Need advice on driving tour

Old Apr 11th, 2002, 03:22 PM
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Need advice on driving tour

My fiancee and I are planning to honeymoon in Europe and pick up a new Volvo through their Overseas Delivery program. The trip will be in mid-October, so we thought we would pick up the car in Brussels and drive south, ultimately leaving the car in Nice.

We are planning to be there for two weeks and thought about going through Belgium, Luxembourg, France (Strasbourg, Dijon, Lyon) and maybe western Switzerland.

We are trying to figure out how to have a leisurely honeymoon without spending all of our time driving and packing.

Any thoughts about suggested routes or possibly places to serve as a base for smaller day trips?

Thanks in advance.
Old Apr 11th, 2002, 07:00 PM
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It seems like a lot of territory to cover in two weeks!
We picked up our Volvo in Zurich and delivered it to Cannes for shipment to the US(we flew home from Nice.)
We drove from Zurich to Lake Geneva, visiting Gruyere,Montreux,Vevey(C. Chaplin's home town),Lausanne,etc. The scenery is spectacular. There's a great little inn on the lake in Cully ( about 15 minutes east of Lausanne) and beautiful lakeside hotels in Montreux and Lausanne. We also visited Annecy and Talloire, both gorgeous spots. Geneva- Annecy area has easy access to Lyons ( under two hours as I recall )and from there you can take the Autoroute du Soleil to the Riviera where you can easily keep youself amused for a week.
Try,a great European mapping program that will give you driving times,etc.

Old Apr 11th, 2002, 07:18 PM
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This question seems difficult also - - like the Stuttgart to xyz destination(s) - - it takes quite a bit of mental effort to think this through. I am inclined to say that you need to tear one or two of your points along the route - - NOT necessarily because you have TOO many - - just because it doesn't seem to flow well with the roads as I know them - - but that's not to say that you couldn't do it as you've described.

I'm just gonna throw out a few places tha I actually DO know - - that could work in your itinerary.

From Brussels, leave the city right away to spend a few nights in one or both of Belgium's charms: Brugge or Ghent. Better than Luxembourh in my opinion. then head to Maastricht, Liege, Aachen and/or Cologne (any one or two). All cool.

From there head down to Burg Eltz (would take a full half-day, couting the detour off the main roads to find it), and/or Trier. From here you have a choice - - head into Luxembourg, or head south towards Baden-Baden/Black forest (and thus to Strasbourg/Alsace). Going to Dijon or "western Switzerland" (is this just Geneva and Lausanne? or as far east as Basel?) is kind of a split in the road - - you have to decide one or the other as I see it.

Beaune is naturally on one path (towards Dijon) - - or I can recopmmend two very nice places near Basel (a Logis de france in Froeningen) or near Geneva (Chateau du Domainevieux in Satigny, CH).

And my final suggestion is for a place just 30 miles north of Lyon: Chateaux Longsard - - on - - for more info.

So, that barely half matches what you asked about. And it's still a lot of stops and ground to cover. And it's places I can confident recommend - - based on personal experience - - and compatible with your start and end points.

Best wishes,

Old Apr 11th, 2002, 07:19 PM
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Oh, and I try to always remember to say this and I forgot this time:

Congratulations on your new life in marriage!
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 04:36 AM
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Old Apr 20th, 2002, 06:09 AM
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Why pick up a Volvo in Brussels?
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 07:46 AM
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<< Why pick up a Volvo in Brussels?>>

Because Belgium has long been known to have the best deals on almost all cars.
There is no Belgian car maker - so they don't care what kind of car you buy. Dealers like Saab, Volvo, VW, etc. offer great deals on purchasing tax-free cars - and many include shipping them to the US at no extra charge. The cars come "loaded" - meaning including A/C, CD players, electric windows, etc., etc. What many of you in the States would consider standard, are expensive options in Europe. You just have to ship the car within a certain time period, usually a year, or be subject to the local tax (around 20 %).
More than you wanted to know, right ?

Old Apr 20th, 2002, 08:13 AM
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Congratulations on new marriage and new car. Who gets to drive?

I don't think your itinerary is terribly ambitious, but I think you should play it by ear in mid- to late October north of the Alps; head south if the weather turns poopy. Your new car will be lots more fun if you aren't driving in the wet while the days get shorter. In October I doubt if you'll need to book ahead very much, so go "unstructured" and you'll be fine.

One minor point - your Volvo will probably come with distinctive Swedish export plates, which are a giveaway to many people that you're a N. American tourist. Not a problem during the day, there are lots of foreign plates everywhere on the roads, but I'd recommend not leaving any luggage or personal effects in the car overnight, and park in attended areas when possible. Our Euro-delivery Saab some years ago received unwanted attention in a Paris garage one night, followed by us wasting a day with insurance bureaucrats and cops.

From Belgium I'd prpobably head to Alsace and spend a couple of days in the wine villages, then motor across the western corner of Switzerland to Annecy, outside Geneva. The autumn in these places can be grand, with snow visible on Mt. Blanc and the other peaks above blueblue Lake Annecy. Then head for the Cote d'Azur and the Provence hills for the rest of your time. You might consider a base in Aix or Menton for day tours of the area. Driving is a joy in these parts; hell, everything is a joy in these parts. Again, congrats!
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 11:14 AM
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to the top
Old Apr 20th, 2002, 04:31 PM
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Thanks to all of you for your wonderful suggestions and your kind wishes. I'll keep you posted.

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