Alfa Romeo Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello All,

It’s only been 3 months since I last did a European Road trip, but the opportunity came up to do another one so "why not?!"

**********
Previous trip:
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/alfa-romeo-topics-not-covered-elsewhere/319049-gtv18s-european-roadtrip-no8-monaco-historic-grand-prix.html
**********


Car Prep:
The only work I’ve done on the car since the last trip is to fix the exhaust properly so it will not keep falling apart.

I also took the car for a track day at Bedford Autodrome... (an 'Italian' Tune-up)



(My first attempt at video editing)

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 weeks in August.

I would not normally take a break in August because it is school holiday time and everything is booked out & the prices go up astronomically - fellow BBer's with school age children will be familiar with this concept.

I figured that as our son is not even 1 year old yet this situation would not affect us, but I was wrong! Why? Because Lorenzo's child minder takes her holidays in August while she has no children to look after, so it turns out we are obliged to take our holidays in August too, or arrange another means of looking after him while we are at work.
(easier said than done when all the local child minders are on holiday at this time of year...)

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..."
I soon discovered 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 is expecting her first child later this year"

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...


My itinerary was as follows:

Day 1:
London - Folkestone - Eurotunnel - Calais - Sinsheim

Day 2:
Whole day at Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum

Day 3:
Sinsheim - Solden

Day 4:
Solden - Cavalese

Day 5 to 11
Tuscany

Day 12 & 13
Cavalese

Day 14:
Cavalese - Prutz

Day 15:
Prutz - Haguenau

Day 16:
Haguenau - Calais - Eurotunnel - Folkestone - London


The Trip Report:

* Apologies in advance for the poor quality photos, - they were all taken with my mobile phone - as I forgot to pack my digital camera! * :oops:

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
T9D1

London - Folkestone
152km 1:35hrs

Calais - Sinsheim
677km 7:00hrs

https://goo.gl/maps/v0KWf

Day 1 started with a 5am alarm clock and saw me out of the house by 05:30 for the relatively short drive to Folkestone & the Eurotunnel crossing to Calais.
Despite arriving with plenty of time for check-in, I found myself at the back of the queue for the 08:05 crossing instead of the 07:50 crossing that I was booked on. Obviously August is high season - the crossing cost me Double what I paid earlier in the year in May - & I ended up being the last car to drive onto the train.
From Calais I followed my now familiar route via Lille, Namur & Luxemburg towards Sinsheim in Germany. My plan was to visit the Sinsheim Auto & Technik museum which was recommended to me by an old friend in New Zealand. On the way I passed through Speyer which is the location of the sister museum of Sinsheim, just 40km away. My trusty ole satnav guided me directly to the hotel Zum Prinzen in Sinsheim, where I was welcomed by the friendly staff.

Hotel Zum Prinzen | Hotel - Sinsheim €130 (2 nights)

01_Eurotunnel.jpg
LOLO (last on, last off)

02_Sinsheim_town.jpg
Sinsheim town centre.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
T9D2

Sinsheim Auto & Technik Museum

https://goo.gl/maps/OoFLt 7.5km

A fairly leisurely start to the day saw me arrive at the museum at 09:30. I planned to devote the whole day to exploring the place so I started with
a 3D movie about the Hubble telescope in the Imax cinema. The commentary was in German so I didn't understand any of it but it was still impressive.
From there I went straight to the obvious main attractions - the Concorde & the Tupolev TU144 (Concordski) - both perched on the roof of the main hall.
Exiting the Tupolev takes you down into the main hall which is literally stuffed to the rafters with all sorts of machines. By now it was time for lunch and then onto the second hall. Every inch of this hall is also filled with all manner of fascinating things. Behind this hall was an outside area with a selection of battle tanks & similar machinery. Then there were more aeroplanes on the roof of the second hall as well. By the time I had
finished 8 hours had passed! What an amazing place...

http://sinsheim.technik-museum.de/en

01.jpg

02.jpg

03.jpg

04.jpg

05.jpg

/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
T9D3

Sinsheim - Solden
558km 7:13hrs

https://goo.gl/maps/sqBCJ

Day 3 started with a bit of a delay as the breakfast salon at the hotel was 40mins late in opening. Today’s route would head east before turning south along the German autobahns towards Lindau, then hitting the smaller roads into Austria. From here it was another familiar route on the fantastic roads through Egg, Au (Hochtannberg Pass), Wrath (Flexenpass), & Lech (Arlbergpass) towards Landeck and onto my destination of Solden.

At Solden I would take a small side excursion up the Otztal Glacier Road. This particular road is the highest driveable* road in Europe. By the time I arrived there it was 16:15. The road is closed to upward traffic from 16:30 so I made it just in time! It is a toll road - €18 :-o , but well worth it.
The highest point is at the end of the tunnel which is 2830m above sea level.

I stayed at the Apart Corona in the centre of Solden. The reception was closed when I arrived, but there was an envelope on the desk with my name on it which contained all the check-in info & the key for the room, so I let myself in. The room was really nice & incredibly good value at just €32 per night.

Home  - APART CORONA, Aparts Sölden - Ötztal ? Tirol


01_Flexenpass.jpg
Flexenpass - Lech.
As I took this photo a cyclist pulled up & told me how he had owned a '73 GTV back when they were new!

02_valley road.jpg
The valley road towards Landeck.

03_up the Otztal.jpg
Looking up the Otztal Glacier Road.

04_Made it to the top.jpg
Made it to the top.

05_down the Otztal.jpg
Looking back down the Otztal Glacier Road.

*There are some higher altitude roads in Europe, but they are not open to the public...

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
T9D4

Solden - Cavalese
258km 5:32hrs

https://goo.gl/maps/zXf0U

I was all set for an early start today, however the hotel reception was not open when I was ready to depart at 07:30, so I put €32 cash plus my phone number & email address into the envelope that was left for me the night before & put it back on the reception desk. I haven't heard from them so I assume they got the money.?.. Aggravation followed shortly afterwards when I tried to drive out of the hotel car park. Within seconds of starting my car a grumpy old man appeared, shouting & complaining that it was too noisey. I don't speak German so I let him rant for a couple of minutes before simply driving off!

.....It's my belief that there are quite a few people in this world who aren't happy unless they have something to be unhappy about....

The first pass of the day was the Timmelsjoch (Passo Rombo). As I crossed the summit into Italy the weather turned bad with fog & rain so it was a very slow drive down the other side into San Leonardo. The second pass of the day - Passo Giovo (Jaufenpass) - was the same with thick fog at the top.
From Vipiteno I took the main road to Brixen then turned onto the tight & twisty Passo delle Erbe (Würzjoch) to San Martino. The fog was replaced by heavy rain at this stage & the road was incredibly slippery. I encountered lots of slow traffic as I continued to Arabba, before turning onto the Passo Pordoi towards Canazei. It was still raining but I had a good run up the Pordoi. From there it was more slow moving traffic all the way to my wife’s home town of Cavalese. I arrived at 14:00, just in time for lunch - Rabbit stew cooked by Emanuela's Mum!



Timmelsjoch (Passo Rombo) - News » Timmelsjoch | Passorombo


01_Timmelsjoch.jpg
Timmelsjoch - just beyond the tool booth (€14).

02_Looking back up.jpg
Looking back up the Passo Rombo.

03_Looking down.jpg
Looking down into the valley.

04_Passo Giovo.jpg
Passo Giovo -I think.?..

05_Alfa packed.jpg
Alfa packed with baby stuff - Who says you can't run a light haulage firm with an Alfa Romeo.?..


*link to videos*
Slippery.

Passo Pordoi.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
T9D5-D11

Tuscany
https://goo.gl/maps/Uhsda

At this point 'Alfa Romeo roadtrip' transformed into 'family holiday'.

We loaded up the car of Emanuela's brother and headed off down the autostrada to Rignana sull Arno. We had a two room apartment booked at the 'Fattoria Pagnana'.

It was a lovely place, with friendly staff & we spent the week relaxing, swimming in the pool, eating good food & drinking fine wine...

We also did a few local excursions including a trip to Florence and a day spent with friends at Forti di Mare on the coast.

*link* Fattoria Pagnana -



01_Contrasting Vehicles.jpg
Contrasting Vehicles.

02_Fattoria Pagnana.jpg
Fattoria Pagnana.

03_barbeque.jpg
Lorenzo was fascinated by the barbeque...

04_swimming pool.jpg
Lorenzo loved the swimming pool.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
T9D5-D11/2

More photos.

01_Forti di Mare.jpg
Relaxing at Forti di Mare.

02_kite flying.jpg
our friend's son kite flying at Forti di Mare.

03_Piazza della signoria.jpg
Piazza della Signoria, Florence.

04_Ponte vechico.jpg
Ponte Vechico, Florence.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
T9D12

Cavalese
https://goo.gl/maps/CHFmV

'Family holiday' continued upon our return to Cavalese with a day trip to Passo Rolle with Emanuela's cousins & their children. From the top of the pass we walked up to the Laghetto Baita Segantini to view the Cimon della pala. Cimon della Pala is the best-known peak of the Pale di San Martino group of mountains.


01_refuge.jpg
The refuge at Laghetto Baita Segantini.

02_Cimon della pala.jpg
The impressive Cimon della pala.

03_fresh air.jpg
Enjoying the fresh air.

04_shoe failure.jpg
Walking shoe failure!? - luckily we had a spare pair in the car...

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
T9D13

Cavalese
The final day of 'Family holiday' was spent hanging out with Emanuela's cousins & their kids.
I enlisted the help of one of the youngsters to assist me in washing the Alfa & the Jeep. He loves the Alfa and enjoyed riding in it to & from the carwash.
Later in the afternoon my sister-in-law - who is a theatre nurse - got to practice her surgery skills by removing some stiches from my leg (nothing too serious)
We rounded out the day with a nice family meal...



01_national dress.jpg
Emanuela in 'national dress'?

02_Autolavaggio.jpg
Marco, my young helper at the Autolavaggio.

03_surgery.jpg
Home surgery.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
T9D14

Cavalese - Prutz
315km 6:17hrs

https://goo.gl/maps/h4VjD

Today Emanuela & Lorenzo were due to fly back to London so it was time to resume 'Alfa roadtrip'.

From Cavalese I made my to Caldaro and onto the Passo della Mendola to Castlefondo. Once there I continued to Ponte di Legno via the Passo del Tonale.
The Gavia pass through the Stelvio national park was next on the list & it turned out to be quite a surprise. Looking on Google maps it appears to be a fairly major road and as you drive onto the lower slopes there is nothing to warn of what is to follow. A few miles further up it suddenly changes from a two lane road into a single lane track. If you encounter a car coming in the other direction, one of you has to reverse until you find a spot wide enough to squeeze past each other! After a couple of miles of this the road does widen a bit but it also gets steep & very bumpy. However, those who persevere with the route are rewarded with stunning views of the Stelvio national park.

The car & I survived to Bormio where we had lunch before heading onto the Foscagno Pass to Livigno. Livigno is a 'freeport' (tax free zone) so I took the oppertunity to fill up with probably the cheapest fuel in Europe - €1.15/litre! From there I passed into Switzerland via the Munt la Schera tunnel (€13 toll)

The Swiss border guards stopped me at the tunnel exit & spent half an hour examining my passport & vehicle documents before letting me continue. This is the 2nd time this has happened passing through Switzerland - I guess they just get bored watching cars drive by all day long...

I proceeded slowly to Zernez - wary of the Swiss speed limits -, then to Pfunds in Austria, finally coming to rest at the Hotel Post, in Prutz.



Hotel Post in Prutz €49

01_looking down.jpg
Gavia Pass - looking down.

02_Gavia Pass.jpg
Gavia Pass.

03_looking up.jpg
Gavia Pass - looking up.

04_Foscagno Pass.jpg
Foscagno Pass.

05_Gallery road.jpg
Gallery road alongside Lago di Livigno.



*link to videos*
Passo del Tonale

Gavia Pass (Lower)

Gavia pass (Middle)

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
T9D15

Prutz - Haguenau
454km 7:45hrs

https://goo.gl/maps/TuZBh

I departed the excellent Hotel Post at around 09:30 for the drive to Haguenau. The first half of the day was more-or-less the reverse route of day 3, through Landeck, Lech, Wrath, Au & Egg as far as Wangen im Allgau. From there it was German countryside roads all the way to Iffezheim. Here I crossed the river Rhine into France and made my way directly to Haguenau. I stayed at the Ibis (formerly Etap Hotels) budget hotel, which, at €51 per night plus €5 for breakfast ain't quite as 'budget' as they used to be....

01_Schrocken.jpg
The 'hairpin' bridge at Schrocken.

02_roadtrip lunch.jpg
Standard 'roadtrip lunch' - Ham & Cheese roll, taken from the hotel breakfast bar.

03_German countryside.jpg
German countryside.

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
T9D16

Haguenau - Calais
507km 6:41hrs

Folkestone - London
152km 1:35hrs

https://goo.gl/maps/ft6H1

The final day started with dark sky & rain as I headed towards the Parc Naturel Regional des Vosges du Nord. Earlier in the year I had driven through the Parc Naturel Regional des Vosges (sud), - but it is completely different to this region. Mountain roads of the south Voges are nowhere to be seen.
Instead the north has nice scenic forest roads on which I passed through Mouterhouse & Lemberg on my way to *****e.
From *****e I travelled to Sarreguemines, where I crossed the river Saar into Germany. The road hugs the German/French border for a few miles as I continued towards Saarbrucken then heads north-west to Luxemburg. Then comes the inevitable motorway section via Namur & Lille to Calais.

I had hoped that if I got to the Eurotunnel check-in early enough I might be able to get an earlier crossing. Wrong! I found myself stuck in a two lane queue of traffic that stretched more than a mile from the check-in booths! To be fair to Eurotunnel, this is probably the busiest single day of the year for them & their staff did an admirable job of directing traffic & ensuring everyone got through with relative ease. Even so, it took 2 hours to get through to the train so any 'advantage' I had by arriving 2 hours early was lost and I ended up taking the train I was originally booked on anyway.

Thereafter I had a reasonably good run from Folkestone to home & arrived in time to give Lorenzo his bath & put him to bed...


01_print.jpg
A photo says a thousand words...

.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
T9Summary

T9Summary (in Alfa)

3080km (1975miles) total.

Longest day = 829km (518miles)

Longest distance between fuel stops = 470km (294miles)

Car averaged 10.17km/l (28.75mpg)

302 Litres of fuel = €490 total cost.


Another enjoyable trip, - not quite as hectic as the previous one. Spending 3 days rather than 2 days to get to northern Italy is definitely more pleasurable when driving an old car. Tuscany was fantastic - very relaxing & it was great to spent some quality family time together.

Where to next? I'm always messing around on Google maps, wondering about new destinations in Europe (see below) or maybe a tour around Ireland?

I'll have to wait till next year, but in the meantime I’ve got a couple of bottles of Brunello di Montalcino that came back from Tuscany with me to help me decide...





.
Alpine.jpg

Batic.jpg

Eastern.jpg

France_tour.jpg


.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,879 Posts
More pics please
.... and where can I get one of those twin spark stickers for my rear side window too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
More pics please
.... and where can I get one of those twin spark stickers for my rear side window too?
Some more Sinsheim Photos:

Brutus.jpg
Brutus: http://sinsheim.technik-museum.de/en/en/project-car-brutus


Kleinschnittger F125.jpg
Kleinschnittger F125


Panda.jpg
Fiat Panda 4x4


T-Bird.jpg
T-Bird


Tyrell.jpg
Tyrrell 6 Wheel F1 car



.
The TwinSpark stickers were bought at the 'Silverstone Classic' event, a few years ago.
The Alfa Romeo 100 years stickers were bought at the 'Centenary' event in Milan in 2010.

I don't know where you would find some these days...


.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top