The Norfolkline ferry from Dover to Dunkerque is primarily for trucks, but the fares are good and it is more relaxing than the regular passenger ferries. The truck drivers have their own lounge and the canteen serves canteen food. Our boat sailed at 8:15 in the morning and we were on the road south an hour or so later. Even with the time difference, this should have been enough time for us to reach our overnight stop at Zug in Switzerland at a leisurely pace. However, road works pushed us off our expected route across northern France onto another course through Belgium, Luxembourg and the Saarland region of Germany. We then got lost at Saarbrucken trying to find our way back onto the Strasbourg road, with the result that the sun was setting when we reached the Rhine with still some 3 hours driving to go until we reached our hotel. Despite having to pay for the no-show, we stopped at a hotel in Strasbourg. There was a pleasant family restaurant next door.

The second days drive was therefore that much longer. First the sprint down the autobahn to Basel, then across Switzerland and through the San Gotthard Tunnel into Ticino, then follow the valley southward to Italy. From Milan we drove east on the autostrada across the Po valley, past Bologna to Rimini and then it’s a run down the coast to Ancona and Pescara. There are fine views of the Adriatic from the road. At Pescara we turned inland on the road that runs back across the Apennines to Rome. Up in the mountains, we turned south to follow the winding mountain road to Pescassaroli.