Road Trip Video - CLK 350 in the Alps

Eddy77

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A video from my recent trip to the Alps:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apSsO9657C8

Thoroughly recommended. 2,200 miles in seven days. Zero problems with either car (CLK and a 911).

Enjoy!
 

forrester123

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hi Eddy,
looked a great trip & something I would like to do next year.
Could you give details of your route, stopping places & other relevant details, please.
 

RickyBurrows

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I'd love to do that it looked like an awesome trip, when the kids are older me and the missus are heading straight for France

RickyBurrows
 

tonyspicer

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Great thanks for posting, inspiration for a similar trip planned next year with a 911Cab and a C Class Cab. Unfortunately it is celebrating birthdays much more than 40 !!!
 
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Eddy77

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knighterrant

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Nice video Eddy. Certainly better technical quality than the one I did for a similar trip back in June 2013 (https://youtu.be/IKOEjmJePAc). Our cheap handheld camera was a lot shakier than your dashcam. We also had the misfortune to have had lots of rain during the first two days, so as well as some views being lost our C350 was filthy for the rest of the trip.

It's a shame you missed out on the Stelvio Pass. That "cycle race" that unexpectedly got in your way would have been the Giro d'Italia, one of cycling's Grand Tour races and celebrating its 100th edition this year. So not exactly a minor event you couldn't have known about! We were lucky four years ago because the Stelvio only opened after winter the morning we went there, so relatively little traffic and more opportunity to "use" the road. But as you discovered, there are plenty other roads to enjoy.

For anybody contemplating a European road trip, it's a must.
 
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Eddy77

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Great thanks for posting, inspiration for a similar trip planned next year with a 911Cab and a C Class Cab. Unfortunately it is celebrating birthdays much more than 40 !!!
Thoroughly recommend the route I took. I will post the details of the exact route and stop over points later on when I get home. 
Choice of car for a trip like this is very interesting. 
Instinctively you would say that a 911 is the perfect tool for the job. Or something like an Elise / Caterham. 
But having now done the trip, the Mercedes was by far and away the more suitable car. 
The Porsche was great fun - loud, focused, involving. And that was great for a few hours. But on a trip like this you are in the car for 5-6 hours every day and after a few hours the Porsche became tiring. The constant noise, back braking suspension and heavy controls made it a tough companion on winding roads. We took it in turns to drive each car through the day and both of us were quite pleased to get in the Merc as it provided creature comforts like ventilated seats, plenty of power and - most importantly - a relaxing drive with softer suspension. 

The CLK is not the most dynamic car on the twisties, but it never got left behind and - unless you are a driving god - you won't be pushing the limits of any car when every hairpin is blessed with a near vertical drop the other side and no crash barriers to save you. One mistake on those roads and you are dead - there's no run off a lot of the time.  

You see you tube videos of guys in Caterhams hooning along mountain passes, but you soon realise when you drive these roads yourself that these guys posting themselves at full pelt are taking real risks. One error and they would be off. 
Best car for a trip like this would be an SL I think. Plenty of pace, plenty of comfort.
 

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Nice introduction :D

Less music more car noise would of been good though.
 
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Eddy77

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hi Eddy,
looked a great trip & something I would like to do next year.
Could you give details of your route, stopping places & other relevant details, please.
FRIDAY 

Get up early and catch the Eurotunnel from Dover to Calais. 

Drive from Calais to Baden-Baden. 

Use the French autoroutes and follow the sat nav quickest route as it's a long old drive. 

Hotel for the night: Hotel Heiligenstein (Baden-Baden) 

SATURDAY 

Baden-Baden to Lindau (Bodensee) 

Not a particularly long drive. We wound are way right through the Black Forest and took our time on the slow roads heading due south. Once out of the Black Forest we simply headed to Lindau (Lake Constance) and the route took us along the road to the north of the lake which was a nice drive. Lindau is very very pretty. Nice place for a beer and a meal.
 
Hotel for the night: Hotel Lindauer Hof (Lindau) 

SUNDAY 

Lindau to Switzerland and down to the Stelvio Pass. Then back up from Stelvio to Fussen where we spent the evening. 

This was the best driving of the whole trip. Again, we pretty much followed sat nav to Stelvio from Lindau. We went through Klosters on the way and also through Davos.

Just drove straight through the mountains and the scenery was really beautiful. Once we got near Stelvio we headed up the Umbrail pass with the idea of joining the Stelvio at the summit. But we were thwarted by a cycle race and had to come back down. From there we headed into Italy and wound are way back on the main roads to Fussen. Lovely driving roads all day. 

Hotel for the night: Hotel Geiger (Fussen / Hopfensee) 

MONDAY 

Fussen to Pertisau 

This was a slower day. We did some sight seeing (castles etc) and pootled down to Pertisau which is on the "Achensee". Nice relaxing day. 

Hotel for the night: Das Pflandler Hotel (Pertisau) 

TUESDAY 

Pertisau over to Grossglockner and then onto our overnight stop in Zell am See 

Drive to the Grossglockner was really nice. We approached the Grossglockner by driving down the WEST side of the mountain (on road number 108), looping around the bottom of the mountain range, and then approach the pass from the south. 

Hotel for the night: Hotel Grüner Baum (Zell am See) 

WEDNESDAY 

Zell am See to Berchtesgaden 

Drove pretty directly to Berchtesgaden as we wanted to do some sight seeing there. Berchtesgaden is home to Hitler's eagles nest hideout and we visited that. Interesting place to visit and a good WW2 museum nearby too.  

Hotel for the night: Alpenhotel Kronprinz (Berchtesgaden) 

THURSDAY 

Berchtesgaden to Baden-Baden 

AUTOBAHN time. Drove right the way across Germany on the autobahns. Plenty of de-restricted stretches for those who want to tick that off the list. We diverted to the Dachau Concentration Camp north of Munich and had a look around there. Very interesting and very humbling. Recommended in a sombre kind of way.
 
Overnight in Baden-Baden 

FRIDAY
 
Baden-Baden to home via the Eurotunnel 

2,200 miles in total.
 

st13phil

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Choice of car for a trip like this is very interesting. 
Instinctively you would say that a 911 is the perfect tool for the job. Or something like an Elise / Caterham.

But having now done the trip, the Mercedes was by far and away the more suitable car.

<SNIP>

The CLK is not the most dynamic car on the twisties, but it never got left behind and - unless you are a driving god - you won't be pushing the limits of any car when every hairpin is blessed with a near vertical drop the other side and no crash barriers to save you. One mistake on those roads and you are dead - there's no run off a lot of the time.
Really glad you enjoyed your trip and I 100% agree with you regarding the suitability (or otherwise) of different cars for touring.

Having done many continental European tours on both two wheels and four, my experience is that for the best time you need something that is a good blend between performance and comfort, not an out-and-out "driving machine" as it's just too tiring to drive back to back days of 5-6hrs each.

Totally agree about the "game over" aspect of getting it wrong on lots of the roads too. Having been on a couple of motorcycle trips when someone has overcooked it I can tell you that it switches from great fun to a nightmare very quickly. As such, I learnt many years ago to treat those roads with respect and always have in the back of my mind that I need to get home again!
 
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Eddy77

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Funny you should mention bikes. Both myself and Rich (the other guy in the video who owns the 911) used to ride bikes until a few years ago. He had a BMW RT1200 (or something...I forget the model - the big tourer) and I had a Honda CBF600SA. We both sold up about the same time and haven't ridden for a few years now. Ee toyed with the idea of doing this Alpine trip on two wheels but I, in particular, felt it was too risky especially having been out of the saddle for 3 years or so. 


I'm glad we took the cars as it would be so easy to get into trouble on a bike.
 

PobodY

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The Porsche was great fun - loud, focused, involving. And that was great for a few hours. But on a trip like this you are in the car for 5-6 hours every day and after a few hours the Porsche became tiring. The constant noise, back braking suspension and heavy controls made it a tough companion on winding roads. We took it in turns to drive each car through the day and both of us were quite pleased to get in the Merc as it provided creature comforts like ventilated seats, plenty of power and - most importantly - a relaxing drive with softer suspension. 

The CLK is not the most dynamic car on the twisties, but it never got left behind and - unless you are a driving god - you won't be pushing the limits of any car when every hairpin is blessed with a near vertical drop the other side and no crash barriers to save you. One mistake on those roads and you are dead - there's no run off a lot of the time.  
I'm quite pleased to read this. - I think the CLK probably feels its age when it comes to handling; I refer to mine as "the land yacht" (which isn't quite fair). However, I get tired of the exhaust noise and lack of creature comforts in the GTiR... and my wife even more so.

I was talking to a friend of mine who normally drives an M3, and has just bought his wife a CLK500. He describes the CLK as "a nice place to be"; you just get in it, relax and drive.

Thanks for posting the video, it has made me envious and keen to try something like this myself.
 

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Thanks for sharing Eddy
I really enjoyed it
 

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