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Geneva Motorshow 2018  

We were invited to this year’s Geneva Motorshow as guests of Rybrook Bristol, so decided to make this our first European business trip in the Cyclehome and managed to clock up about 1,745 miles in the process.

We had to be in Geneva on Thursday, 8th March, so decided to travel to Folkstone on the Tuesday, get on an early shuttle and spend Wednesday travelling to another overnight stop part way, before travelling the rest of the way on Thursday morning.

 

In retrospect, we wish that we had spent an extra day travelling down through France, as doing 354 miles in one hit on the first day was a bit of a strain. Although driving the Cyclehome is not difficult, travelling at 56-60mph instead of 70mph makes the journey about 25% longer.

The other thing that took us by surprise was the amount that the toll roads cost, although not using them would have added a huge amount to the travelling time, which we did not want to do.

Fortunately, the site I’d booked for the night, Camping Merry-sur-Yonne, even though it was a bit muddy, was really good, with a lovely restaurant, so we left there the following morning feeling refreshed. The A40 through the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is a spectacular road, with several tunnels and viaducts overlooking lakes and rivers that are an amazing blue.

We reached Geneva in good time and the Crowne Plaza was kind enough to let us park outside their front entrance. After a brief lunch, we walked to the Palexpo where the Motorshow was taking place. There were a huge number of stands and cars to see, and we managed to cover most of it in the afternoon. It was fairly quiet, so I was able to take a lot of pictures of some beautiful and interesting vehicles.

On Thursday evening, we had a very good dinner at the Crowne Plaza with all the other guests of Rybrook Group and the representatives, including James Rees, who invited us.

We spent another couple of hours in the show at the Bentley stand and the Lamborghini stand (where we had the best coffee in the world ever!) on Friday morning before travelling to Anse, a little north of Lyon, to stay the night. We had not booked the site in advance but managed to get in touch with Camping Portes du Beaujolais en route and were able to stay.

We left Anse on Saturday morning and travelled north back to Camping Merry-sur-Yonne where we had booked the next two nights. We managed a little bike ride along the canal path to the next village in the afternoon, before the rain came. On Mothering Sunday, the weather was lovely enough to have breakfast outside, and then we strolled along the canal path in the opposite direction to Châtel-Censoir to have some lunch. We went up to the church at the top of the hill, which had a great view back across the valley, and saw a Great Egret near the canal before walking back to the site again. It really is a lovely area, and we hope to be able to visit again soon.

On Monday, we needed to break up the journey by staying one night further north but hadn’t booked anywhere. The first place we tried wasn’t open, but then we found Camping du Port de Plaisance in Peronne and stayed the night there. There is a WW1 museum in Peronne, as the river Somme flows through it, and although we did not have time to pay the museum a visit, it is certainly something we are keen to do in the future.

We left early on Tuesday morning to visit the operations centre of one of our customers near Ghent in Belgium for a couple of hours before travelling back through the Eurotunnel and finally reaching home in the late evening.

Both trips through the Eurotunnel were incredibly easy and smooth – we got there early enough both times to be offered the next crossing without extra charge, instead of waiting for the ones I had booked, which was most convenient.

We found that working in the Cyclehome, whether by telephone or online, was problem-free and coverage was good wherever we travelled, which bodes well for future trips.