even managed to wire up the driver’s seat to the electrics and have that working on the switch.



Surprised

If I had to do anything other than check the oil level , tyre pressures and wash bottle fluid I wouldn't bother going.

I did have the presence of mind to swop my old Moll battery for a new one rather than get stuck up a mountain but beyond that nooo

thumbsup to you though and worship for your spannering abilities.

Regarding your trip, Metz was on my short-list for our stop on the way home from The Alps, as was Nancy. In the end we went for Epinal. Next time we'll definitely go for Metz. Very Happy
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
Fast & Furious


Joined: 04 Oct 2010
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Location: East Midlands

2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: The Greatest Hits Tour, Alps, Dolomites, Venice, Lakes. Reply with quote

T8 wrote:
Regarding your trip, Metz was on my short-list for our stop on the way home from The Alps, as was Nancy. In the end we went for Epinal. Next time we'll definitely go for Metz. Very Happy


Nancy is nice too but not quite as happening as Metz.

T8 wrote:
If I had to do anything other than check the oil level , tyre pressures and wash bottle fluid I wouldn't bother going.


This is one thing I did forget to check, tyres pressures, I had let air out of them for the Mallory Park track day but I only remembered once I was past Metz, I just topped them up at a services en route.
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
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2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Day 3, Dolomites.

We had done some Googling over dinner that night looking or an Austrian version of Halfords so we could find a P/S belt before leaving and came across a place called ATU and went there straight after breakfast and before leaving a major city as I’m not sure we would have found anything else along the journey? But as usual we had a quick wander around before leaving and the weather had picked up considerably today being mid 20’s.



We got to ATU and I explained what I needed to the parts guy and the belt length of 950mm, the guy checked the store and luckily they had the correct P/S V belt, I was amazed they had it in stock and got them to fit it ASAP so we could crack on with the trip.



I could have fitted it myself but for 66 Euros they fitted it including the price of the belt, it was also quite comical seeing the mechanics face as he started picking bits of material from the crank pulley, then seeing his face change to a large smile as he realised he was pulling bits of stocking from the pulley, he looked at me and burst out laughing and shouting over to his colleagues.

I also cut a Red Bull can (when in Austria) up to make a shield over the manifold to stop any further oil drips onto it and causing more smoke or worse, strangely it remained dry for the rest of the trip, so I’m still puzzled to why it dripped oil onto the manifold in the first place?.



There was a decent pass this morning, the lake is Reschensee and the pass was the Reschenpass, sounds obvious, it’s a flooded valley with the spire of the village church still visible above the water line. I think there are 3 villages submerged in this lake from the model they have at the visitors centre. It was a good spot for a break and a picture.



The next set of passes started with the Umbrail, I went up this quite a few years ago and it started off as a great road, but when you get to the first bridge it had turned to gravel, we still pressed on at the time after my mate said it was fine, he being in an Audi TT Quattro!

This time I knew it had been fully tarmacked so wanted another go at it, it gets very steep on the last few sections before the top where it eventually brings you out on the Bormio part of the Stelvio pass.

This is where the gravel track started (or ended depending on direction of travel) previously.



And at the top, no one was around and as soon as I got my phone out two cyclist turned up and stood straight in front of my shot, I stood for a while waiting but they didn't move so I had to chop them off behind the sign. Very inconsiderate.



I had decided to go down the Bormio pass for a couple of KM as there is a good view down the valley, there is also something I’d not noticed before, the old Bormio pass hairpins are still present but have mostly been covered over with the new road or diverted from completely.







We then turned around at this point and went back up towards the top of the Stelvio as this was our route direction.

We stopped at the top of Stelvio for around an hour having a glass of wine from the bar and a German sausage from the stall at the top whilst taking in the amazing views from here. It was deserted at the top and looking down the pass there were very few vehicles on it, I think this is the emptiest I’ve ever seen it?



I was having a look at this GTS as it was the only other Porsche I had seen up here, I later saw him at the bottom as we passed by a tyre shop around an hour later, it had around 6 mechanics looking at the rear wheel and scratching their heads, I thought Centre locks and assumed he needed a tyre?.



As we descended down Stelvio I did have to back off a little, my brakes started to fade, its not the first time I've had brake fade here although stopping was fine as the views up the mountain was amazing, these two pictures look like oil paintings.





We also came across a sign… I thought it was only Bears.



We arrived in La Selva in the Dolomites, (the Dolomites being the main reason for this road trip), just as the sun was going down, it was a stunning sight.







After going into town for the evening, on our walk back you could see every star in the sky as there was no light pollution and could clearly see the Milky Way, we sat outside the hotel for 30 minutes just star gazing and saw a couple of shooting stars before it getting too chilly to stay out any longer.


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Alex
Le Mans
Le Mans


Joined: 06 Mar 2014
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Location: The Ribble Valley, Lancashire

2000 Porsche 996 Carrera 4

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent stuff thumbsup
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madalaa
Fuji


Joined: 13 Mar 2008
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2009 Porsche Boxster 987

PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really enjoy the write up of your trip Chris ....... I tried to make it to the Dolomites quite a few years back in the 993 but my alternator threw a bearing and I had to be transported to the OPC at Bolzano where I spent four nights whilst the damage was repaired and a replacement alternator fitted but that delay stopped doing the tour of the Dolomites ....... I will have to return.
 
  
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pzero
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Already planning for next year, inspiring read and pics Chris thumbsup
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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
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2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

madalaa wrote:
Really enjoy the write up of your trip Chris ....... I tried to make it to the Dolomites quite a few years back in the 993 but my alternator threw a bearing and I had to be transported to the OPC at Bolzano where I spent four nights whilst the damage was repaired and a replacement alternator fitted but that delay stopped doing the tour of the Dolomites ....... I will have to return.


After spending the last few road trips in Spain etc, and the views being a little sparse, dry and brown, the Dolomites needed a re-visit, I also love the different views you get from the regular Alps.
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infrasilver
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2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Day 4

We woke to the same view looking from the balcony even in different light it was just as stunning, we started today skipping breakfast because there was a place I wanted to visit for coffee and cake that was at the top Gardena Pass, Refugio Frara,at 2136m was at the highest point on the pass and the views all around are stunning, you are surrounded by jagged peaks on all sides, the view down the valley is also amazing, we packed the car and set off.





We also missed this section of road out on a previous trip due to the pass being closed because of a landslide, it had always looked really good from my picture at the top and I’d been itching to do this missing section for a few years now….unfortunately this was the most traffic I saw on any pass of the whole trip but it was job done at least.


Open Youtube Page













Open Youtube Page


Passo Campolongo was after the downhill section of Gardena pass then I managed to get the brakes quite hot on the downhill of Passo fallzarego (2117m), there was no fade but the colours in the disc were quite beautiful….



Next up was Refugio Piezza at the top of Pass Giau.






Open Youtube Page


This whole area was the main reason for the trip, the missus hadn’t had the pleasure of being taken up the Dolomites, where as I’d been here a few times now but not for a few years.

Our final destination for the day was to be on the coast and again I have been here with the road trip mob, Jesolo, it’s the perfect place to be out of Venice but with an easy ferry ride into town, we arrived at St Marc’s Square by speed boat last time but unfortunately there were none at the port so had to get the regular ferry in. It was still in the high 20 degree’s even late into the night.







We had a wander around for a couple of hours took lots of pics, had a couple of drinks and some Gelato before heading back on the ferry to our hotel for a night cap.





At the hotel they had a few things for sale, I was impressed by this chess set, my kind of thing.




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infrasilver
Fast & Furious
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2001 Porsche 996 Targa

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Day 5

Last nights hotel was The Victoria, I can recommend it, nice views from the large balcony and after a good breakfast on the beach we started off by heading straight for the Autostrada in the direction of the Italian Lakes.



We had planned on stopping at Lake Garda for lunch but missed the junction so just carried on to Lake Iseo as they are all pretty much the same and it would only be a lunch stop, I stayed overnight at Iseo the first time I took the 996 on a road trip some 7 or 8 years ago, it’s one of the lesser known Lakes in the area?



From there on I had planned to head to Monza as sometimes it is open for various sightseeing activities, including driving your own car around the track or cycling around. Unfortunately there was a BMW corporate track day on so the track was closed to the public.


Open Youtube Page


When wandering around the pits I saw they were doing behind the scenes tours for 10 Euro (no doubt would have been £50 a go in rip off Britain), we paid up and waited for our guide.





There were only a couple of others on the tour and it was great to see everything behind the scenes. We saw the race control monitors, VIP stand, stood in the driver’s waiting and briefing rooms, went out on the podium and sat in the press interview room, some the areas you see on TV and some you don't. I was worried Amanda might get bored but I think even she enjoyed it.











Had to get a picture as we were leaving, a Porsche being at the home of Ferrari.



It wasn’t too far from Monza to Bellagio, on the crutch of Como, driving up its right leg as the sun was starting to go down and in Bellagio we arrived at our hotel as the sun was setting behind the mountains, there was an amazing view over the lake, we had a quick turnaround and walked down to the centre for food and drinks right at the side of the lake, a beautiful setting for the night and it was still around mid-20 degrees. We finished the night off in a few wine bars with some great stock to make the walk back up the hill more bearable.





In the hotel garage I was sandwiched between a Stelvio and a Giuila





This was our last pre-booked hotel, for the next two nights we didn’t have anything planned other than heading back towards the UK, we were just going to see where we ended up from now on.


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Last edited by infrasilver on Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:23 am; edited 2 times in total
 
  
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