Tips using Venice route

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Carole
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Tips using Venice route

Postby Carole » Wed Oct 04, 2006 10:48 pm

We got back on Monday after a month away. We travelled Dover/Calais, through France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece to Bg. in our own vehicle which we have left in Bg.

Ferry, one way, 2 adults with vehicle cost £30 Saver fare.

We used the route from www.viamichelin.com, which was excellent - a couple of tips:
P2 No. 3 When it says take A4 close to Reims there is first sign that can be misleading and takes you on A4 but wrong way :oops: Look carefully!

1st hotel stop was Hotel Kyriad in the centre of Mulhouse which was near the Swiss border. Hotel was clean, basic, not expensive and comfortable and easy to find if you follow the directions . A good place to stay after a day of travelling.
(From a35/36 highway take exit Mulhouse center in direction of city centre. After the Kinepolis go straight in Ave. Schuman, pass under the Loggia building, right into Ave. de Colmar and left in Rue Engel. Take 4th left direction Centre Historique, rue Schlumberger, left in Ave. Kennedy, then 1st right for the parking des Marechaux which is an underground, secure car park with direct access on level 1 to the hotel)
Mulhouse is a lovely old town. We were told Colmar is also lovely.

Entry into Swiss - had to pay E30 vinegrette

Journey through Switzerland was lovely (apart from all the roadworks).
This part of Switz. was German speaking.
Plenty of toilet stops.
About 100 kms. to Italian border there was a large service area and motel, food was good, they were Italian speaking here!. We also passed a nice camping site and another motel on way to the border. There was a large town on the border called Chiasso. Would suggest filling up car, toilet stops etc. in any of these places as once you hit the Italian roads around Milan it is very industrial, busy and not many Petrol stations which seemed strange.

We stayed in the Mestre area near Venice, which was easy to find. Stayed in Hotel Bologna, a Best Western , which had an adjoining secure car park. The station was opposite the hotel and so easy to get into Venice . Buy railway ticket from the hotel and you must stamp them in the machine on the station before getting on the train.
We spent 2 nights here which gave us a full day in Venice which we really enjoyed. The best way to get around is to get a ticket for the waterbus (I think it was E12 each for the whole day )and you can hop on and off as many times as you wish. However, make sure you get a plan of the waterbuses route so you know where to change or get off, or you could get stuck on one for ages. You can get the ticket and info. from the tourist office on the railway station.
We booked the ferry from Venice to Igoumenitsa which cost us E508, inc. a cabin with Ionian lines and had to collect the ticket at least 2 hours before departure. We went the previous day to collect it but could not get it until the day of departure. Leave yourself plenty of time as there is often a queu to get the ticket.
The journey from Mestre into Venice car ferry port was easy. You cross the long bridge from the mainland to Venice and the port is off on the right.
The whole procedure getting on the ferry etc. was a bit chaotic - waiting in the queu for ages in the hot sunshine with no information and then parking on the ferry....... :!: Two Greek chaps shouting at everybody and then at each other, grabbing people's steering wheels to try and park them......chaos! The cars are parked so close together so make sure you get all your bits ready to take on the ferry as you cannot go back to the carpark.
Must say we were very impressed with our cabin and the restaurant which was inexpensive and good. Also had a self-service restaurant.
Take your bottled water as did not see it for sale in the shop (probably could get it from restaurant) and also any medication. I got a head cold and tried to get something like paracetamol from the shop and there was nothing apart from some Viagra behind the counter!
On the ferry they have good free maps of Greece which was useful.
Road from ferry through Greece, some was motorway but mostly very windy through the mountain and very slow (not sure if I would like to do it towing a caravan)
Michelin directions after Thessoloniki not so clear.
Don't turn right into Thessoloniki town. Go on and
Take exit SERES on the right (not exit to Macedonia) where you see the first sign to Bulgaria/Liti (big ovehead signs)
Keep going, passing Liti village on your left . The road here is good straight to the border with few petrol stations.
We hit the border about 20.30 (left ferry at 12) inc. about 1 hr. stops
You pay E2 at Greek border for going through disinfectant
No problem getting through borders even though our car was full with items for our house They marked our passport with a small V for the car.
I checked to see if we had to collect any forms to import our car, they said they would let us in as a tourist so did not need forms (not sure if they knew the procedure anyway). However the customs people were really nice and helpful.

Get your vinegrette on the kiosk on the left. Cost E9 for the month (gave him E10 note and got no change - how many times has he done that!

We decided to motor on to Sofia (after having a meal at Mr. Happy).
Arrived at Exp at 1 a.m. - under 3 hrs. from border

I advise before you go to print out all the speed limits for each country. Also useful phrases in each language incase you break down, get lost etc. All available on the net.

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Postby blakey » Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:00 am

hi thanks that info, will print it of, possibly use that route ourselves next april. how long did the journey take

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Postby LUCI » Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:10 am

its really useful when someone takes the time to post such helpfull information in detail - having done this route I appreciate some of the things that can go wrong

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Postby Carole » Thu Oct 05, 2006 10:37 am

Glad it was of help. Nice to put something back into the forum as so many people have given me good advice. Sometimes there are things we need to know but dont ask, such as are there , petrol stations, loo stops on the way :wink: For example, we were very surprised at the lack of petrol stations in the Milan area on the motorway.

Difficult to say how long the journey took as we stopped in Venice. Certainly not the shortest or cheapest route.
My husband was the only driver. Drove max. speed but kept to the speed limits.

We landed in Calais 10 ish and first stop on French/Swiss border early evening which was enough driving for us.

Next day to Venice and then another day through Greece to Bg. which was a long, tiring drive as a lot was through the mountains but next year the motorway will probably be more available as there was a lot of construction going on everywhere.

Next instalment - importing our car !

Carole

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Postby bullador » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:34 pm

Wow Carol :!: what an adventure, thanks for the information it will be very helpful to lots of people Im sure. I will certainly print it out and keep it ready for when I want to drive over, Carol you said that you have left your car in BG, I didnt think that you could fly out and leave your car there, can you tell me what the procedure is please.

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Postby Carole » Thu Oct 05, 2006 3:56 pm

Hi Bullador,

Just waiting for hubby to find time to post on the forum re importing the car as he did it all - hopefully in the next day or two.

Carole

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Postby kultureKlash » Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:48 pm

Me and my wife intent to do the same trip march-april next year. However we intend to tow a caravan and take our time, stopping off at interesting places, etc. We dont intend to restrict ourselves to a time frame, so the journey will be more like the first chapter of a new life, and we intend to enjoy every inch of the trip!

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Postby swampdonkey » Tue Jan 02, 2007 8:38 am

Im new in here and hoovering up all the info available from people like yourselves that have 'done the drive' and so far your route is coming up as the best for my needs,though I will continue to seek other ways....if only for the drive back
thanx

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Postby jufish79 » Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:20 am

Make sure you choose the right time of year, as i have heard a few horror stories about driving in the winter time through some of these more remote parts!

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Postby Carole » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:13 pm

I have just been pm'd asking if I knew of a hotel near the border, something I did not put in.

I found this one on the net, know nothing about it, but it looks good. We were going to try and find it but it was so very dark once we crossed the border so gave up looking.

Get the write up on the net: Hotel complex Komitite is located in Village of Chuchuligovo, Municipality Petrich, District Blagoevgrad, South-West Bulgaria.

Location: Village of Chuchuligovo
Address: Village of Chuchuligovo, near Kulata, Petrich, Bulgaria
Phone/Fax: +359 7425 / 23-23 , 23-22; +359 7425 / 2057; +359 888 226 205
eMail: reservations@komitite.com
Internet: http://komitite.com/


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