From Genoa we enjoyed a majestic drive to Marseille. The highway was relatively flat as we drove through the mountains and over the valleys.
Marseille (3 nights)
The south of France was beautiful. We visited the Château d’If on If Island. Enjoyed walking around the old port area. Took a bus tour around the sights of Marseille.
Toulouse (1 night)
We enjoyed a Chinese buffet at Wok 31 restaurant which was situated near to our Holiday Inn.
Bordeaux (2 nights)
Moving on from Toulouse we stayed two nights in Bordeaux. Whilst at Bordeaux we heard about the terrorism attacks in Paris and had thoughts of bypassing Paris where we planned to stay overnight before going to Antwerp in Belgium.
Paris (1 night)
Fortunately the terrorists were found and killed, so we were happy to have another day in Paris. This time we stayed at a Holiday Inn near the main international airport.
Having arrived in Turin and obtained new tyres, we revised our holiday so as to not having to cross the Alps again. This meant that we would not be visiting Venice, Vienna, Zurich or Luxembourg.
Pisa (1 night)
We visited the leaning tower of Pisa.
Rome (5 nights)
The first two nights we stayed at the Holiday Inn. Then we stayed at the West Rome Mecure.
Genoa (1 night)
From Rome we drove to Genoa.
Following our two weeks in the UK we boarded the ferry to Calais and then drove on to Paris.
Paris (3 nights)
Whilst in Paris we visited the Eiffel Tower and the Champ de Elysee. We stayed at a beautiful Holiday Inn on the banks of the River Seine.
Gaillard (1 night)
From Paris we drove to Gaillard which was close to Geneva, Switzerland. We drove into Switzerland and drove to Lake Geneva and admired the lake and the architecture in Geneva.
Crossing the French/Italian Alps
This would have to have been the most harrowing days driving. We left Gaillard with light snow falling. As we proceeded up the mountains, the snow became heavier and heavier. What was a three lane highway reduced to two lanes and then to one lane as snow plows pushed snow away to keep the road open.
Eventually our speed reduced to 20kph for the best part of two hours as we inched our way to the Mont Blanc tunnel. Along the way there were a number of cars stuck in the snow. Fortunately for us a snow plow pulled out just in front of us and we were able to follow the snow plow without getting stuck.
Once we got to the Mont Blanc tunnel and entered the tunnel, travelling was easier until a few kilometres before our Holiday Inn accommodation in Turin we got a flat tyre which was replaced. We were told the following morning that the tyre needed to be replaced and that we had driven the previous day on “normal” tyres.
If we had know we were driving on normal tyres and not on winter tyres as we believed, there was no way that I would have contemplated driving in the conditions that we had met.
That night as we were watching the news on TV, a report advised that over 13,000 people were trapped in the Alps due to the extremely bad weather.
Thanks for small mercies we got through without any serious incident.
Between 8 December 2014 and 19 January 2015 we spent 6 weeks travelling through the UK and parts of Europe. (more…)
Finally getting around to adding some fresh content to the website. Firstly, added posts on our USA and Canada trip in September and October. Have yet to upload the photo albums for each leg of the trip. Also created and uploaded a new header image. More to come!