It was time to go far away again. It should go south. I wanted to visit friends in Switzerland. And so, because it's a long journey, I built a bit of a program around it. At the front I made the journey through Alsace with the opportunity to fill my 85-9 3t BioPower E1.8 directly behind the German-French border in Scheibenhard. And on the back of it......I made a visit to Italy to see a SAAB 9000 CS that Tom had shown on the blog a while back. So let's get into gear.
The journey started early in the morning of April 1 from Lüneburg. In dry weather. But that changed fundamentally after almost 80 kilometers. It was snowing north of Hanover, south of Hanover I drove through heavy snowfall; or better: snuck. Nothing had been cleared and apparently there were already drivers who had switched to summer tires. A traffic jam due to an ice accident. The situation did not return to normal until south of Göttingen and it was possible to continue comfortably to Diskhard.
I had forced myself to drive about 120 km/h to a) see how I could get by and b) to save fuel. I could already say after the first stage: It was noticeably more relaxed and not slower than I would have driven 140 to 160.
There were two long queues of cars at the Carrefour gas station in Scheibenhard, most of them with German license plates. Everyone was standing on the right side of the tank cap to the pump. But since I didn't want to wait 20 minutes, I approached the column "wrongly" and was through in two minutes. At the gas pump, I also saw the reason for the long queues.
As of April 1st, the French state has waived 15 cent taxes on all types of fuel; plus VAT then 18 cents. And so I could splash a liter of E71 into the tank for 85 cents. Which lifted the mood again. I envy the French whose government has always viewed E85 as an alternative fuel and treated it accordingly. But we shouldn't be allowed to do that.
After a nice drive through beautiful Alsace and with rain starting from Colmar, I arrive at my home in Kloten after almost ten hours. The SAAB will remain parked here for the next few days. A friend has a "GA", a general subscription for public transport in Switzerland and can take me with him as part of a campaign at a very reasonable all-inclusive price.
It wasn't that terribly far on the first evening, we were at the Expovina, a wine fair in Zurich. Swiss wines are hard to come by in Germany, but there are some really nice ones from Valais. This time, however, I was drawn to Israeli wines. Two minutes before the Sabbath, I quickly filled out an order form. After that the stand was closed.
The journey by train over the next two days led to Andermatt, among other places. A contemplative journey first to Chur and from there with the Rhaetian Railway RhB and the Matterhorn-Gotthard-Bahn - both modern narrow-gauge railways - over the mountain and back down into the valley.
The weather was wonderful, the view magnificent. The train crew also enjoyed it. Working here as in my previous job as a train attendant would be like a holiday for me; every day. Should I change careers again?
On April 4th I leave Switzerland and travel to Rovigo via Lucerne and Milan. In Stans, south of Lucerne, I fill up again with E85 at the Agrola filling station. It is the last petrol station with E85 on offer before the Italian border.
Traffic on the Italian motorways is different. As far as I can judge from the trip Milan - Venice. There seem to be significantly more trucks than in Germany. And speed limits are more of a recommendation, at least for the locals. It's on the country roads. Shortly before my destination, a 9-3 convertible from around 2005 appears behind me. The driver draws attention to himself, we drive from one place to another in a row; what we both enjoy.
And then I'm in Rovigo. The seller of SAAB 9000 from April 1993 is a big SAAB fan, just like his father. He owns several 900 convertibles and coupés. He drove the 9000 for sale for seven years with a mileage of 70.000 to 111.000. According to him, he was regularly serviced according to regulations. And when driving, the car really gives the impression that the chassis is fine, as is the engine and transmission. The climate control blows warm air inside, it doesn't cool.
A look under the car shows: The condition is good. There are a few small spots of rust here and there, but the underbody shows a good side.
Further inspection reveals that rust can be found here and there, but nothing that cannot be fixed.
Inside, the Zegna upholstery is in good condition. In the back it would have to be cleaned on the right side. Otherwise: very nice condition.
The leather steering wheel is a little sticky and damaged in one place, the gear knob is also a bit sticky. A cleaning and some paint would be appropriate here. Otherwise the impression is good. After almost 30 years, there are still a few things to do. Take a look for yourself:
The seller calls for 3.800 euros. Actually not much, you just have to take into account that there are still a few things to fix and the car to be transferred. I'd be happy to make contact! Because I didn't buy the 9000. There was something even better. More on that in another post.
After an evening in Padua for pizza with chopsticks - almost all pizzerias were closed on Monday evening - we went back on Tuesday via Milan and Zurich. In Zurich, I invited a wine dealer to sell Israeli wine, which I had ordered at the wine fair on April 1st. The dispatch manager was delighted when he saw the 9-3. A friend of his has one of the last convertibles in exactly the same color. SAAB connects. See also the trip in Italy.
With refueling again in Scheibenhard - with exactly the same scene as on April 1st. And the realization that you can easily cover the 120 kilometers to Lüneburg at around 85 km/h with a tank of E630. And: that the 9-3 SportCombi is a really comfortable car on such long distances. I'm already looking forward to the next trip. And that will then lead to Trollhättan.