Epic Drive

View from today's drive
View from today’s drive
Awesome views
Awesome views
This is what we were seeing for much of the drive
This is what we were seeing for much of the drive
We drove past several alpine lakes, but couldn't get photos of the best of them.
We drove past several alpine lakes, but couldn’t get photos of the best of them.

Today was an epic drive – nine hours and 281 miles covered.

We set off from Camping Kleinenzhof and decided to incorporate Route 500 into our journey. This would mean going out of our way somewhat, but the route is well regarded on websites that promote the most scenic driving roads in the world.

We headed south-west on the 294 and then the 28 to reach Freudenstadt, in order to pick up the 500. The drive to Freudensdadt was very nice, through the Black Forest. We then turned north (in the opposite direction to out final destination), so that we could drive the famous stretch of the 500 to Baden-Baden. The 500 is a nice stretch of elevated road through the Black Forest . The first section had a lot of nice sweeping bends but when we got to the northern end, near to Baden-Baden, we began to encounter a lot of tight bends, with a fair few very tight hairpins. There were some great vistas along the way.

Having reached Baden-Baden, we picked up the A5 autobahn, heading south towards Switzerland. What a contrast. Boring!! However, after a while, the GPS directed us away from the autobahn and back onto the winding mountain roads of southern Germany. Again, lots of hairpins and lots of great views. But tight mountain roads often mean slower speeds, so it was going to take us longer to reach our destination. Having left this morning at 11.00am, we were on schedule to reach our destination by 6.30pm. But then we found that the mountain pass we needed was closed. The woman inside the GPS kept wanting to take us back the same way – to the closed pass. I had to pull out the road atlas and plot an alternate route towards Zurich to get far enough away from the orinal route so that the GPS would pick up on the new route.

That also meant that out 6.30pm arrival ended up being about 7.50pm, almost nine hours on the road. But I have to say that the Defender performed flawlessly. I gave her a bath this morning and she seemed to be thanking me for it. Through long sweepers, to tight hairpins (switchbacks), to unfamiliar city roads and junctions, she didn’t put a foot wrong. It was a long drive today, but I really felt as though I finally connected with the Defender and got a better understanding of how to drive her. I really must decide on a name for her (David has assured me that all Defenders are female).

She deserves a good rest after today, and she’ll get one. We are here in Engelberg, Switzerland, for about five nights and will probably use the free bus to get about tomorrow.

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