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Hols: driving around europe

Mentioned in the festivalofspeed thread..

Am going on hols, driving around Europe.
Looking for any advice folks can give on what I should bring, do, etc..

The plan
Sat morning get ferry from Rosslare to Fishguard and drive down to Folkestone in the UK
Sun morning get chunnel to Calais and the drive up to Brugge, stay there and see the sights
Tue morning drive from Brugge down to Kempten in south Germany, stay in area, visit Fussen, Schloss Neuschwanstein, etc.
Thu morning drive from Kempten through austria/switzerland/lichtenstein to Milan
Sat morning drive from Milan to Lyon (via Monaco, Cannes, etc).
Mon morning drive from Lyon to Tours
Wed morning drive from Tours to Cherbourg and catch ferry home.

Not including Limerick to Rosslare - >3000km of a drive.

Have checked car insurance - all covered.
Got my AA cover sorted..
Got my vest, triangle, spare bulbs & fuses.

Anything else I've missed?
Do I need to get those sticker things for lights or anything else?

Last edited by rikd; 31-05-11 at 09:37.
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Warning triangle.
Hi-visibility jacket for every passenger. (especially for driving through France)
Headlight converter for dipped headlights.
Have your insurance details with you.
Log book (prove that is your car in case you get stopped).
Medical kit.
If you wear glasses, the French legislation obliges you to have a second pair.
Spare bulb kit.

Other than that, just enjoy the trip and don't forget to take loads of pictures

P.s. I'm not jealous one bit
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Oh and also, the speed limit on the French motorways is 130 km/h in the dry and 110 km/h in the wet.
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(Post Link) post #4 of 73 Old 31-05-11 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mysterio View Post
Warning triangle.
Hi-visibility jacket for every passenger. (especially for driving through France)
Check - and also remember to put vis-jacket in cabin, not boot

Quote:
Headlight converter for dipped headlights.
Still not sure how I fit these to the Brera!
Do I need them? - most are bigger than the bloody light itself.

Quote:
Have your insurance details with you.
Yep - and informed them

Quote:
Log book (prove that is your car in case you get stopped).
lol - haven't seen one of those in years - Registration Cert for me

Quote:
Medical kit.
If you wear glasses, the French legislation obliges you to have a second pair.
Spare bulb kit.
Sensible things to have anyways.

Quote:
Other than that, just enjoy the trip and don't forget to take loads of pictures

P.s. I'm not jealous one bit
Plan to do a lot of that
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about the headlight converter, i honestly dont bother with them. Hasnt given anyone any grief and ive never been stopped for them.
Agree with the registration doc as they always ask for this and never for insurance. If you dont have it then you could be in a bit of trouble. With regards to travelling from Germany down to Italy. Ive done this and be prepared to be fleeced by tolls. Especially with Austria, Switzerland and Italy. Switzerland if i remember correctly charge something like 50e i think for the sticker on the windshield, and Austria i think its about 20e but i cant remember properly. Google will be your friend in this case.
Lichtenstein isnt that bad. Was there last year, you wont believe how actually small it is! not that cheap as you can imagine. But the crossing from Lichtenstein to Switzerland is quite beautiful. About Switzerland, they are very strict with road rules, stick to the limits no matter how stupid they are and no matter what never overtake (for instance a tractor or slow driver if there is a single or double line and the road is straight and no one is coming) i learnt this the hard way and the fine was nearly 500e. Still waiting for it to come through however.
Italy is quite relaxing, i think from the Switzerland side towards Milan there is just one toll and it costs very little, few euros i think.
Sounds stupid but i think its sensible, re-adjust the wing mirrors so that you can see as far left and right as you can for cars that want to overtake you on motorways etc, saves having to look around all the time but do this aswell.
Maybe take some spare fluids for the car just in case, oil, water etc, you just never know. Maybe take some tools just in case aswell. Fire extinguisher aswell, Italy and maybe France this is obligatory i believe.
I think thats it, if i think of anything else ill write it down..
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You'll need a plan B in the boot... an atlas of Europe and some maps of the areas you're visiting just in case your sat nav goes funny..err or missing
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This:
"Thu morning drive from Kempten through austria/switzerland/lichtenstein to Milan"

Wouldn't need that crazy a diversion to drive via the Stelvio Pass instead.
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This is the route you'd have to take:
Kempten, Germany to Milan, Italy - Google Maps

The pass is the bit between Bormio and Glorenza. Although, in my opinion, it's far better to drive North through it, so you might want to do a U-turn at the end, and drive it again!
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You can often save some money by buying a used Swiss motorway vignette on eBay. They're adhesive, and designed so they tear when you remove them from the windscreen, but if you're canny you can stick them on with double-sided tape, remove and sell on when you're back. They're valid from January to December, so devalue as the year goes by.

Make sure your route takes you across a Swiss alpine pass or two, it's some epic driving and the views are amazing. Looks like the Julier Pass won't take you far out of your way at all, crossing that before skirting back around the eastern shore of Lake Como would be a fantastic route into Milan.
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Or the Stelvio, yeah :-) Bit further but even more epic - it does get busy though, can turn into a bit of a procession.
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Stelvio looks like a good possibility
And I miss the swiss tolls.

Plan A is get from A to B fast. Is printed out and ready to be put in the boot.
Will be bringing maps along for Plan B which is sight seeing addons. Stelvio only adds 2hrs so is definitely worth doing.. I plan to drive 2-3hrs, break for an hr, drive 2-3hrs each day.. So should still remain relaxing.. Stelvio fits in nicely

Good tip on the swiss motorway vignette. I fear I may have left this one a bit late. I head off this Friday and won't have enough time to get a used one posted... May see if someone in UK wants to meet me as I travel across it

Missed the Fire Extinguisher too - will get one of them on the way. I think I'll have to leave fluids and risk motorway prices.. Brera doesn't have much of a boot, and I need it for herself I get one part of the backseat for all my stuff including laptop, camera, etc... lol
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If you show up at the Swiss border without a vignette, they'll stop you and make you buy one at the checkpoint - they sometimes watch you stick in on too, so you don't do the sellotape trick!
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The Brera has metal slide switches inside the lights to convert the RHD for LH driving.

France:

You don't need hi-vis vest for all occupants, only the driver.
You don't need legally need 2nd set of glasses. (That Switzerland)




Carry 90Euros in exact change for on-the-spot speeding fines.
Saves time being escorted to an ATM.

You must carry all vehicle documents & your licence with you every time you drive the car.

 
(Post Link) post #14 of 73 Old 31-05-11 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nev View Post
The Brera has metal slide switches inside the lights to convert the RHD for LH driving.
Oh - Handy one...
Must take a look later on.
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They're thin little metal strips poking out underneath the dipped beam bulb/connectors.
I think it's in the manual.

Just slide 'em to move the shutter from beam shape: \__ \__ to beam shape: ___ ___ .

(Best to do it at dusk so you can see the beam shape on a wall.)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikd View Post
Mentioned in the festivalofspeed thread..

Am going on hols, driving around Europe.
Looking for any advice folks can give on what I should bring, do, etc..

The plan
Sat morning get ferry from Rosslare to Fishguard and drive down to Folkestone in the UK
Sun morning get chunnel to Calais and the drive up to Brugge, stay there and see the sights
Tue morning drive from Brugge down to Kempten in south Germany, stay in area, visit Fussen, Schloss Neuschwanstein, etc.
Thu morning drive from Kempten through austria/switzerland/lichtenstein to Milan
Sat morning drive from Milan to Lyon (via Monaco, Cannes, etc).
Mon morning drive from Lyon to Tours
Wed morning drive from Tours to Cherbourg and catch ferry home.

Not including Limerick to Rosslare - >3000km of a drive.

Have checked car insurance - all covered.
Got my AA cover sorted..
Got my vest, triangle, spare bulbs & fuses.

Anything else I've missed?
Do I need to get those sticker things for lights or anything else?
Nice route Rik, sounds epic. I visited Brugges a couple of years ago, great place but it's small enough. If you've spare time, take a train to Brussels and visit AutoWorld museum, some really cool and interesting cars there.

If you're driving up the west coast of France to Belgium, Honfleurs and Etretat are nice palces to visit. Word of warning, stay away from Le Harve...

Drove around Switzerland in a rented Mondeo before with some friends, wicked scenery. Notable towns Luzern, Bern, Interlaken. We drove from Interlaken up to the Rhone Glacier on some of the best roads I've been on. Cooked the brakes in the Mondy though! The glacier was unreal. They've drilled into it so that you can walk inside and there are caverns where they hold receptions. One of the coolest things I've ever done (pun unintended).

Visited Salzburg last November and enjoyed it (especially the brewery), loads to see and do, but if you're heading in that direction, you should try take a detour through Munich to the Olympic village. Great spot and it has BMW World and Museum beside it. When I was there they had the Art Cars on exhibition. My brother was with me and isn't remotely into cars (not sure where we got him) but even he thought it was class.

Monaco is awesome, spent 24 hours there one summer and it was the best car/yacht/chick spotting experience ever. They do Ferrari hires down by the harbour where you can drive a 360/430 (can't remember which) for an hour around the streets. I only spotted it when I was leaving on a bus, was gutted, even though I was a broke student, I would have shelled out for such an experience.

When you're leaving Tours for Cherbourg, if you have time to divert by St. Malo and Mont St. Michel, especially Mont St. Michel, you won't be disappointed if you like dramatic views and architecture.

Will you visit Alfa when in Milan?

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You probably got the ferry tickets already, but I found the Dún Laoghaire - Holyhead crossing is faster, and the roads are better from there to the M6 than from Fishguard on the M4. Also, if you go from Harwich to Rotterdam, then you save a lot of money on the French tolls and on petrol to drive through the UK and France. Also, it means the Luxembourg is on the way - where you can get the cheapest petrol in Western Europe.
Switzerland: have a look at this site - my colleague who is living in Switzerland said that the Stelvio pass is overrated - this is one claim I have to verify myself first - hopefully in September
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Hi Rik - sorry not able to type much, but did a fairly similar journey last year for the Alfa centenary which might give you some pointers:

https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/meets...-to-milan.html

You're in for a treat. All the organising hotels etc is worth it in the end
PM me if you've any questions, need any hotel names etc.
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(Post Link) post #20 of 73 Old 01-06-11 Thread Starter
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I used that post of yours to convince the missus to do it
I had hoped to do that with you last year, but she chickened out.. but on seeing your pics she wanted in this year.

I have all the hotels sorted..

I believe Arese is closed
Yep - checked the alfaromeo.com page - is closed

Is there any other AR stuff to visit in Milan area?
I have the Vino (wifey got me the WINE BOX CENTENNIAL Afra s.a.s. - Alfa Romeo wine spumante last year)- so don't need to get more of that, but would be interested in anything else to search out..
Also considering a trip over to Monza.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikd View Post
I used that post of yours to convince the missus to do it
I had hoped to do that with you last year, but she chickened out.. but on seeing your pics she wanted in this year.

I have all the hotels sorted..

I believe Arese is closed
Yep - checked the alfaromeo.com page - is closed

Is there any other AR stuff to visit in Milan area?
I have the Vino (wifey got me the WINE BOX CENTENNIAL Afra s.a.s. - Alfa Romeo wine spumante last year)- so don't need to get more of that, but would be interested in anything else to search out..
Also considering a trip over to Monza.
Heh heh, that's brilliant - glad to have been a public service to the cause
It's a disaster that Arese is closed - hopefully someone will recognise that culture and history counts for something and the cars are not just dispersed around the world to the highest bidder... Fiat really need a bollicking for their treatment of the brand.
To be honest we didn't have time to go to hunt down any other Alfa spots in Milan, not even Monza which I know a lot of people went to last year as you could buy a pass to do a few laps in your car as part of the centenary. Either way, though, tis a city of romance, so clock up those brownie points and enjoy!
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Hi Rik , went to Arese when we were at the GP in 2008 nice to see the old factory , the museum was closed "for renovation" .. Went to Marennelllo Report - Visit to Maranello

'Also when you're driving on the motorway's in Italy you take a ticket when you 1st get on the motorway and you pay when you get off .. I drove through the gate without taking a ticket and it took a half an hour to pay the toll with all the forms I had to complete !.. Drive from milan to lake Garda is also cool with all the tunnels you have to drive through .. Looks like a trip of a lifetime Rik ..

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Nice one on the thread, very handy for me as I am bringing my 156 to France in four weeks time. Never done it before. Sailing to Roscoff and spending two weeks in Brittany.

Do you need a IRL sticker? Or should I just drape the Tricolour across the bonnet...
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you don't need an IRL sticker if you have the proper EU plates with the IRL on the blue part

Well, first day done.
And just realised I took 0 pics
Got off to a good start - nice trip down from Tramore to Rosslare. Traffic was very light and no hold ups in NewRoss (for once). Ferry left a few mins late, but otherwise was a breeze as usual. I only do these ferries once every few years and forget how blissful the experience is compared to flying

Had priority boarding/disembarking so got off ferry pretty quickly at Fishguard and proceeded on my way to find the M4. Booted up the GPS and it wanted to take me some other way.. but been to the UK often enough to at least know the way to Cardiff and Bristol so ignored it.

Came across only 1 or 2 ARs on the way down to Folkstone as it was primarily motorway all the way. Overtook 2 or 3 black 147s - yep all black. Waved at a nice FL GT just outside fishguard, but was unsure if they saw me.. and came across a black GT broken down at the side of the M4 just before J18 He was the only AR I saw broken down amongst a lot of Fords and BMWs. Had a nice experience where a guy in a DB9 came flying up behind me in the fast lane, slowed down to checkout the car, gave me a thumbs up, I reciprocated and he motored off.. lol.

Car was fantastic... Did just under 2hrs to Cardiff West services on the first stint.. needed coffee as still hadn't fully woken up. Then did 3hrs15 to the Holiday Inn by the chunnel (J12 on M20). She just took everything in her stride and as well as the DB9 got quite a few people craning necks to check the car over.. Thank god I'd given her a wash before I left

Off to Calais tomorrow morning via the Chunnel, and then on to Brugge. Just been checking diesel prices out and is defo cheaper on the other side... Have another 100miles or so left in the tank, but better safe than sorry

Day 1 now over, and Day2 to start...
Will update tomorrow with pics I hope
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Enjoy the rest of your holiday Rik
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