Chausson Motorhomes on forecourt

27 April 2011

Travel Blog - Part 3

We have made several expeditions into Ljubljana on the bus – bought a plastic ‘credit-type card’ from Reception and put enough money on it to cover our fares.  Everyone, it seems uses these cards and just holds them against a little machine as they get on the bus – we never saw a driver taking money for a fare.

With the aid of a guide book we found our way around very easily and a ride on the little street-train took us up to the famous Ljubljana castle where there were some fantastic views.

The streets seem to be lined with cafes and everywhere you go you see tables and chairs laid out down the street.  We found a wonderful place called Sokol which served traditional Slovenian food and where we had a lovely lunch-time snack of soup in a bread cup.  We later went to that restaurant for an evening meal to celebrate our 51st wedding anniversary.

Terry had booked in advance and as it was a special occasion the staff had gone out of their way to make it a special time.  All the tables and chairs were made of wood but our table had a white table-cloth, tea-lights on the table and a decoration made up of baubles and a pot covered in gold mesh with holly in it!  They had even put lovely tall glasses out ready for us, and had greeted us with a complimentary drink!

Most of the week had been quite cold (not surprising really as there was still snow on the mountains not too far away) and our van registered an outside temperature of around 5ยบ each morning!  On our last day however there was a complete change and although morning and evening were a bit on the cold side the sun was very hot during the day.

Travel Blog - Part 2

Well, we finally managed to get away! Now how do you put lots of travel, sights, experiences into a few lines of writing? I’ll try!

Down to Dover early and put on the midnight boat instead of 4a.m. (unsocial hours do give cheaper prices!) and once across the channel we pulled into an aire, parked amongst a good number of lorries and had a few hours kip.

First camp stop was Rodenkirchen just outside Cologne, on the banks of the Rhine and a few days watching the variety of barges and hotel boats going up and down the river and seeing a glorious sunset one evening.

Moving on things don’t always go according to plan and an overnight stop at a site at Gieselwind didn’t happen because the campsite was closed! Don’t know why and as campsites didn’t seem too plentiful in the area we decided to spend the night at a Rest Station – in amongst lorries again – but felt quite safe, locked in and with the gas alarm on (you do hear a lot of stories about things that can happen especially if you are negligent).

On our way early next morning to Lake Chiemsee where we had a beautiful view over the lake and with snow covered mountains in Austria in the background. Beautiful weather and a chance to do a bit of cycling – all very good and flat (I have a bike that doesn’t do hills!).

On the move again after a few days and to the next stop at Ljubljana in Slovenia, via Austria where a vignette costing €7.90 allows travel on all autobahns for 10 days – pity we can only make use of it for 1 day.

Change in the weather and traveled for some miles in pouring rain but after coming out of one of the long tunnels through the mountains the sun was shining again. Stopped for coffee and delicious Austrian cake and apple strudel – well we are tourists now – and fortified again were on our way once more.

Found the site without any problem with the aid of the Navigator programme on the lap-top – something that was well worth the investment, but really only helpful if there is a second person to navigate, not one person driving alone (something like a Garmin or Tom-tom is better for that but doesn’t give such detailed information).

Now to spend time exploring Ljubljana so next installment in due course!

08 April 2011

Travel Blog - Part 1

Twelve weeks traveling around Europe in a motor home sounds great – 
but it doesn’t just happen that way and as the preparation goes on you begin to wonder whether it really is worth all the effort! 

Planning the dates is easy, planning a route and having a rough idea of which campsites to head for is O.K. too, its just the other bits like finding the best prices for crossing the channel – this year Camping Cheques gave us the best price with 20 nights on campsites that take Camping cheques (€15 per night in low season), ferry Dover to Dunkerque for 2 people, motor home and trailer for £369. We also have an ACSI card which gives discounted rates at their listed campsites in low season - €11, €13 or €15 which includes electricity. 

After that - check that passports are up to date, renew EHIC cards and take out travel insurance, which isn’t without its problems when you’re over 65 and being out of the country for 86 days. We did eventually find one that seems to cover everything we need, but needed to know the countries we would be traveling in and then later on adding another country and a slight change on the medical side meant going through the whole questionnaire again. Hope its not needed! 

More to think about is what is going to happen while we are away – the insurance on the car left at home needs renewing during that time and its too early for them to give a quote (should be solved by email!), home insurance needs to be informed of the time the house will be empty – is that everything covered. I’m not sure – I hope so.
Anyway the time has come to leave, after stowing everything that has been accumulating on our living room floor for the last few days, away in the van. 

If anyone is thinking about doing a long trip and wondering whether its worth it, yes it is ( Was Only Kidding ) and we will soon be able to tell you about some of the things we are seeing and doing in Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary. 

Jenny & Terry ( Away On Another European Tour In The Hymer For Twelve Weeks ! )
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