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Old 18th June 2021, 12:15   #1
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Default Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

I have written about our annual Spider trip to France before. Every year some friends and us set off for a 4-5 day trip to common friends of all of us, Cees and Annelies.

We all know each other through the Dutch Alfa Romeo Spider Register. All of us, were on the board and or several of committees. Over the years we have become good friends. We have known each other for more than 20-25 years. Some 5-6 years ago, Cees and Annelies decided to quit their jobs in the Netherlands, sell their home, and buy and open up an old farm in the Lorraine, France as a Bed & Breakfast. ( https://www.leparadis.nl ).

Since, all of us take a yearly trip in our Spiders to visit them. Cees and Annelies sold everything in the Netherlands, except their Spider, which is now registered on French plates.

These Spider trips are all about driving (we drove about 1800 km in five days), enjoying each other company and eating and drinking.

The latter being a bit of a problem in this part of France, remarkably. This part of France has very few cafe and restaurant. You really need to go to one of the towns, before you find a place to eat or even have a coffee. Which is a bit of a problem, because we don’t like to go into towns, we enjoy driving on the endless rural roads of this gorgeous part of France. So for lunch, we tend to bring some food along, we take coffee in a couple of thermo flasks.

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Every day we set off at about 09.30 and we will be back around 16-17.00 hours. Long days, so you do need some food. One day we planned a long trip. We always check for cafe, restaurants along our intended route. Rarely do we find anything, so we take a picknick. This time though our route was supposed to come pass a nice little restaurant. We checked their website, we called them and they told us they would be open, so we made a reservation.

However, in true French fashion, when we arrived they were closed and they did not pick up the phone! So we were stuck for food.

A quick get together and discussion on what to do:

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So we drove on, hungry!

So we drove on. At some point we passed a Pizza sign. At least I thought it was just a huge poster and had already driven past it. Luckily, my fellow traveller were a bit more observant. It was an actual pizza dispensing machine!!

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None of us had ever seen anything like it. We have quite a number of dispensing machines here in the Netherlands, and also Belgium. You can get milk, bread, vegetables, eggs, even flowers from road side dispensing machines.

But Pizza? So this needed some more investigation!!

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This thing was amazing!

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Middle of nowhere, but a 6 language menu, including Dutch!!!

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It would take debit and credit cards!!

10 different kind of pizza’s and you could order them cold or hot!! Hot you say?? This we had to try for ourselves!!

So we ordered five different pizza’s. Once, the machine had taken our order and payment, the little display showed a video of a Pizza oven with little flames flickering in it!! Also, there was a status display, showing the status of each of our five Pizza. Within 3 minutes the first pizza was ready and came out, piping hot, in a card board box!!

Cees proudly taking delivery of his very first dispensed Pizza!!

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It dispensed two Pizza’s about every three minutes. It has two slots from which the Pizza box emerges. All very cool! We had so much fun with this machine, much better than any restaurant!!

We decided to each our Pizza’s on the spot. So I had to take out some of my tools, to cut the Pizza’s. Because they are not cut. They sit in their cardboard box on top of a piece of aluminium foil. So easy to cut, but you do need a knife.

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They tasted fine, I have had better Pizza, but I have had a lot worse Pizza as well. You can order them heated or cold. So people might just pick up a Pizza and take it home to heat up back home.

We did not finish all the Pizza's, so we took them with us, the next day on yet another drive.

Obviously, the Pizza’s were cold by this time. But we decided to heat them up the Spideristi way. Popped them on the engine block of one of Spiders, closed the hood and let it cook for 15 minutes.

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Worked a treat, so we had warm Pizza again! Picknicking in the French country side does not come any better!

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We had a few more “ technical adventures” as well. Among which my Spider’s gear box getting stuck in two gears and Niek’s Spider overheating and blowing its head gasket. More about this in my thread about fiddling with cars later.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 18th June 2021 at 12:22.
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Old 18th June 2021, 22:33   #2
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

Note from Support: Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 18th June 2021, 22:46   #3
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

Interesting, that the country where hot food vending machines were all the rage for many years, decided to discontinue them, while you have hot pizza vending machines in EU.
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Old 20th June 2021, 01:01   #4
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
while you have hot pizza vending machines in EU.
Can’t say much about all of the EU, this was just France. And although the French like to think they rule the EU, it is only one out of 27 countries in total.

I have never ever come across them anywhere else. This is very first time any of us came across a Pizza.

I have done some research (Well, I googled admittedly) and this how these machines works



Apparently they are all over the world, even in the Netherlands they were introduced in 2017. Never seen them though.

In all honesty, in most of the Netherlands you can get any Pizza home delivery, and it likely to be of a somewhat better quality at about the same cost. I have it all set up on my iPad. If we want pizza, the order will be placed and payed with about 5-6 taps on my iPad and delivered, usually within 20 minutes. And we live in the more rural part of the Netherlands.

And they were introduced in Mumbai, India some 2,5 years ago as well:

https://www.businesstoday.in/current...ry/310980.html

Live and learn as they say!

Jeroen
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Old 20th June 2021, 01:50   #5
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

Nice. Never knew there were pizza vending machines which made them instantly. Interesting idea for such rural localities.

Now, do you mind sharing your GPX routes of these rural roads in France? I love driving in rural France with all those rolling hills and meadows.
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Old 20th June 2021, 12:48   #6
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

Well well well now I have seen it all! Vending machine pizza!

It sounds as gross as the roast-chicken-in-a-bucket but surprisingly Jeroen and his fellow Spideristi enjoyed it, so it must be not too bad!
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Old 20th June 2021, 22:01   #7
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

Awesome post Jeroen! The What a great way to heat up those pizzas. A pizza vending machine aswell. A small piece of Italy in rural France. Wishing your friends all the very best with their awe inspiring take on life.
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Old 20th June 2021, 23:56   #8
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

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Now, do you mind sharing your GPX routes of these rural roads in France? I love driving in rural France with all those rolling hills and meadows.
Just send you a mail with some of the routes we used.

Br jeroen
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Old 22nd June 2021, 03:49   #9
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

Very nice.

The French sure know how to annoy you. I don't mean to say everyone who is French is like this. Shutting your restaurant after taking a booking, in my view, is just not done!

I really would like to open up that Pizza vending machine and see how it all works. Very interesting.

When doing a road trip with Italian cars, they are incomplete without a breakdown.
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Old 22nd June 2021, 10:11   #10
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post

I really would like to open up that Pizza vending machine and see how it all works. Very interesting.

When doing a road trip with Italian cars, they are incomplete without a breakdown.
Watch the video I posted earlier!

Yes, break downs are part of the charm. Mind you, well maintained these little cars do really well. During my years in the Alfa Romeo spider Register technical committee, spanner mate Peter and I had to rescue many a Spider. Mostly simple stuff, occasionally a bit more challenging. (E.g. when we changed out a clutch with the Spider on the side of the road)

Jeroen
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Old 23rd June 2021, 19:20   #11
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Default Re: Alfa Spiders and Pizza, in France

Hi Jeroen,

This is another gem of a thread from you. The easy going, carefree nature of all your travelogues have a charm which is easy to fall in love with and they speak of experience

European summers have a charm and you have brought that out quite well.I rode shotgun in my manager's Audi A5 Cabriolet through the Bavarian country sides....The air in my head so clean and crisp, fields all green and yellow and orange and the road that has twisted and turned and far, far beyond the Bavarian Alps standing...It was a experience to remember.

Attaching a photo taken over Munich.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
I have written about our annual Spider trip to France before. Every year some friends and us set off for a 4-5 day trip to common friends of all of us, Cees and Annelies.
Cheers,
Sayak
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