Last year we had a number of European Road trips, with our main one being our trip around Italy following the route of the Mille Miglia race and you can catch up on that trip here. It was a stunning journey and we enjoyed every minute of it. Later in the year we had a smaller road trip which involved holidaying in Port Cogolin in the South of France and then driving to Venice to spend three nights in that most wonderful of cities. This year then we have planned a trip that will combine a bit from both of these trips, with a few other exciting events, to make what for us promises to be a very exciting trip indeed.
First off the kit. Last year we did our roadtrips in SilverBeast our MINI Coupé JCW and he performed wonderfully on those journeys but this time it is the turn of our Opel GT. Well by definition he is a Grand Tourer. He is also left hand drive and finally he is a goddamn sexy motor, so it is time he got back into his European adventures with a vengeance. Our Fuji X-E1 and assorted lenses will be the photographic kit to record the journey.
Our first destination is Port Cogolin, where we will stay for five nights at our flat there. We will arrive on the Saturday morning and Sunday morning will see us up bright and early to drive the 2 hours to Monaco as we have tickest for the Historical Grand Prix which is running on this weekend.
We have wanted to watch the Historical Grand Prix at Monaco for a long while now, so we have bit the bullet and put it in this road trip, so it should get the trip off to a flying start as this is just two days into the holiday.
We then have a few relaxing days taking it easy and exploring St Tropez as we like to do before setting off very early on Thursday morning to arrive in Brescia to watch the 2014 Mille Miglia. Last year we got a sense of this event by visiting the Mille Miglia Museuem in Brescia and then driving the route, stopping off for a number of overnight stops along the way. This time we want to see the race for real, so we are going to be in Brescia for 4 nights to see the start and end of this incredible road race. Our home for these four nights will be the Hotel Cristallo, which is just short of a mile from the centre of Brescia. Being Mille Miglia weekend our choices were not great but this is well priced and close enough to the centre to work for us. While here we will also spend a day exploring in the Italian Lakes, while the Mille Miglia cars are charging to Rome and back! We have wanted to watch this race for so long I can’t remember but finally after a few false starts we will make this dream come true.
After Brescia we are going back to Venice for three nights. We were so captivated by Venice when we went back in September of last year that we decided we just had to go back! This time we have booked the Ambassador hotel in St Marks Square as the Pensione Wildner which served us so well last time was fully booked. This will be a lovely city break interlude from our car adventures and I’m sure the camera will be snapping as much as it was the last time we were here!
After Venice, the road trip gets back to a car theme as we head for the Italian Dolomites to stay at the Alpe Hotel Panorama, where we are meeting a group of German Opel GT owners to spend a few days charging around the Dolomites with them. We will have three nights at this hotel.We have previously explored The Dolomites in our MINI Checkmate JCW way back in 2007 with a gang of MINIs so the chance to do this again but this time with Opel GTs is just a fantastic opportunity.
After this we begin the journey homeward. On Sunday we will probably make for Basel in Switzerland, via The Stelvio pass if it is open. We have always missed the Stelvio “thing” so again this is a chance to tick that one off, and Basel is just an opportunity to check out the Swiss world of watches as this is another passion of mine.
So there you have it, our 2014 main European Road Trip and we think it’s a cracker!