Eurotrip strikes back - Germany and Belgium - Page 3



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Meanwhile in Belgium

Or should we say Fopje Flauw Mopje! But that's wrong. Because we drove to the southern part of Belgium, where they speak French. Indeed, our next destination was the neighboring country of chocolate, beer, mayonnaise, and enforced speed limits. Why? In order to visit Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the famous racing track. We went there for a bit of fun and practice in a Megane RS 265, but we drove in Skoda Superb.

One moment you're rushing at 175 km/h, and then you see a sign that says Belgium, and then all of a sudden, the speed drops down to 120 km/h or less, and you make sure to keep it that way. Having a cruise control helps, so we made use of it. Nothing spectacular. Worked as advertised.

Nokia navigation, speed limit Nokia navigation, racetrack Car navigation, Belgium

All systems, check. All systems, OK. To boldly go where no has spoken English before.

In Spa

In Bruges, I mean, in Spa.

Belgium is a crazy country. Spa reminds me of the movie In Bruges, except there were no Irish gangsters involved. However, they did serve mayo with every meal, as a topping for otherwise delicious salads, the coffee was awful, most of the restaurants closed at nine o'clock, and those that stayed open were owned by Italians. One of our crew was a native, so it helped get extra perks. The food menus have been literally translated from French to English, so you might see some rather curious entries like the osso buco [sic] and the lasagna and such.

Menu

The menu with the good ingredients for the guests of the restaurant where you are the eating.

The weather was rainy and foggy, and with the foliage turning, we really wanted to have a go down some of the twisty B roads, except we didn't, because we were mindful of speed limits, so no repetition of the Croatian countryside disco, I'm afraid. Instead, we drove carefully, and soon thereafter arrived at the race track.

Rain in Belgium

Radars and rain make all shenanigans in vain (alternative French spelling vaines).

Spa was an otherworldly experience. So exciting and unique that I actually dedicated two articles to this fine topic. One, my actual race fun, and two, the whole story of the track day, with hundreds of posh and classic supercars making the fanboy in me slobber. It really was incredible, being there, staring at all those expensive machines, including legends like Lancia Delta Integrale and Lancia Stratos, as well as the modern-age marvels like Porsche 918 Spyder. And then driving alongside them. I can proudly say a near-million-dollar car overtook me round the circuit, and then, to my credit, I kind of managed to tag along, in a vehicle 1/20th the price tag. That's cool, no?

The track, the drama

Absolutely fantastic.

Porsche 918 overtaking

That was a memorable moment. A million dollars worth of overtake.

Cornering

They see me racin', they racin' too.

Once the track day was over, we headed back to Germany. That meant carefully minding the traffic signs, and waiting for the international border. At first, the autobahn teased us with the 130 limit, but then, we got our chance to try Superb at high speed again. This time, the traffic did not allows us to cross the 200km/h mark, but we did cruise at 180-190 km/h for a while. Again, Superb was a little fidgety this far up its aerodynamic envelope, but it wasn't dangerous or unpredictable. And the fuel consumption remained fairly low. Quite lovely.

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