Afternoon departure from Plymouth. I highly recommend Plymouth over portsmouth as well. The crossing is noticeably shorter and instead of having amongst the whole next day at sea, you wake up and are almost in Santander mid morning. This means more driving on the day you land in Spain and the slightly longer UK drive to Plymouth is neither here nor there because it's a wasted morning in any case.
Travel in smaller numbers and you always have more impromptu encounters. The first night on the ferry set the tone. We bumped into 3 other groups of lads on road trips of various kinds and we all drained the bar till it eventually shut. Lots of fun !
Light rain in northern spain.
Pinchos in San Sebastian
Down toward the old town at Braganca.
The car park ramp at the Ibis Braganca was too steep for the F12 (the other cars have lift) so they managed to arrange for me to securely lock it up overnight at the fire station ! This set the tone for the tour. You couldn't make it up. Such warm and accomodating people.
Our first proper day of driving dropping down South, just incredible roads. Every kind of bend in the first 4 hours or so.
The Pestano Palacio at Porto. Nice pool and views and a 17th century palace.
Porto to Lisbon. Another amazing days driving around Castelo Branco.
Rooftop poosl and bars aplenty.
Yep the best in Lisbon. Time to hit the town again.
Onto day 5, the single best day of driving there was. Lisbon to Eljas in Spain via the Parque Naturel da Serra da Estrela. Also proof that Portugal does snowy mountains.
Next year we will surely spend a lot more time in the Serra da Estrela region. There are tons of roads round there.
Yet another Espresso stop.
Spainsh countryside at Eljas. A chance for a much needed early night.
Heading out on our last driving day we know we'd left Portugal. Several police spotted and a tug in a small village. To be fair they just advised us to go slow then shook our hands and bid farewell.
Lunchtime, slight drop in food standards but great Spanish hospitality nonetheless.
The Berlinettas were amazing. Mr F. was stunned at the breadth of the car's ability and reckoned his newly acquired F12 was more fun than his Speciale, both here and at a recent Portimao trackday. And he rates his Speciale above his Scud, 360CS & 650s. Go figure ! Truth be told, the Gallardo Performante was also devastatingly effective, a very fast and stable car particularly into the apex. and I lost count of the number of smiling people that clambered into it to have their photo taken.
The Gran Melia at Madrid, my favourite hotel. We felt really looked after and boy did we need looking after.
Very rare to see madrid completely empty. The nights were as heavyweight as the driving.
Some sightseeing on a scorching day.
Detoxing at the rooftop pool.
Homeward bound. Ever so slightly melancholic and wondering where the hell your holiday just went and why you can't remember any of it.
I highly recommend going for the Commodore suite/cabin with room service and steward. Some of the smaller rooms on the ship are like solitary confinement.
Sticky like a detailing layer of sucrose. Proof that you've had another mesmeric tour. Memories that I will honestly never forget.