Here are some pictures of my travels last year. Finally I found the time to sort through and write some notes.
After driving an 850€ MX-5 around the Baltic Sea the year before and without any trouble except a blown headlight I had to push my luck a little further. A plan came together to drive down to Turkey, do one big loop through the whole country and then move homewards again, around 13000 kms.
We would be up to six people and I didn’t have a car that would fit us all and our luggage.
The Renault Espace MKII seemed suitable, but the first one I inspected was dirty, the fusebox was hanging loosely in the passenger compartment and the 2nd gear was crunching, all for 900€. I almost got a bit desperate, but then found another one for 800€ looking quite alright from the pictures at a dealer nearby. It still looked good in the flesh, apart from a few scratches and a broken wing mirror. The test-drive went well, even the aircon was working, so after some almost effortless haggling (I asked him what the price would be without a guarantee - he said there was no guarantee anyways – I remarked that it wasn’t mentioned in the advert – he admitted he wasn’t allowed to write it like that, but he would give me a 200€ discout, just like that) we got the Espace for 600€.
Car drove well, oil looked still seemed fresh enough too, so I did no maintenance at all except fixing that broken mirror. Instead I used the little time I had before our departure to build a basic structure that would take the luggage and the stuff we need from day to day as well as a simple kitchen and worktop.
So on the day before our departure some road-tripping finalgearians stopped over on their way to the south of France.
The day after I left in the early evening to pick up the girls. First stop woul be our house in the Italian alps. We spent three days there hiking and relaxing.
And on we went southwards. We had a first breakdown on an uphill Autostrada stretch between Bologna and Firenze. It was the hottest day of the year so far and the car overheated and cut out. We were able to continue after a little cooling down. I later found out the connector of the radiator fan had melted, after I fixed that the car never got hot again.
Anyways, we still arrived in Firenze on time to enjoy the early evening light.
Here's a crappy picture of the beautiful coast at Argentario.
And just one of the shitloads of ancient theatres we visited, this is the one where Pink Floyd recorded Live in Pompeij.
After Tuscany we spent a day in Rome, then via the beautiful Amalfi coast and Pompeij we crossed the boot to catch our ferry in Bari on the eastern coast. The area between the coasts was eerily barren and covered in golden-brown dust. I almost took no pictures in Italy, at least of the placed I had already photographed before.
Matera, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, people where living in caves here from the Palaeolithic up to the 1950s.
That evening we had to catch the ferry so we moved towards Bari in time and spent a few minutes at the seaside...
...and had the car broken into. We didn't leave anything valuable inside so nothing of importance was stolen, the most annoying thing was the broken window.
Anyways, the ferry set off after sunset and into a thunderstorm. It was quite rough for a few minutes and very calm for the rest of the night. The rising sun greeted us into Dubrovnik's Harbour and after we were deemed harmless by the customs officer we found ourselves a small bay and a campground under the shadow of olive and fig trees and stayed there for a few days. I sourced a replacement window and a friend would take it to Greece, where we were going to meet him anyways.
Dubrovnik's old town was very beautiful and spotlessly renovated.
Part 2 soon, proofpic follows!