This week has been a busy one. Mainly because I’ve been finalising the details for my road trip around Europe and partly because we’ve been promoting Adgar Productions The Railway Carriage (Click for the previous post on this!).
To put things into a little context, this is something I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. Inspired by documentaries such as The Long Way Round (2004) & The Long Way Down (2007), books by Bernard Cornwell & Ted Simon’s Jupiter’s Travels and of course not forgetting the exploits of Clarckson, Hammond and May in their adventures with Top Gear (and a million other things down to the guy who walked across Australia dressed as a Storm Trooper and the awesomely hilarious Mongul Rally) I’ve always thirsted to do something similar and I feel now is the time to do it. It also marks the first of Scruffy Mutt Productions solo projects as the majority of the trip will be filmed!
The plan is to take my 11 year old MK 4 Vauxhall Astra around Europe and see some sites. Starting in France me and Miss Mutt will stop off at Rouen for a spot of dinner and then drive to Paris for a four day holiday. She’ll then fly home and I’ll continue south to begin (judging my car and I survive the fabled Paris ring road) the journey under my own steam.
The First Leg
From Paris I’ll travel to Le Mans, home to the Le Man 24 hour endurance race and the pretext for one of my favourite films, the late Steve Mcqueen’s 1971 spectacular Le Mans. Then I’ll make my way to Poitiers for a quick pit stop before stopping for the night at a camp site near Gueret.
From the camp site I’ll make my way towards the Swiss Border. Stopping off at another camp site near Dortan where again I’ll hopefully set up camp and have a relax before making the final journey of the first leg Oberwald in Switzerland.
The Second Leg
Possibly the most anticipated part of the journey and the whole reason that the journey will go through so many countries. The Furka Pass. The Furka Pass is a stretch of road that’s high up in the Swiss Alps its also where the car chase between a spiffing DB5 and a All American Mustang took place in the James Bond film Goldfinger (1964). I’ll take the pass towards a place called Davos (Yes, because Game of Thrones) have a little rest then onwards to another camp site in Ötztal Bahnhof, Austria where I will have a good sleep before going onto my next destination.
Now that I’ll be in Austria its time to do some proper tourist style stuff. I bought a book a while ago about Austria called the AA Pocket guide to Austria. In the book its got the top ten sites to see while in the country and so I’ve used this as a basis for my journey in Austria. It also happens that the top 4 places are on the route I was going to use to get to Germany (Sort of) so figured why not go to them. The first place and number four on the list is HoHe Tauren. Apparently its the largest National Park in Europe so if nothing else it’ll be good for pictures.
Next up, number 2. Eisriesenwelt. I’m already impressed with the name although I have no idea how to pronounce it. as well as a picture of a big castle its also know as “World of the Ice Giants” according to the book on how native Austrians describe one of the largest networks of ice caves on the Earth (That’s like the whole planet and everything).
Then its onto number three Halstatt, back in the 19th Century this was known as “the loveliest lakeside village in the world” although it doesn’t mention who said that so it could be some Ye Olde advertising ploy. That aside I’ll most likely try and pitch my tent somewhere in the vicinity before heading to the Number One hot spot.
Durnstein. Apparently this is home to some romantic castle ruins (Great selling point for one man and his car in a tent) and some good photo opportunities. Its also where Richard the Lionheart was held captive by the Austrian Duke Leopold.
The Third and Final Leg
From Durstein I’ll be making my final trip. Firstly making my way to Hamburg (Stopping off along the way for food and sleep) to meet my Dad and then up to Kiel to see a preserved German U Boat.
Then its back to Calais via Holland and Belgium. Taking in some sites as we go. I’ve deliberately left this part mostly unplanned to give me a chance to have a look around and take it easy after so much driving.
So that’s folks. The trip in a nut shell. Me, my car, some of my family and the open road.