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Last years installment of the Euro Tour!
 #1634539  by Turbo5
 Sun Jul 08, 2007 6:12 pm
I hope everybody had a good time ? I certainly did.
Arrived home at 7pm £118 lighter thanks to speedferries. but will try to reclaim that from either the ferry company or my holiday insurance.
The main thing I am really happy about is that we all returned home safely without any incidents. nobody was stopped by the police for speeding and no crashes.

My tour highlights were the hotel in Dijon and Garmish, I have stayed at the Contel in Koblenz 3 times so its not new to me, but every year it gets better. I don't think any of the hotels were bad they were better than you would normally get on any package holiday tour sub £400. the food was good at all the hotels I only left one meal and that is only because I don't like pork.

Day 0
enjoyed our trip down from up north, we had quite a big convoy by the time we reached Dover
Dover Hotel had been done up since our last visit. I got a sea view room this time which was massive.
really enjoyed the pre tour meet up and the curry we had, it give majority of people the chance to get to meet people they didn't know. it seem so long ago.

Day 1
Dover to Dijon
Ferry crossing went ok, nobody was sick this year, Drive down to Dijon was mainly motorway, but this gave the first timers the chance to get used to driving on the other side of the road. Some of us managed to stop off at the Reims pit lane for a photo shoot, but somebody had booked it and they were setting tables under the stands getting ready for a meal. The hotel in Dijon was brilliant and the rooms out of the this world, the food was really good also.
we meet up with Ross and Craig today, they had made their own way there via Amsterdam

Day 2 Dijon to Nice
Set off about 8am and arrived about 4.30pm really enjoyed the Verdon Gorge again (the opposite way around) Hotel in Nice was OK and it had a pool and a decent restaurant but the beer was very expensive.
A few people without sat nav struggled to find the hotel and didn't arrive until very late. but I think some set off quite late.
Type R lover and his brother and mate arrived today so everybody on the tour was together for the first time.


Day 3 Rest day
Whilst most people headed off for Monaco, (I have been before) we went to St Tropez the place is gorgeous, stayed about 3 hours before we went to one of the beaches for the rest of the afternoon and admire the local talent. it was like silicon valley still managed 300 miles on the rest day ended up in Toulon.
The funny part of today was when somebody got locked on their balcony and when the sprinkler went off in the gardens whilst we were all having a drink. I did manage to persuade the hotel to give us some free drinks

Day 4 Nice to Martigny
Today was when the real driving started. set off nice and early with Daran and Julie (about 7.30am) and attacked the various passes and cols in the Alps. the weather started to worsen as we reached the alps. today was a long day the time given on tom tom differed from that on autoroute and for the first time on the tour I didn't beat Tom toms expected time of arrival. had some good fun in the tunnels with the sound of vtec aided by a gruppem Arrived about 7pm Chris and a few others had arrived before us, I don't know if they had done the full route but we did. Majority arrived about 8pm and we had our meal and went to the hotel bar which was a city centre pub. I think most people enjoyed it here.

Day 5
Martigny to Garmisch
Another really exciting day driving, Furka pass which was excellent, col issard , stelvio and quite a few others. my highlight was Livgnio the place was gorgeous and would definitely include it on a future tour, 200 benson and hedges 23 euros about £16.70 so I bought a 1000. also bought some very expensive whiskey's for a friend at work at about a quarter of the cost in the UK. we stayed here about 1.5 hours and had a fantastic meal.
we did the full route and arrived about 4pm however we did set off at daft 'o' clock but it was definitely worth it. The hotel was brilliant set beside a lake, there was a pool fitness room etc and this place would have cost about £150 a night in peak season. the beer was cheap though.

Day 6
Garmisch to Baden Baden
Majority of people had decided the long route was too tiring and took a direct route, me included. Ben however did the full route. slight **** up with the hotel here, the travel agent had given me Holiday inn baden baden and they was only one holiday inn here. so I planned that in the route, it turns out we were in rastatt about 10 miles away so after arriving at the hotel in baden baden and being told we had the wrong hotel I frantically rung everybody to tell them to change their routes.
The hotel was ok but nothing special compared to the rest we had stayed at. the bar was quite cheap and the restaurant was good.

Day 7
Baden Baden to Koblenz and the Nurburgring.
The route was straight to the hotel then to the ring, we dropped our bags at the hotel at 9am and went straight to the ring, and watched the guys in their supercars who had it booked until 2.15pm. I went out about 2.30pm and managed to do over half the circuit without anybody behind or in front. I had the alfas behind me at the start but lost them. I had to slow down when the man with the orange flag was waving, a TVR had come off and the german woman with the CTR (I think she come off 3 times on the day. as the day progressed the ring got busier so I decided not to risk going out again. but I really enjoyed my lap and manage a decent time. it was a lot faster than when I went out in my CTR. I had a passenger lap with Daran which was exciting. I really must go on some sort of trackday day training so I can drive like that. I stayed the rest of the day until about 5pm and then returned to the hotel.
The meal and the bar were excellent as usual and the conversation was mainly about the ring. everybody had a good time and returned unscathed.
Day 8
We had decided we would try to catch an early ferry so we set off at 7.30 only to find the ferry canceled, so we took the eurotunnel which I had never done. so it was good experience. eventually arrived home at 7pm and covered 730 miles.
total tour door to door 3321 miles. I am not looking forward to my petrol bill but at least its split 50-50 with my passenger

Today
absolutely knackered, slept 8 hours which is very rare for me and even slept through most of the Grand prix.

Lessons learned for future tours
1) don't rely on Auto route for the times per day driving, tom tom is more realistic. some people found this too long. but unfortunately people have to understand its a driving holiday not a weeks holiday beside the pool and hotel bar, all the previous Euro tour attendees were the first to arrive at every destination. another point is that to visit the places we did in one week you need to travel long distances. other options are a longer tour with shorter distances or don't go to the Alps.
2) make sure everybody has some sort of sat nav. yes they have their little quirks but once you know how to use it it makes your day a lot shorter.
3) people need to realize that the Honda Euro Tour consists of a very diverse group of people, everybody is different and they shouldn't criticize others who differ from them. after a few days everybody usually gets into groups they feel comfortable with. 99% of people got along with everybody. I only heard of a couple of tiffs but nothing major.

As I have told a few people on the tour I am not 100% certain I will be doing the tour next year, My wife is expecting our first baby in September. But I will certainly be trying to go. I should know before xmas when we realise if I can leave her home alone for the week.
We have done the Alps twice now and personally I would like to try something different next year. the Prynees have been investigated but its very expensive on the ferry to Santander or Bilboa, But if you consider the petrol and road tolls on the way down to the south of France it will most probably work out the same. (Note its a 36 hours crossing)
 #1634625  by Davo CTR
 Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:32 pm
Cheers for all the hard work you did Dave arranging the lot! I really enjoyed the week and will be posting a link to my 700+ pics ASAP Thanks to everyone else too for a smashing time.

:WOOT
 #1634660  by lecurie
 Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:05 pm
thanks to Dave for organising it, it must be a mammoth task!

I just hope someone takes over the role of organiser as i think Dave will be a lot busier when his baby arrives!
 #1634843  by mossta
 Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:39 pm
Nice succinct diary there Dave!

Agree with tomtom being a neccessity & some of the days being a bit too long (day6 long springs to mind).

I'll add a few more thoughts during the week - need to be up at 05:00 for work - well if i could do it in Switzerland, than I should be able to do it here too
 #1634845  by Cat
 Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:41 pm
This may be a long post ....

Thur Set off from Scotland to head to my midway B&B courtesy of Seano. Nightmare 4 hour journey as it was very, very wet and I couldn't see 5m in front of me because of the spray. Stayed up a bit late having drunken ramblings.

Fri Met up with the NW crew at Lymme Services at 11, unfortunately we lost Seano who wheel-spinned out of the car park to follow Lecurie ... even though Lecurie was parked up. Heehee!!! Met a few others further down the road and we were off! Enjoyed the meal at Dover and having a few drinks at the hotel as it gave me a chance to put names to faces and have a bit of a chat.

Day 1 Early start for the ferry and another chance to meet new faces that appeared this morning. Arrived in Boulogne and was feeling a bit nervous about driving on the right. Dave kindly gave me a walkie talkie incase I decided to panic ... it wasn't needed! Got into the swing of driving quickly and made it to the pit lanes in Reims with a few others. Headed to Dijon alone but met Matt & Dean for some radio banter, lost them, then found them again with Daran and Julie. Lovely hotel, once we found our way into the carpark! Interesting self-cleaning toilets too! Few drinks outside in the warmth then an early night.

Day 2 Lateish start and set off in convoy with the NW crew, Mike & Sarah, Matt & Dean, Nick & Leanne. In hindsight the group was too large, we headed off too late and had a few sat nav differences of opinion, which all slowed us down. Good roads along the Route Napolean, although I didn't make it to the Verdon Gorge as time was marching on. Managed to lose the rest of the group before Nice and got totally lost, even with Tomtom, which wasn't the best experience. However I managed to forget this slightly scary moment by drinking copious amounts of wine at the bar. :oops:

Day 3 Rest day! So that's what I did!!! Long lie, then went down to the pool and sat in the sun for a bit with Ross and Craig. Decided to risk getting lost in Nice again and went for a drive! Ended up in North Nice so went for a wander round the shops with all the locals.
Comedy moment in the evening was definitely the sprinklers going off as everyone sat relaxing on the grass. Never seen so many people move so fast! :lol:

Day 4 Smaller group today although it was still a very long drive. Great banter over the radios as ever and some spirited driving. I particularly enjoyed leading for a while, although we did get a small telling off from "Type R lover" after an overtaking manouevre by our group :oops: . Driving through and over the Alps was amazing! Not sure of the highest point but remember seeing 2802m at one point.
Unfortunately we did end up driving in clouds with very poor visibilty, then the weather turned which slowed down progress even further.
Arrived in Martigny to no food, a room that smelt like an old folks home and only time for 1 beer before bed. This was my least favourite hotel!

Day 5 Charlotte had kindly asked if I wanted to join their group as they were following a shorter route than that planned. Had a lovely chilled day and arrived feeling relaxed and refreshed. Great hotel in a beautiful setting by a lake, plus also my favourite meal of the whole week. Missed the cheap cigs and booze in Livigno but big thankyou to Mike for calling me to take my order by phone, collecting and delivering. Brilliant!
Good laugh in the bar that night, bit of a late one but I bet my head felt a lot better than Kyle's did the next day!

Day 6 Stuck with the same group as yesterday. An urgent stop for radio batteries was needed am ... why does that surprise me? :wink: The guys found an interesting vending machine in the lunch time restaurant :lol: .
Met some snow on the Furka Pass plus wet roads later which slowed down the pace a bit.
Chinese meal tonight followed by a visit to the local bar (not a G & T in sight!!), then another late night at the bar with the "hardcore" set. :wink:

Day 7 Headed off with Mike and Sarah to our next hotel. Quick drop-off of luggage then it was time to go to the Nurburgring. Could feel the butterflies starting although I still wasn't sure I'd actually go on.
Arrived and got whisked off in Chris' (lecuries) car for a quick demo which just kicked in the adrenaline. Got my ticket, Mossy as co-pilot and I was off. Absolutely fantastic!!!! :WOOT Couldn't resist a second drive round and getting timed ... approx 10.5 mins. First time on a track and I totally loved it!!! One of the highlights of the tour for me.
Good chat in the evening at the bar, followed by much hilarity from the NW lot ... that quirky hotel had way too many random objects lying around the corridors :wink: . Evening ended for me watching 2 semi-clad guys running around on a grass roof. :lol:

Day 8 Missed the NW crew so headed to the ferry by myself, then met Matt and Dean half way so we cruised down together. No probs with the ferry but almost left Seano sitting at a roundabout in Dover. :-) Back to my B&B (via the pub) at 11pm due to a half hour traffic jam.

Sun Quick 3 hour sprint up North and I got home at 1.30pm. Totally running on empty but I've had a powernap and don't know what to do with myself except type all this and watch T in the Park.


My constructive criticism

1. Some of the routes were unrealistically timed. I realise it's a driving holiday but I have done a few before round Ireland, Corsica and Iceland ... our aim was always to arrive at the hotel around 5pm in time for a shower before a relaxing dinner then a few drinks to unwind. Driving for 10 -12 hours, especially solo, I found a bit too hardcore for my liking tbh. I'd have preferred a 9am start with an aim for 7 hours actual driving.

2. A lot of the group were pretty Northern and perhaps could have taken a ferry from Hull, that would have cut out the need to travel so far to Dover and pay for an overnight stay, along with the petrol involved. Obviously some were from the South but I'm sure a midway meet point could have been organised.

Apart from that I had a brilliant time!!!!!

It's lovely to be home but I just want to go out and drive again tomorrow!


P.S. Huuuuge post ... apologies if I bored anyone who actually read it.
 #1635117  by AMR79
 Mon Jul 09, 2007 12:27 pm
Thanks for all the hard work Dave, had a great week although was tiring in parts would definatly be up for it again! :thumbup:

Still want to go back to livigno too hehe