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personal - Italy Tour - 2006

Itinerary for Days 12 to 14 according to the brochure.

picture of my suitcase

Day 12: Alessandria to Lyon

We cross the border into France, driving through magnificent alpine scenery. We reach Lyon for dinner and overnight at the Hotel Mercure Lyon (3*)

DAY 13: Lyon to N. France

We travel through the wine producing regions of Burgundy and Champagne into northern France to our three star standard hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.

DAY 14: N. France to UK

We take the Calais-Dover ferry and return home with happy memories. (B)

Personal Commentary

Day Twelve

Three cheers for Pepto Bismol! I awoke feeling slightly better. I was given the news that France had won their semi final in the world cup. Despite being close to the motorway the room had been surprisingly quiet. I missed breakfast, preferring a few extra minutes in the room and then boarded the coach.

The last stop in Italy was actually at Gran Bosco service station and that as we entered France we were met with a thunderstorm. We travelled past Asti - the home of asti spumante - and Monte Genevro. We drove through the Monte Genevro Pass and on to Briancon town. Biancon is a charming town. Briançon, a great fortress town, is the highest town in Europe. We had something to eat in a little restaurant at the top of the town. We then walked through one of the drawbridged entrances to explore the town from the top down. The town is very touristy but also very picturesque with its cobbled streets, crafts and souvenir shops. There is a wonderful view of the collegial Notre Dame from the first drawbridge.

One of the interesting aspects of the town is the 'Petite Gargouille' (small canal) that runs down the center of the street...very picturesque. For some reason I failed to capture this on film. However I did capture the two distant valleys and the River Durance.

We drove through the Lotre Pass, past Grenoble, stopping at the Aire de Vorreppe services on the way - where incidentally the temperature had dropped by at least 12oC - before going on towards Lyon to our Hotel in France - Novotel Hotel Lyon. There is nothing much to say about the hotel, except we were close to a busy road and there was nothing really much to see or do within walking distance from it.

Day Thirteen

What can I say about this day? Nothing much really. We just had to get from one part of France to another so there was some considerable driving done by Len. Ivor estimated that our bags had been taken on and off the bus at least 28 times at this point! We followed the A6 to Marcon, Turnos, Toulouse and after a couple of cursory stops - one being a service station outside Dijon - we ended up at the Hotel Novotel Lille Tourcoing. This was the last night we'd all be together so we all took the time to take photographs and exchange emails. The only negative was that my room smelt like wee. Not exactly the most inviting of rooms!

Day Fourteen

We all had to wake early. At 6:15 breakfast was served although there was a cock-up about rooms so some of us had to stand and chomp on our cornflakes. We were driven to Calais and joined a convoy of Shearings vehicles. I took the final opportunity to video the group. Len confirmed the following:

We boarded the Pride of Kent ferry where we used up our Euros and watched as the white cliffs of Dover came ever closer. I managed to get a few shots of Alan and Eileen before we had to go back to the bus. Once on dry land we said our goodbyes to most of our fellow travellers and said a final farewell to the remainder of our group, in Coventry.


I will definitely be going back to Italy. What a great country. And what a great bunch of people we shared it with! I may try and avoid illness by travelling when less hot. October/November sounds like a good idea! If I had to give advice to other planning this trip it would be as follows:

Read my poem

Holiday pictures (35)

01: (link)  The group at Service Station

02: (link)  Ann, Paul, Louise

03: (link)  Carol, Anthony, Alan

04: (link)  Gordon

05: (link)  French Alps

06: (link)  Briançon - Drawbridged Fort

07: (link)  Briançon - Drawbridge

08: (link)  Briançon

09: (link)  Briançon

10: (link)  Briançon - River Durance

11: (link)  Briançon - Two valleys

12: (link)  Briançon

13: (link)  Briançon - Storm clouds over the alps

14: (link)  France - Ivan

15: (link)  France - Margaret, Carol

16: (link)  France - Alice

17: (link)  France - Arthur, Ann, Frida

18: (link)  France - Gordon, Vicki, Arthur, Ann, Frida

19: (link)  France - Len, George

20: (link)  France - Frida

21: (link)  Novotel Hotel Lyon

22: (link)  Group outside Novotel Hotel Lyon

23: (link)  Novotel Hotel, Tourcoing - Eileen, Terry

24: (link)  Novotel Hotel, Tourcoing - Margaret

25: (link)  Novotel Hotel, Tourcoing - Roger, Gordon

26: (link)  Novotel Hotel, Tourcoing - Group

27: (link)  Novotel Hotel, Tourcoing - Group

28: (link)  Novotel Hotel, Tourcoing - Louise

29: (link)  Novotel Hotel, Tourcoing - Irene, Gordon

30: (link)  Novotel Hotel, Tourcoing - Pauline, Irene, Carol, Margaret

31: (link)  Novotel Hotel, Tourcoing - Frida, Arthur outside

32: (link)  Pride of Kent Ferry - Alan and Carol by white cliffs of Dover

33: (link)  Pride of Kent Ferry - Wendy by white cliffs of Dover

34: (link)  Pride of Kent Ferry - White cliffs of Dover

35: (link)  Pride of Kent Ferry - Wendy by white cliffs of Dover

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