Friday, August 7, 2015

Day Twenty One: Paris to Stratford .... WE'RE HOME!


We made it! After three weeks covering 3,413 miles through six countries staying in six hotels and one Villa we made it safely home. We arrived a little later than predicted due to the Friday afternoon crawl that is the M25. Ironically Angela was driving yet again and she recorded a special sentiment with the GoPro camera - I'm not sure how much of it I'll be able to publish as pretty well every other word was an expletive! She was not happy.

Notwithstanding the traffic in any country, when you had a clear road ahead (or even an Alpine Pass!) the Porsche was just fantastic; a pleasure to drive (fast at times) and it didn't miss a beat. It could do with a wash now though (and a new set of rear tyres - are you reading this Nick?!)

Our chariots from the tours: 2014 Boxster; 2015 911 Targa

As we drove home we inevitably recounted parts of the trip so we've decided to make a few awards:

Best Hotel of The Tour: Apart Hotel Garni Alvetern, Samnaun, Switzerland
We were upgraded without asking so had a large apartment-style room with all the facilities and our own private balcony. Last night's hotel in Paris was a close second, if only we could get that damn TV to work!

Worst Hotel of The Tour: The one we're sleeping in tonight!

Best Breakfast: It has to be the Apart Hotel Garni Alvetern again but the Alpenhof Grafleiten in Zel Am See, Austria was a very close second. Both laid on a good spread.

Best Restaurant: It was our hotel in Carcassonne - Auberge des Lices. That seven course meal was a delight.

Best Cup of Tea: This special 'Andy' award goes to Le Senechal, Carcassonne for making the best cup of tea of the tour.

Funniest Moment: Angela demonstrating how (not) to get on a lilo in the pool! I have this on video so watch this space!

Scariest Moment: Some of the drops off those Alpine Passes are a long way down, but I wasn't worried - honest!

Highlights of The Tour: There are too many to mention but for me driving the San Bernardino Pass is certainly up there (so to speak!)

Lowpoint of The Tour: For me it was those few, heart in the mouth moments while the Polizia checked my details during the routine stop. I'm sure Angela will offer an alternative (or two!)

Wooden Spoon: The Wooden Spoon award for poor service goes to the waitress at the restaurant where we ate dinner in Strasbourg - she was unhelpful taking our order and then pretty well threw the food at us, slamming it down on the table. Needless to say we didn't leave a tip!

Highest Point: Not an award as such but I believe the highest point we reached on the tour was 2,758m above sea level at the top of the Stelvio Pass. A very close second was the top of the chairlifts in Samnaun at 2,752m so it could be when Angela climbed on the rocks she actually was highest!

Lowest point: Well that's an easy one, on the boat at sea level!

So 'Le Grand Tour' is complete. I have hundreds of photographs and hours of video to trawl through to make something out of - I know some family members will enjoy seeing them but I will post on-line in case some of you have nothing better to do.

And what of the next grand adventure I hear you ask? (No, oh well, I'll tell you anyway). Nothing more for this year that's for sure - the budget won't allow it. But as for next year? Well, we have just bought a new boat!

Will This Be Part Of Our Adventure Next Year?!


Angela's Postscript

I'll get back to you tomorrow, I'm going to sleep now, as this hotel does not clean itself, make the beds when you are out, cook the meals, mow the lawns....

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