Target – The Mille Miglia start

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    Day Sixteen

    The cars stayed at the hotel today as we explored the town of San Marino, it is a fascinating place with tremendous views but hardly a horizontal pathway and it was very hot, so the day’s exploits were punctuated regularly with refreshments.


    Day Seventeen

    From now on its North all the way, we left San Marino and used the Autostrada virtually all the way to Monza. We took a diversion to see the famous Enzo and Dino circuit at Imola and although we could walk round to the Acqua Minerali bend, the circuit was being used by Lamborghini for the launch of their new Huracan.

    For the second time on this trip, we raised the top although this time it was not for the rain but the sun, it got hotter and hotter as we approached Milan so the last hour was spent undercover with the air con doing its thing.

    In the evening we were very pleasantly surprised, after dinner, we went for a stroll over to the Royal Park opposite the hotel and there was a Jazz band playing enthusiastically on the balcony of the Royal Palace. They wore yellow Bat Man capes and masks and were having a great time, as were the people gathered around, they then led the crowd off to the rose garden where a concert was about to start. – great fun.


    Day Eighteen

    With the Monza Formula 1 circuit in the park opposite the hotel, , it was an obvious start to the day. In the process of driving o the track, we found ourselves in the middle of a marathon event with runners streaming along the access road, after the bulk had passed, we were able to gently pick our way through. The marathon was actually finishing on the start/finish line of the circuit and with all the activity going on, we were able to slip onto the track and take a few pictures.

    After that it was a case of hitting the motorways, destination France. We have come to the conclusion that Jason (the Sat Nav) is a teenager, this would account for the sudden loss of interest at the critical moments and would also explain that very teenage problem of waking up in the morning, it took a number of goes to get the route sorted before we could set off.

    It was a very long and hot day, starting with the flat land between Milan and Turin, we turned left and headed up the valley to the Mount Blanc tunnel and the scenery changed dramatically with the huge snow covered peaks towering way above us.  The tunnel itself is 11km long and when you emerge, you are in France. After that it was a few more hours up the motorway to Tournus in Burgundy where we enjoyed a very pleasant meal on an open terrace.


    Day Nineteen

    Another day on the motorway it it has not got any cooler with the temperatures up in the lower 30’s. There were two main route available but as we didn’t fancy getting tangled up in the Paris traffic, we headed up the east of France past Dijon, Troyes and Rheims.

    As we were passing Rheims, we popped off the motorway to take a look at the pits on the start/finish straight of the old Grand Prix circuit, this is just a stretch of the public road but the grandstands, control tower and pits are still standing. The circuit formed a triangle of roads and, with the exception of the hairpin to the west, you can drive round what was once the track.

    Our final hotel of the trip is the Ibis at the service area at Assevilliers and it is the first disappointment, the air con has packed up!



    Day Twenty

    What a terrible night, the room was like an oven and the humidity high so we had to open a window, unfortunately just outside was a truck park and the wagons arrived and left all night noisily.

    In the morning, the Barratts headed for the Eurotunnel and we had a day to cover the 150 miles to the ferry, so we selected a route that took through some of the wonderful countryside of northern France and southern Belgium. Arriving in Zeebrugge early, we headed for the up-market seaside resort of Knokke and enjoyed a stroll along the beach.

    When we got to Zeebrugge at the appointed time, there was no ferry, the Pride of Brugge that had struggled to get us from Hull was now out of commission and the sailings were only every other day, so we booked into a hotel in Brugge for the night.



    Day Twenty One

    Once again we had a day to make it to the ferry but this time it was only 20 minutes down the road, so we had a very pleasant day exploring Brugge, it is a really interesting city, and even more so if you venture away from  the normal tourist spots.

    The hotel had an underground garage so we were able to leave the Enigma there as we walked about.

    This time, when we reached the port, the ferry was waiting and we boarded for our “cruise” to Hull.


    Day Twenty Two

    Back home and time to reflect on a wonderful holiday, we covered just over 2600 miles through eight countries and the Enigma behaved faultlessly. Despite some long days in the saddle, the driving position and comfort of the seats meant that this was a pleasure rather than an ordeal. The scenery varied dramatically and the focal point of the Mille Miglia did not disappoint. The weather was excellent with only about an hour in total driving through rain, the only other time we raised the hood was because the sun was too strong.

    With the exception of the Ibis at Asserviliers, all the hotels were excellent and the company of Dave and Rita outstanding.

    The only niggle was Jason (the sat nav) when working, the directions were faultless – clear and precise – the problem was that all too often the program crashed at the critical moment when you needed to negotiate a junction. The software is the Igo program, I will have to do some research into upgrading it.

Viewing 7 posts - 16 through 22 (of 22 total)
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