A fitting description of the Alps, the remainder of our time in the region took in some of the highest roads in Europe including a heady climb to the Col de la Bonette at c.9,800ft, here the air was thin, the landscape yet again baron passing the tree line and any relevant greenery and leaving it below us. The roads here are bereft of any safety barriers but what they lack in safety they more than make up for with driving thrills, long winding well sighted corners spread so enticingly over the landscape, pure heaven!
Heading further south in the latter part of the week saw the Alpine scenery change as a reflection of the more arid weather and here we find ourselves following part of the infamous Route Napolean and just spitting distance from the delights of the Côte d’Azur. Lower altitude means less ear popping and higher temperatures bringing with it some interesting textures and melting tarmac offering some obscure cornering dynamics, all part of the ride.
As our route turns north towards Dijon and beyond the roads flatten out somewhat and threat of the week drawing to an end. Not before a stop at the old Grand Prix straight at Reims though. Parts of the old Grandstand and buildings still proudly either side of the road emblazoned with the original sponsors. Even though a public road now runs arrow straight through where the track once was it still has plenty of nostalgia and air of days gone by, you can almost see the tail of Juan Fangio’s Alfa 159 disappearing down the track an image only partially deformed by the rising heat…today I watch a modern duo, Ferrari F430 and Mercedes C63, not a bad combo though I guess.
The return to UK soil has never felt like such a drop, and it literally is given where we’d been less than a day or two ago. Our week covered such a variety of landscape, plenty of terrain to keep even the most demanding of drivers and cars on the edge, the Alps really do offer some of the best driving roads in the world. Not only was the driving superb we were also in the company of 20 other amazing cars from all walks piloted by some great people. As for the Cayman, well 2,500 miles takes its toll. But now tucked up in the garage waiting for a replacement windscreen, I can’t help feeling she hears the jingle of car keys each trip out, the sign of a return to foreign shores to stretch her legs. We will return.