Euro Blat 2014
by greenwoo » Mon May 26, 2014 11:22 am
20 cars booked with 30 ‘peeps’ in total…..the first challenge was to find a route that would give us all a taste of what’s on offer ‘over there’ – that would mean covering different Regions, different types of roads and interesting scenery. After a lot of doodling the final plan would see us head through France and Belgium and into Germany for Day 1, and then we’d head South coming back into France in the Alsace before heading North towards Blighty.
OK Here goes……
We met at Eurotunnel bright and early, most had been up earlier than needed the ‘Can we go yet’ syndrome had struck most of the party so we all had time for introductions and more importantly – Java to keep us alert.
Sad news was that the Mango’s had had a minor ‘mare’ and would join us at a later stage as their departure was, erm subject to retrieving something way back at home…..Once on the train the real banter started, and in SKCC ‘stylee’ it would continue for the duration!
Once out ‘ the other side’ it became clear within 2 minutes that not everyone is adept at reading instructions – most of us waited in line at the filling station so that we could set off as one, only to watch a few naughty boys go sailing past – we made them sit on the naughty step a little later. We had to crack off some boring motorway miles to get ‘down country’ – but the boredom was alleviated with some japes at the first fuelling stop – where of course our little cars caused a disproportionate amount of interest. We sidled into Belgium for a spot of lunch before cracking on – destination Rurhsee – a large lake in the Eifel Region of Germany a bit North of the ‘Ring. Cue comedy moment number 1: 2 groups of SKCC’ers arriving at the lake from 2 different directions – which given that there were only 2 directions – was quite a feat. Needless to say there was more……
Disgusted at the thought of parking and walking all of 3 minutes to the Café the great and the good declared that we should press on and find another Café….which we did. Well almost all of us did! It seemed that John ( KenJohn ) has a short attention span, and realized after about 2 miles that his car was a little lighter, to the tune of a passenger – yep, he’d driven off and left his Mrs and the Lake….Oh how we laughed, and laughed and then took the proverbial and laughed a little more.
Rob decided that this lapse was enough to grant the award of DickHead – and promptly issued the offender/recipient with a ‘novelty toy’ – can you guess what it is yet? Yes, a silicone phallus that turned John into a human unicorn……
People will say that ‘if you haven’t driven the Nurburgring you haven’t lived’ – utter rubbish! The roads around the ‘Ring are just as awesome, and I really do mean that, undulating, twists, turns – perfect for our cars! Russ and I had a ball on that section before hitting the Hotel……and what a setting, on the banks of the Moselle. Stunning! Banter flowed as we sat on the terrace reflecting on a long but fun day…..
Up with the larks, did we need much sleep – nah, we had another superb day ahead….heading South towards the Black Forest, crossing the mighty Rhine into the hills and mountains of the Region. I’d lent Steve R and his co-pilot Dave my spare Sat Nav as the day before had been a true comedy moment. They’d arrived at the Hotel clutching a dog eared map book…..’cos Steve’s sat nav was missing ‘Germany’ – how the feck can you lose Germany it’s a bloody huge place!
The sun was belting down as we headed through Germany, crossing briefly into France for a bit of lunch near the Maginot Line and back again into Germany. Sweltering – 30 degrees according to the local temp boards….ice cream time and a natter in Group 1 with ‘the usual suspects’…..We had a minor comedy moment at the afternoon coffee stop where the owner had told me beforehand that she’d make sure they had extra staff and cakes etc available. Cue the waitress asking everyone who rocked up ‘ and some cheesecake’? no one was taking up the offer til Neil arrived – we bigged up how good the cheesecake was and voila – she’d made a sale!We had some interesting moments with closed roads and after one such episode I got detached from group 1 and pottered along on my own – until a police van decided on a not so friendly ‘chat’….which resulted in him quizzing me about the car with all my documents etc – and all because…..he saw me sitting at a junction waiting for him to turn into the road I was exiting. I had a little twitch I have to admit as I may have been close to the speed limit so miles back and wondered if perhaps one of our pals had passed him and peed him off…..after much tut tutting I was allowed to carry on….phew…
Setting off for the final leg the sun was still shining but the clouds were starting to build as we headed higher up the mountains…..and then they turned black, and I mean – BLACK. For 20-25 minutes we had the mother of all hailstorms – and as quickly as it came it was gone, leaving us a little soggy for the final few miles. But what a reception at the Hotel……
Talk about service. They opened their private parking aread to us, moving all their cars so ours would be right next to the Hotel and even gave the Captain his own garage….if that wasn’t enough they’d dressed up in the local finery and then…..ta da…..offered to dry our clothes, which actually meant washing them and ironing them overight! Bloody brilliant!!!!!
A grey damp start…..oh for all of 30/40 minutes before the scorchio sun came out for the rest of the day! We enjoyed the ups n downs of the Forest roads, staying clear of the B500 which many tout as a great driving road, but using the smaller twisties which were way more fun. We Ran through some simply stunning scenery, high views overlooking Towns nestling in the valleys and then we were ‘there’…..Todtnau with its Rodelbahn…..the gist is , you grab a chairlift up the mountain and come down by way of gravity on a sort of rollercoaster – which you have control of ( brake or not)…..we who’d lose their nerve first?????? Err no tales, it was Rob – ‘you two are fecking mad’…..possibly he has a point!
The others rocked up at various times and most had a little go on the Coaster….none with such a bizarre outcome as Gary…..he was about to pay for a picture of his sone coming down when something clicked in his head – err wrong kid ! ( and wrong colour too !!)…tired were we Gary???
We hit the Premier Classe in Mulhouse, ok, not an ideal Hotel but unfortunately the one best suited to a large group…..Inevitably groups wandered here and there ( well by Taxi) and a few of us ended up in a swanky bistro, where by some quirk of ‘weird’ our waitress was a Yorkshire Lass who’d been living in Germany with her German Dad for a while. Despite someone’s banter it appeared she wasn’t keen on carrying out conversations of a horizontal nature at her Dad’s gaff! No names, what goes on Tour……
Back at the Hotel the lazy ones who’d eaten next door announced they’d drunk the place dry…..my guess is that the Manager had got bored and had turfed them out, cos he magically found more booze for us when we rocked up! At this stage someone was naughty and started putting stickers on cars….i believe Neils was something like ‘ Powered by Pink Fair Dust’…..oh how he laughed the next day as he picked off each letter! There may or may not have been a sticker on Tony B’s car – photo awaited?
Grey start, will it rain? Will it hell…..bloody hell – scorchio again……
Up into the Alsace mountains, Le Grand Ballon one of the highest at 1280metres. Wowzers. Hairpin central……we’d gathered Steve RST into Group 1 and he entertained us with some turbo slides…..fruitloop! At a few places we were higher than the cloud which was still clearing for the sun….and the views were simply stunning. Coffee this morning included a tutorial on a local cake and its cutting courtesy of Felicity…..still can’t remember what it’s called!
We had 2 options….long route or short…no brainer then….Group 1 set off and had some fun and then a good old dirty kebab for lunch before hitting a stretch of road that was – well – it was ‘memorable’….sweeping curves, blind humps – it must have lasted about 20+ miles and boy would love to drive that again some day! We encountered a broken down Chris but with some craft, guile and Robs tools – Ash fashioned a temporary bodge which would last to the finish…..top work guys……
The award for ‘why you numpty’ went to Steve R and Dave – for following a manure lorry for miles and then letting their nosecone make love top the rear of Alans…..oh err missus. Tony B was a close run second for ‘numpty’ setting ff the hotel garage fire alarms by revving his engine – pillock!
Quiz night tonight, but 1st a group meal – with 2 of the most miserable waitresses I’ve ever seen….hew ho…..the quiz was fun, with a little charade type question for each team at the end…..it appeared that 1 Team had some truly great knowledge, til it became evident they’d been cheating!! Rotters!
Well it was nearing the end….how fast did those days pass by?
We headed out towards Reims, through Champagne country and a few stopped for the obligatory grape / vine photos…….the first destination was Geux, just outside Reims and home of the start/finish line of the old street circuit. The Pits and Grandstand are still there at the side of the road and so well preserved. Naturally we hatched a plan…..a Le Mans style start. Being safety conscious we said – ‘we’ll do the running across the road and hop into our cars, then we’ll edit it and pull out in a logical order one by one for safety’ – everyone agreed, but it seems that 1 or two forgot this ion the heat of the moment. You’ll see when the videos are posted….MUPPETS…..Steve RST and I held ourselves aloof from all that ( cos he needed a push start and I was the only guy around)….i’be not see such an age group of men and women enjoying themselves and laughing so much since – well since??? What a hoot.
Lunch was a strange place – sadly TonyB, ,Moi and Rob didn’t make it as we fashioned a quick repair to the electric water pump on mine and decided to cut out lunch. We had our own comedy moment when running straight to afternoon coffee we tried shortest route on the sat nav, we diverted onto a tiny slip road and back on to the main road within 40 yards – and ‘lost’ 2 places to cars that we’d just overtaken…..funny at the time! We also had an interesting experience in Arras as loads of roads were shut – not ideal when sally sat nav tells you to turn down a ‘route barree’ – manned by Gendarmes!
One by one we rocked up at coffee and then onto E/Tunnel to find a bit of a delay….but actually it allowed us a few more moments of banter and the chance to relive some of the antics of the past days …..
Richard – lowcost – mate you have stamina to keep on going and doing those little fixes to Eleanor, top marks fella.
Steve R/Dave – finding the first hotel after yoru sat nav woes = quality
David T – socks and deck shoes with shorts do not mix my friend, you’ll get the rest of us Brits a bad name
Rob – comedy central – top banter my friend!
Neil – for helping the German and French economy on the patisserie front’….
Russ – for ragging the nuts of the Integra to keep up as best he could
Steve T for the rear end action – oh err
Ana for having the patience of a Saint
Ash for good lateral thinking on the hub fix….
Alan / Eve W – hooligan of the saga generation ( no offence intended )
Janet Raper for forgiving hubbie for leaving her behind and keeping him from his joke telling
i’m sure there should be more, we really need a film crew for future events to log all the silliness.
19 went out, 19 came back on the appointed Day – Top Touring folks.
feel free to write your own little piece, and add some piccies, sadly i have very few and am relying on you others for the piccie memories!