Faster than Contiki. (August 2012)

I have never done a Contiki Tour and probably won’t, as they are aimed at target market half my age.

Apparently they pack a lot into a small amount of time, with many destinations viewed only through the bus window.

We have just done our own version of a Contiki Tour, driving through 9 countries in 6 days, covering over 2,700 km.

We started in Split, Croatia and then drove through Slovenia, Italy, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, France and finally into Spain and Barcelona.

We spent one night in Trieste, Italy and in Turna Malbun, Liechtenstein, then two nights in Interlaken, Switzerland and the final night in Thiers, France.

We had an evening walking around the beautiful old city of Trieste and the Piazza Unità d’Italia, with it’s Hapsburg inspired municipal buildings and palaces. This is one of the largest squares in Europe and faces the Adriatic Sea.

High in the mountains in Turna Malbun, the wild flowers are still in bloom, while around Interlaken the kids cool off in the freezing aquamarine waters of the alpine lakes.

Even the old industrial revolution town of Thiers, famous for its cutlery, has its charms. The abandoned forges along the river are either being reclaimed by the forest or converted into trendy apartments and art galleries.

While the grave yard at the church of St Jean also has an industrial feel, with many of the memorials being made out of locally forged and fabricated steel.

There is a benefit in driving all day, as you arrive at your destination late in the afternoon, just as the summer sun is sinking into the west.

These are the magic hours for light and therefore photography.

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