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The 24.5km-long Laerdal tunnel.
The 24.5km-long Laerdal tunnel.
The scenic Alpine Road area of Germany.
The scenic Alpine Road area of Germany.
The Transfagarasan Highway.
The Transfagarasan Highway.
The Furka Pass.
The Furka Pass.
A beautiful seaside village on the Naples to Salerno road.
A beautiful seaside village on the Naples to Salerno road.

Top 5: Driving roads in the world

From breathtaking scenery to pure driving joy, Motoring's picks of the best pavement on the planet.

Bergen to Oslo

There's more than one route linking Norway's largest cities but there's none more spectacular nor sensory-overloading than the E16. The mighty fjords: sheer mountainsides plunging into inky black bodies of water are staggeringly beautiful and there's no shortage of them here. And then there's Laerdal tunnel, above. At 24.5km, it's the world's longest road tunnel, making it the ideal place to hear a supercar's engine as there's nowhere for the sound to go except be bounced back into your eardrums. Put it onto your bucket list now.

Alpine Road

Germany's Alpine Road linking Lindau on Lake Constance and Berchtesgaden on Lake Königssee provides the perfect union between vehicle and route. Commissioned by Hitler in 1933, he wanted this to be the greatest highway in the world, enabling the populace easy access to the Alps and plenty of invigorating fresh air. The Second World War got in the way and, in 2002, it was finally completed. Lush meadows, mountains, lakes, forests, valleys and fairytale castles - there is something for everyone.

Transfagarasan Highway

Nicolae Ceausescu has a lot to answer for but this road is possibly the best thing left to us by the communist dictator. Built throughout the 1970s by conscripted soldiers, 40 of whom died in the process, it's a colossal amalgam of tight hairpin bends and narrow passages, climbing up between Romania's two highest peaks. Drive through Count Dracula's old stomping ground, stand at the top of one of its valleys, look down and pay silent tribute to those fallen soldiers. This incredible highway is their legacy.

Furka Pass

Linking the Swiss towns of Innertkirchen and Andermatt, this extreme stretch of tarmac climbs to 2,431 metres at Furka and bikers view this place as heaven on Earth. Deep, blue lakes, green, rolling hillsides, jagged mountain tops covered with snow and astonishing-looking glaciers - they're all packed into less than 50km of some of Europe's finest road. If you're into switchbacks and hairpins, forget Italy's Stelvio Pass - it's boring compared to this. Just make sure you take some suitable wheels.

Naples to Salerno

There's plenty of competition for the prize of being the Mediterranean's greatest backdrop but the Costiera Amalfitana (or Amalfi Coast)is surely in the running. Its SS163 road is a triumph of Italian engineering over common sense, clinging like a limpet to plunging cliffs and, in many parts, it's extremely narrow. Small villages cling to steep mountainsides, which slide almost vertically into the bluest sea imaginable and the road has more twists and turns than a bowl of spaghetti. It doesn't get better than this.

     

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Editor's Picks

 Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Thoughtful tailoring at Asudari

The womenswear label Asudari showcased a collection that featured sharp masculine tailoring, but with feminine silhouettes.

Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games.

Designer Lamia Asudari says she was influenced by Delftware ceramics from the 16th century, as well as the imagery of weaponry and artillery. Indeed, pistols, grenades and guns were emblazoned over jackets and dresses.

 Several of Jo Baaklini's pieces featured fruit prints. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: At Starch, watermelon shirts, anyone?

“We need to cultivate our own fashion heroes — our own regional brands,” stressed Fashion Forward’s honcho Bong Guerrero in a press con two weeks ago.

Aptly, the slot for this season’s opening runway show was given to two newbies: Jo Baaklini and Timi Hayek, whose talents were scouted by Starch, a group dedicated to launching emerging Lebanese designers.

Between the two, Mr Baaklini had a stronger showing.

 Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece. Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Jean Louis Sabaji’s debatable debut

Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece, the floral crop top, and the radiant yellow pleated skirt.

But most of the time he went too far. There were bell-bottoms, separates that looked like costumes from The Jetsons, and a yellow dress reminiscent of Bjork’s infamous Oscars swan dress — several disparate elements in one multicoloured, multilayered show.

 Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all.” Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Kage pleases all palates

Did the designers of Kage aim to showcase every type of basic clothing on their latest show?

Because there were skirts, shorts, trousers, off-shoulder tops, short dresses, cocktail dresses, long flowy dresses, spaghetti straps, jackets, hoods — and even pyjamas, which with the incoming summer heat, looked especially appealing.

Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all”, they said in their statement.

 The standout was a grey hooded cape that created a tension between edge and elegance. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Polish, craft (and fur!) at The Emperor 1688

The best show of Day 1 at Fashion Forward was delivered by the three Golkar brothers behind The Emperor 1688.

The coats and capes were the clear winners: they came in all sorts of interesting colours and sizes — and featured exceptionally tailored proportions. There was a lot of volume, but also stiffness.

And whimsy: two favourites were a green double-breasted suit and a blue overcoat with a red clover pattern and gold buttons.

 Midway through Ezra's show, snow started falling from the ceiling. Ian Gavan / Getty Images for Fashion Forward

Fashion Forward: Ezra stuns in snow-covered show

Turns out the Filipino designer Ezra, known for his dreamy couture, still had a few surprises up his sleeve.

Midway through his show, snow started falling from the ceiling.

It created a starkly beautiful atmosphere for his intricately constructed gowns that seemed to be designed for an Ice Queen transported back to the 1950s.

He showed a collection that had a lot of technical firepower behind it: glittering iridescent fabrics paired with head and neckpieces that were moulded and stiffened to stand out in odd angles.

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