It has been a long week, but the good news is I’ve arrived back in the UK and have spent the weekend recovering from my adventure with the Belgian breakdown service.
After the VW garage in Belgium opened on Tuesday they quoted a very large sum to repair the car, at which point I asked my breakdown company just to get me + car back home – It took 48 hours to organise but eventually they towed me back from Belgium; I was able to drive the car on to and off the ferry which made things much easier.
I arrived in Dover at 22:45 on Thursday night and was then towed back to Gloucestershire, arriving in Fairford some time between 04:00 and 04:30, and getting back home at 05:00 on Friday morning.
Following all this I’ve since spoken to my garage who couldn’t find the fault the Belgians said they found – other than perhaps the timing chain is a little noisier than it should be but just keep an eye on it for now…
I trust my own garage’s judgement more than a VW main dealer in another country who have never worked on the car before – although I have my car back now, it does mean that whatever the underlying fault, whatever it may be, hasn’t been fixed – but if/when it does resurface, at least I’m not too far away from home this time!
Apart from the breakdown spoiling the end of my holiday, it was otherwise a great 3 weeks and I would definitely drive to Greece again – Not every year, the cost is comparable to a 2 week holiday for a family of 4 who are flying over; but maybe in 2-3 years time I’ll consider it again.
As well as driving to Greece for the first time, I also went in to some countries I’ve never been to before – my thoughts on those as follows…
Italy: I wasn’t too sure what to make of Italy. I didn’t feel as welcomed in Italy as I do in Greece, Cyprus or the German speaking world – perhaps not speaking Italian was a contributing factor – and I found their motorways (Autostrade) a little crazy, not like the German Autobahns where I feel quite comfortable.
Austria: I only drove through Austria in the pouring rain on the way to Greece and called in briefly at Bregenz (near the Swiss and German borders) on the way back – but it seemed nice enough. I speak German and can understand TV and radio in Austria – one to explore more of.
Switzerland: I liked Switzerland a lot, despite only really driving through it in a single day. If I could have stopped in every Alpine village I liked the look of, I’d still be there today!
The scenery in Switzerland as I drove over the top of the Alps was brilliant, and the roads there are good too.
After crossing in to Switzerland from Italy, I tuned in to the national German-speaking radio station (SRF 1). It was the first time in a number of weeks I’d listened to a proper news bulletin on the radio so it was almost like coming home, re-entering the German-speaking world and catching up with everything I’d missed since being away.
It was through listening to the news on SRF 1 I learned that Theresa May had formally stepped down as Conservative leader, signalling the start of the leadership election.
Liechtenstein: A bit like Switzerland in that it also uses Swiss Francs as the currency (and therefore the prices that come with that) – Definitely one to visit again.
That is it for my Greece Road Trip 2019 and my blog.
Back to work on Monday – I’ve bought a shed load of Belgian chocolate to make up for the week I wasted while sitting on the phone in Belgium for most of it; to compliment the bag full of biscuits I bought back from Greece.
Think I need another holiday to recover from my holiday. Can that be arranged?
Thurday’s Mileage: 307
Total Mileage for my Greek Road Trip: 3813