Planning the route is another exercise in itself. Certain options need to be ruled in or out. So let us just take a brief look at some of the considerations, before we outline the final route of #RoadTrip18.
Why Drive ? a few points
Experience – can you imagine, that every year you are able to explore the options around the route to Rhodes or the return to Guisborough.
Highly Stressful sped driving or leisurely and relaxing - A route of nearly 4,000 kms including ferries that can either be taken over long driving stints of 12 hours a day at 80kmh or a much more leisurely 4 to 6 hours driving time and covering around 400kms
Necessity – It is vital to have #Ambience in Rhodes for use as a mobile treatment facility. The size of the vehicle fits all the small roads yet provides a decent working space when the Treatment Table left in the house in Malona is returned to #Ambience as for 6 months pf the year #Ambience is a “Non Commercial Vehicle”
Why Not Leave the Van in Rhodes (or somewhere else)
Of course, it could make more sense to fly in around 4 hours but there are other considerations
The “van” is signwritten Ambience and was formerly a UK ambulance. Having been de-commissioned with its wailing sirens, horns and flashing blue lights removed, it was further cleansed by having medical equipment and systems removed. What remains is an Air Conditioned former ambulance that has now done over 350,000 miles.
Fitted with 2 front seats and 3 in the rear along with portable cooking and sleeping equipment also has a fridge catering for 2 or 3 days supply of chilled food.
Of course, it also has the fully functional and purpose made treatment table which each year is left behind in Rhodes and replaced into the van.
& so to The Route
Fundamentally on the most direct routes there are 2 options, through the Swiss Tunnels and down the East Coast of Italy and picking up a Ferry at Ancona or down to Nice and along the Riviera Coast and the West Coast of Italy and crossing to Bari.
We have decided the Ancona Route.
We leave Lingdale at midday (or something like on Saturday 12th May before driving down to the Dover area for a Midday (or earlier) Cross Channel Ferry Sunday 13th May. This means if we are late away or get help up in any traffic all the pressures have been lifted.
On arrival in Calais, we will make the short journey towards Le Touquet & Saint Valery-sur-Somme passing a number of World War 1 Cemeteries along the way. Being the 100 year anniversary of the end of the 1914-1918 World War, we will be stopping to pay our respects and remember family members who fought here and didn’t make it back.
We will stay with friends in a small village nearby and then on the 15th, we will set off towards Reims (15th) and then Metz (16th). We don’t need Hotels so we can travel longer or shorter days as we see fit and as the weather demands.
Our hardest 2 days of driving are ahead here as we make first for Zurich (17th), via Basel and then passing Lucerne and Como into Italy and Milan(18th), where we have allocated a 2/3 day break, rest or flex time to deal with any issues arising.
If time permits, we will then route via Bergamo and Verona to Venice and optionally via Bologna before reaching a trusted Motorhome site near Ancona (21st) again with 2 days to spare.
Departing the 23rd, we will leave Ancona just after midday and arrive the following day around 4pm at Patras on the west side of the Greek Mainland. A short drive to one of Jane’s favourite stops at Akrata Beach Camping (24th) where hopefully, our stay will leave no damaged trees and #Ambience without a severely dented roof as happened on the outward journey last year. We will depart Akrata on the 27th and a short 3 hour drive takes us to Piraeus a late afternoon overnight ferry to Rhodes, stopping at a number of the Greek Islands along the way. Arriving in the morning of the 28th we will drive up to Malona quite possibly via Bottoms Up in Haraki for a little drink.
The port city of Piraeus in Greece lies on the Saronic Gulf in the Attica region of the country and forms part of the Athens urban area, with the centre of Athens located some 12 km from the port. The centre of Piraeus is generally congested with traffic and tends not to be place where tourists would go. The area has many of the facilities you would expect of a non-tourist town: banks, public buildings, pedestrian areas, shopping streets and the like. The area around Zea Marina and Mikrolimano Harbour are perhaps the most attractive part of Piraeus and have a good selection of restaurants, cafes and bars.
Piraeus is Greece's main port and the largest in Europe and the third largest in the world. Unsurprisingly, it is the hub of Greece's maritime industries and the base for its merchant navy. Having recently undergone a refurbishment, facilities at the port have improved and include ATM's, bureau de change, restaurants, cafes, bars and a number of travel agencies selling ferry tickets. destinations served by the port include the island of Crete, the Cyclades Islands, the Dodecanese Islands, the eastern parts of Greece and parts of the northern and eastern Aegean Sea.
Rhodes GuideThe Greek island of Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese group of islands and is a popular destination for tourists, especially as it has around 300 days of sunshine every year. The island lies in the eastern Aegean Sea and is to the north of the island of Crete and to the south east of Athens. The island has all the facilities to make it the popular tourist destination that it has become and includes a beautiful coastline and has plenty of culture and a lively nightlife.
The island's main town, Rhodes Town, is very charming and visitors will see enormous medieval fortifications and narrow alleys that are simply full of character. However, the island's beaches are perhaps the biggest attraction and is what makes it so popular. many of the island's beaches are located on the eastern shore and Lindos stands out as offering the best stretch of sand and pebbles and is close to the Megali Paralia.
Rhodes is connected by ferry with daily services to Piraeus, by conventional and high speed boats. During the summer months Rhodes is also connected with the rest of the Dodecanese islands, along with Crete and Cyclades.
Ancona via Wikpedia
Ancona (Italian pronunciation: [aŋˈkoːna] ( listen); Greek: Ἀγκών – Ankon (elbow)) is a city and a seaport in the Marche region in central Italy, with a population of around 101,997 as of 2015. Ancona is the capital of the province of Ancona and of the region. The city is located 280 km (170 mi) northeast of Rome, on the Adriatic Sea, between the slopes of the two extremities of the promontoryof Monte Conero, Monte Astagno and Monte Guasco.
Ancona is one of the main ports on the Adriatic Sea, especially for passenger traffic, and is the main economic and demographic centre of the region.
Patras via Wikpedia
Patras (Greek: Πάτρα Greek: [ˈpatra], Classical Greek and Katharevousa: Πάτραι (pl.), Greek pronunciation: [pátrai̯], Latin: Patrae (pl.)) is Greece's third-largest city and the regional capital of Western Greece, in the northern Peloponnese, 215 km (134 mi) west of Athens. The city is built at the foothills of Mount Panachaikon, overlooking the Gulf of Patras.
Patras has a population of 213,984 (in 2011). The core settlement has a history spanning for four millennia; in the Roman period it had become a cosmopolitan center of the eastern Mediterranean whilst, according to the Christian tradition, it was also the place of Saint Andrew's martyrdom. According to the results of 2011 census, the metropolitan area has a population of 260,308 and extends over an area of 738.87 km2 (285.28 sq mi).
Dubbed as Greece's Gate to the West, Patras is a commercial hub, while its busy port is a nodal point for trade and communication with Italy and the rest of Western Europe. The city has two public universities and one Technological Institute, hosting a large student population and rendering Patras an important scientific centre with a field of excellence in technological education. The Rio-Antirio bridge connects Patras' easternmost suburb of Rio to the town of Antirrio, connecting the Peloponnese peninsula with mainland Greece.
Every year, in February, the city hosts one of Europe's largest carnivals: notable features of the Patras Carnival include its mammoth satirical floats and balls and parades, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of visitors in a Mediterranean climate. Patras is also famous for supporting an indigenous cultural scene active mainly in the performing arts and modern urban literature. It was European Capital of Culture in 2006.
Piraeus via Wikepedia
Piraeus (/paɪˈriːəs, pɪˈreɪ.əs/; Greek: Πειραιάς Pireás [pireˈas], Ancient Greek: Πειραιεύς, Peiraieús, pronounced [peːrai̯eús]) is a port city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens urban area, 12 kilometres (7 miles) southwest from its city center (municipality of Athens), and lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf.
According to the 2011 census, Piraeus had a population of 163,688 people within its administrative limits, making it the fourth largest municipality in Greece and the second largest within the urban area of the Greek capital, following the municipality of Athens. The municipality of Piraeus and several other suburban municipalities within the regional unit of Piraeus form the greater Piraeus area, with a total population of 448,997.
Piraeus has a long recorded history, dating to ancient Greece. The city was largely developed in the early 5th century BC, when it was selected to serve as the port city of classical Athens and was transformed into a prototype harbour, concentrating all the import and transit trade of Athens. During the Golden Age of Athens the Long Walls were constructed to connect Athens with Piraeus. Consequently, it became the chief harbour of ancient Greece, but declined gradually after the 4th century AD, growing once more in the 19th century, especially after Athens' declaration as the capital of Greece. In the modern era, Piraeus is a large city, bustling with activity and an integral part of Athens, acting as home to the country's biggest harbour and bearing all the characteristics of a huge marine and commercial-industrial centre.
The port of Piraeus is the chief port in Greece, the largest passenger port in Europe and the second largest in the world, servicing about 20 million passengers annually. With a throughput of 1.4 million TEUs, Piraeus is placed among the top ten ports in container traffic in Europe and the top container port in the Eastern Mediterranean. The city hosted events in both the 1896 and 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athens. The University of Piraeus is one of the largest universities in Greece.
Rhodes via Wikpedia
Rhodes (Greek: Ρόδος, Ródos [ˈroðos]) is the largest of the Dodecanese islands of Greece in terms of land area and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. The principal town of the island and seat of the municipality is Rhodes. The city of Rhodes had 50,636 inhabitants in 2011. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land.
Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The name of the U.S. state of Rhode Island is based on these islands.
Jane & Anthony
We will be recording the highs, lows, problems and funny bits with words and images #RoadTrip18. Something like 4,000 kms including 2 overnight Ferry Crossings with #MiniTheCat. Two weeks on the road. Then on our time in #Rhodes2018 and finally on the #RhodesReturnUK18 starting on 21st October 2018 with a 10 day drive to the UK with #ManolisTheCat