Back to Spain

Barcelona (Spain), 25.11.2013

225 days after leaving Spain on a sunny April morning, now came the day to get back. In the morning I packed the car and left Milan in bright sunshine. In no time I was on the motorway towards Genova and spent two hours to reach the border with France. Roads were excellent, traffic very light, weather good – perfect driving conditions. Starting my descent towards the Mediterranean, at some point a valley opened up in front of me, the sea at the end of it, a thick white cloud over the scene, and the sun made the water sparkle, while some white sails moved slowly on the horizon. I wanted to take pictures, but the narrow motorway didn’t allow for a stop. Continue reading “Back to Spain”

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Bonjour, Ciao and Dobro Vece!

Zagreb (Croatia), 16.04.2013

The day started with a walk through a park dotted with pines, cypresses, broom, rosemary, lavender and more Mediterranean plants whose names I don’t know. The air smelling of fire wood, the grass still covered with dew, we took a delicious breakfast looking over the Grasse valley. What a view, and what a marvelous landscape. We can only recommend Le Mas Candille!

It was in fact so beautiful that we left late. The last km of Côte d’Azur were spectacular. With 25 degrees and sunshine, the arid, Mediterranean mountains dipped into the blue sea, forming one bay after the other. As soon as we crossed into Italy, the road got worse, the towns grey, and the crazy drivers started appearing quite frequently. Then followed several hours of northern Italian motorway, through the Pianura Padana, not my favored spot. No clear view, flat land, too many trucks. It took until the end of the day when the landscape started to become more hilly in Veneto, and then with Dalmatian style rocks as we crossed into Slovenia. The Franco-Italian border was non-existent, here we found some Carabinieri staring at us but too lazy to stop us.

The Slovenian motorways are the best we had so far. New, clean, big – the Switzerland of all European Autobahn 😉 Unfortunately that was as much as we saw, since the night fell pitch black very quickly. 2h later we crossed into Croatia. Finally a real border! With passport control and customs! Our German IDs got us through in no time. Very practical travel documents.

30 mins later we left the motorway and entered a suburb of Zagreb, until arriving at the central Trg Bana Jelacica where we had booked a hotel. And here, surprise! “We have no rooms, we are full.” “But we booked through booking.com.” “Oh really? Then I guess my colleague did not turn off the online booking.” “Too bad. What solution do you offer to your problem now?” “???” “!!!”

We then got a room in another hotel nearby, and took off for very late night dinner. The center of Zagreb at night gave a glance of what we will see tomorrow morning.

Changes done to the blog: as suggested by Alex Wit, we inserted a Google Map with our stops. You can find it in the blogroll. I’m still trying to figure out how to connect the dots to show the route we travel. Any help is welcome, email is best.

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Trip data (Day/Total)

– Km driven: 977/2.225

– Hrs driving: 10/-

– Diesel l/100km: 11.5/11.6 (1,83€ in IT; 1,34€ in SLO)

First Day on the Road

Mougins (France), 15.04.2013

This morning at 11:30 CET our new adventure started. We closed the door to our apartment and opened the one of our car. One chapter of our lives closed and another one opened up. It all went so fast we didn’t realize what had happened. 12 hours later we are 1250 km from home, in a hotel close to Cannes, and will close our first day on the road with a glass of champagne.

Today we drove through Spain with great weather and appreciated the wonderful, arid landscape, with it’s varying color schemes in the mountains and vast plains in between. We passed the Greenwich Meridian and are as of this moment travelling in the eastern hemisphere. We crossed our first border, into France, although there is no real border between Spain and France (great achievement of the European Union). When we entered France it was getting dark, so only tomorrow we will be able to admire its beauty. But as I learned in my previous company: no forward looking statements. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow.

Today has also been the maiden voyage of our Evoque. It is fully loaded until under the roof, plus a safari rack and tyre on top. This slows us down (max speed is just 176 km/h) and increases diesel consumption significantly (see below). But it is very, very comfortable. We are happy to have chosen this car. We also found out that it does not stop even if the board computer says that the autonomy left with the remaining diesel is 1 km – very reassuring.

DSC_0338 DSC_0335 DSC_0333 DSC_0301Time to go to bed, tomorrow we have another long day on the motorway ahead of us.

I wanted to tell all friends we didn’t manage to meet as we wanted during these last weeks (Timo, Oli, Vieri, Luca and many more) that we’ll repeat when we come back. We had not only to organize this trip, a ask that revealed itself much bigger then expected. But we also did a full “mudanza” and tons of paperwork in record speed to not loose valuable travel time during good weather.

Trip data (only today “day” and “total” will be the same)

– Km driven: 1.250

– Driving time: 12:40h

– Average consumption (l/100km): 11,7 (diesel in ES & FR costed €1,35-€1,40)