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A marvellous time...

h5djr Jun 28, 2006

  1. h5djr

    h5djr Well-Known Member VCDS Map User Gold Supporter quattro Audi A3

    I have just returned from a holiday in Switzerland and Austria with my A3. I drove from home to the Channel Tunnel, from Calais across France using the A26 to Reims and then the A4 and into Germany. A night was spent near Baden-Baden in Germany and then on down the A5 autobahn to Basle and on to Filisur, near Davos in Switzerland. 4 nights in Filisur and then on to Zell-am-See in Austria. 9 nights in Zell-am-See and then back via the German autobahns, another night in Germany and then the French autoroutes to Calais and home.

    The driving was very varied including fast driving on the autoroutes and autobahns in France and Germany and much slower mountain pass and local roads in Switzerland and Austria. Overall my 2.0 TDI gave 47.8 miles to the gallon according to the DIS. Diesel is, of course much cheaper in Europe at 78p/litre in France and Germany, 75p/litre in Switzerland and only 71p/litre in Austria. The price is also clearly given by signs as you approach each of the many service areas.

    My A3 performed faultlessly and was really pleasant and comfortable to drive. With temperatures in the 25-30s almost all the time the air-conditioning was a real bonus. The DSG worked especially well on the mountain pass roads where changing down to second is often required to negotiate 180 decree bends on very steep slopes. Being able to just flick the lever back to change down for these corners was so much easier than having to use a clutch and on the mountain roads this type of corner comes up very frequently.

    On one such mountain pass road, the Grossglockner in Austria, I found around 10 of the new Audi TTs in the car park of the restaurant and shop at the top of the pass. I asked one of the guys wearing an Audi polo shirt what was happening, and he replied that it was an international press launch for the new TT. It was nice to see so many different versions and colours in one place.

    In Germany many stretches of the autobahn have no speed limit and it was nice to be able to comfortably drive at 120mph without worrying about speed cameras. I never saw any cameras at all in Germany, Austria or Switzerland and only 3 each way in France. Even the French ones were very clearly signed and because there are so few on the autoroutes, when there is a sign it means there is also a camera. These were all at places were the speed limit was reduced from 130kph to 110kph for a reason that was obvious.

    The standard of driving, practically on the autoroutes and autobahns was much better than in the UK with no lane hogging and with many stretches signed as ‘No overtaking by lorries’ progress was quick and very pleasant. Perhaps it’s because motorway driving is all part of driver training and testing in these countries.

    In total I covered 2800 miles and thoroughly enjoyed my A3 for every single mile.

    Roll on next year….
  2. icenutter

    icenutter Member

    Nice article. I makes it sound like you did nothing but drive! Western europe-wise, diesel/fuel seems to be cheapest in Luxembourgh (at about 65ppl lsat time we were through). There used to be a little no-mans land on the border between Switzerland and France just over from Chamonix (Col de la Forclaz?) where fuel was incredibly cheap, but its a few years since i've been there.
  3. jimbob

    jimbob Member

    Nice post. :D
  4. RobB

    RobB Member

    Cheers Dave.

    I'm off through France, down to Switzerland and back via Germany in September. Will take a look at your route when I get a chance.

    Nice to see someone else appreciates driving abroad too. I much prefer it to the UK...and it's not just about speed either! It's only when you have spent many days / miles over there that you realise just how awful general driving standards are when you join the M20 from the tunnel on your way home.

    Look forward to maybe getting 28mpg on the motorway in mine!

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