09/08/2010 By dadmin Off

Driving through Europe

We are now back from our trip down to Italy, at Lake Como. We’ve decided to go by car this time, probably one of the longest trip by car we’ve done so far together. On 30 July we drove down to Dover to take the ferry to Calais. Once in France, we started going towards Reims. Soon after Calais we had to take a ticket for the toll road. I had no idea what tolls mean in France, so I thought they cannot be that much. Around Reims the paying time came and, to my huge shock, we had to pay 20 Euros! I did not have much time to recover from the shock that we had to take another ticket. This time it took us to around Metz where we paid another 13 Euros. Then, right before St. Avold another 4,10 Euros. The next day we went towards Strasbourg and we paid a further 8 Euros. We then continued to Switzerland. There we had to buy a vignette, which is a yearly pass that allows you to drive on Swiss highways. That cost about 36 Euros. However, when driving through Switzerland (Basel, Luzern, Lugano) you also see why you pay, as they had to create countless number of tunnels. Wonderful feeling when you start seeing the Alps and then you just keep getting closer to them. Luzern area was really beautiful, with the driving along the lake. However, Lugano provided us with the most amazing view, as the lake was of an amazing turquoise colour! The Lugano lake is also quite big so we kept driving along it for a while in our way to Menaggio. When going back we decided to avoid another rip off in France, so we went instead through Strasbourg-Luxembourg-Belgium. We had some severe delays due to holiday season (before San Gottardo tunnel in Switerland) and French stupid decisions to close highways or move main traffic through fields. This time we decided to go on top of the San Gottardo tunnel, through the mountains and it was an amazing experience! I was very disappointed of toilets as well as rest areas in all countries except Belgium! In Switzerland they decided to go for bowl-less toilets, which are not very enjoyable. Luxembourg rest areas were ugly and over crowded. France had better areas on toll roads but nothing really as impressive as I saw in Germany. Overall, it was an interesting experience and provided us with some really amazing views.