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Belated ''22 roadtrip report. France, Italy, Austria, Germa

Looks like a great trip Mark, car looked kinda cool that dirty!
Baden-Baden is very pretty and larger than a lot of the Black Forest towns but although I've stayed there 3 times I only walked around it once.

Here's taste of what you missed. :)


I don't know how much time you spent in Turckheim, or what it was like, but on the journey from Baden-Baden you would have passed Mulhouse and could have visited the Schlumpf Collection at the Musee National de l'Automobile.

Here -> https://www.musee-automobile.fr/en/

At least it will provide a good excuse to go back to the Ardennes and Black Forest. :wink:
Silvretta is one place I would like to revisit, I've only done it once and the time I did, my car had a bit of altitude sickness which spoiled the run up, downhill wasn't so bad.

Silvretta was even my Sig pic for a while

You missed out on Baden, great town, loads of places to chill out and wind down, which it sounded like you both needed. I must have been there 6 times now so I know it quite well which does help getting in and out.
Hi Mark, all good here thank you and yes, still cycling! Great write up. Booking on the fly is good fun considering the flexibility it gives. If we don't like the look of a town, keep on going. If you like it, stay another night. You can't do that with an itinerary.
Over the years we have found some amazing places just by chatting with the locals. One of my favourites
Late reply. Poorly dog. What a week. :frustrated:

Hi Dan , hope you're well. Yes it's good piling some miles on and enjoying it. I'll admit to being a fanny though and clean wins every time for me. Even though I don't enjoy cleaning them anymore, especially black ones. :grin:
I hope yours is going well. :thumb:

Hi Terry , well that's a bummer isn't it. :grin:
As you say it can go on the list for next time and will fit in nicely as we are definitely stopping off at Turkheim again in the future.
We stayed one night as to be honest that's enough time to see the old part. It was a highlight of the trip though for a couple of reasons.

Baden-Baden looks nice and again we'll stop there one day. We did notice how big it looked on the map once we got closer, so I'm sure it'll have plenty to offer.

Hi Graham Coul , I hope all is well up where you are. And yes cheers it's always great out in Europe. :thumb:

Chris you must have done every pass in the Alps have you? :grin:
I remember that signature pic and yet I'd never have put 2+2 together.
Yes it's not a pass to climb with a poorly car. (What one is?!)
It looks like you went the opposite way to in which case you climbed the steep side. It is very steep isn't it. When viewed from
the top some passes kinda stretch out in front of you whilst dropping
down the mountain side but Silvretta drops away at a serious rate.
I'd love to do all these passes by pedal bike one day but don't know if I ever will. Maybe in retirement if I get that far. :D
And yep, I definitely have unfinished business with Baden-Baden. Some might say un-started. :grin:

Hi Graham TV8 I'm glad you're still cycling. Good weather for it this year, although maybe a bit too hot if you get out a bit late.
Yes booking on the fly has a load of advantages and you can always find somewhere to stay, which was a slight worry of mine before we did it.
Where's that place in your pic? It looks like paradise! 8)
So... Still Day 11

Turckheim, France.

So we headed over to Turckheim from Baden-Baden and arrived at about 2.30-3pm maybe. Oh and we were speaking again by now. :grin:

As we drove into Turckheim the whole area was like the paddock at a racetrack. Trucks everywhere and MrsMarky was reading them out 'Porsche", 'Radical", etc.
Wow, very interesting.
It turned out that by complete chance we'd stumbled on this event.

We quickly got parked. I say parked, I abandoned the car on the corner of a residential street as the whole place was jam packed.

We made our way to the hustle and bustle, passing the scrutineering area on the way and there were loads of interesting cars being checked over. A real mix.

We then went to the Main Street where they were heading out from.
They were setting off from a little way out and heading up into the hills.

The Main Street had tables and benches set up for the bars. We quickly searched for a hotel room which was almost fruitless due to the event being in town, but we got one just behind where we were sitting.
With that my afternoon was sorted. Sun, beers and race cars. 8)

Video here. It's not mine.

Once the event finished we got freshened up and went out for a nosey around and some food.

Our hotel is the white building -

The first place we tried for food was full but this turned out to be a blessing as we ended up at a small restaurant called L'Autrefois.
Run by a husband (chef) and wife (waitress) team.
This turned out to be the best meal of the holiday by some margin. The food and service were superb and the waitress was also rather delightful. :wink:
We'll definitely go back there. Maybe even this September for that same car event.
So as I say, a real luckily timed stop-over and a cracking little place.

After that is was pretty much time for bed.
That is a lovely part of France and the event looks fantastic! Glad you were back talking and what a thing to walk into!

The picture is of a place called Tofino at the tip of Vancouver Island. I was chatting with someone asking about ferry crossing for a day trip to the Island and he recommend going longer, so we booked a crossing and drove up there and found a hotel. Incredible place. Getting back a few days later was very problematic but such is life!
It looks gorgeous, Graham and Canada is high up my list of places to visit so I'll have to remember that one. Cheers. :thumb:
Day 12

Turckheim to Mesnil Saint Pere.

We would in fairness have been happy to spend another day and night exploring around Turkheim/Colmar, but the forecast was for rain from lunchtime so we thought we'd press on.

We knew we were gradually heading home from this point really and although we'd had a few days in one place in Piedmont, Italy, we'd done a fair bit of moving around since then, hence we wanted a few days chill time. Another reason for only spending one night at Turckheim, as it meant an extra night in the next place.

We had looked at Mesnil Saint Pere as a stop-off on the outbound leg of the trip but didn't make it that far down on day 1, so had stopped in Amiens.
So we thought we'd try it on the way back.
It got us half way back over through France too and looked nice. We had a feeling we'd been there before but weren't 100%.

It would be a 180 mile westbound drive, so nice and leisurely and we'd be there early afternoon.
So we left Turckheim. Another lovely morning.

I knew we were crossing the Vosges and the road looked nice and twisty but wow, what a road we had stumbled upon.

It's the D417 from Turckheim to Le Tholy, which includes the Col de La Schlucht.

I stopped in Le Tholy for a quick pic, simply so I had a record of where the hell we'd been. :grin:
Fantastic road.

Anyway, we arrived in Mesnil early afternoon.

Sure enough we had been before, but only for one night on our campervan trip in 2012 and it rained so we didn't hang about.

It's a small place, a village I guess, based around a lake called Lac D'Orient.
Plenty to do in the way of relaxation though. Our hotel had a spa and pool and the lake offers paddle boarding, bike hire etc.

So we spent the next 3 days chilling on the shore, swimming in the lake and riding (quirky) bikes.

The only downside was that there weren't many places to eat. There was a shack on the beach selling snacks and things but it was basic. In the next village around the lake though called Lusigny there was a traditional patisserie called Patisserie du Lac. The pastries and cakes were amazing so we practically lived on those for lunch for 3 days.

For breakfast and evening meals we went to a fantastic little pizzeria along the road or travelled a few miles more into the nearest city Troyes.
Nice place with some really old streets.

We really enjoyed our time in Mesnil Saint Pere then. Just what we needed before heading home.
Again we'd have stayed another night but rain was forecast so we headed north to be closer to Calais for our crossing in a few days time.....
That is a lovely part of France and lots of fantastic roads!
Love the Vosges region, I have exited/entered France a few times in that direction, Le Grand Ballon route through. I have tried to push this route with the group if we ever go towards that part of the world but no one ever takes me up on it, their loss and I'm glad you found it, quite a historical region.
I have documented it on a couple of threads I think?
Sorry for the silence chaps. I've got a bit on currently, as we all do.
Yes the Vosges area was great Chris/Terry and it definitely warrants a return visit at some point hopefully for a bit longer.

Day 15

Mesnil Saint Pere to Le Touquet Paris Plage

So after recharging a bit at Lac D'Orient it was time to basically head home now.
Again we didn't need to leave yet but rain was due so we'd enjoy an extra night at the next place.
We wanted to be up near Calais for our crossing in a couple of days but not actually at Calais.
A quick look online and we decided on Le Touquet Paris Plage. A seaside resort about 40 minutes down the coast from Calais.

We got there checked out a few hotels online. We wanted a pool as the weather forecast wasn't great so we wouldn't be at the beach much.
I think it was a Holiday Inn. Decent enough although we didn't eat there or anything as we went out each night.

The beach area was nice enough but it was very windy so not beach weather.

The town itself was nice with some lovely (and very expensive) quirky streets and houses, plus some pretty nice shops, bars, etc.
We'd also stumbled upon another car event.

We were a tad early though unfortunately and the main event was happening the day we had to leave.

A good mix of cars from 80's hot hatches to modern stuff.

It was nice to see a 996 GT3 pull up and also reassuring to hear it sound as bad as they all do. :D
When you only hear your own for a while you start and think 'It must be knackered" :grin:
So it's good to hear another one from time to time.

So we had a couple of nights here then it was time to hit the road home.

Day 17

Le Touquet Paris Plage to Northumberland

Always a crap day. Lots of boring mile munching with a dirty car full of dirty clothes and thoughts turning to work, bills and chores once home.

So no pictures taken, other than the obligatory Eurotunnel pic.

Our crossing was about 9am and we got home by teatime that night. I viewed a Ferrari 360 on the way up the country as I wouldn't be down that way for a while. It wasn't the car for me though unfortunately and I think given the limited use mine will get this year and next, I'll stick with the GT3 for a while.


I must have deleted the pic of my mileage on return but it was 3400 and odd miles.
It doesn't matter where we go on our trips, we always seem to cover pretty much bang on 3500 miles. :grin:

So another great trip. As I've said the only time I get that youthful buzz about life is when I'm on the road.
Being mega critical, it wasn't quite as 'magical" as some previous trips.
I'm putting this down to a few things.
Firstly it was last minute, two weeks from deciding to go, to actually setting off. That meant I didn't really get to look into things fully and form proper routes.
Because we were booking on the fly we didn't have any destinations in place which for two very indecisive people, that's not an ideal recipe. :D

The plus side of having nothing booked is we could stay longer or move on earlier and try and dodge the rain, of which we saw a bit more than usual.

One other thing was that we were trying not to revisit places we'd been the last couple of times as there's so much to see out there it's daft to not try new places.
For example we did Austria this time instead of Switzerland. Personally I prefer Switzerland, but we had to try it. If you don't try, you could miss out on finding your new favourite place.
Plus we did the Grossglockner pass so can tick that one off the list.

Also, am I just getting complacent? I remember the first time me and my now wife hit the road together back in 2012.
Everything about that trip was amazing, but as with everything, familiarity breeds contempt, and things become the norm.

That all sounds a bit negative but it isn't. The trip was fantastic and I'd spend the rest of my days on the road out there if I could.

Apart from that bloody Alcon disc rattling the car was perfect. It is a bit extreme for motorway stints though, truth be told. Loads of road noise and a dreadful stereo. But that's not what it's for, eh, so I'll forgive it that.

One thing I have realised though is what Martin 'Mistercorn" said when I was deciding what car to take. The amount of actual good roads you do is tiny compared to boring motorway stuff. Especially since it's 400 miles just to get out of this country from Northumberland. Then another 1000 down to Italy.
Out of 3500 miles in a trip, maybe 500-1000 are actually fun, twisty road stuff. Yes you could find more but if you actually want to get anywhere, sometimes you just have to use the motorways.
So we could have easily taken my wife's little Abarth to be honest and the disc wouldn't have come loose. :wink:
As I always say, it's 95% about the people and places, 5% about the car.

So anyway a great trip with some great days and I can't wait to get back out there. Probably not this year unfortunately as I'm too busy. Next year is my wife's 50th so we are doing a big holiday somewhere or failing that she wants a motorhome. I'm more inclined to go for one of those with a motorbike on the back for exploring on. That way I'll still get my Euro trip fix.
We'll see. Cheers. :thumbup:

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