We all met in the lounge at 9:30am – weather was pretty clear and cool – plenty of snow around the mountains, but thankfully none on the roads…or so we thought. Ivana, the receptionist who, thankfully, spoke good English informed us that the Stelvio pass was closed, so it was the alternative route…actually, no, that was closed as well!
Ivana explained we could use the Vereina tunnel to bypass the blockage on the alternative route. After copying a map and highlighting the route we prepared to set off when Sue thought we should do a last minute check with Ivana, who then explained it was a car transporter train, not a road tunnel! Low GTRs v train – back to square one!
We then plot a 3rd route and asked Ivana to check if all passes were open – it would be long, but at least we could get to Stuttgart, so off we set at 10:00am. I could type for hours about the route as it was a long hellish, but thoroughly enjoyable journey. The summary points would be:
- John Miskin tells us the route is closed, according to his tom tom sat nav – we ignore his concerns based on Ivana’s advice and set off
- We go through Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the Germany to get to Stuttgart
- We go through a very narrow and long tunnel – the sound could have been awesome, but we were a bit tired of tunnels by then…ha ha! (video is a bit dull, but you get the idea!)
- I ignore the barrier on our side of the mountain pass road, despite running a pair of semi slicks on the front and we all ignore the €8 fine for not having snow tyres and “plough” ahead into the mountains
- We find the cheapest petrol ever somewhere in the Italian alps – €1.36 per litre !!
- We ignore the snow on our side of the road later in the journey and carry on
- We drive through totally non existent road surfaces on 1 or 2 sets of roadworks, causing delays – it was like a scene out of Top Gear and with 7 cars, it took quite some time to traverse them at very low speed!y1cxxWgw6oE
- A lovely stopover for lunch in wonderful scenery and then across a few more borders before joining Austrian motorways and “resuming service as normal”
- Arrive in Germany and unrestricted autobahn – speeds in excess of 160mph, so time made up!!!
It turns out John’s sat nav was right and the road, was “officially” closed, but we managed nonetheless…time for an offroad GTR Nissan?
Once we got on proper roads we made up time and thanks to terrible roadworks in Stuttgart, right outside the hotel, we did not arrive until 6:30pm.
The hotel was very modern and quirky – all car themed – even the lift is decked out as a cleaner’s cupboard with taps, brushes and clothes – quite bizarre.
Dinner was in the pub connected to the hotel and Geetak said his goodbyes leaving us with details for tomorrow’s last event – the Porsche museum. We were all tired, but had enjoyed the journey and were quite sad it was almost over! Last day tomorrow (for all bar 3 of us, who extended the break via the Nurburgring).