The Great Overland Adventure took off at the confluence of two cultures – Turkey. But as it made its way through Eastern Europe and then to Western Europe I was itching to get on board.
The plan for me was to take over in Frankfurt midway through the ride. And it was a packed schedule there on. First stop – the famed Nurburgring in northern Germany. The tough track is the stuff of legends, and even though inclement weather kept us off the long loops of the main track we got to experience the Grand Prix circuit at the Nurburgring. In Pics: GLAadventure’s Journey From Frankfurt to Nurburgring Race Track
Next was a long run to Lyon in France. Along the way signs for Luxembourg made us stop and rethink the route. And so we included a new country as an impromptu lunch stop! As a result it was rather late when we finally reached Lyon.
The next day it was once again time to hit the road for a long drive to Barcelona, Spain. The driving route took us past Marseilles and towards the Mediterranean coast. What a beautiful sight to see the aquamarine waters contrasting the light browns and bright whites of the rocks that make up the craggy coastline. Barcelona beckoned and we kept going. The long journey ended with us driving to the top of Barcelona’s Montjuic hill which played host to the 1992 Olympics.
What a terrific opportunity to spend time with the cute little historic car that represents Spain's automot… https://t.co/3Zl1WmImgW
— सिद्धार्थ वि पाटणकर (@sidpatankar) September 21, 2015
After exploring Barcelona’s many delights like the delicious tapas and the flamboyant Flamenco, off we went again. This time the drive took us west towards Spain’s border with Portugal. The drive was a long one – the longest of the trip so far. We began our day in Barcelona at 9 am, and finally got to Llerena at 3am! But what a quaint little border town. Superb architecture in white and cobbled streets. Just lovely.
We left Llerena and very quickly crossed into Portugal the next morning. It was a dash to get to Nazaré which boasts stunning cliffs, beautiful coves and the world’s highest waves in the winter. We didn’t quite see the giant waves but still managed to get some surfing lessons from the record beating surfing ace Garrett McNamara. What a well spent day! Read More: Surfing With Garrett!
— सिद्धार्थ वि पाटणकर (@sidpatankar) September 22, 2015
It was here we also met and interacted with Portuguese journalists who wanted to know more about our adventure. So much so one of them invited us to his offices the next day in Lisbon and as a result we got a chance to check out some Porsches under restoration! And take in the sights of the Portuguese capital. I also took our group to Cabo da Roca – a breathtaking place I had visited before. It’s magnificent cliffs made for a wonderful backdrop and by the way it is the continental Europe’s western-most point.
We then left for Badajoz, back on the Spanish side to spend the night. On the last day it was once again a mammoth journey as we left Badajoz before dawn broke to head towards Seville, and then Malaga. This was the last leg of the European drive for our two cars. At the southern-most point of the European continent is the port of Algericas. That’s where we met team Africa, as we have been calling them! We handed over and the cars went with the crew on to the ferry that was to take them across to Tangiers in Morocco – to begin the next leg of our wondrous journey.