Chausson Motorhomes on forecourt

05 July 2011

Travel Blog - Part 12

Moving on quite quickly now and a couple of nights at a site at Kirchheim where it would certainly have been an advantage to have a motorized bike or scooter as the pitches were at the top of a hill – fine to cycle down, but going back up was quite another story!  Had to cycle 5 miles to the supermarket which was O.K. but coming back…  well! Good excuse for one stop was to photograph a house with a lovely painting on one wall and a painting of a window and balcony which looked very real. 

Next stop was a favourite spot at Rodenkirchen just outside Cologne where we were fortunate enough to get a pitch right by the river again and there was plenty of river traffic to watch with barges going up and down as well as very sleek hotel boats and boats doing river trips – a boat with a disco kept us well entertained with its music for quite some time as it went up the river and again on its return a couple of hours later!

The barges are in a great variety of sizes and with varying cargoes – some piled high with containers (though at the moment they are restricted as the river level is so low), some carrying piles of coal or gravel and we saw one with a great number of green tractors and lorries.

Sometimes there is one barge pushing another and sometimes there are two abreast.  Very easy cycling on the path between the campsite and the river and when we cycled the 5 miles into Cologne we found that the path now goes right into the city whereas before we had to go up to the road for the last bit and use the cycle path up there. A favourite ride has been to cycle in the opposite direction to Surth, a little way down the river where there is a pontoon restaurant – a perfect setting for a nice meal.

Didn’t do the cycle bit this time, but friends who came to visit us took us by car and we had a lovely evening – plenty of activity to watch, and a very reasonable priced meal.

We do seem to have met the unsettled weather and its definitely much cooler – we are having to adjust after the heat of Croatia and Hungary – and when it rains – it rains!  Feel very much on the homeward stretch now having just arrived in Bruges. 

04 July 2011

Travel Blog - Part 11

On our last evening in Budapest we again took advantage of the free tram travel and crossed to the other side of the river so that we could see the illuminated buildings on the Pest side, which really looked lovely. 

The bridges were also lit up and as it wasn’t too hot at that time in the evening we walked for quite some way just enjoying the sights. 

We had experienced some quite heavy rain and some thunderstorms and as we traveled towards Vienna we were in and out of wet weather. 

The campsite on the outskirts of Vienna was very easy to find and very convenient – just off the motorway which was the same one we which would take us towards Prague. 

Rain was even heavier in Vienna than Budapest and there was a violent thunderstorm late afternoon and it was almost like night-time, but the motor-home was water-tight and cozy, so just a question of waiting for it to pass over! 

Next day we were on our way again, this time to a little campsite in the middle of the Czech Republic, and in a beautiful setting beside a lake which was filled with carp (no fishing allowed as the carp are sold at Christmas time for the traditional Christmas meal). 

We often saw the fish leap out of the water and were delighted to watch families of ducks on the lake and also to see a black stork and ospreys. All very peaceful until night time when the frogs’ chorus began. 

Negotiating our way around Prague was quite straightforward with the help of the navigation system, though road-works and heavy traffic made the going very slow. 

Dresden was the next stop where we found the campsite very full, but still managed to find a place – we had forgotten it was a holiday weekend. 

Spent a day in the city where the tram system is wonderfully efficient and we took advantage of cheap travel to take another tram ride and seeing some of the area. 

Our friends in Dresden took us to a castle, Schloss Wackerbarth, which is famous for its vineyard and wines. 

A lovely setting with stalls selling wine, beer and the inevitable bratwurst, tables were set out under the shade of trees and under parasols on the terraces and music was played by different types of bands. 

The vines were on steep terraces with steps leading up to the different levels to the top of the hill – we decided that that sort of venture was for young people and we stayed firmly on the bottom level!  

It doesn’t seem possible that we have now been on the go for 9 weeks and have seen so many different places – at times it is difficult to remember where we have been and what we have seen. 

Keeping a diary has always been an advantage on these sort of trips and lovely to look back on an jog the memory.

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