European Road Trip 2018     

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The haunted, hotel with the wonky floor on the way to the Eurotunnel 



So we do.

The sat nav's got us lost - again!  We're only on day two of this road trip and the bloody thing can't even find a German town the size of Huddersfield. It's a useless piece of dog dung and no mistake, but it came as part and parcel of the car we chose for this years little adventure which is a Spirit Blue Fiesta ST180 - Great car, cracking colour - shame about the sat nav.

Rewind to the previous morning... We've been holed up for the night in an allegedly haunted 16th century inn which is in a small rural village hidden deep in the countryside of South East England, its location makes it ideal for heading to the Eurotunnel early in the morning... or so we think. The place has a 500 year old subsidence problem which makes getting up in the night and trundling across a rickety old sloping floor to go for a piddle quite an experience. Even though we're stone cold sober we feel completely "trollied" as we bounce off the walls & various bits of furniture en route to the lav. Coming back it's uphill! 

Sat navs and hotels - we can't half pick 'em!   

Up bright & early and, "Eurotunnel" is typed optimistically into the sat nav's destination bar..... "Never heard of it mate, try again"   So we do, several times.  We try, "Channel Tunnel" .... "Chunnel" .... "Shuttle" ..... "Le Shuttle ..... "Big train thingy that goes under a vast stretch of water and ends up in France"   .... Still nothing!  OK, Let's try Folkestone   "Ah! I know where that is"  it says, "Follow me".  So we do.......

We're at a crossroads on a narrow country lane, the choices are: left, right or straight on. Straight on happens to be down a grotty, pothole infested, knee deep in mud & dung farm track and guess which way idiot nav wants us to go?  I'll give you a clue, it's not left and it's not right.  We go left, then the bloody thing keeps telling us to turn around. That's when we notice that according to daft nav, Folkestone is now 16 miles away! We know for sure that it was only 8 miles from the hotel when we started out because it said so when we left there, but here we are inexplicably twice as far away now than we were when we started out. Maybe it's taken up a new hobby of dishing out fake news, or maybe it's just a spiteful bastard.. 

Now it wants us to turn right up another country lane, so we do. It's a very narrow one but at least it feels like we're going in the right direction. A mile and half further on and we eventually approach a T junction at a main road.... Success!!  Well, it would be if some lardy farm vehicle, or a mob of drunken sumo sized morris dancers, hadn't been up there before us and uprooted a soddin' great tree - which is now completely blocking the road in front of us. So, we're not actually AT the T junction yet but we are tantalisingly close to it, a mere 100 yds in fact and faced with two options. Do we reverse for a mile and half, because there's nowhere we can possibly turn around - and who knows where mad nav would take us to if we did - or, do we try and move the miniature Sherwood Forest that's appeared in front of us?

Option two it is then - "Off you go Miss, I'm driving!"  So she does. I've got to say she does like a bit of gardening, and she's a sturdy lass of good Midlands stock so she soon has it pulled back far enough for me to squeeze the car through - well almost. It's certainly not up there with my greatest moments of fulfilment hearing the thing trying its best to scrape the paint off the car as I inched slowly past.

We finally make it to the main road at last, and there's a sign pointing to "Eurotunnel"  We're saved!  We have to hurry though because we're now running late. "Turn off that useless F****** sat nav" somebody shouts. I think it was me, it sounded like me.. So we do, and I swear I could hear it cackling away to itself as it went off .....  "Mischief is my name, Mischief is my game" "  Followed by an evil laugh.  Maybe the hotel really was haunted after all. 

By some minor miracle we've now made it to Germany and we're trying to find our way to the town of Fussen, it started off well enough as we left Le Bonhomme in France but it all goes tits up about half way when the evil spawn of satan nav dumps us in the middle of nowhere and goes into a sulk. It's obvious that it hasn't got a clue where we are, but more worryingly neither have we.  

We park up at the side of a cemetery in a small town, where a quick discussion concludes it might be best to get the map book out to see if we can find some places we can use as way points between here and Fussen that we can head for. So we do, and we put a few of them into dickhead nav, then stupidly begin to follow its instructions ........"Turn right in 200 metres" it says. So we do. Then a few hundred yds further on .....  "Do a U turn when possible"

Now, I must admit that at this point I lost it a bit. - tearing my hair out and throwing a complete and utter foul mouthed wobbly that could be heard all the way back in Manchester would be a very good, if understated, description of events that followed. You could say that I'd earned the right to be quite vexed, so being quite vexed I am........

 ..... And, that's when the speed camera flashes us!



Road Trip Video  




By pure luck we arrive at Fussen in Bavaria - complete with impending speeding fine - where we plan to go do the touristy thing for a couple of days.  This is  Neuschwanstein. They say this was the inspiration for the Disney Castle......We're seeing that!  We took 100s of photos of it but we'll not bore you with them all - just a few because we trotted up some very big hills to get them. 





All that effort to get this view and there's scaffolding up the outside!  



You see some interesting things up mountains folk jumping off them!



Someone having trouble with wind.



Another Bavarian Castle, can't remember what this one's called but it begins with an 'S'

The little church of St Coloman near Fussen

.............  we got a bit a shock when we went inside 









Walking the Highline 179 on the way to Italy. It was a long steep climb up to this but well worth the effort 



It was hot and very humid on the way up, the car's ambient temp gauge was showing 27 deg when we parked and it was only 8.30 am. 
By the time we got back down it was well into the 30s 


On the Timmelsjoch Pass


The Timmelsjoch Cafe, there's a definite petrolhead theme going on here


Seemed rude not to park next to it.





One of the less crowded Alpine passes




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