These are old posts from the now defunct www.overland.kinja.com. Rescued by a good person before the ship went down.
I’m just posting them here for my own record…
I employed the same plan for leaving Lyon as Barcelona. Again we got out in good time and good time through France to Germany. We decided to try a rural route through the Hochscharzwald region. Almost as soon we left the main road we got properly lost, plenty of fuel and having already made good progress meant we just kept following our noses. In the end this was a happy accident. Not a bad place to get lost…
Chocolate box pretty villages.
More of God’s own roads.
Eventually we made our way back to the motorway, I regularly drive all day long in Australia, I found this to be considerably more draining in Europe, the scenic roads require a high level of concentration and most of the main roads are pretty busy. So it was time to get pressing onto to Munchen (Munich). When we did hit the motorway i got my first taste of a de-restricted Autobahn. I managed to get the Leon up to fairly pathetic 180km/h on a clear downhill stretch, but in reality once it hit 170km/h it was like accelerating thought treacle and the road was too busy (trucks doing 90 km/h in the inside lane) for too much shenanigans. Although being able to zip along at 140/150km/h without impunity really cuts down your journey time. You have to be switched on though, on this two lane road cars would pop into the the fast lane from behind a 90km/h truck with little regard for the closing speed of the car in said fast lane…
This was the first time I had craved having something with a bit more poke, even though as I said the Leon had reasonable go from low down, that thrust just stayed pretty linear. I would have loved to have my 6er here. Despite it’s age it feels pretty mighty between 100-150km/hr and even though I know it’s not really fast compared to the modern stuff, it still feels awesome, and I would have loved to see how it would have run flat out.
Here are some random snaps from the frankly fantastic Munchen:
I loved German food and beer before I went, I just love it more now.
I love these too.
If Barcelona was a bit too touristy and Lyon a bit too far the other way Munich was just perfect as a visitor. Absolutely loads of things to do, great architecture and history. The Germans were warm and friendly too. Germany also has the worlds best toilets!
These shots were all from inside the royal palace. Growing up in the UK we were taught a lot about the WW2 in history at school. For my parents generation it was still a really big deal and my grandparents lived and worked through it. What was never really talked about and I didn’t really think about, was the absolute destruction wreaked by the bombing of Germany. Almost every part of this palace was rebuilt and nearly every room was just a reconstruction of the actual room, as that was destroyed in the war. In the above photo you can clearly see the new brickwork in this chapel. It was a thought provoking experience.
Then it got weird…
After a couple of days kicking around the city, we took a drive to check out the incredible Neuschwanstein Castle.
The Bavarian scenery is just stunning.
Then I just picked good looking roads on the map and we drove a bit further, initially thiking we had crossed into Switzerland we realised we were in Austria, scenery and the roads just got better and better.
Is this the answer?
Don’t be silly, the answer for these roads is his and hers Caterhams…
The Germans seem to have a thing for British sportscars, I saw two Morgans on the first day in Germany, a TVR Tuscan, MG’s as well as these Caterhams. They even have a dedicated British car magazine in German.
This road was mostly too busy for much blatting, although that didn’t stop the multitudes of male menopause deathwish bikers from having a go. Mostly I was just happy to enjoy the scenery. I did get one clear run through a few high speed corners, which helped masked the Leon’s total lack of straightline punch and gave the biker on my tale a bit of food for thought, or at least that’s how I like to imagine it…!
Driving back from Austria we once again hit a section of unrestricted Autobahn, this one was 3 lanes and lighter on traffic than the first (I had also by chance happened to have filled up with Super Unleaded that morning. As none of the fuels were marked for octane rating, and the Hertz lady in Spain had insisted we use 95 as a minimum, so not wanting to send the Leon back smoking with a cracked piston I had chucked Super in it just to be sure).
On a clear downhill section I managed to get 197km/hr out of it this time. I held my foot flat at the bottom of the hill for about 5 seconds, but 197 was all she had, anyway 17 up on my first try! Childish for sure, but fun anyway. N said she was shitting her pants but still texted it to people at home…