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Old April 23rd, 2010, 04:34 PM   #1
Pansori
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Europe: Six countries, 2100km of roads, 300+ photos

I will post all pictures to the relevant threads later but I guess it's not a problem if I'll put the entire journey into a single thread at first.

Quick facts about the trip:
  • Distance: about 2160km
  • Time: 29 hours (including 9 hour stopeover to sleep)
  • Crew: bleetz (driver), Pansori (passenger, photographer)
  • Countries and roads:
    - UK (M25, M26, M20, A20)
    - France (A16/E40)
    - Belgium (E40, E17, E34)
    - Netherlands (A67)
    - Germany (A40, A2, A12)
    - Poland (A2, S8, A16)
    - Lithuania (A4... but it was too dark to take pictures)

Map (note, we didn't use the Eurotunnel, but a ferry from Dover to Dunkerque)
image hosted on flickr




Now a quick review of the journey
  • The best roads in general were observed in The Netherlands. Everything was more or less perfect.
  • The best motorway stretch was A2 in Poland. It was literally perfect in all possible ways with very low traffic and most of the time going in a perfect straight line for miles and miles which means one could safely drive at speeds exceeding 300km/h without a worry. Well done Poland. Must be the best motorway in all of Europe at this moment
  • The worst motorway stretch was E40 in Belgium. Huge cracks and generally bad state of the asphalt which made driving somewhat uncomfortable or even dangerous.
  • The worst roads in general were observed in Poland. The problem is not the road quality itself but general adequacy (especially in the North Eastern part). Road quality and signage was, in fact, good for most of the time, however the lack of motorways in most stratches slows things down and makes it very complicated to drive racing with lorries and local traffic. However, situation is seemingly improving very fast. After A2 will be complete, driving from Germany to Poland will be on a different level. Again, Poland is doing a great job to improve its roads. I could describe the driving as much better than expected.


United Kingdom (M25, M26, M20, A20)

1.
M25, about 5 o'clock in the morning
image hosted on flickr


2.
Surface quality of M25 is varying. In this particular stretch it was bumby and showing signs of ageing
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3.
M26, connecting M25 and M20
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4.
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5.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 04:34 PM   #2
Pansori
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6.
Entering M20
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7.
Surface quality was typical to the British motorways i.e. mroe or less good but with noticeable imperfections for most of the time.
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8.
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9.
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10.
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Last edited by Pansori; April 23rd, 2010 at 04:40 PM.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 04:35 PM   #3
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11.
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12.
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13.
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14.
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15.
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Next: France
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 04:59 PM   #4
Penn's Woods
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Nice! I look forward to the next pix. I'm just curious: was this trip planned by road, or did you drive because there were no flights?
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 05:07 PM   #5
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Thanks, Penn's Woods.

We have planned the trip in advance so it was only a coincidence that there were no flights at that time. Lucky me, because I was thinking of booking my flights at that time as well. The primary reason why I did such a trip was to get more familiar with European roads.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 06:00 PM   #6
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cool, finally some amateur photos from UK motorways!
btw, we have solved a misterium: there obviously are some M-motorways in UK which are 2+2
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Svaki dan sanjam autobahn...
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 06:10 PM   #7
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Can't wait to see the rest of photos !
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 07:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pansori View Post

The best roads in general[/i] were observed in The Netherlands. Everything was more or less perfect.[/list]
100% agree. I do a similar trip several times a year and must say that Dutch roads are exactly as good as you described.

Quote:
  • The best motorway stretch was A2 in Poland.
  • When I said such a thing some time ago, people who heard that just started to laugh.
Quote:
  • The worst motorway stretch was E40 in Belgium. Huge cracks and generally bad state of the asphalt which made driving somewhat uncomfortable or even dangerous.
Although, they have sort of historic touch. Some might love it.


Quote:
[list]The worst roads in general were observed in Poland.
I know your point. I have this advantage so can drive almost to the gate of my home using dual carriageways including only 50 kilometres non-motorway 2x2 (A4+DK1 towards Bielsko-Biala)

Quote:
Surface quality of M25 is varying. In this particular stretch it was bumby and showing signs of ageing
Surface quality was typical to the British motorways i.e. mroe or less good but with noticeable imperfections for most of the time.
My impression is that the state of British motorways' surface literally shows the same level of quality as Belgian one. In addition, I don't know whether you noticed it or not, both generate high level of noise inside vehicle.
Just disembarking on the other side of English Channel/Canal La Manche - even though French A16/ E40 is far from being perfect - makes your trip significantly quieter.

You pictures are so great so I can't wait my next month trip back home ten times more.
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Old April 24th, 2010, 02:05 PM   #9
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Interesting, I didn't know, that cat eyes are used on GB motorways, even on dotted lines, for which I don't see a reason of usefulness.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:45 PM   #10
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Here we go next.

France

We're about to get onto A16/E40

16.
For the time being some local road connecting the ferry port to the A16
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17.
A16
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18.
What is the first thing you notice on the French Autoroute after a British motorway? It's much smoother
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19.
We'll drive in France for only few kms before getting to Belgium
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20.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:47 PM   #11
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21.
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25.
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26.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:51 PM   #12
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27.
We'll be entering Belgium here somewhere... in fact, I missed the sign and onyl realized it's Belgium after the design of signage changed
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28.
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29.
Now it's Belgium for sure. We're on E40. I kinda liked the idea of writing only the E road instead of the national road (usually "A"). Makes things more simple
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In Belgium we'll drive on E40, E17 and E34

30.
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31.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:52 PM   #13
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32.
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33.
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34.
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36.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #14
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37.
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38.
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39.
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40.
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41.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:55 PM   #15
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42.
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43.
We're on E17
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44.
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45.
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46.
Surface quality is far from perfect
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:56 PM   #16
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47.
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48.
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49.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #17
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52.
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53.
The new Outlander
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54.
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56.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #18
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That section of E40 between Oostende and Aalter is the oldest motorway in Belgium. It opened in 1940.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:57 PM   #19
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57.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #20
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62.
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