We've made it, car and marriage intact!
To summarise, for those who like details or fancy doing the Kent to Monopoli trip themselves:
- 20 hours of driving turned into 24 with fuel stops and a few wrong turns (naughty sat nav!)
- split it over 2 days and Lucerne is a fantastic stop halfway
- Eurotunnel cost IRO £100 (last minute booking and mid-summer)
- tolls totalled IRO €80 (avoiding most of France, where apparently, they are extortionate)
- no fuss at borders as most of Europe is in the Schengen zone = no passport checks
- longest uninterrupted stretch = 420 miles on one road in Italy!
- lessons learned: none really, just make sure you have plenty cash for tolls!
We first refuelled in Luxembourg where they speak French. The strangest thing for me was, despite studying it for 12 years not so long ago and having been pleasantly surprised by my recall during a visit to France a few years back, now I couldn't find even basic French, and blurted out grazie ("thank you" - in Italian!). It seems my brain can only hold one language in reserve at a time!
In my head, a road trip from UK to the south of Italy taking in France, Luxembourg, (the tiniest corner of) Germany, Switzerland and the length of Italy would involve so many exciting changes of scenery I should have a tough choice choosing which photos to share. In reality, for at least half the trip, Mr RR and I looked around and said "This could be England" and most of the remainder induced little more than "meh!" as we pined for Puglia! I know that sounds awful but it's the truth!
Still I documented a few moments for posterity!
|Approaching le shuttle|
|Glad I wasn't the one driving onto the train!|
|On board and driving down the train|
|Other side of the channel: it's flat, it's green, it's cloudy - a bit meh!|
|Lucerne = clean and fairytale-like. Big thumbs up, but still grey!|
|Switzerland - uber classy, until this!|
|Telling that the sun came out as we approached the Italian border?|
|Straight through customs, no fuss|
|Arriving into Monopoli at dusk alongside tractors!|
|Heaven wrapped in purple!|