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January12th

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Nicole Harris in partnership with Europe Luxury Car Hire, swaps luxury cars along the Route des Grandes Alpes, a mountainous stretch through the Alpine chain of France, Italy and Switzerland. This grand tour is a journey of luxury on the open road.

A luxury European “grand tour” is a must do in one’s lifetime. In unique fashion it combines history and nature within an exotic and romantic atmosphere. Time is suspended on these secluded roads. Surrounded by wild beauty, it offers time to think.

I started my journey in Geneva, where I had my Bentley Flying Spur delivered to me at the airport. The Bentley made a wonderful and enigmatic travelling partner. Like a charismatic and charming old friend, we flew down the highway in jovial spirits. Despite his old-world charm, the Bentley maintains an athletic run on the road.

Heading south on the highway, I paused for a moment of mindful meditation at the little chapel devoted to Saint-Anne for the protection of travelers. I stopped by the beautiful Dard waterfall, which over millennia has carved a V shape into the rock, creating a wondrous visual effect.

At long last I arrived at Les Trois Vallées, famous for its luxury chalets for a night at the exclusive resort of Courchevel 1850. Around this neck of the woods, they’ve mastered the art of luxury. Well I certainly wasn’t going to complain! I let myself be pampered by life’s finest features.

Next morning, I had the Mercedes SLR McLaren delivered to my chalet. Definate motivation to get up and out early in the morning, this Mercedes supercar convertible is elegant, sporty and light. I spent the day passing through Italy and the quaint villages of Oulx and Bardonecchia, pulling up for the night in the 17th century township of Briançon.

Onto a new day, I set off in the Range Rover Vogue to ensure I had all the robust power to climb through the steep gradients. Climbing up the Col d’Izoard, the slopes are as much as 6 to 8 degrees at various stretches, but the Vogue instills confidence, as it swiftly makes traction on the road. The exertion of the drive is made worthwhile by the spectacular views.

As I approached my next destination of Beuil, I could feel that I was coming closer to the Mediterranean, as the warmer atmosphere enveloped me. So, having no better excuse than the present, I drove the open top Ferrari California, whose voracious spirit eats up the road. En route, I passed by the the 5th century township of Sospel, known between motorists for the wonderful scenic sights. I must say, the twists in the road were thoroughly enjoyed in the Ferrari!

At long last, I reached my destination of Menton, and pull the Ferrari up by the curb so I can let my feet soak in the Mediterranean Sea. It was nice to have a break before the long journey back home.

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