https://www.endurorally.com/events/the-7th-peking-to-paris-motor-challenge/

Monday, 8 July 2019

Monday, 8th July 2019
PARIS

We made it to Paris! Arrived here yesterday afternoon about 2.30pm. It took us ages to get to the Place Vendome as the traffic was awful and it was hot so a few of the rally cars had overheating problems. A large crowd gathered in the square and it was great to see family and friends at the finishing line as we drove through the arch.

Since our last post we drove from Russia into Finland. Such a contrast. Neat and tidy houses, productive farmland (houses and barns all seemed to be painted in mission brown). Tractors on the roads.  Lots of trees. Speed limits enforced. A member of the Finnish Alfa Club met us at the hotel in Helsinki and we purchased a few spare parts in case we needed them. Large crowd of classic car fans surrounded the rally cars and asked lots of questions. Most spoke English.
From Helsinki we took the ferry (about 2 hours) across to Tallinn, Estonia. The ferry had the largest shopping area we have ever seen on a ferry.

Then it was on to Riga, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. There was a rush to purchase some Polish currency (zloty) as the previous three countries are EU.
After 3 days in Poland we reached Wolfsburg, Germany. Another interesting contrast as the people in Germany do not wave or cheer as we go by.

Reached Ypres, Belgium on Saturday after having time to see the Tyne Cot cemetery, Polygon Wood etc. The beautifully kept cemetery was a moving experience. So many young men fell here in the Great War and lovingly remembered though many were not identified.
Ypres is a lovely city which was flattened in the war and rebuilt to its original plan. At 8pm every night the Last Post is played by the buglers at the Menin Gate. Not a sound from the large crowd, another moving experience.

From Ypres we set off, without any time controls, heading for Paris (about 280kms). Handed in the Time Card for the last time.

Since St Petersburg there has been a side competition for the European Cup where the winner had the least penalties on the tracks and circuits. Some days there were two or three tests. There was a lot of rivalry between cars with a similar capacity (ie Alfa, Peugot) . Phil drove like a possessed demon which put us into 7th place overall so good result.

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