I have wanted to take part in the annual meeting in Grindelwald for the last 3 years. Unfortunately each year I have had things clash with the dates but this year I put the dates in my diary at early so I could take part. It is now only a few days away and I am really looking forward to it. It is unusual for me to do something with a group as I usually travel alone though I did take part in last years Albert Ball run so this trip will not be an entirely new experience. I know a few of the participants from this and a couple of other Morgan events as well as the talkmorgan forum. The car has been serviced and just needs packing. Can’t wait for next weekend when I set off to Ashford to meet up with the rest of the convoy to Grindelwald.
26th August 2018
Well, that has to be 4 1/2 of the most unpleasant hours I have spent in the 3-wheeler. Today’s forecast was bad. Rain and wind all the way from home to Ashford. They were right and I left home in light rain. That was as good as it got. It rained almost all of the way down. The motorways were pretty busy considering you would stay indoors unless you had a good reason to travel.
It was windy as well as being very wet. I was worried about aquaplaning – I have experienced this once in the Morgan and I don’t want to experience it again so I took my time and made steady progress. I did have to stop on the M1 for about 10 minutes when a lane was closed due to an accident but other than that the only delay was slower than usual traffic because of the rain and spray.
Six of us met up at the Eureka park Premier Inn – fewer than planned but understandable in this weather. I understand that the others will be catching up tomorrow when better weather is promised. Hopefully we have seen the worst of the rain.
27th August 2018
All went pretty much to plan today. We left the hotel and caught out channel tunnel train as expected. The weather was mostly overcast but we made good progress travelling as a group. An 8-car Morgan 3-wheeler convoy really is something to see, and hear.
We made a brief stop at what remains of the Circuit de Reims-Gueux for a formation photo.
The circuit Reims-Gueux was a Grand Prix motor racing road course, located in Gueux, 7.5 km west of Reimsin the Champagne region of north-eastern France, established in 1926 as the second venue of the Grand Prix de la Marne The triangular layout of public roads formed three sectors between the villages of Thillois and Guess over the La Garenne / Gueux intersection of Route national 31. The circuit became known to be among the fastest of the era for its two long straights (approximately 2.2 km in length each) allowing maximum straight-line speed, resulting in many famous slipstream battles.
Somehow we got to our hotel in Saint Dizier after a couple of sat-nav issues and the group got split up. Mark and Hetty joined the group at the hotel and we walked out to the main square where we had a nice meal as a group.
28th August 2018
A great day travelling down through France. The roads this afternoon were superb and fantastic fun to drive as part of a 3-wheeler group. Jake did a fabulous job with the video with Phil showing off his skills driving sooo close.
Lunch was taken at Le Bonhomme. The main restaurant was closed but the small cabin next door prepared sandwiches which were great. We continued on to Mulhouse and after a little trouble finding the underground car park right in the town centre found the hotel.
We walked out to find a restaurant which our growing group practically took over but they coped very well. An excellent day.
29th August 2018
The group split up today. Some were heading directly to Grindelwald while others headed out to the museum. I joined Chas and Julien at the museum.
The Schlumpf collection is housed in the original wool mill and what a collection it is. A huge collection of cars. Hundreds of cars ranging from extremely early cars to F1 cars and everything in between. The 2-3 hours we had couldn’t do the place justice. Probably the best car museum I have ever been to.
Richard and Steve joined us in the car park and we headed to the nearby petrol station to fill up before heading to Grindelwald. I was going follow on to the lunch stop so hurried in to pay and tagged along. We were 6 miles down the road when we were about to join a dual-carriageway when I looked to check that Richard was behind me when I noticed something wrong. No bag!!! S#*t! I continued round the island and left the others and headed back to the petrol station. What a numpty!!
The bag had been taken in at the petrol station so I got it back. It was a bit scuffed but still all there. Phew! I loaded up and headed off following the sat-nav route Chris had sent out – thanks Chris.
The sky was getting darker and more threatening so I put the jacket on and pushed ahead. The rain started gently then the heavens really opened as I crossed into Switzerland. Heavy, heavy rain continued for a few minutes. I then spotted Chris’s car outside a restaurant so I pulled in alongside and headed in. As well as Chris, Sean, Libby and Roger were there having just finished lunch. Paul and Jake arrived shortly after to take shelter too.
The rain eased and we headed out. We stayed together as a group and after a few sat-nav issues found ourselves having to make our way down a single-track road trying to get the horses to move out of the way. One took a liking to Chris in particular and licked his engine!
We continued on and stopped at a motorway services for coffee. My car had been making a terrible noise from the front. Jake spotted it. The G56 chin scoop air filter cover had completely failed at the weld on one side. Luckily Paul had a hacksaw so I cut off the other side to remove the chin scoop completely. Its a bit rough but should be fine. Thanks for the use of the hacksaw Paul.
We ate at the hotel and were joined by Austin and Julia who were on their way back home after touring in their camper. It was nice to see them even if they didn’t have their 3-wheeler with them.
30th August 2018
Now this is where things are slightly hazy. There has been so much to do with the driving, meeting so many interesting people, lots of lovely meals and much to drink that I have been very tired (and slightly inebriated) by the time I get back to my room. I haven’t been in any state to start writing so from here on in I am writing this from memory at home.
After breakfast at the hotel I filled up with fuel and headed out to meet the others. The variety of cars gathered today was quite amazing. I know that are all Morgan 3-wheelers but there are no two the same. The customising carried out by each owner make them as individual as are the characters that own them. I have made a list of the things I like so I may have to steal one or two of the ideas.
This was the first time for me driving in a huge convoy of 30 or so 3-wheelers. It is difficult to explain. The reaction of people passing by is priceless. Some people just stop dead in their tracks, many people simply grin at you. We were even applauded and cheered on by some and many, many photographs were taken. I love it. I really would like to have been able to stand by myself and watch (and listen) to us all go by.
This was our route today…
We stopped for a very good lunch lunch (as always) and practically took over the village where we stopped. Unfortunately the weather was not great today. It rained on and off and the views were largely obscured. Such a pity as I know how beautiful this area is on a clear day.
This evening we braved a tiny switchback road up from Grindelwald to a restaurant for a Swiss fondu. It was really good. Laurens told me that the cows are milked daily and the cheese is made on the mountain as it can be kept longer before being transported down at the end of the season in one go.
If you thought the ascent was difficult the descent was hilarious! It was pitch dark and foggy. The UK set lights didn’t light up the left-hand hairpins at all so all you could do was follow the car in front. Completely mad but brilliant at the same time.
31st August 2018
We all met again in rain at the leisure centre car park. The early attendees managed to grab the undercover spaces. I took the opportunity to walk into Grindelwald and add a new accessory to my car…..
This set a bit of a trend with Paul and Shaun adding bells to their cars too.
Todays itinerary was a bit different. Picture clues were given by way of a route to follow. This is all well and good if you have a navigator – which I don’t so I, along with a couple of others chose to follow Paul and Jake. Jake did well and we ended up at the lunch stop. We did however go wrong at one point but we ended up where we were meant to be. Unfortunately the weather remained wet and we only managed glimpses of the lake far below.
Lunch was great. Laurens has done very well in finding places that can accommodate 40 wet Morganeers. We also had a quiz which we completed by table with the results to be announced at the evening meal.
It was on our return drive to Grindelwald that I passed through 30,000 miles in my 3-wheeler. That is 30,000 miles of fun and feeling alive that I have been fortunate to have experienced. I hope the next 30,000 miles will be clocked up quicker than the first. This car has evolved from the day I collected it from Malvern and will continue to do so and I look forward to many more adventures in for many years.
This evening we walked a short distance to a local Italian restaurant for dinner. It was very good if a bit noisy at times. The quiz results were announced (didn’t win) and much to my surprise I was given a Jungfrau hat for my 30,000 mile milestone. Suits me don’t you think?
1st September 2018
We gathered again this morning in the rain. The route today was to include the high mountain passes. Determined not to be put off by the weather we set off in convoy again behind Laurens.
The highlight for me today was the old Gottard pass. A tight switchback cobbled pass over rugged mountains. We even passed an old horse and carriage. A brilliant photo opportunity but such a shame the weather was not clearer.
2nd September 2018
Well isn’t that typical. The event officially finished yesterday so today the sun comes out. As we were staying in Grindelwald for another day we took the opportunity to get out and about in dry conditions. We made our way up to the top of the Susten pass after stopping by the lake so Charles could join us.
We were rewarded after passing up through the cloud. The views were spectacular. If only the rest of the trip had been in good conditions. Still, it was good to finally get some brilliant views of this stunningly beautiful region.
After coffee at the top and another photo stop it was time to head down for lunch.
Yet another delicious lunch was taken – I really have eaten far too much this holiday, before some of us split off from the main group to visit Trummelbach Falls in the Lauterbrunnen Valley just a few miles down the road from Grindelwald. After moaning about the wet weather for the last few days, what do I do on the first dry day we have? Get wet at the waterfall!
This is a very unusual falls with a number of chutes cascading down within the cliff. It is the largest subterranean falls in Europe. There is a lift most of the way up and tunnels giving access to the falls and the 20,000 litres a second flowing through. It is amazing how the water has cut out smooth curved shapes within the cliff over thousands of years. Well worth a visit.
Well, That was our last day in Grindelwald. It was great to finally get some dry weather so lets hope that continues all the way home.
3rd September 2018
We all gathered outside the station to start our convoy home. I’m looking forward to the journey back through the Black forest as it is somewhere I have never been before.
On our way…
It was a good steady run today along some very nice sweeping roads. I got split from the others in one town but caught them up just after the border. A very nice day’s driving with a very pleasant hotel at the end of it. The meal this evening was excellent – trout with potatoes and vegetables followed by ice cream. Fab!
4th September 2018
This mornings drive was excellent. Great roads through the lovely Black Forest. Good progress could be made whilst still being able to admire the scenery. I like this area and must plan a further visit to explore it a bit more sometime.
We had a stop at a charming clock shop in Triberg but I resisted buying one. Shaun and Libby bought a hat each and I must say they do look rather special!
Our lunch stop was at Mummelsee. A very nice but very busy and popular stopping place. It was difficult to park but the charm of the 3-wheeler paid off again and a stall-holder lifted a chained-off parking space to allow me to park.
Lunch was taken on the balcony overlooking the lake. Black Forest Burgers all round with a small mountain of chips.
Our hotel this evening was in Saarbrucken. Hotel Am Triller was a modern, unusual place with bright colours and cartoons on the walls in the rooms. Quirky and comfortable and the meal was excellent again.
5th September 2018
Our destination this evening was at the Nurburgring. Myself, Chris and Roger took the direct route while the others followed a more scenic drive. We arrived at lunch time and indulged in a German sausage – I think it is compulsory in these parts. The hotel was directly adjacent to the Formula One starting grid. I wonder how much this room would cost for the weekend during the F1 weekend. Rather more than I paid I’m sure.
I had a wander around the shops and bought a shirt and the inevitable Nurburgring sticker. We enquired as to the whereabouts of the entrance to the Nordschleife as we were planning a lap later that evening.
We met up with the others and headed out after I had removed the luggage rack. Chris, Roger and myself bought tickets and headed for the entrance. We watched some private testing going on and ‘blimey’ they were blasting past us at one hell of a speed!
The session ended and the open session started. The road is effectively a one-way toll road on which normal traffic rules apply. Of course you’re insurance is invalid so it is at your own risk. I was unsure as to whether I should do a lap but how could I be this close and not do a lap? I may never get the chance to tackle ‘the green hell’ ever again so I decided to go for it.
Unfortunately rain started and the track was closed after an incident. We waited some time before it reopened but it was still wet. Shaun, Libby, Paul and Jake whereat the side of the track further round to take photos of us and they reported rain also. Roger went for it while I decided to wait for things to dry up before venturing out. Unfortunately he was stopped at the barrier and told he couldn’t run. A couple of minutes later an official came over and told us that we would be allowed to run but would only be sent out as the last three cars of the session. They clearly didn’t understand the capabilities of the cars. We would have been faster than many of the cars running. While there were Porsches and Ferraris they also allowed normal family cars and a van on circuit. Anyway, the arrangement suited me perfectly as there would be no pressure from cars behind.
We were just 15 minutes away from running when a BMW came in with some damage. As you are liable for damage to the barriers if you go off they stopped the session and took the driver out to look for damage. Game over! We would not get to run!
After a rollercoaster of emotions it was a real anticlimax and a big disappointment. What a shame we couldn’t run because of an incident out of our control. There is no refund for the 25 Euro ticket but it is valid for 2 years so you never know……
6th September 2018
Today was my last day travelling with the group. We left Nurburgring and headed pretty much directly west. The roads were good at first but after a while the heavens really opened and there was a torrential downpour.
Not everyone was kitted out in their waterproofs (including me) and visibility was poor. We followed Chris into a lay-by and sheltered under trees to put on our waterproofs. What a sight we must have been….
The weather improved almost immediately but the motorway got very busy and it was difficult to stay together. Lunch was taken as a service station before we continued westwards to Valenciennes and the Grand Hotel. The hotel may not have been the best we have stayed in on this trip – rather 1970s, but it was the last night for the UK convoy so we had a great night. The food was good and the drink kept on flowing. I will really miss this group of real characters….
7th September 2018
Today I had to be up and out in order to catch the ferry from Calais at 10:55. I said a brief goodbye to everyone who was up and headed on my way. It was strange having no one to follow and not having another 3-wheeler in my mirrors. I made good time to Calais and checked in with just a few minutes to spare.
I had a good breakfast on the ferry before disembarking in Dover for my journey back to the Midlands. I had a relatively straightforward journey home and arrived safely back home by 4:45.
The 2018 Jungfrau-Treffen has been quite a trip. I did have reservations about spending so much time with a bunch of strangers as I am so used to travelling on my own but everyone has been so nice and these strangers quickly became friends. Our common interest in Morgans and travel in general has given us all something to talk about but it soon became more than about the cars and the journey. It has been great to share the adventure with others. While I will still do some trips on my own I will definitely not hesitate to travel with a group in the future. I think I will go again next year – if they will have me.
I must say a special thank you to Laurens for arranging this whole event as well as to Chris and Roger for making the arrangement for the UK contingent. Though I name these the whole event would not have been the same without any one of the participants. I very much hope to meet you all again next year, if not before.