Now that I’ve blogged about travelling in Wales, my thoughts turn to mainland Europe. I’ve already travelled in Spain and Portugal (posts to come) and I still want to see more of the ‘Old World’ . Many options fly by in my mind HOW to travel around Europe. Shall I inter-rail? Shall I go with a dedicated coach service? Or perhaps even go on a cruise and stop off at various ports? But there’s one option that can easily be done. Drive around. Not in any normal car but a MINI Hatchback.
Why a MINI may you ask? Well, I harbour a secret desire to be Michael Caine. No, it’s not to be Butler Alfred in Batman but Michael Caine in the Italian Job. Yes, my friends, I want to be part of the Self-Preservation Society! I mean, I need to look good for the rest of my life and this body only happens once in a Millennium. (can’t you tell I’m completely modest?)
So in my brand new MINI I think the best terminal destination would have to be of course, Turin, Italy. That’s where the Italian Job was. So where would I go from my hometown of Kingston Upon Hull to get there? I give you, the Italian Mini Trip!
Leaving on the Ferry to go to mainland Europe, I would plot and ponder the antics I would get up to during my mini trip whilst admiring the new sleek look of the car. Also, if I’m going to do an Italian Job, I would check out the latest features and smart gadgets to ensure I can make a quick getaway if possible. Plus we don’t want any cliffhangers! So what to do? With Amy Pond to give me my new lothario image, we look set to invade Europe.
The ferry would dock into Zebrugge, just a stone’s throw away from Bruges so we would go there to stock up supplies and check out the sights. This ‘Venice of the North’ has many things to offer throughout its canal laden streets such as the medieval architecture throughout which has classed the city as an UNESCO Heritage site. Parking up the Mini, we can lounge on the car in stark contrast to the place and then feel truly European.
Eating Asphalt for breakfast, we would roar down the autobahns of Germany after leaving Belgium to the river based city of Cologne. Situated on both banks of the River Rhine, Cologne is home to many beautiful museums, cathedrals and many old architecture dating back to the times of Romans and Medieval. One of the best features of the city is its city gates. Imagine how panoramic it would look for a MINI to roar through.
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Leaving Cologne, it’s back on the road. This time we can truly test the raw power that the Mini has on the German Autobahns and marvelling at the less fuel consumption it uses when we reach the small country of Luxembourg. Lying in the heart of Europe, you can’t get any more European in its capital city. Perhaps we can show off the Mini to the Grand Duke of Luxembourg who may want to take it for a spin…but not with Amy Pond. We need his money to do the Italian Job.
Leaving the Germanic countries, it’s time to get all loved up. (with Amy Pond please) Hopping over the border, we reach Strasbourg. Thanks to the hatchback function of the Mini, we can pack up a vintage picnic that you can easily take out and lounge about in the many parks that the city has or perhaps on the UNESCO Heritage site of Grand Lle. This way we can truly enjoy the Franco-German culture fusion.
Boasting a centre of a number of heritage sites of national significance, this city at the tri-border of France and Germany, would be a perfect stop off to enjoy the Swiss way of life and perhaps climb a few mountains while we are at it to get fit for the Italian Job. Or perhaps we can practice driving around the bends perhaps with a sports chassis.
Now the Italian Job begins. We have arrived in Turin, Italy after going through the tunnels through the Alps to marvel at the Mini’s brake horsepower. Turin, ‘The Cradle of Italian Liberty’, is also called the ‘Automobile Capital’ and what better way than to show off my brand new MINI hatchback on the cobbled streets whilst enjoying some homemade pasta, some wine and a beautiful girl at my side. It is truly the order of the self-preservation society.
What do you think? Would you like to drive a MINI through Europe?