Mercedes SLK World banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
For years I intended doing a Euro road trip on one of my motorbikes but for various reasons just never got round to it. Now having the SLK seemed like the perfect reason to resurect the idea so for the last 2 weeks of June we're hitting the road!

Initially the plan was for a 2 week trip to various WW1 and WW2 sites across western Europe as well as a few mountains and then as far south as the Algarve in Portugal. There would have been a rest day here mid-trip, staying with relatives, before heading north to Spain and then up the west coast of France. It soon became apparent that this would mean using lots of motorways and major roads to cover the distance in that time frame which seems a complete waste of topless (fingers crossed) motoring in the SLK. So the plan is now to cover less miles but to stick to scenic routes, mountain passes and coast roads where possible whilst still capturing the WW1/2 sites originally planned.

Day 1: home -> Le Shuttle -> France -> Dunkirk ... visit various WW2 artifacts in the area
Day 2: Dunkirk -> Belgium -> Tyne Cot -> Hill 60 -> Mouscron
Day 3: Mouscron -> France -> Belgium -> Chateau de Lavaus-Sainte_Anne -> Rocogne war cemetries -> Foy -> Peace Woods -> Bastogne
Day 4: Bastogne War Museum -> 101st Airborne Museum -> Luxembourg -> France -> war memorial Montsec -> Domremy-la-Pucelle
Day 5 (wife's b'day!): Domremy-la-Pucelle -> Citadelle de Besancon -> Switzerland -> Lausanne -> Montreux .... celebrate Pam's birthday with a room overlooking Lake Geneva
Day 6: Montreux -> Grand St. Bernard pass through the Alps -> Italy -> Aosta -> Montaldo Torinese
Day 7: Montaldo Torinese -> Cherasco -> San Bernardo pass -> Imperia
Day 8: Imperia -> San Remo -> France -> Monaco -> France -> Nice -> Cannes
Day 9: Cannes -> Notre Dame -> Palaves-les-Flots
Day 10: Palaves-les-Flots -> Beziers -> Carcassonne -> Andorra
Day 11: Andorra -> Spain -> N-260 / C-28 mountain roads -> Viella -> France -> Mouchan
Day 12: Mouchan -> Bordeaux -> U-boat pens -> Royan
Day 13: Royan -> Rochefort -> La Rochelle -> U-boat pens -> Nantes -> Saint Nazaire
Day 14: Saint Nazaire -> U-boat pens -> Chateaubriant -> Mayenne -> Lisieux -> Le Havre
Overnight ferry crossing -> England
Day 15 (my b'day!): Portsmouth -> home ...... sleep

Total distance - 2589 miles

I've driven on the continent a few times before but this will be the first time driving a RHD vehicle on LHD roads. If anybody has any words of wisdom they'd like to dispense I'm all ears :surprise:
 

·
Super Moderator UK SLK 55 AMG 2007
Joined
·
26,107 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,021 Posts
For years I intended doing a Euro road trip on one of my motorbikes but for various reasons just never got round to it. Now having the SLK seemed like the perfect reason to resurect the idea so for the last 2 weeks of June we're hitting the road!

Initially the plan was for a 2 week trip to various WW1 and WW2 sites across western Europe as well as a few mountains and then as far south as the Algarve in Portugal. There would have been a rest day here mid-trip, staying with relatives, before heading north to Spain and then up the west coast of France. It soon became apparent that this would mean using lots of motorways and major roads to cover the distance in that time frame which seems a complete waste of topless (fingers crossed) motoring in the SLK. So the plan is now to cover less miles but to stick to scenic routes, mountain passes and coast roads where possible whilst still capturing the WW1/2 sites originally planned.

Day 1: home -> Le Shuttle -> France -> Dunkirk ... visit various WW2 artifacts in the area
Day 2: Dunkirk -> Belgium -> Tyne Cot -> Hill 60 -> Mouscron
Day 3: Mouscron -> France -> Belgium -> Chateau de Lavaus-Sainte_Anne -> Rocogne war cemetries -> Foy -> Peace Woods -> Bastogne
Day 4: Bastogne War Museum -> 101st Airborne Museum -> Luxembourg -> France -> war memorial Montsec -> Domremy-la-Pucelle
Day 5 (wife's b'day!): Domremy-la-Pucelle -> Citadelle de Besancon -> Switzerland -> Lausanne -> Montreux .... celebrate Pam's birthday with a room overlooking Lake Geneva
Day 6: Montreux -> Grand St. Bernard pass through the Alps -> Italy -> Aosta -> Montaldo Torinese
Day 7: Montaldo Torinese -> Cherasco -> San Bernardo pass -> Imperia
Day 8: Imperia -> San Remo -> France -> Monaco -> France -> Nice -> Cannes
Day 9: Cannes -> Notre Dame -> Palaves-les-Flots
Day 10: Palaves-les-Flots -> Beziers -> Carcassonne -> Andorra
Day 11: Andorra -> Spain -> N-260 / C-28 mountain roads -> Viella -> France -> Mouchan
Day 12: Mouchan -> Bordeaux -> U-boat pens -> Royan
Day 13: Royan -> Rochefort -> La Rochelle -> U-boat pens -> Nantes -> Saint Nazaire
Day 14: Saint Nazaire -> U-boat pens -> Chateaubriant -> Mayenne -> Lisieux -> Le Havre
Overnight ferry crossing -> England
Day 15 (my b'day!): Portsmouth -> home ...... sleep

Total distance - 2589 miles

I've driven on the continent a few times before but this will be the first time driving a RHD vehicle on LHD roads. If anybody has any words of wisdom they'd like to dispense I'm all ears :surprise:
Sounds like an interesting trip. My experience of many such trips, is you never allow enough time. As it's quite a way it might be worth thinking of including two nights somewhere for a rest from the car?

Have a great time.
 

·
Registered 2005 SLK55 AMG
Joined
·
868 Posts
Sounds like an interesting trip. My experience of many such trips, is you never allow enough time. As it's quite a way it might be worth thinking of including two nights somewhere for a rest from the car?

Have a great time.



This ^^^


as an aside, if you're in that neck of the woods I'd also recommend thinking about the Furka Pass (where they filmed part of Goldfinger and there's a glacier to walk into)
 

·
Registered 2016 SLC43
Joined
·
303 Posts
Beware of the seemingly broken down car on the side of the road in France , usually a 208 , berlingo or Megan in white or blue ! Invariably it's a speed trap , I used to live in France and I've spent years up and down through France and they French now consider the gendarmes little more than tax collectors.
Rhd in France isn't a problem until you get stuck behind a lorry or tractor , make sure your passenger knows your cars acceleration capabilities. Follow blue road signs for toll roads , green ones for the scenic route , both get you to the same place but it can be confusing at first .
No speeding through the villages , most have cameras , the French now have the power to chase you in England to pay the fine , but according to the French press last year they haven't yet bothered .
Have a good trip but I'll echo what someone else said , miss a couple of places and take a couple of days out of the car .
 

·
Premium Member 2008 SLK55 AMG
Joined
·
365 Posts
For years I intended doing a Euro road trip on one of my motorbikes but for various reasons just never got round to it. Now having the SLK seemed like the perfect reason to resurect the idea so for the last 2 weeks of June we're hitting the road!

Initially the plan was for a 2 week trip to various WW1 and WW2 sites across western Europe as well as a few mountains and then as far south as the Algarve in Portugal. There would have been a rest day here mid-trip, staying with relatives, before heading north to Spain and then up the west coast of France. It soon became apparent that this would mean using lots of motorways and major roads to cover the distance in that time frame which seems a complete waste of topless (fingers crossed) motoring in the SLK. So the plan is now to cover less miles but to stick to scenic routes, mountain passes and coast roads where possible whilst still capturing the WW1/2 sites originally planned.

Day 1: home -> Le Shuttle -> France -> Dunkirk ... visit various WW2 artifacts in the area
Day 2: Dunkirk -> Belgium -> Tyne Cot -> Hill 60 -> Mouscron
Day 3: Mouscron -> France -> Belgium -> Chateau de Lavaus-Sainte_Anne -> Rocogne war cemetries -> Foy -> Peace Woods -> Bastogne
Day 4: Bastogne War Museum -> 101st Airborne Museum -> Luxembourg -> France -> war memorial Montsec -> Domremy-la-Pucelle
Day 5 (wife's b'day!): Domremy-la-Pucelle -> Citadelle de Besancon -> Switzerland -> Lausanne -> Montreux .... celebrate Pam's birthday with a room overlooking Lake Geneva
Day 6: Montreux -> Grand St. Bernard pass through the Alps -> Italy -> Aosta -> Montaldo Torinese
Day 7: Montaldo Torinese -> Cherasco -> San Bernardo pass -> Imperia
Day 8: Imperia -> San Remo -> France -> Monaco -> France -> Nice -> Cannes
Day 9: Cannes -> Notre Dame -> Palaves-les-Flots
Day 10: Palaves-les-Flots -> Beziers -> Carcassonne -> Andorra
Day 11: Andorra -> Spain -> N-260 / C-28 mountain roads -> Viella -> France -> Mouchan
Day 12: Mouchan -> Bordeaux -> U-boat pens -> Royan
Day 13: Royan -> Rochefort -> La Rochelle -> U-boat pens -> Nantes -> Saint Nazaire
Day 14: Saint Nazaire -> U-boat pens -> Chateaubriant -> Mayenne -> Lisieux -> Le Havre
Overnight ferry crossing -> England
Day 15 (my b'day!): Portsmouth -> home ...... sleep

Total distance - 2589 miles

I've driven on the continent a few times before but this will be the first time driving a RHD vehicle on LHD roads. If anybody has any words of wisdom they'd like to dispense I'm all ears :surprise:
Wow !!! sounds like a good trip. Me and Anne went on a 2 week European trip on my motorcycle in 1988. Doing miles every day, and had not planned any hotels before hand. We used the 'N' roads in France and had a good time. The worst part is in the morning, as you just want to have breakfast and GO, once on the road the stress all goes. Hopefully, in an slk, it won't be as troublesome, as, on a bike you have to pack everything into your panniers again, and it never seems to quite fit !! Having used the motorways in France last year in the slk, down to La Rochelle, i learnt a couple of things. It was the first time for me driving a rhd car in France, i was concerned, but i had no problem at all. This August, hopefully , we'll go back there, but this time avoiding the motorways and using the 'N' roads, a lot of which have now been reclassified as 'd' roads !!!!!. I now take maps of the areas i'm going to/through, as i find it makes planning much easier ! Last year the slk satnav, kept sending me miles out of my way on motorways, when i didn't want to go that way anyway ! This year, i have a Tomtom410 motorcycle satnav. You can plan routes, at home on your computer (nice large screen), then sync them to your satnav, ensuring that you get the route you want. We stayed in La Rochelle last year. There are numerous public car parks, but because it's an old town, that somehow avoided bombing in the war, the streets are not much good for parking in. It's a great place to stay, walk in and have a nice meal by the harbour. you will enjoy it, and there's plenty to do. In the centre of town, is the "musee le bunker"(see picture), It was home to the submarine crews from La Rochelle during ww11. It is well worth a visit, and only been open for a year or so. I don't think that you can visit the sub pens here. We also went to Rochefort, it's extremely quiet, and there's not much to see or going on, so not worth a visit unless you are spending a week or so in La Rochelle. I'm quite sure you will have a fantastic time. If you go over one of the alpine passes, be sure to stop at a cafe on the top if you get the oppotunity. In 1988 we didn't stop, as time the the next place was always in the back of your mind, it's one of my few regrets. Regards, Robbie.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Sounds like an interesting trip. My experience of many such trips, is you never allow enough time. As it's quite a way it might be worth thinking of including two nights somewhere for a rest from the car?

Have a great time.
........Have a good trip but I'll echo what someone else said , miss a couple of places and take a couple of days out of the car .
Like the other posters.... Looks like a great trip but a hell of a lot of driving and a lot to do in 15 days.....
As you all rightly point out, it is a lot to cover in so little time. The original route I planned down to the Algarve that had the break in the middle was over 4.5k miles in the same time frame! Each part of the planning seemed to involve a 'If we're here we might as well....' moment - If we're crossing the Alps we might as well get to the coast. If we're on the Italian coast we might as well go along the French Riviera. If we're going across the French Riviera we might as well go to Andorra etc. etc.

Tbh I've already chopped a lot out and some days sadly will be done with one eye on the clock. I fully expect there will be a few more trips planned for the future with focused motorway / major roads used to get there and back and then some more leisurely days inbetween to explore the areas that have the biggest impact during this trip in more detail.

There are 4 or 5 days where we should be done driving by mid afternoon so I'll try to use those as a chance to wind down a little.

Beware of the seemingly broken down car on the side of the road in France , usually a 208 , berlingo or Megan in white or blue ! Invariably it's a speed trap , I used to live in France and I've spent years up and down through France and they French now consider the gendarmes little more than tax collectors.
No speeding through the villages , most have cameras ...
Thanks Paul. I've read a lot of similar things during my planning and research. I'll do my best not to get caught!

Hopefully, in an slk, it won't be as troublesome, as, on a bike you have to pack everything into your panniers again, and it never seems to quite fit !!
.......
Last year the slk satnav, kept sending me miles out of my way on motorways, when i didn't want to go that way anyway ! This year, i have a Tomtom410 motorcycle satnav. You can plan routes, at home on your computer (nice large screen), then sync them to your satnav, ensuring that you get the route you want. We stayed in La Rochelle last year. There are numerous public car parks, but because it's an old town, that somehow avoided bombing in the war, the streets are not much good for parking in. It's a great place to stay, walk in and have a nice meal by the harbour. you will enjoy it, and there's plenty to do. In the centre of town, is the "musee le bunker"(see picture), It was home to the submarine crews from La Rochelle during ww11. It is well worth a visit, and only been open for a year or so. I don't think that you can visit the sub pens here. We also went to Rochefort, it's extremely quiet, and there's not much to see or going on, so not worth a visit unless you are spending a week or so in La Rochelle. I'm quite sure you will have a fantastic time. If you go over one of the alpine passes, be sure to stop at a cafe on the top if you get the oppotunity. In 1988 we didn't stop, as time the the next place was always in the back of your mind, it's one of my few regrets. Regards, Robbie.
Thanks Robbie! Had plenty of experience stuffing panniers over the years and yeah, I won't miss that :laugh:

The "musee le bunker" sounds like a good idea in La Rochelle. On my route I've got it penciled in to drive down the road next to the sub pens in La Rochelle to a point where I can get some photos but you are correct, those particular ones aren't open to or accessible to the public. Shame really as they were the ones I was most interested in initially. Rochefort is just down on our route as a comfort break.

Definitely planning to stop at the summit of the Grand St. Bernard pass and any other summits that have somewhere to park up. I've set rest stops every couple of hours or so along each days route as well so we can keep ourselves 'fueled up'.

I'll be using my TomTom for navigation. I've been using an online site called Furkot to plan the route. Really nice site that allows you to specify layers containing points of interest, hotels, restaurants etc. over the map. Just by specifying maximum hours or miles to drive in a day, as well as fuel ranges and various other factors it does most of the work for you. You can then add additional waypoints, actual rest stops and other features to customise the route. As you add elements it re-plans the rest of your entire trip. Each day or section can then be exported as a GPX track (other options exist) to import into TomTom MyDrive, do a few final tweaks and then upload to the satnav as a route. Doing it this way, and checking some sections in Google Streetview, I've been able to plan the exact roads that I want to travel on so the TomTom won't over zealously send me off on a motorway or down some mud track but should still be able to re-route me if necessary. I'm also going to add each of the planned stops as favourites in the satnav as a fall back and print off the GPS co-ordinates on a cheat sheet so we can put them into Google on one of our phones if the satnav packs up. I've done a few test routes over the last couple of weeks to experiment with different aspects of the process using the generated GPX tracks and got it down to something I'm happy with.

I'll be videoing the entire journey on 2 cameras so expecting to generate something in excess of 2.5TB of footage to work through on my return :surprise:
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top