Travel routes on the road to Europe – Part I
Europe is, by far, the site of the world’s most attractive per square meter. There, a small town any monastery houses a millennium, the most unexpected way leads to a medieval castle, next to the smallest brook stands a Roman aqueduct and behind the most anonymous of the hills lies a five-star Michelin restaurant. And these are things that are not seen from the plane, but at ground level. Europe air travel between cities jumping may be convenient, fast or relaxed, but it makes you lose everything in between, which is a lot.
Fotografía por Eoghan OLionnain
Routes by car:
To see all these “little treasures” (some not so small) that house the bowels of Europe there is nothing like traveling by car, taking advantage of the very extensive and impeccable road and highway network linking all countries on the continent. In these pages, we offer one of the many possible routes, which begins in Madrid and runs to the north of Europe in stages marked by cities like San Sebastian, Bordeaux, Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam, Cologne and Munich. When you turn around and start back, the journey Italian cities such as Verona threads, Florence and Pisa, and then cross the Mediterranean coast of France, where ancient churches, medieval villages and magnificent countryside come together on these routes in France and concluded Barcelona’s fantastic.
It is journeys that never spend more than a few kilometers without displaying the temptation to stop and discover a place full of history, ancient traditions and unique culinary delights. On this journey will find a lot of tips, warnings, prices and useful data for planning, or just fantasizing, with a journey through the roads of Europe.
The starting point is the Spanish capital, a city of many charms to which we must devote at least three or four days. Those who visit for the first time can not fail to visit places such as Plaza Mayor, Gran Via, Prado Museum, Thyssen and Reina Sofia and neighborhoods such as La Latina, Chueca and Malasaña, where lies the vibrant nightlife and cuisine of the city. Madrid is also an ideal place to rent a car, thanks to the diversity of offerings (see rental car). The trip departs from Madrid to the northeast, toward the Basque Country and the French border, leaving the city center by the M-30 and then the A1 motorway. The routes is 450 km (about 20 euros toll) and go through sites like Burgos (stop to see its famous Cathedral and Gothic) and Vitoria, the Basque capital, one of the most elegant cities in Spain.
At San Sebastian, there is no better plan than sustenance at one of the tapas bars (tapas) of Old Town. And then spend at least a day to stroll the beaches of La Concha Bay, its belle epoque-style boulevards and charming Basque villages that surround it, like Toulouse, a charming little Basque town of pure nature, surrounded by hills very green, and Hondarribia, with its beautiful bay and harbor in front of the French town of Hendaye.
Fotografía por Carmen05
In addition, French campsites are usually very cheap and of excellent quality (almost always have bungalows or cottages), so offer the possibility of having very economical accommodation options and contact with nature.
Leaving Spain for the passage of Irun, highways E70 and E5 are joining sites of great interest to the Basque coast as Saint Jean de Luz and Biarritz, up to Bordeaux, the great capital of French wine. There you can make a brief scale to enjoy a good French lunch in one of the historic downtown restaurants or go spend a day at any of the four wine regions (Saint Emilion, Pomerol, Médoc and Graves), which combine hills covered vineyards, imposing castles and enormous prestige wineries such as Château Lafite Rothschild, which prepares one of the best (and most expensive) wines.
Continuing north, you pass other historic towns such as Poitiers and Orleans. In total, 820 km to Paris are (you will pay 60 euros toll) that can be done in one sitting or sleeping in one of the very good campsites around the towns of the road.
A lifetime would not suffice to hear everything in Paris. But common sense would say that in a short visit can not miss landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero, the banks of the Seine, Notre Dame, the restaurants in the area of Bastille, the Pompidou Centre, the Louvre and D’ Orsay and the bohemian Montmartre tourist super. It is best not to stress: any time spent in Paris seem little. And a good tip is to leave the car parked near the hotel (if possible in neighborhoods not so central as Montrouge) and move through the vast network of public transport in the city.
Leaving the center of Paris on the Rue de la Chapelle is connected to the Northern Motorway (Autoroute du Nord), going towards the border with Belgium and northern Europe. The trip to Amsterdam is just 500 kilometers (15 euros toll), a path that you can spend all day if you want to stop at places like Lille (captive: the citadel of Vauban and the old Flemish style) and Ghent (Flemish style also famous for the imposing Cathedral of St. Bavo), Bruges and Brussels, a cosmopolitan and sophisticated, full of art-deco buildings. If very early part of Paris, Bruges can be a great place for lunch and then take a stroll through this beautiful city, crossed by canals, which survives intact medieval identity.
Fotografía por williamsdb
After a couple of stops on the trip (another option may be the melancholy port city of Antwerp), you get to Amsterdam together with the fall of night. Amsterdam is one of the world’s cities where parking is more expensive. The farther from downtown, less cost of tickets and the best option is to leave the car at any of the P + R car parks (an acronym which in Dutch means something like “stop and walk”), which cost very little and are located on the fringes of the city, next to the bypass route.
Famous for its multi culture and tolerance, Amsterdam is a city that invites to be explored on foot or by bicycle (the preferred mode of transportation for the “amsterdamers”), which can be rented at various locations downtown. A good start for the ride, especially if cycling is the Voldenpark, the largest city park, which is very close to two captive: the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum. From there, open the most central area, where the famous canals are more numerous and provide a framework for places of great interest as the house of Anne Frank museum, street markets and Boerenmarkt Waterlooplein, Dam Square and the sinful “Red Ligth Square”, where prostitutes offer their services from windows and an abundance of coffee-shop where marijuana is sold legally.
For lovers of food, fashion and trends, there is no better place than the Jordaan, a kind of “Palermo Dutch,” filled with boutiques, art galleries, bars and restaurants, young chefs.
To a motorist’s no places like Germany where there are no tolls and no speed limit. Also, the route leading from Amsterdam to Munich not only covers a good part of the country, but through several parks and for many routes running parallel to the river Rhine. This is, without doubt, the ride more enjoyable in the sense “auto” setting a good album, buy groceries and then enjoy the simple pleasure of driving routes clean and spacious, surrounded by forests and charming towns Germans.
Come back… Travel routes on the road to Europe – Part II