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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Having taken delivery of my lovely Grand Tourer, I thought that it would be a sin not to tour in it!
I'm planning on going through France, Belgium, Germany and Austria in July. Current route is something like:
Calais > Bruge > Frankfurt > Salzburg > Strasbourg > Reims (plenty of room in boot for Champagne!!) > Calais.

My car has the option to convert the headlights via the MMI and I've got Sat Nav, so feeling bullish (and looking forward to a blast on the autobahn!)

Couple of questions:
Do I need to consider anything else? (I've seen comments around Hi-Vis Jackets for France)
Any input on routes / places to see? (Yes, I've thought about The Ring)
PS - I have a Road Angel and I believe that it's illegal to have it anywhere in the car (even if it's unplugged / in the boot) in France. Any comments?

Many thanks

TJM
 

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we have done a lot of driving in europe , so any questions please ask, last in europe in feb had hi-vis jacket in glove box, if your going to germany dont miss the nurburgring, also dont even have the road angel with you in france you could get in big bother, the french police are big on speeding these days
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
we have done a lot of driving in europe , so any questions please ask, last in europe in feb had hi-vis jacket in glove box, if your going to germany dont miss the nurburgring, also dont even have the road angel with you in france you could get in big bother, the french police are big on speeding these days
Thanks Tony - appreciate the input and the offer. Hear you loud and clear about not speeding in France. Cruise Control all the way.... ;0)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
we have done a lot of driving in europe , so any questions please ask, last in europe in feb had hi-vis jacket in glove box, if your going to germany dont miss the nurburgring, also dont even have the road angel with you in france you could get in big bother, the french police are big on speeding these days
Thanks Tony - appreciate the input and the offer. Hear you loud and clear about not speeding in France. Cruise Control all the way.... ;0)
 

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Going to France,Belgium and Holland shortly,will have hi vis jackets,fire extinguisher,spare bulbs,spare fuel,first aid kit and warning triangle.will be fitting a "IRL" sticker on the back,have heard that a "GB" sicker attracts the wrong sort of attention from the police:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Smile and wave boys, smile and wave

(Sorry for the Madagascar Penguin title there!)

Trip now booked, so keep your eyes peeled for me, my lady and my Quartz Grey 3.0TDi as we head for mainland Europe.

Itinerary:
:autofahrer:
5th July: Drive to Calais, ferry to Dunkerque and drive to Ghent. Stop overnight.
6th July: Head down to The Black Forest (Baden-Baden). Stop for 2 nights.
8th July: Drive to Sankt Gilgen, just outside of Salzburg. Stop for 5 nights.
13th July: 550 mile slog to Reims in France. Stop for 3 nights / test A5 boot capacity to see how many cases of champagne will fit.
16th July: Drive up to Lille. Stop overnight.
17th July: Drive to Dunkerque, ferry to Calais and home.
18th July: Wash copious amounts of dead flies off the front of the car!

Autoroute reckons 1825 miles driving without any pottering around whilst in The Black Forest / Salzburg areas. Looking forward to it; should be a great test of comfort / refinement (and hopefully a spot of Autobahn performance!). Will feedback anything relevant when I get back.

In the mean time, any hints / tips would be welcome. I've already been told to avoid fuelling in Germany as diesel is more expensive than France / UK and that Belgium is the cheapest country for fuel. Any comments?

Cheers
 

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The Hi-Vis Jacket has to be accessible from INSIDE the car in some countries (i.e. not in the boot).

Regarding spare fuel that is illegal to carry in the car in some countries (and I think it is also technically an offence to run out of fuel on the German autobahn).

If in Salzburg why not cross over the Alps to Slovenia (go over them not the tunnel under), really not far down to Lake Bled and Ljubljana, well worth it and you could do it in a (long) day - then of course you should carry on to Croatia and the Adriatic Coast, literally just South of the Italian border but that might be more of a stretch for this trip.

The AA website used to report cheapest fuel in Europe and it is not always where you think (e.g. Austria is often cheaper than, say, Hungary).

PM me if you need any specifics, planning another trip myself later this year in the same car!
 

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Hi,

Enjoy your trip, here are my tips having driven extensively in europe:

Prep your car, check the wheel nut torques - 120Nm (110Nm for the locking nuts), tyres in good condition, pressures for a full load, levels topped up and take engine oil. I know these are common sense, but in the summer the temperatures are higher, and running for hours 100mph+ puts a strain on things. Put a nice layer of polish and wax on before you go, it might reduce the etching that dead flies can leave. I always take an empty Persil liqutabs container filled with water and a dash of fairy liquid and a wash leather. This will come in handy when you stop for fuel to clean your windscreen. Some garage attendants in Germany/Austria will clean it when you fill up with fuel.

France; The police motorbikes (they hunt in pairs) and enforce the limits, and fine very heavily so don't let their super smooth motorways catch you out.

Germany; make sure you stick (ish) to the speed limits where they are signed, these are usually enforced when coming out of an unrestricted area on the motorway. They have dual limits for dry and wet, and some are time based (night time is lower in some areas). If you go for a top speed run, pay attention more than ever as when travelling at 150 mph+, a car pulling out 1/4 of a mile away will seem like a brick wall, and make sure its a straight bit! I find the Germans have the best lane discipline in Europe, but there's always one.

If you don't want massive stone chips, try to avoid following cars at 100mph +, very difficult when you are driving the A5 with all that torque! You may get into a train of a few cars all willing to do 155mph but not many can accelerate away like the A5 :)

Austria; Make sure you purchase a Vignette before the Austrian border.
Drive with headlights on even during the day on the motorway. The Grossglockner is a excellent drive.

Slovenia; Motorway driving requires a Vignette, and if you're going to Lake Bled, you'll probably go through the karawanken tunnel, which is a toll, as are a few major Austrian tunnels.

Austrian and German villages (white sign with black writting), are a mandatory 50km speed limit and don't often have a speed limit sign, favourite speed tray zones.

I'm going to Austria again this July via Switzerland (TopGear driving roads, Stelvio pass etc).

Have fun!
Simon
:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the tips Simon. The need for a vignette in Austria nearly caught me out - only spotted that on AA web-site a couple of days before leaving UK.
Great trip: some great roads and love Austria. Weather was patchy which is a a downer as I really wanted to get / post some pictures of my A5 in the sun on a mountain top. Have seen your pictures on the "highest altitude" thread - v. nice. I "only" got to about 2000m and that was in the Black Forest.
Cheers
 

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ahhh.... damnit, you guys got to PM me when your driving in the motherland!
 

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We go every year to France and Spain in fact twice this year we go on the 20th right through the backbone of France to the Pyrenees as said vis vests in the car at all times. The bib (french police) love to stop us roast beefs even just to check you have your seat belts on. A tip for speed cameras if you have a iphone download Cams ahoy you switch it on in bib will never know its a camera warning, you are just charging your phone plus it does not have to sit on the dashboard. Another little known fact is if you breakdown on the French motorway you must ring for assistance from the SOS phone your breakdown agency in the UK cannot help you until you are off the motorway
 
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