Jerry's Mark's final thought
If you’ve made it this far into the website you deserve a pat on the back. If it was only 50% as informative, entertaining (hopes…) or as easy to read as I intended, then I’ve achieved my aim. By all means let me know what you think, a message from my Contact page will take all of twenty seconds.
This wasn’t our first road trip across Europe. The first in 2012 saw us pilot our Porsche Boxster to the Monaco Grand Prix, taking in the Alps along the way. We learned a lot from that trip and I have to say it was thoroughly enjoyable, although a different prospect from taking a car like the Ferrari 360.
With the exception of one French hotel in the Vosges mountains, communication was always easy with English very widely spoken. Fortunately Sarah speaks French but you can always get by with the international language of combining random words and pointing at things.
Navigation was generally simple (once you get used to the odd quirk) and although many rely on the SatNav these days, we find good maps may offer more information on the size and perhaps state of a road. This may be especially important if you don’t want to end up on narrow, lumpy rural roads in your wide, low sports car. So for us it was the map approach, allowing us to explore a little along the way with an iPhone as backup to take us through cities and keep us on target.
Channel crossings are painless, whether it be the ferry or the Eurotunnel that we used on a previous trip. On the boat you can specify you have a ‘low clearance’ car and on the train the staff generally wave low cars onto the bottom deck to avoid the ramps.
We'd covered 2,340 miles and used approximately 480 litres of fuel, giving us an average MPG somewhere in the lowish twenties. I think that's reasonable considering we often opted for picturesque routes rather hitting the motorways.
In a geographical sense, mainland Europe has much to offer the road traveller. Stunning scenery combined with less congested roads than we’re used to in the UK makes for enjoyable driving. Europe is fantastic. I’m not talking about the EU (it pains me to think that so many people confuse the EU with Europe), I’m talking about the fantastic continent we’re part of. We’re a short hop from our neighbours and our differences should be explored and celebrated. If you’ve ever had the urge to get in your car and head off into the distance, just do it, there really is no excuse. If you have a soft top, I guarantee the memory of blasting around the mountains on near empty roads will make you smile when you look at it sitting on the driveway in the rain. If you have a sports car, use it for the purpose it was built.
We proved a Ferrari can be driven, it’ll be reliable and it wont disolve in the rain. It’ll please many people you meet along the way and it’ll offer the driver a wealth of experiences that are difficult to explain.
Take for example the Susten Pass: Under a clear blue sky and blazing sunshine, everything makes sense. The time, the saving, effort, expenditure, the childhood dream… it all comes together and it’s an absolute pleasure and privilege to drive a Ferrari through the mountains on a road like that. Of all the fantastic, beautiful places and great roads we hit over the course of our trip, I think it’ll be the Susten Pass, and the title picture of our Swiss chapter that I’ll always think of first.
Lastly, some may ask if you need a Ferrari to make a trip like this really special. The answer is no, of course not, but it helps.