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Discussion Starter #1
We are completing our itinerary for our factory delivery on Oct 1st. I've figured out the trip except for the last few days. For business reasons we cannot leave Antibes until Tuesday morning and need to be back in Frankfurt Friday AM for the flight back to LA.

I was thinking of making the long drive from Antibes to Lausanne and spending two nights, then on Thursday AM leave Lausanne to Stuttgart (drop the car), then train to Frankfurt where we stay the evening and leave Friday AM.

I've had some people tell me that driving in Europe is so different and everything takes a long time. Other say it's a piece of cake.

Anyone who has knowledge of this route please chime in. From Antibes to Stuttgart I can break it up and spend two nights in different cities -or- spend two nights in Lausanne with long drives on each end.

I am leaning toward 2 nights in Lausanne at Lausanne Palace and Spa. Crazy thinking??
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That looks inviting but I think we need to go more direct given our tight schedule ;-o
 

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I would assume it is more like 15 hours once you factor in the inevitable jams here and there, toll booths, speed restrictions eg in Switzerland, and the occasional stop to admire the view. Marseille to Valence is boring autoroute and will be busy with trucks. Valence to Geneva is very scenic and, in my experience not quite as busy as the previous section. The Annecy to Geneva section is beautiful, and rarely busy thanks to the relatively expensive tolls. Once you cross into Switzerland at Bardonnex, you are in speed-camera-land, with speed limits often restricted to 100 kph (even 80 around Geneva and Lausanne). Geneva to Zurich is mostly two lanes, which slows the traffic quite a bit. Personally, I would try to find a more scenic route from Antibes to Chambéry, and take an overnight stop at Annecy (the old town is worth the visit and Lake Annecy is stunning). I would also be tempted to cross the Jura before Lausanne, via Neuchatel, into France towards Mulhouse, and then across to Konstanz, for another overnight, avoiding Zurich. You'll then have a fairly leisurely and relaxed blast to Stuttgart on the third morning.

Big difference between European and US driving is on autoroutes: in Europe, don't overtake (pass) on the right. Oh, and if you do venture off on to smaller roads, and in small towns and villages in France and Switzerland, "priorité à droite" still exists and can catch you out.

Which ever route you take, I'm sure you'll love it.
 

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Driving in Europe is easy if you know what you are doing and where you are going. Take some time before you go and study European road signs. European road signs are quite logical but they are different from signs in the US. (For example, German road signs do not rely so much on direction. You won't see "Autobahn 4E North". Instead they tell you the next major city. They will point you toward the next major city on your route. In the smaller villages there is a yellow diamond symbol for "priority road" or "main road". That symbol comes in handy when you are driving through very old towns.) Road Signs Europe Roadsigns European Traffic Signs/Signals | IdeaMerge

The costal roads around Nice and Marseille can be crowded. There is a possibility that you won't make good time on those roads. It just depends. (I personally don't like to drive a car/ride a motorcycle in France. That's just me.)

Most German spa hotels have "textil-frei" days. It basically means "clothing free". So if you see a sign that says "textil-frei" be prepared. Europeans take a very casual "view" of nudity. (I just got back from three weeks in Greece. We spent a lot of time on the beaches. There were quite a few naked sunbathers. No big deal there.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would assume it is more like 15 hours once you factor in the inevitable jams here and there, toll booths, speed restrictions eg in Switzerland, and the occasional stop to admire the view. Marseille to Valence is boring autoroute and will be busy with trucks. Valence to Geneva is very scenic and, in my experience not quite as busy as the previous section. The Annecy to Geneva section is beautiful, and rarely busy thanks to the relatively expensive tolls. Once you cross into Switzerland at Bardonnex, you are in speed-camera-land, with speed limits often restricted to 100 kph (even 80 around Geneva and Lausanne). Geneva to Zurich is mostly two lanes, which slows the traffic quite a bit. Personally, I would try to find a more scenic route from Antibes to Chambéry, and take an overnight stop at Annecy (the old town is worth the visit and Lake Annecy is stunning). I would also be tempted to cross the Jura before Lausanne, via Neuchatel, into France towards Mulhouse, and then across to Konstanz, for another overnight, avoiding Zurich. You'll then have a fairly leisurely and relaxed blast to Stuttgart on the third morning.

Big difference between European and US driving is on autoroutes: in Europe, don't overtake (pass) on the right. Oh, and if you do venture off on to smaller roads, and in small towns and villages in France and Switzerland, "priorité à droite" still exists and can catch you out.

Which ever route you take, I'm sure you'll love it.
Thanks for taking the time to explain this, makes a lot more sense stopping in Annecy and Konstance. I think your route sounds great and perhaps I can take the Old Napoleon route from Antibes and get over to Annecy, I'll need to research that. Originally I wanted to take Napoleon but that day of driving felt long enough, if going to Annecy it might make more sense.

All great info!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Driving in Europe is easy if you know what you are doing and where you are going. Take some time before you go and study European road signs. European road signs are quite logical but they are different from signs in the US. (For example, German road signs do not rely so much on direction. You won't see "Autobahn 4E North". Instead they tell you the next major city. They will point you toward the next major city on your route. In the smaller villages there is a yellow diamond symbol for "priority road" or "main road". That symbol comes in handy when you are driving through very old towns.) Road Signs Europe Roadsigns European Traffic Signs/Signals | IdeaMerge

The costal roads around Nice and Marseille can be crowded. There is a possibility that you won't make good time on those roads. It just depends. (I personally don't like to drive a car/ride a motorcycle in France. That's just me.)

Most German spa hotels have "textil-frei" days. It basically means "clothing free". So if you see a sign that says "textil-frei" be prepared. Europeans take a very casual "view" of nudity. (I just got back from three weeks in Greece. We spent a lot of time on the beaches. There were quite a few naked sunbathers. No big deal there.)
I ordered the European Nav so hopefully I won't have to rely on signs much however I do plan on studying them. We are going from Lake Maggiore to Antibes in one day and on a Saturday. I am prepared for the coast to look like Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu on a Sunday, I figured that much. We like to get up early and likely will take off very early in the AM, probably putting us smack in the traffic on the coast. Oh well, fortunately I ordered the adaptive cruise (which I also have on my CS and I love it for stop and go traffic on long drives.). Once we get to Antibes we have three nights in a suite overlooking the ocean at the Cap D'Antibes Beach Hotel, that should erase any traffic stress!!

Not really concerned with Textil days, it may even be better than looking at the huge guy in the extra small speedo!:crazy:
 

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Thanks for taking the time to explain this, makes a lot more sense stopping in Annecy and Konstance. I think your route sounds great and perhaps I can take the Old Napoleon route from Antibes and get over to Annecy, I'll need to research that. Originally I wanted to take Napoleon but that day of driving felt long enough, if going to Annecy it might make more sense.

All great info!
You're welcome!

The Route Napoleon from Grasse to Digne is an amazing road and a lot easier at that time of year. In August, forget it! You can then pick up the autoroute to Annecy at Grenoble. Yes, it will be a long day but much more rewarding than hours of French autoroute.

Top 10 Roads : Driving Routes : Greatest Roads in Europe: View now with Ultimate Drives

If you can manage the detour, a visit to the Gorge du Verdon is highly recommended (about 20kms from Castellane).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You're welcome!

The Route Napoleon from Grasse to Digne is an amazing road and a lot easier at that time of year. In August, forget it! You can then pick up the autoroute to Annecy at Grenoble. Yes, it will be a long day but much more rewarding than hours of French autoroute.

Top 10 Roads : Driving Routes : Greatest Roads in Europe: View now with Ultimate Drives

If you can manage the detour, a visit to the Gorge du Verdon is highly recommended (about 20kms from Castellane).
Well that link sealed that deal, sounds awesome and I up for this one~! Does one need to worry about tickets on this route? Not going crazy but also not driving quite the speed limit. Sounds like a road that would be fun to have a bit of speed!
 

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Euros give tickets that are $$$$. Watch the Swiss they are the worst. There are also camera speed traps around.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Well that link sealed that deal, sounds awesome and I up for this one~!
Cool! Leave Antibes early and assume a long day ahead.

Does one need to worry about tickets on this route? Not going crazy but also not driving quite the speed limit. Sounds like a road that would be fun to have a bit of speed!
I haven't driven that road in a few years but I suspect it has its fair share of fixed radar. Generally these are signposted, so if you see a sign assume a camera is not far away. If you're caught by a speed trap/patrol then there is an on the spot fine of (I think) EUR 90, payable in cash, for speeds up to 30 kph over the limit. Some speed cameras are forward facing (if that's the expression), ie they flash as you approach. In my experience drivers tend to respect the speed limits in built-up areas and, obviously, if you're caught speeding the tolerance is much less as they'll hit you with "dangerous driving" or similar in addition.

I believe that France and Germany now cooperate on traffic offences, so it's possible that if you get flashed with Porsche factory plates the fine notification may end up in their letterbox. (I don't know this for sure, but there was quite a lot in the press about new EU agreements for cooperation a few months ago.) Much of the road between Grasse and Digne is too twisty to go that fast - just enjoy the curves. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Cool! Leave Antibes early and assume a long day ahead.


I haven't driven that road in a few years but I suspect it has its fair share of fixed radar. Generally these are signposted, so if you see a sign assume a camera is not far away. If you're caught by a speed trap/patrol then there is an on the spot fine of (I think) EUR 90, payable in cash, for speeds up to 30 kph over the limit. Some speed cameras are forward facing (if that's the expression), ie they flash as you approach. In my experience drivers tend to respect the speed limits in built-up areas and, obviously, if you're caught speeding the tolerance is much less as they'll hit you with "dangerous driving" or similar in addition.

I believe that France and Germany now cooperate on traffic offences, so it's possible that if you get flashed with Porsche factory plates the fine notification may end up in their letterbox. (I don't know this for sure, but there was quite a lot in the press about new EU agreements for cooperation a few months ago.) Much of the road between Grasse and Digne is too twisty to go that fast - just enjoy the curves. :)

It seems the Germans are the only ones that like to have some fun at high speeds ;-)
 

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If you are speeding up a German pass and you see Polizei on motorcycles going down don't assume that they won't be able to turn around and catch you. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you are speeding up a German pass and you see Polizei on motorcycles going down don't assume that they won't be able to turn around and catch you. :(
Would that also be true for the Autobahn when I am doing 160-mph?:taunt:
 

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Would that also be true for the Autobahn when I am doing 160-mph?:taunt:
If that particular stretch of the Autobahn did not have a speed limit then they wouldn't bother. If there was a speed limit on that stretch - and there are parts of the Autobahn that do have speed limits - then they would just radio ahead. And keep in mind that some of the Polizei cars are pretty fast. I don't know what they are using this year but I have seen Polizei 911s. Big BMWs are also very common.

It really pays to learn the signs. (Especially be aware of the End of Restrictions signs. They have slashes - ///) For example, I was tooling along on a BMW motorcycle one Sunday afternoon just south of Munich. I was disappointed because I kept seeing 120 kpm speed signs. Then I realized that the signs actually said 120 kpm M-F. :burnout:

And "Ausfahrt" is not a town. :hilarious:
 
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