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Ancona - Brignoles

Trip Details

Road Trip 2006 II
Date: Sat, 29/07/2006
France, Italy
Distance: 840 km
Motorcyclists: Manolis, Ploumisti
Photographers: Manolis, Ploumisti
Authors: Manolis
Translators: Ragas
Map: Trip map
Photographs: Link

Sightseeing map

July 2006…After our last years trip (summer 2005) in central Europe in our mind we had this idea of making a trip at the Iberian chersonese (Spain – Portugal – Andorra). A trip that it was near to Africa, at Europe’s last frontier became a challenge for us… Finally our trip included also the exotic Morocco! The trip was conducted by the club’s members Manolis and Ploumisti and their motorcycles, two Yamaha Fazer.
The total number of km that we covered was 10.300km. We drove inside 7 different countries with the temperatures ranging from 10 to 45 degrees of Celsius. The images that we saw were many and different. We met many cultures which are combined together harmonically. At the narrations we will try to give you an objective view of everything that we saw and how we lived. We will try to avoid giving many details descriptions of monuments since a tourist guide would be more appropriate for that so will pass you only our impressions, scenes and our emotions as well as useful information of road conditions and things that you cannot find in the tourist guides… Enjoy!
29 July 2006:It was noon, around 13 o’clock, Italy time, and we arrived at the port. From what other people that have visited this town have said–except Ploumisti- I have not sized up a good opinion. Probably I imagine it more as a merchant port, without anything special to offer. However, there is something beautiful in this town. As you arrive to the port you see only trade ships and wreckers but if you pass it you can see a scenery and amphitheatric town. Its colours recalled me a classical, traditional Italian town. The roofs of the houses, made of tiles, are harmonically combined with the green and blue colors of the sea. I was lucky since while I was approaching the sun was shining making the scene more beautiful.
Once the ship arrived at the port we moved to the garage to take our motorcycles. I realized that there were fewer travellers than the last year. Anyway, we finally got out from the ship at 14:30 and we followed the signs (blue colored) to Bologna through the motorway A14. The motorway is not so good in terms of its condition however the scene is beautiful. Entering the motorway we bought our ticket and stopped for benzene, 1.35 €/lit!
We continued our trip but black clouds were forming in the atmosphere. What happened next is something that we did not wanted to happen. We wore our waterproof coats, while there was sultriness. A heavy rain started, but it did not last. We kept driving since we wanted to make as many km as we could make. The scene was boring as we drove through a big valley on an unfinished straightway. After Bologne we followed the motorway A1 for Piacenza paying at the tolls 17.5€.
After Piacenza the weather became better. We continue for Alessandria (A21) and then for Geneva (A7). Unfortunately when we reached the node for Savona we made a mistake and we turned left, so we had to go through Genova. The negative on this is that we lost some time but the route was beautiful. Many turnings, good road surface through a prefect scenery. If you happen to be in the area we suggest to choose this route.
Reaching Genova we did not turn at the node for Ventimigle so we reached the tolls and we waited on a queue just to make a turnover thereupon. The price of the tolls is 7.5 €. We entered at the motorway A10 were I recalled what other people have said after they passed through it. Many tunnel each one after the other, and airlifts which connect a complex topographic terrain are the proof that for humans none construction is impracticable. Each bridge has its own name. The scene around the motorway is magnificent, while at my left I could see the coastland towns that we visited last year. The nightfall gives a different tone.
Before reach, the borders of France we stopped for benzene and had something to eat.
The gazolene is more expensive in France. In our previous stop for benzene after Piacenza I remembered that in each filling station there were also self service pumps which had a different price. So this time I used these ones. We tasted the magnificent Italian panini and we had an espresso. We decided to rest for the night at the French city Brignole which was 150km ahead.
At 10 o’clock in the evening we started our trip again and after 15km we entered France after we paid the last Italian heavy tax of 14.5€. Our first impressions were positive, as far the road it concerns. There were many lights and the road was as good as the Italian one although the negative thing was the tolls. As we entered the country we paid 1.10€ and after few km we paid 0,7€ at Grenoble, 1,6€ at Antibes while at Frejus the system is same with the Italian one since we had to take a ticket while entering which we had to keep it and pay its value at the exit of our choice.
From high above in many spots you can see the illuminated French coastal cities of the Cote d'Azur which are beautiful. I like the drive although I am driving through a motorway.
At 11:30pm we are outside Brignole and we exit the motorway from the exit 35. The price to exit is 4.4€ but the employee there charged only one of us by a mistake. We found a round square and cross exactly opposite and at the traffic light we turned right for the group of hotels called Formule1 which was 1.5km away. Unfortunately we were unlucky because it was full. We returned back for a hotel called Village Hotel, but we were also unlucky. At the last hotel everything was automated by the use of a credit card since there is no reception. But again we couldn’t book ourselves a room because there were some problems with the vending machine. I started thinking of what is going to happen to the countries we had in our minds to visit, since at these developed countries we have so many problems…
Finally, we visited Ibis Hotels which were closed from where we were and they send us at a "Kyriad Hotel" which was exactly opposite of the Village Hotel . The price of a double room was 70€. We put our staff to the room; we locked our machines and went to sleep at 2am in the morning.
In spite all this I believe that the specific town is the perfect city for someone to rest before entering Spain. It is located 850km away from Ancona. At the first day we cannot do much since you arrive at the port at about 14:30 and you are near to Barcelona which is almost 500km away. The town is not outside the route and the hotels are easy to found. The only problem we faced was the high prices since we traveled on a high season and we hadn’t make reservations before. The next time we will know better our lesson…