Planning Ahead: Road Trip To the Rheinland


As we head in to October the weather turns colder and I begin to wish I was living in a warmer country.

It has been a busy few months with all my foreign trips: to Freiburg (February), Itzehoe (May), Hannover (June), Stuttgart (July), Lefkada and Athens (August) and Ypres (September).

The year is not over yet and neither are my travel plans; in three weeks I’m off to Greece for 4 nights, where I will be staying in Halkida – the capital of Evia, the second largest Greek island. In November I’m staying in the UK and driving to York. Then in December, just a week before Christmas, I’m heading to Schwerin, the capital of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

In the last week I’ve been looking ahead to next year and which foreign trips I might go on in 2017. My one-night road trip to Belgium was successful, and I’m now looking at a longer road trip to take place during May of 2017. This road trip will take me to the region of Germany I went to on a school trip in 2006 – that my first ever trip to Germany!

Staying in a different town each night, I’ve devised a route (a little bit of help from the DFDS Seaways website) which will take me to Mons and Eupen in Belgium, then crossing the German border to visit Koblenz, Boppard, Cochem, Rüdesheim, Mainz, Speyer, Trier, Monschau, Aachen, Maastricht in the Netherlands, and finally stopping at Ypres in Belgium before returning to the UK. The towns in bold are the ones I will make overnight stops in. As well as travelling across all of Belgium, I will travel through three of Germany’s federal states: Rheinland-Pfalz, a little bit of Hessen, and Nordrhein-Westfalen.

Milage-wise, I’m probably looking at about 1500 miles being added to my car’s clock over the course of the week. It will be a lot of driving – particularly on the days I travel from Mons to Koblenz (about 4 hours of driving) and from Aachen to Ypres (again, probably a good 3-4 hours). But what I have in my favour is that: I will be in a familiar car; I’ll have maps and sat nav; and I can understand the travel news on German radio (I just avoid the roads where there is talk of a ‘Stau’ (traffic jam/congestion). Even filling up with petrol doesn’t need to be too hard – there is a sticker on the fuel cap which has written on it the type of fuel my car takes…in several different languages!

I’m aiming to get the time booked off work by the end of this month, then I will start refining my itinerary and making bookings. A big road trip like this will require as much planning as the 6 weeks I spent in Greece in 2014 – and its that planning of a foriegn trip which I love!

I’ve come up with about 10 different routes like this I can do in Germany, so that’s my next 10 years of holidays sorted!


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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