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To Monza and Beyond (Part 2)

17 May 2023 9:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

We called into the Gelmerbahn to collect our refunds and marvelled at the steepness of the track and the brave amongst us took a walk across the steel rope bridge. Actually scarier than it looks. The views down to the waterfalls were great. But the amount of movement in the bridge was not to be disrespected.





We then took a light lunch in Innertkirchen before heading off to the Susten pass. This was another real delight and felt very different to the other two passes and was much faster and more flowing for much of its length.


A little bit of climbing offered the chance for a great picture.

The evening came and we all headed into Andermatt to enjoy a typical Swiss meal of Cheese Fondue at the well respected Ochsen restaurant. To say it was a funny night would be an understatement as we battled to get our heads round sharing the fondue pots. When some realised the fantastic taste of the burnt cheese at the bottom of the pot I thought we might have a wresting match on between drivers.

Morning soon came and the drive to Como. But we still had mountain passes to explore. We had decided to drive down the St Gotthard and then back up again via the old Tremola Road. Before visiting the Sasso San Gottardo Museum. The old cobbled road was in great condition for most of its route. But I have no idea why a cyclist might find it fun.


I don't think anyone knew quite what to expect inside the museum as it was dual purpose. Part of it was telling the history of the mountain and the rest of it was telling the story of how the Swiss Army used it to mount Howitzers aimed into the valleys below to prevent an invasion force reaching the top of the pass.

The size of the Crystals they recovered during its construction were amazing. The interior varied from dark and damp to warm and dry inside the accommodation areas. A steep rail lift took you to the machine gun positions and the Howitzers.





The museum was well worth a visit as it is quite unique.

We then headed down to mountains and towards our Hotel at Lake Como. We hit some terrible traffic around Lugano. Some headed off the motorway and trusted their Sat Navs. Others toughed it out on the motorway. We ended up at the lovely Hotel Villa Belvedere within 20 mins of first to last arrival.

The hotel was right on the water and offered the most amazing views out. We all headed into the village for an evening meal while 2 drivers headed to the airport to pick up partners.

Saturday was a rest day and most people took boat trips to Bellagio and some well earned rest and tourist shopping. One couple hopped the waterbus and train to Monza to watch qualifying.






Some of us spotted the Villa Del Balbianello used as a convalescent clinic in Casino Royale on our travels.

Race day soon came and we had transport organised to drop us off and collect from the circuit. Needless to say we were dropped off somewhere near and picked up again somewhere else entirely. But great communication with drivers made it less stressful on the day than anticipated.

Queues getting in and the quite ridiculous system of buying food and drink tokens before you then queued up again for food and drink did put a little bit of a spoiler on the day. The race was all lined up for a frenetic finish before a slow bunch of marshall's ensured the race finished behind the safety car. Max seemed happy about that on this occasion though.







Sunday night marked our final meal together and everyone saying goodbye before setting off in different directions. Some heading home quickly, some slowly, some squeezing in a few days in Monaco and Nice before heading home.

All in all we all had an amazing time and have definitely made new and lifelong friends. 23 cars might just have been too much to handle. 7 Cars was a great group and great atmosphere at all times..

Thanks to everyone that made this possible. For myself and Pam this was a trip of a lifetime.


Steve & Pam

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