Any big idea relies on momentum to happen. Without it, nothing is possible, but when it is present in sufficient quantities, any obstacle will crumble before it. By definition, momentum takes time to build, but once it reaches a critical mass it becomes a driving force, sweeping you towards your goal.
In the early stages of planning, V8Nam felt lacking in this vital ingredient. As much as we worked towards getting the trip together, it always seemed strangely unreal, a dreamlike idea far removed from our reality. This strange sensation existed right up to about a month ago, but in the nick of time momentum kicked in, sweeping us across the start line in a surge of last-minute energy, and almost without us having any choice in the matter, carrying us across Europe for a week and bringing us to where we are now – Austria’s capital city Vienna, already 1,600 miles into the trip.
The last few weeks of preparation have been hectic to say the least; preparing the cars, planning the route, bureaucracy, putting life on hold and winding down my business before hitting the road. In the face of so much to do, during the weeks before departure V8Nam became my life, and thanks to the late arrival of a seemingly unstoppable momentum, the tasks were completed and the trip hit the road one Thursday evening ten days ago.
So far things have been pretty uneventful. Both cars managed the first 550 mile leg from England to France without any real issues, and we spent the Easter weekend just south of Paris, rock climbing in the stunning Foret de Fontainebleau – one of this planet’s greatest destinations for said activity.
And so after several days of campfires, relaxation, climbing and cheese, last Tuesday we hit the road east. Our first breakdown occurred about a mile after friends waved us off from our campsite, when the occupants of the overloaded Rolls Royce thought they heard a rubbing noise, stopped to investigate, and then couldn’t restart the engine. A jumpstart from the Corvette soon had the show on the road again, and, spewing the occasional cloud of smoke, the Rolls made it to Dijon without incident.
And so we’ve slotted into the routine of driving a few hundred miles each day, briefly dropping into any interesting places we pass, then finding somewhere to spend the night. In the last few days we’ve passed through Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Austria and Germany, taken in the sights of Saltzburg and Vienna and toured Newschswanstein castle in Bavaria. The cars have been holding up well, cruising their way along Europe’s motorway network in a very satisfactory manner, and building our confidence in them as they do so. And we are all now looking forward to hitting Moldova and the Ukraine in a few days, leaving the EU behind, and properly beginning the adventure…