Couriers Mike and Joe, both from Yorkshire, set off on a trip to Greece, with pets large and small to deliver en route in Switzerland and Italy. They took a late Eurotunnel crossing and spent the night near Calais; then were up bright and breezy for the first leg of their journey through France.

Empty roads in Calais

Empty roads in Calais

Pippi and Emil

This pair of gorgeous jet-black cats travelled with us to Bern in Switzerland. Once they were safely reunited with their owner, we turned due south towards Italy. Before leaving Switzerland, however, we made sure we sampled the local chocolate torte — something to keep us going as we went through the Gotthard road tunnel. One of the longest road tunnels in the world, it pierces 16km of Swiss mountain. 

Both cats were exceptionally well behaved…

Both cats were exceptionally well behaved…

…but extremely hard to tell apart!

…but extremely hard to tell apart!

A quick glimpse of the rolling green countryside around Bern

A quick glimpse of the rolling green countryside around Bern

Moses and Amy

We drove Giant Schnauzer Moses and his Labrador chum Amy to a tiny village new Vicenza, then headed to Bologna for the night.

Moses (L) and Amy with owner Giulia

Moses (L) and Amy with owner Giulia

Robin and Peter

From Bologna we set off for Naples to deliver cats Robin and Peter to Rudi, who works at the Nato base. 

Robin comes in for his close-up

Robin comes in for his close-up

Robin and Peter were very excited at seeing Rudi again — too excited to keep still for a photo, in fact!

Robin and Peter were very excited at seeing Rudi again — too excited to keep still for a photo, in fact!

We were stunned to see how Naples is dominated by Mount Vesuvius

We were stunned to see how Naples is dominated by Mount Vesuvius

From Naples we drove through the mountains toward Bari under a very moody sky, and weren’t at all surprised to find ourselves caught in a thunderstorm part of the way there. 

Our hotel for the night was on an olive plantation — this is the mill for crushing olives to extract the oil

Our hotel for the night was on an olive plantation — this is the mill for crushing olives to extract the oil

The next morning, we caught the ferry from Brindisi to Igoumenitsa, and enjoyed a lovely, calm daytime crossing

The next morning, we caught the ferry from Brindisi to Igoumenitsa, and enjoyed a lovely, calm daytime crossing

The pretty marina at Syvota, where we stayed on arrival in Greece

The pretty marina at Syvota, where we stayed on arrival in Greece

Hector and Jason

Greek Shepherd Dog Hector and his chum Jason, named after heroes of Greek legend, travelled with us from Greece to the UK last year. Now the family has made the return trip to Greece, and we had the pleasure of spending time again with their gorgeous dogs.

Gentle giant Hector (front) with Jason, getting a proper send-off from their family

Gentle giant Hector (front) with Jason, getting a proper send-off from their family

Ecstatic reunions in Athens for Jason…

Ecstatic reunions in Athens for Jason…

…and huge Hector

…and huge Hector