Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day Three

We had a good start too the day in Innsbruck with nice weather although slightly overcast which continued until we got to Vipetino where we turned onto the SS44, at this point the sun broke through and stayed with us for the rest of the day. The SS44 is a really twisty piece of road with little run off or opportunities for picture taking (too busy to stop) at least until it reached Merano where it turned into a normal country style road. However when we turned off to take the SS38 to go up through the Stelvio Pass OMG what a difference..hairpins tight turns, this road has everything.

Stelvio On The Way Up

Unfortunately disaster strikes halfway up the SS38 to Stelvio when the the car suddenly goes from normal temperature to in the red within a few minutes. we pull over quickly at one of the constant hairpins to check things out just as the expansion tank decides to blow it's contents all over the road (see picture below).
After much head scratching I work out that for some reason the front radiator fan is and hasn't been running which is the route cause of the overheating. Fortunately we have copious supplies of water on board (5 litres) and are able to fill the system with a reasonable amount to get us going. I decide to pull the plug off the radiator switch to make the fan run permanently. We get going again, and on a wing and a prayer manage to get to the top of Stelvio pass where we are able to get more water to refill the system completely.

Disater Strikes!!

Nice view where we broke down though :)

Nearly at the top

View from the top

Relaxing at the top

This is quite high up lol

On the way down

We finally got to our hotel in Grosio in the late afternoon...more tomorrow!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day Two

Well today started out with some promise (at a decent time of day 9.00am) although it was slightly overcast. An hour down the road and the sun decided to grace us with its presence and stayed with us until just after we crossed the border from Germany into Austria, where it started to drizzle with rain.

At the time this didn’t detract from the stunning scenery and views but it did however spoil the driving somewhat….due to the Austrian drivers seeming inability to go more than 20 kph round corners in the wet. Although this particular number plate we liked!!

By the time we got onto the expressway to Innsbruck it was absolutely hammering down with rain, which made travel quite hazardous due to the spray kicked up. We managed to reach our hotel in the city centre at around 4.15pm.

Quick shower and a walk in the rain into Innsbruck Old Town for something to eat and drink saw us settled for the night.

Tomorrow we start to drive the roads we came here for with a trip from Innsbruck to Meran(Italy) and on to Grosio (Italy) via the Stelvio Pass….cant wait!!

When we manage to get a faster internet connection we have some pictures to upload

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Day One

Well our journey stared at 3.30 am this morning...fairly uneventful trip from King's Lynn to Folkestone without any drama's (even though Maggie was driving lol). managed to catch the proposed 6.50 am train although infact it didn't leave until 07.00 am.

Managed to get clear of Calais headed for Reims and stopped for petrol...worked out that the V6 had managed to return 27 mpg woo hoo. As we left the petrol station the heavens opened with the biggest downpour we have seen for some time, so much so that 15km down the road we had to stop and take refuge in one of the thankfully frequent rest/picnic areas provided next to the Autoroutes. The UK would do well to learn from our foreign counterparts with regard to this aspect of road travel. In France these rest areas are roughly every 10-20km and have toilets etc.

From dinner time the black clouds vanished and the sun shone...sunglasses were the order of the day and we felt that finally the holiday had begun. Got to our hotel in Strasbourg at a around 4 pm dumped bags and cases and proceeded to walk into central Strasbourg for a well earned beer or two and something to eat.

Back to the hotel for some well earned rest...we will upload pictures as and when.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Two Days To Go

Well here we are with 2 days to go, got the car cleaned, polished and serviced ready to go so here are a few pictures before she gets nearly 3000 miles worth of road grime on her.