T&J's 2018 Euro Road Trip & Pictures - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 07-09-2018
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T&J's 2018 Euro Road Trip & Pictures

For those wondering about our current lovely British Weather, well My Sister is over from Australia this summer and has a canny knack of picking (or bringing) good weather for Her visit(s)....!!!

So one of the main reasons for Her visit (apart from seeing family members of course), is to do a Euro Road Trip with Me
...and earlier in the year, She forwarded a rough plan of what She had in mind for the route:


Like, hey - How big can Europe be...???
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#2 Old 07-09-2018
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Well, as was pointed out to me by a couple of Kiwi's whilst hiking in the Swiss Alps, 'Wow, you're so lucky to have all this [i.e. Europe in general] just on your doorstep'

I guess it's all relative Trev
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#3 Old 07-09-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windinmyhair View Post
Well, as was pointed out to me by a couple of Kiwi's whilst hiking in the Swiss Alps, 'Wow, you're so lucky to have all this [i.e. Europe in general] just on your doorstep'

I guess it's all relative Trev
Totally agree, the UK alone has so much offer - Assuming it's not cold, windy & pouring with rain......
But then We are not only lucky to have the variety of Europe on our door step, but us in the South also have Heathrow Airport where You can fly direct to almost any where in the world...
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#4 Old 07-09-2018
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Now that's what I call a road trip!

Hope there's lots of pics as usual Trev'.
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#5 Old 07-10-2018
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Another epic road trip report to look forward to :-)
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#6 Old 07-10-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trev5 View Post
For those wondering about our current lovely British Weather, well My Sister is over from Australia this summer and has a canny knack of picking (or bringing) good weather for Her visit(s)....!!!

So one of the main reasons for Her visit (apart from seeing family members of course), is to do a Euro Road Trip with Me
...and earlier in the year, She forwarded a rough plan of what She had in mind for the route:


Like, hey - How big can Europe be...???
Wow Trev now that's a trip - how long you going for 3 months

I guess you will be narrowing that down a bit?
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#7 Old 07-10-2018
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Off Topic in Norway.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVIETHESCAFF View Post
Now that's what Icall a road trip Hope there's lots of pics as usual Trev'.

LOL – You know Me Davie, always do My best to get that “SLK on Location” picture..!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by davest4s View Post
Wow Trev now that's a trip - how long you going for 3months
I guess you will be narrowing that down a bit?

Your right Dave, may be possible to drive it in 3 or 4 weeks, but think You would need 3 months to do the above route justice:

Luckily having “done” Scotland with Davies Spring Tour & The Cornwall Byways with @DaveR, then with the Bank Manager precluded the Ireland leg, due to the ferry cost....

And going slightly off topic, We did a family 20,000 calorie/day cruise to Norway this spring and apart from the wonderful scenery, got Me thinking about a future SLK Road Trip to Norway:

This is our invading P&O 3000 passenger ship (Though as a consolation, it did serve London Pride in the bars!!):


But did manage to have a chat & hand a SLK World business card to these SLK owners in Stavanger (Turned out to be American & working in the Norway Oil Industry)


As You can see, the roads are not exactly busy:



Also has some nice back roads – As long as You don’t meet a cruise ship Tourist Coach...!!


Then the view from the top deck of our ship:


Would certainly consider going back with our SLK – Just need to pick the correct spring weather window..
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1_Azuzra.jpg (64.4 KB, 178 views)
File Type: jpg 2_Norway SLK.jpg (64.6 KB, 177 views)
File Type: jpg 3_Busy Norway Roads.jpg (55.7 KB, 177 views)
File Type: jpg 4_More Busy Roads.jpg (59.2 KB, 177 views)
File Type: jpg 5_Norway Back Roads.jpg (52.3 KB, 180 views)
File Type: jpg 6_Norway from top deck.jpg (76.2 KB, 180 views)

Last edited by Trev5; 07-12-2018 at 06:51 PM.
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#8 Old 07-10-2018
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Day_1

Day of departure – Bit of last minute packing and important to check for any stowaways:
(Especially if They don’t have a pet passport..!)



Cloudy mid week 115 mile drive down to the Euro Tunnel Terminal at Folkestone, so the roof stayed up....
But made good time in the rush hour traffic, so had time for a breakfast snack & coffee


Still cloudy while waiting to board, but put the roof went down anyway & almost boarded our train on time!


Our first day was planned as a relatively short ~260 mile type day just to get My Sister into the swing of hours & hours in a SLK... Plus our hotel had a nice pool by a lake and the idea was to get there for a swim...
But heading South from Calais, it was cloudy & the strong side wind made 125kmh top down driving not as pleasurable as it could be.... With a swim not going to happen, I remembered @davest4s Laon pictures from last year, so dropped into the walled Medieval Town to check it out:



Also has a 12th century “Cathédrale Notre Dame” Didn't go it, but meant to be as good inside as well:


Quick SLK photo stop


Before making it to our hotel just after 5pm
https://www.booking.com/hotel/fr/res...tte.en-gb.html?
For a "end of day one" cuppa on the balcony!!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1_Stow away check.jpg (47.6 KB, 164 views)
File Type: jpg 2_Euro Tunnel Breakfast.jpg (51.3 KB, 166 views)
File Type: jpg 3_Euro Tunnel Loading.jpg (47.7 KB, 166 views)
File Type: jpg 4_Laon Medieval Town Walls.jpg (51.1 KB, 166 views)
File Type: jpg 5_Laon Medieval Town Walls.jpg (72.0 KB, 167 views)
File Type: jpg 6_Cathédrale Notre Dame.jpg (44.8 KB, 167 views)
File Type: jpg 7_SLK Laon.jpg (68.0 KB, 166 views)
File Type: jpg 8_Hotel Room Cuppa.jpg (47.5 KB, 167 views)
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#9 Old 07-11-2018
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Another road trip story to read and enjoy
Have you got a route itinerary to share or are you going with the flow?
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#10 Old 07-11-2018
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Originally Posted by Cobstar View Post
Another road trip story to read and enjoy
Have you got a route itinerary to share or are you going with the flow?
As this will possibly be a one off Euro Road Trip for My Sister, planning to show some of the bits that I've most liked from previous trips:
So heading down through France, for some SLK play time in the Alps
Then Provence & the French Grand Canyon, bit of French Riviera, Eze, and Monaco for first stage....
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#11 Old 07-11-2018
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Enjoy
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#12 Old 07-12-2018
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Day_2

The day got off to a good start, with an Otter having a morning wash & brush up in the lake in front of hotel balcony:


...and the hazy sun while having breakfast by to pool, was looking more promising for a top down driving day:


Unfortunately the second day of this year’s Euro Road Trip was always going to be a long day with at least ~ 430 miles to be covered & the 7 hours suggested by Google maps, which did not include comfort stops, or diversions to play in the start of the Alps (Which has a consequence of a lower average speed & longer driving time..)


After some nice local roads, We re-joined the French Motorways Toll Network to get some serious km’s under the tyres. While stopped at this Motorway picnic stop, had a chat with another English Couple in a Black R172/250d also heading South through France. Passed on a SLKworld business card – But sorry to report that they passed us a while later – top up...!!


Having only mounted My new TomTom 5200 a few weeks before departing, was pleased that it was flagging up the French “Danger Zones” which normally means at some point along the road side, a grey box containing a speed camera... Not too much of an issue on the 130kmh (81mph) motorway, but very useful while on much slower urban speed limit areas.
(Plus, as discussed elsewhere, having set the TomTom to km’s while on the Euro Tunnel, it’s good that it displays what it thinks the current speed limit is – Which is useful when I’ve been chatting & have no idea!!)


Having driven past “Bourg-en-Bresse” the Motorway network splits to either head East to “Geneve”, or South West to “Lyon”. Now having spent enough money on the French Toll Network for one day and even put the top-up for a hour or so due to the threat of rain & doing 130km on a cloudy days does get tiresome..
We exited around “Amerieu-an-Bugey” and took the far more pleasant “D1504” top down towards “Chambery” Stopping to view the “Chat” Mountains and the valley below:


Before passing over the “Col du Chat” and stopping at this nice view point, for a cuppa overlooking the lake just North of “Chambery”


Heading on into the Alps, I was planning to stay at the winter sky resort of “Alpe-d-Huez” for our second night, but after it being very booked up due to a cycle event, I thought I’d try the ski resort of “La Toussuire” instead – I have to add that the number of hair pin bends to reach this resort, had no bearing on it’s choice - Cough...!!


Now rather than taking the quickest route via “Villargondran” (Which was our exit route on Day_3)
the Sat-Nav was persuaded to route us via “Col due Glandon” @ 1924m and “Col de la Croix de Fer” @ 2067m


Luckily My Sister was happy with R171/V6 engine & Flappy Paddles verses the now empty mountain hair-pin bends of the Alps:


After a very long day of 452 miles & 8.75 hours of driving, finally made it safely to our Hotel...
(Averaged 51mph for the day, though while averaging 32mpg on the motorway it dropped to 28.5 for the hole day once the Alps kicked in – Can’t think why..??)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1_Beaver.jpg (60.7 KB, 155 views)
File Type: jpg 2_Hotel Pool.jpg (53.1 KB, 150 views)
File Type: jpg 3_Day Two Route Map.jpg (84.2 KB, 153 views)
File Type: jpg 4_Morning Coffee Stop.jpg (55.9 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg 5_Tom Tom.jpg (45.2 KB, 152 views)
File Type: jpg 6_Mont du Chat.jpg (97.6 KB, 153 views)
File Type: jpg 7_Col du Chat Tea Stop.jpg (61.4 KB, 150 views)
File Type: jpg 8_La Toussuire Map.jpg (61.1 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg 9_Col du Glandon_1924m.jpg (54.8 KB, 155 views)
File Type: jpg 10_Alps.jpg (61.9 KB, 155 views)
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#13 Old 07-12-2018
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Looks like it is going well, Trev.


To add to your enjoyment...
IT'S RAINING HERE!

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#14 Old 07-13-2018
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Looking good! Thank you for pictures. Did you buy any vingettes or tags?

Thank god I still have two weeks vacation left to use this summer. Need to hit the road...

PS. Hows the cat doing or did he/she stayed home?
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Spotting an otter was a great start to the day. Sounds an amazing drive. Thank you for taking the time to write it up for us.
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#16 Old 07-13-2018
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Day 3 - Road Trip Report:

Have to report that “La Toussuire” is very quite in early summer, but was very nice to drive around this Alpine Ski resort to take in the views on a sunny morning:


So today’s route is all about mountain passes (or “Cols” as the French like to call them), more Mountain roads, more hair pin bends, plus dramatic sweeping views as long as the cloud stays above us....!!


Having descended from the ~1600 m of “La Toussuire” (Lots of flappy paddle engine braking, as usaul...)
We worked our way South over the Alps, taking in one of the many Tour de France climbs of “Col du Telegraphe” (Alt: 1566m) which in its self is higher than “Ben Nevis” in Scotland...
Passed through the nice town of “Valloire” which would make a good coffee/lunch stop, but not on today’s schedule. Then started the major climb of “Col du Galibier”


This pass which has a few tight hair pin bends, but also lots of sweeping bends was most enjoyable
(...and the Tom-Tom mounted higher up helps enormously when pushing on, to warn how sharp the next blind bend is..!!)
Stopped for a photo stop two thirds of the way up & lots of snow again:


And finally the top of “Col du Galibier” along with other cars, motor cyclists & regular cyclists (Had to wait My turn to take this pic! ) – Also did the sort walk up to a view point, which is worth doing:


Having stopped for lunch, the next French mountain pass on today’s hit list was “Col d’Izoard” (Alt: 2360m)


Though the North side that We drove up (More hair pins & long sweeping bends as it happens!) was green with trees, the South side is very different to any other pass in this area:


And while stopped taking these pictures, You could hear & see the rocks tumbling down these scree slopes..!!


After passes through the town of “Guillestre” and just dodging a heavy shower across the valley, next on today’s list was “Col du Vars” (Alt: 2109m)
Stopping half way up – Always important to take a moment to appreciate the views, while on tour:


Came across this “Refuge Napoleon” bar/hotel for a Carbonated Caffeine drink stop, before the final push to the top:


Having then passing over the top of “Col de Vars” in the late afternoon sun-shine, still heading South, I was looking at staying in the town of “Barcelonnette” but while booking this trip back in February I couldn’t find anything that took My fancy, so instead climbed up more hair pin bends (such a hardship in a V6 SLK) towards the winter ski resort of “Pra-Loup”
“Pra-Loup” in spring/summer doesn’t look that great, but out Guest House just down a bit in “Molanes” had the potential for a great view in the morning sun-shine.

# SLK Driving Stat’s for today: 154 most enjoyable miles, hence the 21.4mpg and just under 7 hours of driving.


Have to add at this point that I received the first complain from My Sister on this trip.....
“There is so much nice & varied scenery on this trip and by Day 3 She was rapidly running out of space on Her camera memory card...!!”
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1_Leaving La Toussuire.jpg (42.1 KB, 144 views)
File Type: jpg 2_Day 3 Route Map.jpg (73.5 KB, 141 views)
File Type: jpg 3_Col du Galibier.jpg (44.7 KB, 139 views)
File Type: jpg 4_Col du Galibier.jpg (57.9 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg 5_Col du Galibier_2642m.jpg (58.6 KB, 140 views)
File Type: jpg 6_Col d Izoard Map.jpg (86.2 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg 7_Col d Izoard.jpg (63.8 KB, 141 views)
File Type: jpg 8_Col d Izoard.jpg (85.7 KB, 143 views)
File Type: jpg 9_Col du Vars.jpg (45.5 KB, 140 views)
File Type: jpg 10_Col de Vars Coke stop.jpg (67.3 KB, 140 views)
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"Running out of room on her card".

Yup, that's something to consider but remember this. After a while, you're going to think "uh huh, another mountain". Take some time at a rest stop and cull a lot of those pics.

You won't miss them.

I know on our W Euro tour, it got to the point that "uh huh, another church". Don't get me wrong, at the time it's just such a beautiful <fill in the blank> that you've just got to have a pic.

Go ahead, take the pic in the moment. But then, after a while go back and look at what you've got saved on the card. One mountain after another mountain after another mountain.

I really like the pics and narrative and really appreciate (and acknowledge) the enormous amount of time you're donatng to take us along on your trip.

Just giving some unasked for advice NOW for some time down the road when you really do come across a scene worthy of preservation and oh no, no more room on the card

Just speaking from past experience here. YMMV
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#18 Old 07-13-2018
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Cool

I have been enjoying your trip with all the pictures as if I am taking it as well. Enjoy!!!!

Thanks for sharing.
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#19 Old 07-15-2018
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Great write up and lovely shots. Heading to the Alps myself next Saturday, but I'll be in Austria/Italy.
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#20 Old 07-15-2018
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Originally Posted by AMGStalker View Post
Great write up and lovely shots. Heading to the Alps myself next Saturday, but I'll be in Austria/Italy.
Look forward to seeing photos. Trev' has set the bar!

Have a good trip.


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