Tag Archives: Road Trips

Top USA Road Trips: The Washington DC Region

Country Life Magazine, May 14, 2022 – The area around Washington DC isn’t the obvious choice for holidaymakers crossing the Atlantic, but as Sophia Constant discovered it offers a huge range of wonderful options — particularly if you pencil it in now for the autumn.

Start in Winchester, Virginia, the oldest city west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which famously changed hands between Unionists and Confederates 72 times during the Civil War. Over 15 million Americans can trace an ancestor that travelled through Winchester on the wagon-way trail from Philadelphia to the American West. Take the Taste Winchester History tour through the historic downtown’s restaurants and bars. Explore The Mall, where original buildings and classic facades have been restored to look exactly as in the 1800’s. Don’t miss the Beaux Arts Library, Post Office, Union Bank, Court House, Clock Tower, and The Museum of The Shenandoah Valley’s 200-year old house, museum and gardens.

Winchester in Fall. The American one, not the Hampshire one. Credit: Capital Region USA

Havre de Grace, Maryland. Credit: Capital Region USA

The Shenandoah Valley’s winding country roads pass colonial-style houses, vast orchards, farms and picket fences. Enjoy gorgeous hills and forests via hiking trails, including Sky Meadows and Eagle Rock. Gastronomy is a major part of the experience. Tour Winchester Ciderworks to taste experimental blends: blackcurrant and ginger, or even turmeric chai anti-inflammatory cider. For homemade pies and cakes, head to The Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard, a fourth generation farming family’s store, set in an old carriage barn. Their BBQ and Bluegrass Night is an authentic experience, where local musicians jam on the porch and anyone’s welcome to join. The drive through Middletown is particularly striking; a half-pipe valley with mountains rising up on either side. Time this over lunch at Shaffer’s BBQ, a dilapidated gas station transformed into a restaurant serving delectable on-the-go southern cuisine. Shaffer’s sits on a Civil War battle site, Cedar Creek (1864), where annual re-enactments take place, including 3000 people, cavalry and heavy artillery

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Driving Tours: Passo di Zambla In Northern Italy

A drive across the 1,264 meters high Passo di Zambla in the Lombardei region of Northern Italy. The drive starts in Lovere and ends in San Pellegrino Terme after a drive time of 1 Hour 49 Minutes.

San Pellegrino Terme is a town in the province of Bergamo, Italy. Located in the Val Brembana, it is the location of the well known beverage company San Pellegrino, where its carbonated mineral water drinks are produced.

Passo di Zambla from Ponte Nossa is a climb in the region Lombardy. It is 13.9km long and bridges 814 vertical meters with an average gradient of 5.8%, resulting in a difficulty score of 592. The top of the ascent is located at 1264 meters above sea level.

Top Cultural Road Trips: Seville To Ronda In Spain

First, the fizz. Part of Seville’s exuberance is because the city is preparing for two festivals: Semana Santa, over Holy Week, and the April Fair (actually in May). The first involves processions of elaborately trussed religious statues sitting on decorative floats held aloft by men in cream-coloured cloaks and cone-shaped headdresses, a vision that surprised me when I attended, by chance, while interrailing around Europe decades ago. The April Fair is equally flamboyant, although with more frills — Sevillanas in every shade of flamenco dress. Everyone learns flamenco at school, so there’s no excuse for poor footwork. And, naturally, getting a new dress, of slightly different design, is the done thing each year.

After all that, arriving at La Donaira via the white mountain village of El Gastor is a change of pace. Not least because the views are lurking under cloud (the calima again), so I am inclined to make the most of the hotel’s cosiness rather than head out for a grey hike.

What was once a private house, converted into a hotel in 2015, strives to maintain that homely feeling. It’s working — guests wear athleisure at dinner, pad around in socks and Crocs, and children jump on the giant sofa by the living-room fire. The vibe here is so relaxed, we leave our bedroom door open at night to listen to the rain and feel the cool mountain air. The living room is a big, open space — a former barn, with picture windows over the courtyard, a library and plenty of lounging spots.

Travel & Culture: Route 66 America’s Heartland Road

The historic ‘Mother Road’ of America is Route 66. It has connected Chicago and Los Angeles across eight states and four time zones since it was opened almost 80 years ago. It now provides a nostalgic and entertaining journey through a dramatic and exciting period of American history.

From Chicago in the east to Los Angeles in the west, there is only one direction in songs, novels, and for Route 66 lovers. This fabled route snakes its way through the gorges of the city at Lake Michigan before becoming a rural road for about 4000 kilometres across “Small-town America.” In many parts, Route 66 still looks like a museum from the 1930s and 1950s. This three-part series delves into the rich and historic route that has come to resemble a piece of American history, geography, and faded American ambitions from the past.

Travel: Ten Best Road Trips In The World (Condé Nast)

Our list of the 10 best road trips in the world covers everything from Alpine mountain passes and arid desert drives in western America, to lush forests in Japan and India, and the rugged coastlines of Norway and Scotland

Blue Ridge Parkway, USA

Afton to Cherokee, 469 miles (755km)

Just over three hours southwest of Washington DC lies the start of the most phenomenal scenic byway that carves its way through the lush, mountainous forests of Virginia and North Carolina

Great St Bernard Pass, Italy

Turin, Italy to Montreux, Switzerland, 143 miles (230km)

For movie fans, this road is a must-drive after it was immortalised in the iconic opening scene of the original Italian Job, starring Michael Caine. The film opens with a Lamborghini Muria dancing its way over the Great St Bernard Pass, which, aside from a few safety improvements, is still as unspoilt and spectacular as it was back in 1969. 

The Carretera Austral, Chile

Puerto Montt to Villa O’Higgins 770 miles (1240km)

Patagonia is a place that should appear on everyone’s bucket list. This remote, pre-historic wilderness is made of mountains, lakes, forests and fjords, which can all be absorbed from the comfort of a car driving down Chile‘s Southern Highway (Route 7) – the ‘Carretera Austral’. 

The North Coast 500, Scotland

Inverness to Inverness loop around Scotland’s coastline, 516 miles (830km)

One of the best road trips the United Kingdom has to offer is the North Coast 500. As the name suggests, the 500-mile route loops its way around Scotland‘s rugged northern coastline, taking in everything from white sandy beaches to mountains and remote fishing villages. 

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Travel: Albrechtsburg Castle, Meissen Porcelain Source, Saxony, Germany

Destination Culture: Discover Germany’s oldest castle! Hannah Hummel travels back in time in Albrechtsburg Castle. The site in Meissen used to house Europe’s first porcelain producer. Porcelain designers show Hannah how the material is being further developed today. She also visits the picturesque old town and learns the interesting story behind the Meissner Fummel – a unique pastry, where fragility plays an essential role.

Video timeline: 00:00 Intro 00:54 Albrechtsburg castle in Meissen 05:08 Meissen’s old town 09:31 Exhibition, production and design atelier of Meissen porcelain 17:46 An Australian in Meissen 21:44 Photographer Eric Franke 24:52 Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady) in Meissen

Road Trips: Car Museums & Design In Saxony, Germany

The city of Zwickau in eastern Germany has a long and varied history of car production and industrial design. Its story is told in the August Horch Museum – beginning with the production of Horch cars, to Audis, to the East German car, the Trabant.

On her trip to Zwickau, Hannah Hummel discovers the city’s car history, as well as its art and cultural history. Both the composer Robert Schumann and the expressionist painter and printmaker Max Pechstein were born in Zwickau. This episode of Destination Culture also takes viewers to Schneeberg – a creative hub in Saxony, where students from around the world study fashion and textile design.

Video timeline: 00:00 Intro 01:00 Car museum Zwickau 02:47 Recreating the Horch 14-17 04:49 Trabant – the GDR cult car 06:41 Hannah driving a Trabant 10:53 Composer Robert Schumann’s birthplace 11:49 Max Pechstein Museum 13:13 Werdau, meeting photographer Philipp Gladsome 16:18 Schneeberg, University of Applied Arts 18:46 Fashion design student Ridhima Wadhwa from Gujarat, India 22:05 Miner’s parade 23:45 Fashion designer Franziska Heinze

Road Trips: Glashütte To Freiberg, Saxony, Germany

Destination Culture: In this episode, Hannah Hummel’s road trip through Saxony takes her to Glashütte. Germans are known for being punctual, and Glashütte is known for watchmaking. Hannah also visits the Ore Mountains and heads underground. In Freiberg, she meets a student from Sri Lanka who has made the silver-mining town her temporary home.

Video timeline: 00:00 Intro 00:46 The city of Glashütte 01:08 German Watch Museum 04:14 NOMOS, largest manufacturer of mechancial watches in Germany 08:00 Schwarzwassertal or Black Water Valley in the Ore Mountains 11:14 The city of Altenberg 12:02 Altenberg Sinkhole 13:13 Visitor Mine Zinnwald 15:54 Mining Museum Altenberg 17:29 Arno-Lippmann-Schacht 18:01 The ‘Silver City’ Freiberg 18:29 Cathedral of St Mary 21:58 Student Jamana Amiruddeen from Sri Lanka 24:48 Bergmusikkorps Saxonia Freiberg

Road Trips: Leipzig’s New Art Scene To Hartenfels Castle In Saxony, Germany

Destination Culture: Hannah Hummel is on tour in the city of Leipzig. She visits art highlights such as the Cotton Mill, a former industrial site, which has become a creative hub in the city. In Mutzschen, she meets an American entrepreneur who has turned a baroque castle into a biker hangout. In Torgau, a photographer shows her the best photo spots in Hartenfels Castle, famed for its spiral staircase.

00:00 Intro 00:51 Leipzig city tour 01:15 Baumwollspinnerei or Cotton Mill 01:49 Painter Jochen Plogsties 02:44 Art-world superstar Neo Rauch 05:01 Eigen+Art gallery, ASPN gallery, gallerist Arne Linde 07:30 History of the Cotton Mill 09:15 Baroque castle in Mutzschen, Biker Hangout “MotoSoul” 13:40 Artist’s Farmyard Prösitz 19:30 Hartenfels Castle in Torgau, photographer Daniel Köhler 23:23 Immersive art at the Kunstkraftwerk

Road Trips: Fribourg To Bern In Switzerland (4K)

Fribourg is the capital of the region of the same name in western Switzerland. In the medieval old city above the Sarine River, the Gothic Fribourg Cathedral has art nouveau stained glass and views from its bell tower. The nearby Espace Jean Tinguely–Niki de Saint Phalle displays the namesake 20th-century artists’ sculpture. Occupying a Renaissance palace, the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire showcases medieval art.

Distance: 23 miles

Bern, the capital city of Switzerland, is built around a crook in the Aare River. It traces its origins back to the 12th century, with medieval architecture preserved in the Altstadt (Old Town). The Swiss Parliament and diplomats meet in the Neo-Renaissance Bundeshaus (Federal Palace). The Französische Kirche (French Church) and the nearby medieval tower known as the Zytglogge both date to the 13th century.