The Spain trip’s off! So we’re going to The Baltic instead. Tomorrow. ‘Tour Auto’ draws to a close. Dutch truckers announce the next dates of their motorway go-slows. Truly draconian measures are on their way for texting Irish drivers. Parents of the Sierre Tunnel coach crash disaster victims are still searching for answers. Tesla Model S is possibly coming to somewhere near you this month, and next. Intriguing plans announced at Calais for a new ‘rail motorway’ to the South of France.
WE’RE OFF: ON A BALTIC EXPRESS
Last minute change of plan means Spain is off in favour of The Baltic.
This is why you should never book holidays. Something immovable comes up at the last minute and suddenly everything’s ruined!
Happily with driving trips you still have options.
This is exactly what just happened to us. Disaster struck Wednesday afternoon meaning we couldn’t make the Friday sailing we’d booked Portsmouth-Santander. The problem is Spain ferries only go every few days and we couldn’t make the alternatives work. We could drive down through France, whizz through Spain and make our return sailing on Friday but that would make an already rushed trip completely crazy.
So we binned the Spain ferries losing £675 in the process. Ouch.
Actually we’re secretly pleased. Eyeballing the reality of the Gibraltar frontier and checking out Lisbon’s Low Emission Zone would be worthy enough but weren’t lighting any fires.
Meanwhile casting its spell for a considerable time has been The Baltic. Don’t know why – other than that we haven’t been to Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland yet – but surely this trip will answer that in comprehensive fashion.
Beyond a piece on the right to roam rules in Finland, wild camping (might come in useful now we’re completely skint) and a plan for a tunnel/bridge between Helsinki and Tallinn – and an earlier idea to drive round the Gulf of Bothnia – we haven’t done any planning at all and certainly haven’t booked anything.
So, a no-plan plan. Excellent. On the other hand we might get to the Polish border, chicken out and spend the week on Rugen Island instead. Let’s see.
roundup: NETHERLANDS. The 1 and 19 May will see the next motorway go-slow protests by trucker’s groups according to widespread reports. See more here. IRELAND. Drivers caught texting behind the wheel face fines of up to €1,000 – and even a three month prison sentence for persistent offenders – from 1 May. Either way, all who are found breaking the rules will end up in court. Not clear how this affects foreign drivers. The country is fighting back after a large increase in road deaths last year. BELGIUM. Parents of the children killed in the Sierre Tunnel coach crash in Switzerland in 2012 are pressing for further forensic tests. The local Public Prosecutor ruled the case was effectively closed despite the cause remaining unknown. Meanwhile, a Spanish registered car crashed into the back of a coach carrying British schoolchildren on the E42 near Charleroi last night. One of the car passengers died. TESLA. A Model S road test road show hits towns across the UK – from Edinburgh to Maidstone – from 15 April to 19 May, and in Norway, Netherlands and Switzerland from 11 April to 7 May. DOVER-CALAIS. A new deal between the two ports will see the development of a 600 mile Calais-Perpignan ‘rail motorway’ with new transhipment facilities at Calais. Exciting plans. Presumably for freight only. More soon.