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Author Topic: Our 4 Month RV trip around Europe, Part 1,  (Read 3066 times)

Scottish Tourer

  • Posts: 4
  • Barb q , west coast scotland
    • Scottish Tourer
Our 4 Month RV trip around Europe, Part 1,
« on: December 13, 2010, 04:54:53 PM »
This is a diary of our 4 month trip around Europe using one of our hire fleet motorhomes during the quite season.

Friday 10/10/08
Left Perth 1.30pm arrived at services in Maidstone Kent 12 hours and 510 miles later, lot’s of roadwork’s, wind and torrential rain made it a slow journey. We both enjoyed a large drambuie before bed at 3am.

Saturday 11/10/08
Wakened at 10am to glorious sunshine and a very small notice. “Maximum stay 2 hours. Please purchase ticket for longer stay [£14] Wheel clamps will be used and fine issued” After setting the alarm off 3 times my doubts about Gordon’s ability to sneak a 23ft motor home past the parking attendant were unfounded!!!  Nice 30 min drive to Dover and got the 3.30 ferry to Calais, smooth 1 hour crossing. Drove 20 miles towards Dunkerque and stopped at free camper van parking at small harbour in Gravelines.
Weather lovely 20°C
Total mileage today- 50

NOTE – in France they provide free motor home parking in all the villages they are called Aires, they usually have fresh water and waste water dumping facilities for around 2€. They vary in size from 10 – 30 vans.

Sunday 12/10/08
Bonjour, 8am. Wandered down over moat past fort to local boulangerie for fresh croissants for breakfast. Had a drive around Dunkerque, but not a lot to see, a very large town with a lot in industry. Drove into Belgium and had lunch at village called Le Panne. Decided to drive west back along the coast to Arromanches.[Normandy D Day Landings] Arrived 7pm camped up at Aire in village which had parking for 14 and we got the last space.
Weather 24°C
Mileage today – 320

Monday 13/10/08
Visited the D Day Museum at Arromanches. Then onto Omaha beach and the American Cemetery. This was unbelievable; you would think it had been built yesterday and not in1956. A huge modern display and information reception before going through to the gardens, memorials and 9400 graves with immaculate white marble headstone in perfect lines, only the Americans could have built a show piece like this in the middle of the Normandy countryside, well worth visiting, a very moving experience. Drove down to Aire at Utah beach to spend the night.
Weather – Fair 16°C
Mileage today – 51

Tuesday 14/10/08
Utah beach Museum – brilliant. Then onto Pointe Du Hoc. This is where 225 American rangers scaled the cliffs to take out the German guns. 90 survived. We are both a lot more knowledgeable about the D Day Landings. A very enjoyable and interesting 2 days on the Normandy coast. Drove to the east of Paris and stayed at motorway services. Sat Nav through the centre of Paris great, although it does take you onto the toll roads, did it in 30 mins. The roads aren’t nearly as busy as back home.
Weather – Cloudy but fair 17°C
Mileage today -  250

Wednesday 15/10/08
Drove through Champagne Country today. Stopped at another American war memorial at Chateau Thierry, sitting on a quiet country hill side it was 200ft high and 1000ft long. The Americans really like to make their mark and let everyone know their part in WWII.  Lovely run on non toll quiet roads all the way to Germany. Arrived German border 8.30pm, staying at motorway services just outside Saarbrucken, when we arrived a young guy from Hungary came over, he had just bought a car in Germany and had broken down and “he did not know nothing why the diesel was pouring out the engine” Gordon spent the next 2 hours doing a temporary repair for him, he was extremely grateful as he had 1500km to travel back to Hungary! We hope he makes it.
Weather – Cloudy 18°C just started raining this evening 10pm
Mileage today - 250

Thursday 16/10/08
Left services in heavy rain which continued all the way to Nurnberg, a long drive with a few road works. Lovely countryside, arrived 6pm and booked into only campsite in Nurnberg {28€. For 1 night!!!} Drove into city to stock up on groceries (a lot cheaper than in France but diesel is more expensive 1.30€ a litre}.couldn’t get any satellite signal tonight so missed Emmerdale ! Watching DVD.
Weather - 13°C Rain
Mileage today – 260

Friday 17/10/08
Parked 2 miles from city centre and had a nice walk in. did the tourist sight seeing bit. Nurnberg  is a lovely city, very clean.  The only thing we have trouble with is the language ! ordered Riesenbratwurst, Bratkartoffeln & Sauerkraut for lunch. It tasted ok !
Roads are good and we haven’t had any difficulty navigating them. Travelled to Swickau and parked in motorway services tonight.
Weather  - 10°C Sunny but very cold
Mileage today – 126

Saturday 18/10/08
Drove to Dresden and then onto Colditz, it wasn’t the easiest place to find, no signposts until you were within a mile of the town, located the castle, it sits in the centre of town surrounded by houses which surprised us, we then  parked in lay-by just outside Colditz town.
Weather - 10°C Sunny
Mileage today 148
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« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 02:46:15 AM by Tom »

Scottish Tourer

  • Posts: 4
  • Barb q , west coast scotland
    • Scottish Tourer
4 Month rv Trip round Europe, Part 2
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 04:57:50 PM »

This is a diary of our 4 month trip around Europe using one of our hire fleet motorhomes during the quite season.

Sunday 19/10/08
Spend most of the day at Colditz Castle, brilliant, saw the escape tunnels dug by the POW’s. well worth visiting. All the information and photo’s are about failed escape attempts!!!
Headed towards Poland and crossed border at 6pm. The difference compared to Germany, roads, cleanliness etc is instantly noticeable. First priority tomorrow is to get Polish money before we need fuel !! Stayed at service station at Boleslawecka, didn’t feel very safe.
Weather 10°C Sunny
Mileage today. 153

Monday 20/10/08
Early start today, on road by 8am. Travelled to Wraclow and onto Krakow arrived 3.30pm. We drive at 58mph, this makes driving easy as flow with lorries {which there is a lot of in Poland} Ave 23 MPG..Air suspension working well on the Polish Roads glad we got it fitted. Gordon was dreading driving in city centre with trams etc but found signs for campsite 2 miles from centre (great nice change from service stations and lorries) . Got bus, then tram with help of friendly Polish chap to city centre. Nice walk right round the old city, palace, river, churches & museums and then had traditional polish dumplings for tea (very good) outside in the market square, {largest market square in Europe} . Enjoyed watching the horse drawn taxis with a glass of wine as the sun went down over city. They have floodlights on all the building in the square at night. So far we have found Krakow lovely and the people very friendly and helpful. Thought we would have found the language more difficult, we found the local off licence ok. They call them “ ALKOHOLE”
Weather 7am – 4C     3pm - 20°C
Mileage today 235

Tuesday 21/10/08
Went to salt mines at Wieliczka just east of Krakow. An amazing place, 130m underground and there is a huge church with the alter etc carved out of salt. Stables for the horses and offices in the 300km of tunnels. The miners carved statues out of the rock salt to make it a visually pleasant place to work; it was a privilege to be a salt miner, very healthy environment.
Travelled to Oswiecim (Auschwitz) and parked at the 24hr car park at the museum (12 Zlotys)
We met an Australian couple in Krakow campside and bumped into them in Auschwitz we parked up together and had an interesting and funny night swapping tales about our adventures so far. (They flew to Germany end of august and bought camper van their to tour Europe for 10 Months)
Weather 7am - 1°C       3pm - 24°C
Mileage today 50
 
Wednesday 22/10/08
Auschwitz - visited the museum and concentration camp {formally the Polish Army base camp} then out to Brzezinka (Birkenau} Extermination camp. We couldn’t even try to explain the horror and unbelievable size of Birkenau it’s not till you actually walk round that the scale of the Germans extermination of a complete race hits home. We said earlier that Germany was a beautiful clean country we now recon this is where they learned about recycling, everything from the prisoners exterminated was recycled, artificial limbs, glasses, even hair. Total shocking experience. We left Poland 3pm and reached Chez Republic border at 4.30pm. Headed for Slovakia and crossed border at 5.25pm. Got some Slovak money 4000 Slovenskych korun for £100 and also Road pass {Wingett} for 7 days.  (3 countries in an hour, what a rally crew !!)
Parked in lorry lay-by with 24hr café just north of Trencin {tea for 2 with drinks £4).     Weather 7°C - am      24°C - pm
Mileage today 251

Thursday 23/10/08
Drove to Bratislava, had a drive round but no where to park near centre, drove into Hungary and had lunch, Slovakia & Hungary both lovely but not a lot to see decided to head for Austria and parked at services just outside Vienna.
Weather 12°C cloudy & windy
Mileage today 224

Friday 24/10/08
Found and booked into campsite for 2 nights - 20mins from Vienna Centre. Had washing machine & tumble dryer, spent the morning doing the last 2 weeks laundry. Gordon sat in laundry while I did the house work and set up our ‘my space’ on the computer (also watched a lot of rally footage on u tube I think!!} booked city tour at 1.30pm - 72€. Which turned out to be very expensive for what we got to see? it did give us our bearings round the city though which is very beautiful, had a lovely meal before catching tube (which is full of drunken vagrants) then bus back to camp site, didn’t pay for tube!! Bus 3€... Great day out.     
Weather   -3°C am     +7°C pm
Mileage today 25

Saturday 25/10/08
Tube back into centre Vienna, had nice lunch, went to visit the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, [Mega] couldn’t get tickets for tour or show – fully booked. Walked around city sight seeing for 5 hours and a walk down beside the Danube. Got back to site at 6pm exhausted. As beautiful as Vienna is we’ve had enough of the cold. (the camper is really cosy, it’s walking round through the day that’s freezing] early night tonight as hope to be close to Venice tomorrow night.
Weather - 6°C
Mileage 0  Walked 10 miles

Sunday 26/10/08
Left Vienna 10.30am Sunday is the best day for a long journey as no lorries on the road. Passed through PIBER, this is the Stud for the Lipizzaner for the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.  Route VIENNA – GRAZ – KLAGENFURT – VILLACH – ITALIAN BORDER – UDINE – Crossed Italian Border 3.15pm. Came of the toll road and headed for coast, parked at camper stop in Caorle approx 25 miles east of Venice. The scenery through the north of Italy is some of the best we’ve seen so far. Austria is also lovely but we travelled through quite a lot of fog.
Weather 0°C – am Vienna         22°C -  pm Italy.
Mileage today 362
Edit: Removed ad.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 02:47:17 AM by Tom »

Scottish Tourer

  • Posts: 4
  • Barb q , west coast scotland
    • Scottish Tourer
Our 4 month RV trip around Europe, Part 3
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 05:02:58 PM »

This is a diary of our 4 month trip around Europe using one of our hire fleet motorhomes during the quite season.

Monday 27/10/08
Walked down to village centre, had morning coffee and walk along sea front, lovely holiday resort/fishing village. Drove to Lido di Jesolo then out to Punta Sabbioni, just across water from Venice. Parked at camper stop (17€) no free parking near Venice. Took the scooter on its maiden run, brilliant fun, had a run around all the local villages, went for groceries. Forgot the scooter didn’t have a very big boot!!
Weather 18°C
Mileage 60

Tuesday 28/10/08
Bought public transport ticket {this includes ferry & water busses) for 14€ each, and caught ferry over to Venice, 1/2hr crossing. Spent the day sight seeing in Venice, hopping on and of water buses. Brilliant place to see but we were both a bit taken aback how neglected all the buildings were. Back to camper and headed further down coast, started raining, lots of traffic and dark, pulled of main road and found place to park at Rosolina Mare, thought it was a derelict shopping centre, but there was a lot of rushing water noise, didn’t feel very safe, don’t like parking in the dark when you cant see what’s around you.
Weather 20°C Overcast & heavy rain at night
Mileage  95

Wednesday29/10/08
We needn’t have worried about being unsafe; when daylight came in we were parked at a lovely out of season beachfront with loud waves. Drove down to Rimini then into Republic of San Marino. This is a lovely country, 64K². Took the cable car up to castle at top 750m above sea level. Fantastic place, well worth visiting. Free camper parking just below cable car station. This is the best spot we have parked in so far. Views right over Rimini and the Adriatic, Enjoyed a bottle of very good San Marino wine, while enjoying the view.
Weather 26°C windy
Mileage  148

Thurs 30/10/08
Left San Mario (We both really enjoyed our stay) Headed South through Cattolice to Pesaro and onto Ancona, We were on the non toll coast road but slow going, decided to go on toll road to make better progress, €9.90 Parked in car park at Marina de Montenero right on beachfront. Lovely countryside all the way down the coast, vineyards, olive groves, canals and the sea. Stopped at roadside stall and bought fresh fruit and veg. Enjoying a bottle of their produce tonight !
Weather 22°C sun & windy
Mileage 224

Friday 31/10/08
Headed further south today. Route: Vasto – Bari – Taranto – Wild camping on the beach at Montegiordano Marina, a small fishing village, enjoyed the run down, very quiet roads, countryside full of oranges, mandarins, grapes & olives all the way down coast road. Taranto is a huge industrial town with massive port and oil refineries, other than that it was all small villages we passed through, weather is great. Another bottle of grape juice with tea tonight all part of our 5 a day!!  We have one night out a week at a good restaurant, usually Friday – no restaurants at this little village! It was like something out of the Bertoli Advert, you could see the locals looking and thinking “There are strangers in town”
Weather 27°C
Mileage 245

Saturday 1/11/08
Route Montegiordano – Sybaris then crossed to west coast Cosenza – Lamezia Terme – Villa S Giovanni – Ferry to Messina Sicily. This was a brilliant run through the mountains, awesome scenery and some scary mountainous roads. Headed south and parked at Camper Park at Giardini Naxos just below Mount Etna {which is smoking in the background!}Took scooter for a look round and had tea at one of the beach restaurants. Got lost in the dark on the scooter on the way back – all one way streets!
Weather 29°C
Mileage 284

Sunday 2/11/08
After turning the van upside down looking for the safe place Gordon put his wallet! Spent the rest of the day at beach and scooting round town. Great. Got lost again in the one way system!
Weather 27°C
Mileage 0     Scooter 6

Monday 3/11/08
Left lovely site at Naxos and drove up Mount Etna, road was never designed for camper van, thank goodness Gordon is a good driver. Mount Etna is lunar like in landscape, ash blowing on the road and smell of smoke all the time. Drove as far as we could 2000m above sea level, the cable car up to the crater was closed due to the wind, very cold up here, ski jacket back on. Found a better road back down and headed further south to free camper spot at fishing village called Brucoli just north of Augusta. Brucoli looked lovely from a distance but Sicily has a major rubbish & litter problem. It looked better in the dark, had a bbq for tea and watched local fishermen out on small boats.
Weather 25°C – Naxos     14°C- Mount Etna – Rain & Wind
Mileage 70

Tuesday 4/11/08
Left, not to be visited again Brucoli. And headed North towards Palermo. Lovely countryside through the mountains and again on the coast road heading east. Wild camping at beachfront Capo d’Orlando. Gordon trying his hand at fishing at the moment. BBQ for tea again tonight, weather glorious, not as humid as down south. Sicily is very poor looking, not what we thought it would be. Buildings are very tatty and every village we go through the bins are overflowing and rubbish is everywhere. Early night tonight as Gordon was up most of last night trying to kill mosquito that was biting him!

Weather 33°C
Mileage 169


Wednesday 5/11/08
Back to Messina and eventually found correct ferry to get back to Italy. Not sorry to be leaving Sicily, other than weather, Naxos & Mount Etna it was a pretty filthy place with crazy drivers. Travelled north and wild camped on the beach just outside Pizzo. BBQ for tea and then spent the next 4 hours in van with our very own firework display. Thunder and frightening lightening storm, the street lights all went out and a fire started on the hill behind us, pretty scary night.

Weather 25°C
Mileage 163

Thursday 6/11/08
Would have spent another day on the beach, but the storm didn’t clear and raining, headed further north. Route Pizzo – Cosenza –Salerno and then made a BIG mistake, came of main road and decided to head for Amalfi coast and somewhere to camp for night. After an hour of driving on the worst roads and drivers ever, headed back inland and eventually parked at deli car park on busy road at Vico Equense. It was only good luck that we got of the coast road without damage to the van.

Weather 18°C Rain
Mileage 257

Friday 7/11/08
Early wake up this morning, traffic started at 5am !Travelled into Pompei and travelled back out fast, roads not suitable for camper,  had one look at Naples from a distance and decided not for us. Got on to Motorway and arrived in Rome 12 noon. Parked at secure camper stop 3 miles from centre. Washed camper, (he had pressure washer & it was badly needing done) then headed on tram to centre, amazing place, walked around the Colosseum and town hall. Had tea in restaurant, tram back to site. The main terminal in town for trains, busses, trams & underground is a scary place. The man at the camper stop warned us to be very careful for pick pockets etc.

Weather 18°C Sunny
Mileage165

Saturday 8/11/08
Tram back to Rome centre and spent the day sightseeing, Inside Colloseum, Vatican etc. walked for miles.
Weather 18°C Torrential rain showers & sunshine
Mileage 0
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« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 02:47:50 AM by Tom »

Scottish Tourer

  • Posts: 4
  • Barb q , west coast scotland
    • Scottish Tourer
4 Month RV trip round Europe, Part 4
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 05:06:23 PM »

This is a diary of our 4 month trip around Europe using one of our hire fleet motorhomes during the quite season.

Sunday 9/11/08
Travelled from Rome to Pisa. quiet road on Sunday, nice scenery. Parked for night at Marina Di Pisa, o lovely spot next to the water, had carry out Pizza for tea.
Weather 20°C showers
Mileage 257

Monday 10/11/08
Drove into Pisa centre and eventually got parked 100m from leaning tower ! really spectacular to see. Headed north and had change of route plan, heading for the Swiss Alps. Parked North of Novara in lay by at the side of Lago Maggiore small village called  Solcio, this is a lovely area of Italy all along the loch side.
Weather 22°C
Mileage 236


Tuesday 11/11/08
Early start. Solcio – Swiss Border – Tasch – Zermatt. Arrived 11am. Parked at Tasch and got train into Zermatt as no cars allowed. The Matterhorn was awesome to see, took the cable cars up to 2939m, fantastic views and freezing cold. Enjoyed a hot coffee at bottom, and wander round Zermatt which is very quaint. This has been my favourite place so far.
Weather -6°C
Mileage 106

Wednesday 12/11/08
Wakened to snow showers and low cloud, couldn’t even see bottom of matterhorn, we were lucky yesterday to have had great weather. Weather didn’t improve all day, so didn’t see Monte Blanc or other mountains as we drove to Argentier then onto Chamonix, parked in car park in Chamonix tonight. Had delicious French onion soup & cheese fondue for lunch today.
Weather 5°C snow, rain, fog
Mileage 98

Thursday 13/11/08
Weather still not cleared, and cable car up the Midi closed for annual maintenance. Headed south, drove through the Mont Blanc Tunnel 12km, pretty cool, (cool price to 44€) and came out other side to glorious sunshine in Italy. Drove through San Remo, Monte Carlo, Monaco, ended up in dark at Nice airport VIP Terminal !!!! (nothing wrong with my navigating) Parked in services outside Cannes. We were both sorry to leave the Alps as the scenery is stunning.
Mileage 300
Weather 0°C

Friday 14/11/08
Drove along lovely coast from Cannes to Ciotat, Had lunch at St Tropez and a walk round the town. Parked in Camp Site with grumpy woman owner!
Mileage 116
Weather 20°C Sunny

Saturday 15/11/08
Continued along coast road, stopped at Chateau outside Marseille, bought some wine and pinched some apples! Gordon must have had too many samples as while watching a low barrier through tunnel in Marseille, he didn’t realise it was not quite wide enough. (Only slight damage to Roller Team) Wild camping right on beach at Sete – Montpellier. BBQ for tea. The South Coast of France is really nice.
Mileage 151
Weather 17°C Sunny


Update Three

Sunday 16/11/08
Travelled further South and parked at Port Barcares overlooking sea, had fresh mussels for lunch at port. En route we went to another small fishing harbour where the boats drove right to the back of a dozen restaurants where everyone was tucking into buckets of fresh oysters. Very very windy night, thought the van was going to blow over, didn’t sleep very well. Would have stayed South Coast France longer if the weather had been a bit better.
Mileage 75
Weather 17°C sunny/ very windy

Monday 17/11/08
Left France and drove to Peniscola Spain. Wild camped by the sea.
Mileage 277
Weather 20°C windy

Tuesday 18/11/08
Drove down coast to Benidorm, parked at side of road in centre. Enjoyed tapenyaki for tea, then  a great night on the town visiting a few cabaret shows. Back to van at 3am!!!!
Mileage 188
Weather 20°C sunny

Wednesday 19/11/08
Long lie!!! Then brilliant full breakfast at Scottish Bar (first time we have had real bacon since our own ran out) weather awful. Walked round the old town. Indian for tea and early night.
Mileage 0
Weather 14°C Torrential rain

Thursday 20/11/08
 
Weather still not improved. Found laundry and spent morning doing last 4 weeks washing. Heaven clean towels tomorrow! Had another hearty breakfast, then headed further down coast, staying at Los Alcazares, Mar Menor camp site right on beach (we needed water, computer charged etc) chased up Sarah’s money for her car again. Having BBQ for tea. We would have stayed longer in Benidorm had the weather been better, it was nice to hear some Scottish voices, the last time we had a conversation with anyone that spoke English was the Australians we met in Poland. Also Benidorm was in full swing most of the places in S France and Italy were closed for the winter.
Mileage 100     
Weather 14°C Sunshine & Showers

Friday 21/11/08
Walked into Los Alcazares  along wooden walkway through nature reserve about 4.5  miles.Went back to see Raymond about Sarah’s car. Still no money from him, located solicitor to deal with it. Left campsite and found free place to park in Los Alcazares  20yds from beach and Mar Manor, went to local restaurant for  tea.
Mileage 0
Weather 20 °C sunny

Saturday 22/11/08
Spent the day on beach, glorious sunshine all day, went to Indian restaurant where Sarah used to work and had excellent meal, they were all asking after her and missed her working there.
Mileage 0
Weather 25°C sunny

Sunday 23/11/08
 
Overcast this morning and didn’t look like clearing, intended heading down coast and staying near Almeria, the coast is not very nice at this part. 100 miles of poly tunnels growing tomatos. Kept driving and arrived at house Benejarafe at 6pm. Intend spending the next couple of weeks here, hopefully a few rounds of golf before flying home for xmas.
Mileage 240
Weather 20°C overcast

Spent 3 weeks in south Spain, 1 week at house and 2 weeks travelling and golfing, on coast went as far as Tariffa coast & across to Gibralter before flying home on 14th Dec.
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« Last Edit: December 14, 2010, 02:48:32 AM by Tom »

 

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