THE PERFECT ROAD TRIP

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KILOMETERS
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METERS ELEVATION GAIN
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ALPINE PASES
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DAYS

ONE 23 YEARS OLD BMW

ONE CARAVAN

ONE BOY, ONE GIRL & ONE DOG 

AN 
AMAZING
UNIQUE
UNFORGETABLE
 ROAD TRIP
Have you ever tried to imagine the perfect long distance road trip? What would it mean? Where would you lodge? Where would you go? What would you visit? Would the road between destinations matter? What car would you use?
For me, a round trip between Bucharest and Chamonix, going through the most imposing road passes in the Alps, with a stop in Plitvice, was the plan for the perfect road trip.
I have traveled with my girlfriend Ruxandra and Jinx, our dog, who attended during the trip the Euro Dog Show in Geneva and won 3rd place.
5700 kilometers, about 100,000 meters elevation difference, 14 passes, 14 days, a 23-year old BMW to which I attached a trailer full of equipment and supplies and two Nikon cameras, one of which stood permanently fixed with a suction cap on the roof of the car, filming.
The car was the same BMW that I used two years ago in a winter tour of Europe, that reached the Arctic Circle and has finalized in the Caucasus, Russia, with a winter ascent on the highest peak in Europe, Elbrus (5,642 m). It is known to all as “The Legend”.
The old BMW pulled the caravan round trip over the next passes: Grossglockner (2504 m), Edelweissspitze (2571 m), Timmelsjoch (2509 m), Foscagno (2291 m), Pordoi (2239 m), Stelvio (2757 m), Campolongo (1871 m), Bernina (2328 m), Fluela (2383 m), San Bernardino (2065 m), Gotthard (2106 m), Furka (2429 m), White (2314 m), Sella ( 2244 m).
Perhaps you are wondering how the experience was as a driver and which was the most beautiful step. I’ll start by mentioning that I am a fan of gas engines and that although this route is accessible to any car, towing a caravan can make the difference between a very pleasant experience and a terrible one. 
There are many hairpin curves and steep slopes and since I stopped many times uphill, sometimes just for taking pictures, I felt how important it is to have 192 horse power that pull stronger, if only encouraged. An inappropriate engine might have stirred the whole thing, but it would have been stuck at shifting from bottom gear into the higher gear, all in a roar of overspeed and clutch smell. The old E34 left each time without any problem, climbing most of the passes in second gear without ever exceeding 3500 rpm, even in the most difficult sectors. This is what the whole driving experience was like, equal to a pleasant stroll along the most beautiful roads of Europe.
There were some exceptions, a few times when I left Ruxandra and Jinx with the caravan on the top of the pass, and I descended all the circuit, all the curves only to climb again, this time in a sporty way, trying to use everything that I learned as at BMW Driving Academy, when I became a Certified BMW Driver Trainer.
 I tried this experience on Gotthard (the old road), Stelvio and Grossglockner, the three paths that I’ve chosen to occupy the podium of the most beautiful passes in Europe. Gotthard Pass, in Switzerland, has a portion with perfect asphalt but the most interesting part I found was the old road which, although cobbled is in excellent condition, without any unevenness and it feels fabulous to drive.