Saturday, 31 May 2014

SKCC Euroblat 2014

In mid-May we were lucky enough to join the Southern Kit Car Club trip to Europe.  In summary, this involved around 20 cars, 4 nights, 1,500 miles and 4 countries.  On day 1 alone we had breakfast in England, coffee in Belgium, lunch in France and dinner in Germany!

Day 1

Early meet up at the Channel Tunnel ready for the off:

Coffee stop at Belgium general aviation airport.  A little damp on the ground at this point.

Passing the famous Nurburgring, where we paused by the perimeter fence and watched the cars on track for a while.

Riverside hotel for the first.  By the time we reached the Mosul the sun was out and it was a glorious evening.

Day 2

Next morning, after leaving the hotel we crossed over the Mosul and quickly began to climb the valley on the other side.

After a short clime we were rewarded with some stunning views and so stopped for a few photos:

Travelling along part of the famous Maginot Line.  It really is as narrow as a wide cycle path.

Back into France for a lakeside lunch.  By now it was very hot and we had to shelter out of the sun.

Afternoon tea stop was arranged at a small historic wood paneled hotel.  The chance to catch up with other members latest modifications to tempting to resist.

Final leg of day 2 saw us climb through the Black Forest mountains to the night stop.  We did experience some thick fog and hail.  As it was quite close to the final stop, it did not dampen our spirits.

We were looked after very well by the excellent Grunwold Hotel.

Next morning, after removing the car cover, it was still a little damp.

A few miles down the road we stopped at (the world's largest?) working cuckoo clock.  A rather eccentric clockmaker has made a house that contains a full scaled up wooden clock mechanism.  We hung around a while to watch the animation on the half hour.

In the afternoon we had a very enjoyable sustained climb to a ski station.  There were climbing hairpins for a good 20 minutes.  At the top we were rewarded with stunning views across the adjacent plateau.

As the cafes in the ski station were closed for the summer season we stopped at a cafe a few miles further on and talked the owner into firing up the coffee machine.  Again some stunning views from the car park.

Ski runs in the background during this leg to the lunch stop.

Lunch was at the quirky town of Todtnau.  The best part was the roller coaster than descends down the mountain side.  The top is reached via chair lift.

A couple of breathers during the afternoon driving.

Improvised luggage rack worked really well.  Ability to still use the rear view mirror was very helpful throughout the trip.

Day 4

After the night stop in Mulhouse we headed again for the mountains.

Mid-morning pit stop in at a ski station in the Alsace mountains.

Late lunch stop for our group of two cars in a deserted village in the middle of nowhere.  Go pasta though.

Final afternoon leg to the hotel.

Last night saw us in an Irish bar downtown, taking part in a quiz organised by 'the Captain'.

Day 5

Working our way north through the Champagne region.

Short breather at the remains of the Reims circuit pits.

Once the traffic has died down we tried a 'Le Mans Start', much to everybody's amusement, mostly those locals spectating!

Visiting Lochnagar crater was astounding and sobering at the same time.

Final coffee stop of the trip...

...before the final dash to Eurotunnel

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.   The effort put in by 'the Captain' really showed and everybody benefited from lots of stunning driving roads, good overnight stops and interesting tourist distractions along the way.  We shall definitely be making every effort to join the Euro trip in 2015.

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