Catching up with this week’s random photos, from central Rome, the A2 at Lake Lucerne, the A1 along the Adriatic coast in Croatia and ‘Lost in the Auvergne’.
All photos by @DriveEurope.
You can pick your way right down Croatia’s Adriatic coast and with all the time in the world it would be a wonderful thing to do. To make progress however the only option is the A1 though, with the Dinaric Alps as the backdrop in the north, smooth tarmac and a speed limit of 130kmh, there is no hardship involved. It’s busier in the south but regularly swooping down to the sea, as here into Zadar, more than compensates. The toll for the A1’s full 290 mile length from Zagreb is £19 (€23). Keep up to date with current Croatian traffic conditions, border queues, weather, etc, at hak.hr.
Hugely controversial throughout its relatively short life, Via dei Fori Imperiali stretches in a straight line from Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum in central Rome. Built by Mussolini and opened in 1932 it obliterated 40,000 square yards of ancient, mediaeval and Renaissance structures. Latterly, the recently elected mayor Ignazio Marino (Mayorino), a bike-mad former heart surgeon, has closed off the southern portion to private traffic. This view is no longer possible unless from a bus or taxi, and then probably not for much longer.
Everybody takes this picture and you can’t blame them, as the A2 southbound sweeps down beside Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland. The bogeyman is that 45 miles further along is the Gotthard Tunnel where, on high days and holidays, delays can easily reach two hours. Two lanes of traffic on one of Europe’s busiest north-south transit routes squeezes into the single track tunnel. Never mind. In good weather take the spectacular but safe Gotthard Pass instead from J40 Goschenen (or wherever you can depending on the queues). The upside is that the A2 south of Gotthard is great too, downhill for 50 miles to Bellinzona along the Leventina Valley.
If your idea of the perfect road trip involves an open top sports car and the twisty roads of rural France look no further than Auvergne. It lacks jagged Alps peaks – the drops are hundreds rather than thousands of feet – but the 360 degree views from the high hills and plateaux are truly epic. It’s quiet too, sparsely populated with small, unspoilt towns and villages. You can’t go wrong. Where’s this picture taken? Can’t remember, sorry, but it’s very close to the Mont Mouchet Maquis memorial, ten miles south of Brioude, five east of Saint Flour.