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The Motorists' Guide

The Motorists Guide

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  1. Doesn't look like there will be much overseas travel this year.....maybe next year then? Although not impossible to hop across the ocean for a European road trip, the resulting restrictions would spoil an otherwise joyful event in my opinion. Besides, there is so much to see in this country and also keeps the UK economy buoyant 🙂
  2. Radiohead is now topping my list of road trip tracks
  3. Foreign travel is not looking good at the moment .... hopefully change when France and other countries improve on their vaccination programmes
  4. Have received my new GHIC and it looks very flashy with Union Jack splashed all over the front of the card. Here is the link to apply for one, at no cost: https://www.gov.uk/global-health-insurance-card
  5. Road Trip through France Vehicle: Alfa Romeo GT diesel Total Mileage: 1300 miles Duration: 10 days Route: Calais - Reims - Dijon - Annecy - Chambrey - Oredour - Brantome - Le Mans - Cherbourg Downloadable Route Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/zVs45s1fFxbQ631b9 Day 1 - Set off from Calais to Dijon with the intention of getting a good distance under way on the first day. Stopped via Reims-Gieux, the historical race track used for the French Grand Prix during the early part of the 20th century. Sadly now deserted and although derelict is now gradually being sympathetically restored. Arrived at Dijon early evening to check into hotel and then find food and beer. Day 2 & 3 - Set off from Dijon late morning to drive across to Annecy, a short distance drive unlike the long drive the day before. Booked into hotel for a couple of days to discover the beautiful lakeside town of Annecy. Day 4 - Set off to Chambrey taking in some spectacular alpine roads with stunning views. Arrived at Chambrey, a short but memorable drive from Annecy. Checked into hotel and off to discover the town and find food and beer once more! Day 5, 6, 7 & 8 - Departed Chambrey to drive to Brantome to stay with friends. Quite some drive along a very fast and smooth Autoroute with stunning vistas of the surrounding French landscape. Arrived at friends and stayed for several days to break the journey. Our friends took us out to Oredour-Sur-Glane which is the town razed to the ground by retreating German forces at the end of the second world war. A very poignant and serene town, completely derelict as it was left in time, in memory of those who died. A new town is built alongside. Checked out Brantome and some local villages in the evenings with plenty of open air dining and music. Day 9 - Headed off to Le Mans to stay the night and revisit my favourite town (attended Le Mans 24 Hours for the past 14 years). Day 10 - Headed off to Cherbourg for Ferry back to the UK Summary: a very pleasant meander through France going down the Eastern border, along the bottom of the mid-region and then up the western side in a horseshoe route. Very memorable trip and wonderful choice of car to drive the superb French roads
  6. Road Trip through Germany Vehicle: BMW Z3 Total Mileage: 1800 miles Duration: 8 days Route: Calais - Strasbourg - Fussen - Innsbruck - Day 1 - Calais to Strasbourg Left Calais after ferry crossing from Dover. Headed for Strasbourg for the first leg of the trip, heavy going but breaks the back of the journey on the first day. Finally arrived at Strasbourg to check into hotel and source somewhere to eat and view the city at night. Quite incredible that the French / German border is on the same street and you can enjoy the fantastic restaurants and bars beneath the shadow of the stunning Cathedral. Day 2 - Strasbourg to Fussen Left Strasbourg to drive through the Black Forest to Fussen, located in the heart of Bavaria. With a brief stop at Rothenburg to have some lunch and explore the town's streets, we then ventured through the Black Forest en-route to Bavaria Using the pretext of the Z3 approaching 100k miles we thought it appropriate for the 100k mark to occur in Bavaria, where the car was originally built in the year 2000. Finally arriving at Fussen and checking into the hotel located in the town centre it was then just a case of selecting a restaurant to dine in. Not too difficult as there are plenty of fine establishments to choose from. Day 3 - The next day, we ventured up to Castle Neuschwanstein, made famous by Walt Disney who featured it in his cartoons as a fairytale castle. The castle also featured in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and can only be described as stunning and a must-see if you are in Bavaria. Day 4 - Fussen to Innsbruck Arriving at Innsbruck after travelling along what can only be described as some of the most scenic driving roads in Europe, we arrived at Innsbruck in Austria and checked into our hotel located on the riverside. . Day 5 - Spent a second day in Innsbruck as so much to see and experience, just what's needed after a long drive through Germany. Day 6 & 7 - Innsbruck to Ypres Travelling back through the Black Forest ultimately heading to Ypres and the Menin Gate in Belgium. Stopping at a hotel in the heart of the Black Forest for the night and then heading on after breakfast for the home run. Arriving in Ypres, we were fortunate to witness the Last Post being performed in a very emotional ceremony to honour the fallen soldiers in the First World War. Day 8 - Ypres to Calais After approximately 1800 miles and 8 days of pure driving pleasure it was time to head back to the UK. Summary: A 'must do' for anyone who appreciates fine roads, stunning scenery, great food and drink, culture, fresh air and just about anything else that can contribute to a truly wonderful and memorable road trip.
  7. Fast, detailed and entirely offline maps with turn-by-turn navigation – trusted by over 140 million travelers worldwide. OFFLINE MAPS. Save mobile data; no internet is required. Download App link: https://apps.apple.com/app/id510623322
  8. SatNav Map Book (for when you have no SatNav) Driving Licence(s) Insurance documents MOT Certificate Passport & Visa's Dash Cam Breakdown Cover documents Spare Tyre or Tyre Repair Sealant Tyre Inflator Tool Kit Torch Warning Triangle Spare Bulb Kit Hi-Vis Fluorescent Jackets (enough for driver all passengers) Bottled Water First Aid Kit Fire Extinguisher GB Bumper Sticker
  9. Before you travel, make sure you’ve got a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or travel insurance with health cover You may not have access to free emergency medical treatment and could be charged for your healthcare if you do not have an EHIC or GHIC when visiting an EU country, or travel insurance when visiting Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. If you have an EHIC it will still be valid while it remains in date. More information: Check if you need a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) Updated: 15 January 2021
  10. Alfa4. totally agree, all my trips are a round trip and never going back on the same roads...widens the scope of places to visit
  11. Why do you Road Trip? Is is the journey, the destination or just the experience? List your reasons below
  12. TAKE THE STRESS AND RISK OUT OF YOUR EUROPEAN ROAD JOURNEYS ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has published advice for staying safe and secure on European road journeys this year. The advice takes the form of six top tips covering planning, equipment, safety, legal matters and security issues. Neil Worth, road safety officer at GEM Motoring Assist, said: “The European motorway network is excellent and extensive, but it’s important to ensure that you and your vehicle are safe and legal before you drive off the ferry for a family holiday or business trip. By using our tips as a starting point, you can go a long way to maximising your safety and minimising the risks you face while you’re travelling, as well as the inconvenience and expense of being unprepared if anything does go wrong.” 1. Check your documents before you go Is your driving licence valid? Are the passports for everyone in your party all in date? Do you have appropriate insurance? Are you covered for the country or countries you’re visiting? Do you have breakdown cover as well? Run through all the necessary paperwork in plenty of time, so that you have everything to hand on your journey. 2. Carry the right equipment Different countries have different rules. Most require that you carry high visibility reflective jackets, a first aid kit and a warning triangle. Some countries also insist on replacement bulbs and fuses, a fire extinguisher or spare pairs of spectacles for any drivers who need them. French rules require that you carry a disposable breathalyser, but under the current system, police are unable to enforce payment of the €11 fine. Make a point of checking the specific requirements for each country you plan to visit, so that you won’t risk a fine if you’re stopped. 3. Know the rules Make sure you understand the specific traffic rules and signs. Drink-drive limits across Europe are lower than in the UK, and police officers in most countries can issue and collect on-the-spot fines for traffic offences. If you’re in any doubt about local parking regulations, ask someone before leaving your vehicle. Remember, ignorance is no defence. 4. Budget for motorway tolls The European motorway network is excellent and extensive; you can cover long distances quite easily – but there is a price. For example, the 715-mile motorway journey from Calais to Fréjus on the Mediterranean coast will cost you a fraction under €100. Toll tags such as the French ‘Liber-t’ device can save time at tolls. Register your details online before you travel and you’ll receive your own tag which you place in the windscreen of your car. You can then drive through the toll plazas without needing to find coins or credit card, as you receive an invoice and pay shortly afterwards by direct debit. 5. Fill up off the motorway You can save significantly by leaving the motorway network to buy your fuel (and refreshments). For example, a litre of diesel costs around €1.37 (£1.16) at a French motorway service area, compared with €1.21 at a supermarket. Just be aware that the older automatic payment mechanisms at French fuel stations may still decline British credit cards (though the problem is much less significant than it used to be). It’s also worth noting that bigger supermarkets have toilets and very reasonably priced cafés – and are often no more than a couple of minutes’ drive off the autoroute. 6. Don’t drive for so long that you become dangerously fatigued Don’t ignore the early signs of fatigue when you’re at the wheel. Share the driving if possible, and take regular breaks. Fatigue-related crashes are most likely to happen between 2am and 6am, although there is also an increased risk during the afternoon, when our body clocks experience a natural dip in alertness. Don’t be tempted to press on when you’ve been at the wheel for several hours. Avoid heavy meals, as these can exacerbate the symptoms of fatigue, and certainly don’t drink alcohol during journey breaks. 7. Be vigilant at motorway service areas Don’t fall victim to crime when you’re enjoying a break on a long motorway journey. Huge numbers of people pass through service areas every day, making them hotbeds of criminal activity. Make sure you lock your car when you’re parking, and don’t leave high value items visible. Watch out for possibly bogus ‘officials’ who try to tell you that your tyres are illegal and that you’ll need to purchase a new set on the spot. Don’t let children out of your sight at any time, and in particular make sure you accompany them to the loo. 8. Disable any speed camera alerting systems from your satnav before you arrive in France. There are harsh penalties in France if you are found with any sort of speed camera detection system in your car, regardless of whether or not you are using it. So, make sure you disable the alerting mechanism before you drive anywhere in France. Check online if you are unsure of how to do this. If you have a built-in satnav, then be sure to check with the car manufacturer if you are in doubt as to how you switch off the speed camera alerts.
  13. Anyone planned a road trip through Europe yet and when are you setting off? What restrictions have you researched and how easy (and fun) will it be to traverse the various countries?
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