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European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Have a trip report? Photos, your thoughts, mpg, anything... you're invited to post it here.
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Rattnalle
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European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by Rattnalle » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:06 pm

Seeing as this section mostly seems to hold road trips in North America it seems fitting to add a European road trip as well.

This is from this summers vacation. Driving from Sweden down to the Mediterranean and the Alps.

I'll be adding to it a bit at a time.

I'll start off with two pictures of the Volvo in question. '04 V70 2.5T colour code 417 (navy blue pearl) with at the start of the trip just about 300 000 km on it. Not too far before the trip I treated it to new shocks and coils all round; a great improvement.

To be fair it usually doesn't look like the first two pictures where I've just treated it with a polymer paint sealant. The last picture is closer to normal appearance and as you'll see the dirt visible will return to haunt me later.
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jvl
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Re: European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by jvl » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:38 pm

Woow, cool pictures and awesome ride! I'll be following this story! Hoping to do a roadtrip in Sweden and/or Norway next year myself.
Keep the pics coming!


1999 V70XC. Stock, except.... I like tinkering:
electronics
2nd battery (with isolator)
2200w pure sine wave inverter
LED Work lights in tailgate
LED traffic advisor
RC parking lights

audio
stock tweeters front and back
8" underseat powered sub

camping extras
'drawer system' in trunk
solar panel on roofrack



Feel free to PM for pics

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Rattnalle
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Re: European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by Rattnalle » Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:41 pm

Preparation and departure:

I started the holidays off by servicing the car. New oil, a new front brake caliper, an AC-checkup (600g out of 1000 left, it improved considerably) and a fire extinguisher in the boot.
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After that it was time to load the car up. Picture from last year, this year only one bike since I was alone but it looked about the same. This did mean I could use the front passenger seat for food though :D
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The plan was simple: I had booked a ferry from the south of Sweden to Germany late in the afternoon that would arrive in Germany by ten in the evening. The following night I had a spot reserved at a camp site on the coast in Italy some 1900 km away.

I only got about an hour and a half away from home before I was stuck in a standstill at an accident though.
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Rattnalle
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Re: European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by Rattnalle » Fri Jan 05, 2018 4:57 pm

jvl wrote:
Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:38 pm
Woow, cool pictures and awesome ride! I'll be following this story! Hoping to do a roadtrip in Sweden and/or Norway next year myself.
Keep the pics coming!
Thanks.

Norway is stunning. You have to watch your speed though - very steep fines and the speed cameras calculate average speed since the last camera. It's darn expensive as well, a litre of petrol can be 17-18 NOK (~$8 a gallon).



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Rattnalle
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Re: European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by Rattnalle » Fri Jan 05, 2018 5:09 pm

Since I had quite a lot of time to spare I made the ferry despite the accident. By ten in the evening it arrived in Rostock in northern Germany.
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I got off the ferry and got ready to make the most of the autobahns absence of speed limits. However as soon as i reached about 130 kph the car started vibrating horribly. I got off as soon as I could and checked all wheel nuts and for suspiciously hot brake discs. Nothing. So I was off again but kept below 130 - it did get better after a while though. Later I found out that I had cakes of mud inside the rims from driving in the dirt earlier in the summer. They caused imbalance and vibration. After a light scrub with a toothbrush they fell away.

Regardless of having to keep my speed down I made good progress since the roads were empty during the night. The red dots are warning lights on wind turbines.
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By morning it was time to stop for breakfast and to purchase Swiss and Austrian motorway vignettes - proof of having paid the road fee.
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Top to bottom: Swiss vignette, French sticker to show emission standards and German sticker to show emission standards.
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Soon after it was time to enter Switzerland and the Alps.
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Re: European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by Rattnalle » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:06 am

The Alps are gorgeous. The nicest part required the most attention to the road however so only pictures of the still-pretty-nice-but-not-as-nice parts. I took a route through a corner of Austria, through Switzerland and over the San Benardino pass and down through Milano.
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Italian sound barriers along the highway.
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The destination. A small town called Finale Ligure on the cost of the Mediterranean. It's a great destination for mountain biking and just hanging around eating food.
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This is the Google Timeline from the trip down. About 1700 km of driving plus 6 hours on a ferry in just about 24 hours.
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Re: European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by PS78 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:11 pm

Nice pictures. More enjoyable to see pictures that are seen through someones eyes in comparison to travel magazines, or through media. So thank you. That's quite a distance to cover in 24 hours. The emissions stickers you had shown, are those done as an emission test or is it more of a toll that you're paying the respective countries you travel into? Car looks great!


Always first off the line, while all the cool people are still staring at their phones.

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Rattnalle
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Re: European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by Rattnalle » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:07 am

PS78 wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:11 pm
Nice pictures. More enjoyable to see pictures that are seen through someones eyes in comparison to travel magazines, or through media. So thank you. That's quite a distance to cover in 24 hours. The emissions stickers you had shown, are those done as an emission test or is it more of a toll that you're paying the respective countries you travel into? Car looks great!
It might have taken a bit longer but not too much. I don't remember the exact count. It was a lunchtime to lunchtime affair. It's why I like driving at night, you make good speed and it's pleasant with few other cars around :-)

The stickers are groupings of EURO-classes. They're used to ban certain polluting vehicles from certain areas. The German system is quite old by now so pretty much all cars make it into the highest group. The French system is new and is much harder, especially on diesels. My - 04 petrol is in the same French group as even the newest diesel cars. Only pure electrics make it to the cleanest group.



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Re: European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by Rattnalle » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:50 pm

Here you can see the motorway cutting through the landscape along the coast. A lot of it is on either bridges or in tunnels since it's quite hilly all the way down to the water. Must have been terribly expensive to build. Then you as a rule do pay a toll on Italian motorways in booths when you get on and off.
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Otherwise it's quite picturesque and quite hot, 30-35-ish degrees C. You can sort of feel that people have been living here in a similar fashion for quite some time now.
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I mostly did this while i was there. Get driven up, ride down. These trailers are a nice trick and hold up some pretty rough roads without the bikes moving.
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Re: European road trip: Sweden - Italy - France - Sweden

Post by Rattnalle » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:38 pm

After a week of excellent Italian food and weather it was time to move on. This time from the coast and up into the Alps, more specifically the French town of Chamonix where I was to hook up with a few friends for a guided mountain biking tour.

I drove inland by way of small roads. Using Google Maps I added my final destination then clicked on a bunch of small towns to add detours along the way to keep on small roads. Worked perfectly.

Not exactly what I'd call seeing far ahead. Lorries and busses honk their horns before going around corners so that anyway on the other side can hear them and stop.
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Pretty narrow in some places as well. Sometimes it feels like you're driving across someones yard.
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Some vineyards in Piemonte. And a Volvo lost among them. It didn't stop for too long since it was just shy of 40 degrees C by this time in the day.
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Eventually somewhere in the region of Turin i got tired of small roads and wanted to get to where I was going so I got on the larger roads again. Some pretty spectacular scenery driving up the Aosta valley.
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Then I stopped taking pictures. Driving through the Mont Blanc tunnels was, apart from a looong queue outside, quite spectacular. 10 km of tunnel feels like you're driving under ground forever.

Then I arrived and treated myself to a bit of a reward.
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