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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello All,

It's summer holiday time again, so a chance to do another combined family
holiday / European road trip...


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Previous trip:
https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/al...-mini-trip-spa-francorchamps-nurburgring.html
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Car Prep:
The only work I’ve done on the car since the last trip is to re-mount the electric fan to the radiator.
It has been getting a bit loose over the years with it's original fixings, so i bought some 1/2" x 1/8" aluminium flat bar and made up some new mounting brackets. At the same time i fitted a new thermo fan switch to the radiator, - one with a lower operational temperature range (82 - 72 deg) - but, annoyingly it seems to switch on later than the switch it replaced and stay on for a shorter duration.!? I certainly noticed that the car ran slightly hotter on the alpine roads...

I also purchased a Swiss Motorway Vignette on eBay a few weeks before departure.
This allows me to tape it to the inside of my windscreen so it can be removed at the end of the trip & re-sold on eBay. If you buy one at the border the friendly Swiss officials will often help you to stick it permanently to your windscreen before allowing you to continue your journey.



Motor vehicle Vehicle Auto part Car Engine

New fan mounting

The Plan:
There was always a plan in place for my wife and I & our son to go to her home town in northern Italy for a 2 week summer holiday.

I was a little surprised when Emanuela said to me "I suppose you want to drive the Alfa to Italy?" I replied "um? I suppose so..."
As always there was an ulterior motive for allowing me to drive down while She & Lorenzo would fly there.
"Good" she said "You can carry a whole load of baby stuff there, for my sister-in-law who gave birth to her first child late last year"

Deja vu?

So a plan was formed:
Emanuela & Lorenzo would fly to Italy and spend a few days with her mother while I would drive down with a car full of baby gear.
From there we would borrow her brother’s car and drive down to Tuscany for a week before heading back to her mother’s house for a few days then making our respective journeys back to London. This also meant that I would be able to carry a whole load of stuff back home as well...

Deja vu?







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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
T11D1

The Trip Report:



T11D1


There has recently been a lot of industrial action by French port workers in Calais causing a massive backlog of trucks passing through the Euro tunnel. On the UK side this meant that trucks queuing to get on the Euro tunnel were parked up for miles along the motorway causing traffic chaos. As a result I was up at 4:30am to allow for extra driving time to reach the tunnel. Fortunately the queue of trucks wasn't too bad and I made it to check-in on time. Unfortunately there was a half hour delay on my departure (for some unknown reason). When I finally reached Calais it was already 10:00am local time, so I decided to take the peage route to Metz instead of following my usual route along the E42. I hoped that this would make up some lost time but the problem with this idea was that there are often long queues at the toll gates and when you are in a right hand drive car and you have to stop at the barrier, get out of the car, walk around to the booth, pay the toll, then get back in, do up the harness (it's a trackday car), select 1st gear, & finally drive through, - it doesn't really feel like you're saving much time at all...

It was an uneventful drive from Metz through Sarreguemines, *****e, Haguenau, Bischwiller, Freudenstadt & on to Rottenburg. It was 7pm by the time I arrived.
I stayed at the hotel Württemberger Hof, which was clean & comfortable and had a nice meal in their restaurant.

Why did I choose Rottenburg? - because I liked the name...

https://www.wuerttembergerhof.de/
69Euros/night.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Regularity rally Classic car

Admiring glances in the Euro tunnel carpark.




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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
T11D2



T11D2


Day 2 started with rain & a slow passage towards Krauchenwies, which included an unexpected detour around the town of Jungingen. This involved driving down a road that could only be described as a farm track through a forest before meeting up with the main road again.
After a fuel stop in Bregenz I found myself on familiar roads to Au before turning south to Bludenz. Up next was the main attraction for today - The Silvretta Pass. It is a toll road from Caschurn to Galtur and it was worth the money. I had a good run down to Landeck & then onto the motorway towards Innsbruck and on to Kitzbuhel.
Kitzbuhel is an up-market ski resort & it is a lovely place. I stayed at the Gasthof Eggerwirt, and had a fantastic meal at one of the local restaurants in the centre of town...


http://www.eggerwirt-kitzbuehel.at/
85Euros/night.


Mountainous landforms Highland Mountain Mountain pass Fell

Top of the Silvretta Pass

Town Neighbourhood Human settlement Street City

Kitzbuhel town centre



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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
T11D3


T11D3



I was keen to get an early start on day 3 as it promised a huge amount of alpine driving fun.
After filling up with 100 octane fuel I headed for the 'big one' - The Grossglockner.
Wow! what a place. Only the Austrians would put a toll road on the side of a mountain & then say "go for it, - have some fun!"
From there I passed through Lienz to the tiny Austrian border town of Arnbach. Petrol is cheap in Austria so Arnbach is dominated by gas stations, - as soon as you cross into Italy there isn't a gas station for miles...
Next up was another familiar destination - Cortina, then the Passo Falzarego to Cernadoi, Alleghe, & Cencenighe Agordino, and finally the Passo Vales to Predazzo, then to Cavalese & the house of my Suocera (Italian for 'mother-in-law').

Lorenzo was very happy to see me after 3 days apart & kept yelling "Da da"
He has also started lying on the ground & looking underneath the car,
- I guess he has seen me do the same thing & wants to help out.?..

Grossglockner High Alpine Road

Mountainous landforms Mountain Highland Mountain range Ridge

Top of the Grossglockner - looking North

Mountainous landforms Mountain Highland Mountain range Hill station

Grossglockner - looking South down the valley.



 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
T11D4-D10


T11D4-D10
Tuscany

At this point 'Alfa Romeo road trip' transformed into 'family holiday'.

We loaded up Emanuela's brother's car and headed off down the autostrada to Pietrasanta where we had a villa booked for the week.

It was a lovely place and we spent the week relaxing at the beach, eating good food & drinking fine wine...

We also spent one day spent with friends at Forti di Marmi further up the coast.

Beach Boardwalk Vacation Sand Sea

The beach at Pietrasanta

Sand Play Fun Soil Geology

Lorenzo enjoyed the sand

Public space Fun Leisure Vacation Tree

Lorenzo enjoying the local amusements with Mum...


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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
T11D11


T11D11
Cavalese

'Family holiday' continued upon our return to Cavalese with a nice family meal at the home of Emanuela's brother in the evening.
Unfortunately the weather was poor, with rain & low temperatures, so we decided that a change of plan was required.
I would leave a day early as there was no point sitting inside all day while it continued to rain...


Luxury vehicle Car seat Eyewear Glasses Fun

Lorenzo looking cool on the drive home to Cavalese.


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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
T11D12


T11D12


Allowing just 2 days to drive from Cavalese to London is a bit of a stretch in an old car, so now that I had an extra day available I turned to my trusty sat-nav and planned a more 'leisurely' route. I figured the best way to add a few more alpine passes to my itinerary was to do a 'loop' into Switzerland before coming to rest back in Italy.
It was a fantastic day in which I traversed the Passo Tonale. Aprica Pass, Bernina Pass, Ofenpass, Umbrail Pass & finally, the southern side of the Stelvio Pass!
This bought me into the town of Bormio where the first hotel sign I spotted was for the Albergo San Lorenzo.
It was the obvious choice - and proved to be very nice indeed...


Hotel Bormio Albergo San Lorenzo
90Euros/night.


Land vehicle Vehicle Car Regularity rally Classic car

Top of the Umbrail Pass.

Mountainous landforms Mountain Highland Valley Nature

Looking up towards the Stelvio Pass.

Mountain pass Road Geological phenomenon Vehicle Thoroughfare

Stelvio Pass.

Garage Car Vehicle Parking Building

Private parking garages at the Hotel San Lorenzo.


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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
T11D13


T11D13


After a superb breakfast at the hotel San Lorenzo I headed onto the Foscagno Pass to the tax free zone of Livigno. I took the opportunity to fill up with cheap fuel (€1.20/litre for 100 octane) and bought a couple of bottles of expensive vodka at €8/litre!

I headed west into Switzerland and as usual, the Swiss border guards stopped me & examined my passport & vehicle documents before letting me continue. This is the 3rd time this has happened passing into Switzerland while 'normal' cars travel through unhindered - Maybe I need to get a less conspicuous car.?...

The main destination for today was the Albulapass, The first section of which is narrow & steep but then it opens up nicely as you reach the summit. I took some video which I’ve posted to YouTube. (My video editing skills are not the best)

I continued down the long valley road to Davos & then took the motorway all the way to Basel & on to Mulhouse. I stayed at the hotel Bristol where the girl on the front desk gave me a free upgrade to an enormous two bedroom suite.


? BRISTOL HOTEL MULHOUSE - CHARMING HOTEL ALSACE - OFFICIAL WEBSITE - 3 STAR HOTEL BRISTOL MULHOUSE CENTER
85Euros/night



Mountainous landforms Mountain Highland Mountain range Wilderness

Top of the Foscagno Pass - looking towards Livigno.

Mountainous landforms Mountain Tarn Highland Natural landscape

Summit of the Bernina Pass.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Regularity rally Classic car

Rest stop on the Albulapass.

Landmark Architecture Medieval architecture Building Spire

Mulhouse town centre, by the cathedral


*Video*
Albulapass




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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
T11D14


T11D14



The final day started with dark skies & rain. I was hoping to have some fun in the Parc Naturel Regional des Vosges, but I’ve driven through here before in the rain & I know the roads are very slippery in these conditions. Some of the hairpin bends are actually paved with cobblestones - talk about virages dangereux!

I took the peage route from Metz to Calais which was uneventful, however drama was unfolding at the Eurotunnel terminal. There was a 2 hour delay caused by an illegal immigrant caught trying to walk through the tunnel to England?!
The whole place seemed to be moving towards meltdown - the carpark was overflowing, people were frustrated & - worst of all - the free Wi-Fi in the terminal was down!
Luckily for me I was parked near to a tour bus which had a strong Wi-Fi signal & I was able to pass the time checking out the latest news on the AlfaBB...

It was 8pm by the time I boarded, unfortunately too late to make it home in time for Lorenzo's bedtime.
During the 35minute crossing I had a nice chat with a gentleman who was driving a 1947 Pininfarina bodied Bristol. He & his wife were returning from their own week long alpine driving tour. - proof that I’m not the only madman who drives a 2000 mile round trip just to visit some mountain roads.?...


Thereafter I had a good run from Folkestone to home....

Land vehicle Vehicle Motor vehicle Transport Car

Delay at the Eurotunnel, - Luckily tour bus had free Wi-Fi!


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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
T11Summary


T11Summary


Another enjoyable trip, - not quite as hectic as the previous one. Spending 3 days rather than 2 days to return from northern Italy was definitely worthwhile.

Tuscany was fantastic - very relaxing & it was great to spent some quality family time together.

Where to next? Well, it seems that the concept of combined road trip/family holiday is fatally flawed. My wife pointed out to me that it is extremely hard work for her traveling solo with Lorenzo while I’m having fun driving across Europe. I must admit, she is correct, - it is hard work!
So a compromise has been agreed. Next year I will organise a 'full-on' boys road trip for earlier in the year & then we can have a 'normal' family holiday together later in the year.

Hmmm, 9 days in the alps with the boys, I’m looking forward to it already.....


:smile2:


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