Luxembourg and Germany's Black Forest. The scenery starts here
We decided to stay over in Luxembourg because it's a place we'd normally not have an excuse to visit. It turned out to be a good idea because Luxembourg City is quite lovely. We were staying at the 4* Parc Alvisse Hotel (with its nice big car park), which would be a nice walk or short bus ride away from the centre and, after we'd grabbed a couple of hours sleep in the afternoon, we did just that. The weather was good, so we walked the three miles or so into town and discovered a modern, cosmopolitan city of stylish shops and historic buildings, surrounded by medieval city walls.
As a stopover for those not wishing to travel silly distances each day (we actually wanted to see more of Europe than just the roads), I'd recommend it very highly indeed. It's lush and green, the roads are reasonable and the fuel is cheap! After a welcome nights rest, we made full use of the hotel pool and spa facilities before squeezing as much fuel as we could into a very dirty Ferrari and headed south towards Germany.
Making short work of the rest of Luxembourg, after about half an hour we crossed the border. We were sticking to fairly quick roads towards Merzig and Saarbrücken and think we stumbled upon sections of Autobahn but I couldn't remember what the signs looked like. Deciding it might be best not to risk trying to realise Ferrari's claimed top speed of 180mph+, we kept the speed reasonable. I doubted my lack of German road sign knowledge would be a good 'get out of jail free' card. Instead of driving silly-fast and making lots of noise, we (I) entertained ourselves (myself) by laughing at the 'ausfarht' signs. I read somewhere that Ausfarht is the largest town in Germany as it's signposted from just about everywhere. I don't believe that though. I think it has something to do with the beer, sauerkraut & sausages.
Now we'd hit German soil it got hot, very hot. We made good progress, even somehow ending up back in France for a time (not sure how that happened) before seeing the scenery of the Black Forest, looming in the distance.
Google's little streetview man hasn't been to much of Germany (what are they hiding?) so we'd planned our route the old fashioned way and bought a decent map to go with our European road atlas. We made for Baden-Baden, expertly finding the tunnel that by-passes the centre and it kindly took us under the town at which we had planned to stop. It was about 37 degrees now, so instead we found a roadside bar on the outskirts of town and stopped for a (small) beer in the sun before hitting the historic Route 500 south.
The 500 is a lovely, sweeping and well surfaced road that gains serious height in places and offers a great drive and fantastic views. It is popular though and can be busy in places. It's especially popular with bikers, sport and classic car enthusiasts (notably Porsche and Mercedes) and clubs. We even had a few waves and toots from other road users, in particular the convoy of classic Mercedes convertibles that passed whilst I was taking the photo at the top of the page.
We reached our overnight stop in Freudenstadt and after unloading our gear the host offered us the use of his own garage, proudly claiming the car as his own - or so he was telling his neighbours as the garage door closed. Relieved to find the car still there the following morning, we loaded up and set off in search of fuel (sounds simple right?). Not on a Sunday, apparently. Two laps of Freudenstadt, three filling stations, one supermarket, one multi-storey car park and one industrial estate later, we had a full tank and set off to rejoin Route 500.
We stopped in Triberg for a hot and sticky walk to visit Germany's highest waterfall, before hitting traffic around Titisee that made going a little slower than ideal. It was the weekend and everyone it seemed was out on the roads and although a pleasant and scenic drive, it felt as if the car wanted to stretch its legs. The forest is beautiful, and I'd say a great destination for a road trip if time or mileage constraints might not get you over the Alps or to the coast. We'll certainly pass through again, whether it be part of a longer trip or an excursion in the Boxster to spend time exploring, hiking or biking.
We ausfarhted out of the southern edge of the forest and had a two hour dash through Switzerland towards our overnight stop in Dornbirn, Austria. As the Swiss border controls were empty and we couldn't purchase a motorway pass, we tried to avoid the motorways where we could, but had a few slightly nervous miles here and there. We'd try to buy one later! We (the car not us, obviously) attracted lots of attention during the route through a busy town on the shores of Lake Constance before landing us in a warm and very pleasant Dornbirn. All in all a nice drive and an enjoyable day. We had covered 720 miles since leaving home.