Day 2 - St Omer, France to Koblenz, Germany

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September 7th 2014
Published: September 24th 2014
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Day 2. This was the drive from St Omer, France to Koblenz, Germany. We got up around 7ish, ready for breakfast and the morning meeting. Everyone was dozing from the night before, so people set off whenever they wanted. The trip was about 4 1/2 hours, but we did do about 80mph on the unrestricted German Autobahn, so it quickly flew by. We set off from St Omer on the hunt for diesel. Luckily, the 306 is quite good on diesel, so we used 3/4 of a tank from Somerset to St Omer, which we were amazed at. We found fuel on the border between France and Belgium, as did a lot of the other teams. Having not ventured out of Somerset apart from holidays, I was amazed at how they sold fuel over there. You had to ask how much you wanted before you filled up and then you got that exact amount.

We were also amazed at how bad the roads were. The french roads were smooth, and as soon as you passed across the border, they turned into back breaking hell holes. We think the French and Belgians had an argument as too who should fix it, and neither won. On the way through Belguim, we realised we would go past Spa. We didn't know what to do, whether to visit it or not. We decided we might as well, as we had time to burn, and it was the best decision of the day. We turned up to the race track and parked on the hill, not knowing if we could go in and have a look. Then we heard engines. Lots of engines. We walked down the hill to be greeted by a woman who said we could go in. We got to the track, and then saw/heard the cars. It was the GT Open Spa Francorchamps weekend. We had hit the jackpot! Porsche's, Audi's, Corvette's, Noble's and Ferrari's were all racing, and we had front row seats looking at La Source and Eua Rouge. The noise was immense, but it was practically dead. A few people sat on the bandstands. We spent about 1 hour here, and then headed off. If we didn't have to get to Koblenz that night, I would have stayed.

Next stop was the 'Ring. This made me a little nervous. A 15 year old car with budget tyres going onto the ring? Yeah. We made a decision. As we thought the car could only get around it once before it overheated/broke, I let Tom go out in it, with Marcus in the passenger seat. Remember, the car still had all our luggage in it, minus me. Tom managed to get a lap time of approximately 14 minutes and 40 seconds, give or take a few seconds. Not bad for an ancient car. I hope to return next year, with something a bit better, and faster. Tom managed to get it to 95 before a corner came up. I have never seen so many different cars before on one road. We had M3's, M5's, 911 Turbo's, 911 GT3's, Renault Sports, Aston Martins, Mercedes AMG's, Golf GTI's, Corvette's, Lamborghini's, GTR's, Caterhams, Noble's, Ariel Atoms and many more that I can't remember. Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me, as I had left it in the car to record.

We soon got into Germany and hit the Autobahns. At first, it was a bit scary. You had all these German saloons and estates flying past doing about 3 times the speed of light, while we were in our 306 tootling along at 80mph. This caused us problems when overtaking, as you had to look in the mirror all the time. We soon got to Koblenz, and stayed in the Hotel B&B. It was a pain getting there, as the sat nav wanted me to go over the junction, as it was on the motorway, so we had to go all the way through Koblenz to get to it, but we got there in the end. The hotel was nice. Well lit reception, good rooms and plenty of parking. Recommended.

That night, we decided to head about 10 minutes out of Koblenz to Winningen, for the wine festival. This is where I learnt that I do not like wine, but I do like German firework displays. The food on offer was delicious, and the atmosphere was great. At the end, there was a firework display. We were promised by the Motoscape organisers that it would be amazing. They were not wrong. This was the best fireworks display I had ever seen. So close, and so loud, the first few fireworks were the loudest I had ever heard. We then headed back to Koblenz and the hotel for an early night, as we had a long drive the next day.

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