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Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The Marco Polo parked on the waterfront at sunset.

Cities, countryside and rivers – travelling through Spain with the Marco Polo.

Madrid – Valencia – Barcelona. The “Wild and Grizzly” travel and lifestyle blogger, Lori, discovers Spain’s fantastic sights with her family and the Marco Polo.

Into the south.

Outside, the landscape flies past. Fresh summer air blows into the Marco Polo through the half open window. It smells like sea and dry grass. The hot sun creates shimmering heat waves on the horizon. For every northern and central European this feels like vacation. Lori knows this phenomenon: “I love road trips. When you drive through the countryside you truly get a real feeling for the country.” The British blogger is drawn to the south.

Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The Marco Polo on the beach, with a view of the sea.

Spain was at the top of her wish list. Together with her husband, Paul, her son, Felix, and the Marco Polo, she set out to discover the country’s three largest cities.

Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The Marco Polo's cockpit with its large multimedia display.

An expert in the city.

The journey started in Spain’s capital. After only a few hundred meters, Paul and Lori were already relieved that they were not travelling in a massive mobile home. The Marco Polo glides through the inner city traffic with the ease of a car, despite its spacious dimensions. The seven inch multimedia display crowning the middle of the elegantly curved centre console displays precise 3D navigation maps along with live traffic information. Lori still remembers the days when she had to travel through a foreign country with a sprawling map on her lap. Thankfully, that is now a thing of the past. Now she can lean back and relax in the passenger seat and turn her gaze to the scenery outside.

An expert in the city.

The journey started in Spain’s capital. After only a few hundred meters, Paul and Lori were already relieved that they were not travelling in a massive mobile home. The Marco Polo glides through the inner city traffic with the ease of a car, despite its spacious dimensions. The seven inch multimedia display crowning the middle of the elegantly curved centre console displays precise 3D navigation maps along with live traffic information. Lori still remembers the days when she had to travel through a foreign country with a sprawling map on her lap. Thankfully, that is now a thing of the past. Now she can lean back and relax in the passenger seat and turn her gaze to the scenery outside.

Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The Marco Polo's cockpit with its large multimedia display.

Experiencing city life in Madrid.

The density and diversity of cultural and architectural attractions in Madrid is unmatched in Europe. Mediaeval buildings and royal palaces stand shoulder to shoulder with modern Spanish architecture. For the gourmets, Madrid brings together the entire country’s culinary highlights. Creative tapas, a flavoursome paella and a handful of sweet roasted churros with chocolate sauce are all a must. Here you can sample the flavours to your hearts delight – and no worries: the Marco Polo’s roof bed holds up to 160 kg. Madrid is a heady experience for Lori: “The city is lively and colourful and all of the different colours almost overload your senses.”

Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The striking front of the Marco Polo in front of palm trees at sunset.
Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The Marco Polo in front of orange trees with the high-roof extended.

Contrasts in Valencia.

After a few eventful days in Madrid, the three set out toward Valencia. Out of the country, one begins to get the feeling that the clocks tick more slowly out here. After the Turia River flooded half of the city at the end of the 1950s, the river was diverted out of the city and the riverbed dried out. Today the countryside surrounding Valencia is irrigated by the Turia’s numerous tributaries, creating a flourishing agricultural industry. Its name is simplicity itself: Huerta – vegetable garden. Where the Turia once ran through the city is now a leisure park with the futuristic buildings of the “Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias”.  Valencia is a city of contrasts. Green oases and metropolitan flair, modern architecture and historical romance, city and seaside vacation.

Contrasts in Valencia.

After a few eventful days in Madrid, the three set out toward Valencia. Out of the country, one begins to get the feeling that the clocks tick more slowly out here. After the Turia River flooded half of the city at the end of the 1950s, the river was diverted out of the city and the riverbed dried out. Today the countryside surrounding Valencia is irrigated by the Turia’s numerous tributaries, creating a flourishing agricultural industry. Its name is simplicity itself: Huerta – vegetable garden. Where the Turia once ran through the city is now a leisure park with the futuristic buildings of the “Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias”.  Valencia is a city of contrasts. Green oases and metropolitan flair, modern architecture and historical romance, city and seaside vacation.

Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The Marco Polo in front of orange trees with the high-roof extended.
Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: Felix standing next to the Marco Polo.

Mini-hotel on wheels.

Lori and Paul feel that showing their son Felix the world is extremely important – because this will shape his character. But fun is also essential. After the long walks through Madrid and Valencia they follow the AP-7 coastal highway to Barcelona. Stopping to take a spontaneous break and a quick swim in the sea is no problem at all with the Marco Polo. “It is like a mini-hotel on wheels”, explains Lori. The Marco Polo not only fascinates the parents but also Felix, above all.

Climbing up the pop up roof is a fun adventure every time. Nevertheless, they still have to keep Felix entertained during long drives. The numerous hidden compartments provided plenty of space for Felix’s toys and their luggage. Thanks to its comfortable ambience and the innovative Intelligent Drive safety concept from Mercedes-Benz, Lori always felt like she was safe and in good hands – both on and off the road.

Drawers yes, compromises no.

In her blog “Wild and Grizzly”, Lori writes about her family life, food, living, design and travel. Yet assigning the Marco Polo just one of these categories proves difficult. Thanks to the rotating driver and passenger seats they can all sit at the folding table like a real family. The complete kitchenette with refrigerator lets them conjure up delicious food in a matter of moments. Then they can all relax on the ergonomically designed beds. The ambient lighting and the stylish piano lacquer design elements in the interior banish any classical clichés of camping holidays. In the “Travel” category the Marco Polo is in a class of its own anyway.

Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The folding table in the Marco Polo with vegetables and bread.
Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The Marco Polo at the seafront.

The crowning finale: Barcelona.

On their final stop in Barcelona, Lori feels like a real tourist, in a positive sense. “Here you have all of the hotspots like the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Gaudí or Las Ramblas. There is so much to see and the food is fantastic.” Lori is enthusiastic about the week of pure Spain: “I really can recommend the Marco Polo. Both for couples who want to experience an adventure and also for families who want to discover the country and the people. The Marco Polo was extremely versatile and the perfect vacation vehicle.”

The crowning finale: Barcelona.

On their final stop in Barcelona, Lori feels like a real tourist, in a positive sense. “Here you have all of the hotspots like the Sagrada Familia, the Casa Gaudí or Las Ramblas. There is so much to see and the food is fantastic.” Lori is enthusiastic about the week of pure Spain: “I really can recommend the Marco Polo. Both for couples who want to experience an adventure and also for families who want to discover the country and the people. The Marco Polo was extremely versatile and the perfect vacation vehicle.”

Mercedes-Benz Marco Polo: The Marco Polo at the seafront.

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