Back to Europe – a meander to Hungary.

We’ve set off on our next tour – we’re heading to Hungary, but we’re not in a rush to get there! Our route will take us through France to Germany, across Austria and into Hungary. As always, we don’t have a set route but a vague idea!

We arrived at the Tunnel in good time and headed to the Pet Check-In, where we hit our first problem, Reg’s Animal Health Certificate (AHC) didn’t have the date of his microchip so there was no proof he’d had it inserted before he had his Rabies vaccination. Luckily, we had his puppy and vaccination records with us and we were able to prove the date of both. We were on our way, a quick stop for a breakfast bap at Leon and we were on a much earlier train than we’d booked. As normal, the crossing was eventless (not a bad thing, baring in mind the week before there was an evacuation of the train) and our arrival in France was upon us.

Leaving the tunnel, we headed on the autoroute to Felleries and a Camping-Car Park Aire, https://www.campingcarpark.com/en_GB/ , on the edge of the village, on the site of the old municipal camping ground and the old station. At the entrance is a monument of the elephant, Jenny, who was brought to the town to aid the German war effort in the First World War, by moving logs and even righting an overturned train. She must have meant a lot to the people of the village, as an elephant is part of the town logo. In the town itself, there is a cafe, grocery store and museum. A little further out of the village is a bakery, it’s a short-ish walk, perfect for a dog walk!

Our next stop, was at Charny-sur-Meuse, another Camping-Car Park Aire, next to the river Meuse and not far from the town of Verdun. We walked around the town of Bras-sur-Meuse, along the canal into the village via a French National War Cemetery and along the high street to another bakery, before returning back to the stopover.

Heading further south, we stopped at the thermal spa town of Contrexéville, in the Vosges mountains and the Camping-Car Park Aire, just outside the town. It is next door to a large campsite, and a short walk down to the spa town. After Contrexéville, we travelled towards the German border and the Camping-Car Park Aire at the Île du Rhin, right in the middle of the Rhine River and on the border. A short walk to the local town, took us into Germany and the town of Breisach.

Germany beckons and a trip through the Black Forest to Bavaria. The first part of our journey was thwarted with roadworks and diversions, including a 16 Km one through the mountains! We arrived at our chosen campsite, to be met with a site, which we didn’t really like the look of, so we set off again and found a nice site, Campinghof Salem https://www.campingcarpark.com/en_GB/ outside the town of Salem near Lake Konstanz. There are a number of walking and cycling routes from the site and the local town is within walking distance.

Onwards to Bavaria, and the lovely camping site Campingplatz Dummerhof https://www.campingplatz-demmelhof.de/ right on the lake, with a lovely restaurant and bar, fresh bread is available in the morning. The lake has a beach area and is safe for swimming and paddling. This is one we’ve added to our list to return to! On our route we passed close to the Zeppelin Museum and in the sky there was a Zeppelin flying – not something you see every day!

Austria beckons and we’ve headed to the town of Mayrhofen. Over the border there is a big dam and reservoir, the Tegernsee, with a big viewing platform. We travelled through the Tyrolean mountains into Mayrhofen and the campsite https://www.campingplatz-tirol.at/en/. Located at the edge of the town, it’s a short walk up to the town centre, with a lot of shops and attractions, including the Mountopolis attraction, with summer and winter activities. https://www.mayrhofen.at/en/pages/mountopolis-mountain-experience-summer

Next, we travelled east to the town of Maishofen, and the campsite Camping Bad Neunbrunnen https://www.camping-neunbrunnen.at/ where they now offer a stellplatz style camping stop, be aware it is cash only, and Austria doesn’t seem to have many free cash points – and they vary in cost of transaction! The campsite has a large lake, which can be swum in (and people did, but….)! The views of the mountains were spectacular and the morning sunshine poked through the clouds.

Continuing our journey eastwards, our next stop was in the village of Aigen im Enstall https://www.camping-putterersee.at/en/ I think I came here as a schoolgirl skiing, but 40 years is a long time to remember! There are a lot of walks, hikes and cycle routes around and a short drive away is the mountain activity centre, Dachstein. A walk into the village, will take you along the lake, where there are various activities taking place – including swimming – the lake is the warmest in Austria, apparently, Further reading informs us, that the water quality is excellent due to the boggy bottom (that’s enough to put me off swimming in it – along with the midges around the lake edge) and it was used to dispose of armaments, at the end of the Second World War, as the Allies approached.

Our final stop in Austria, was the village of Burgau, and the campsite Schloss Burgau – we have been here before on our trip south in 2019. As we put our destination in to Ditsy Daisy Sat Nav, she informed us that we would enter an environmental zone (like the LEZ – low emissions zone – in England), checking on the internet, Austria doesn’t sign these zones, but there is a fine for not having the appropriate badges displayed on vehicles. We made a trip to a local authorised seller, and added another badge to our windscreen.

As we awoke on our last morning in Austria, we were greeted by the sight of hot air balloons above the village, a fitting farewell. So for now it’s Tschüss Österreich – bis später (Bye Austria, see you soon)!

As always, thank you for reading, we hope you and your families are safe and well and we’ll update you from our next stop – Hungary!

Lockdown: Week 7 – Places we’ve been (Part 1 – England to Denmark)

While we’re unable to travel, we thought we’d have a lookback over the places we’ve been in the last year.

Nortia at Sunset in Norway

Our time travelling has taken us to some amazing places, some unexpected, and some planned. We’ve had some great days and some not so great. We’ve been to some places we’ve been before, but many we hadn’t. We’ve been caught up in some good and bad weather and we’ve met some lovely people, along the way.

We started our tour in England. We collected Nortia from Darlington, County Durham and slowly travelled back to our families in the South, before heading through the Tunnel to Europe.

Our first destination, was changed when we had a leaking basin in the bathroom and were booked in for repairs in Belgium.

Belgium

  • Geel – Dicar Motorhomes. We arrived not knowing exactly what to expect and with limited (unconfident) French, but we were made to feel welcome and the Motorhome was fixed in a couple of hours.
  • De Klinge – we stopped here in the sunshine after our stop at Dicar Motors. There is a statue in the village to the De Loor brothers, one of whom won the Tour of Spain Cycle Race, now called La Veulta.
  • Ypres – we stopped at the campsite just outside the town and walked to the Menin Gate and the historic town.
  • Tyne Cot Cemetery – the largest cemetery for Commonwealth Soldiers in the World (for any war). It was one of the best cemeteries we have been to, so well looked after and maintained. The poignancy of the cemetery was unbelievable.
  • Bredene – on the North Sea Coast, close to the Dutch Border. This is on our list to return to. If you know our love of take-aways, we found a Chinese, almost next door to the campsite too. The beaches here are sandy and the wind was whipping it up a treat.

The Netherlands

  • Ouddorp aan Zee – we stayed in a campsite here, close to the beach and cycled along the promenades, stopping for lunch with a view of the North Sea. We also cycled inland along the polders. This place had a lot of charm and an unbelievable blue North Sea.
  • Utrecht – check whether dogs are allowed before paying and pitching and taking the dog for a stroll! then checking the website after a few strange looks and making a hasty retreat.
  • Abbenes – Camperstop in a beautiful part of the country, surrounded by farmland.
  • Amsterdam – what do we need to say? The campsite was close to cycle routes and the tram to the City Centre. Well worth a two night stop. Amsterdam with its history and sights was a must see and do.
  • Witmarsum – close to the motorway and the dams. A beautiful town with canals and more cycle paths and windmills.

Germany

  • Kollmar – after a series of diversions and a ferry trip, we arrived at a lovely campsite outside the town. The highlight of the campsite was the owner, who raised the English St George Flag for our stay.

Denmark

  • Tønder – just over the border from Germany, The campsite is on the edge of the town, behind the Leisure Centre. It’s a lovely short walk up to the cobbled streets of the village, and bakery. The pavements had roses growing through them and up the walls of the houses.
  • Vesløs – in the middle of the Danish countryside, 11 Kms from the beach and apparently cyclable, but we didn’t get there, partially because the weather started to change and partially, because after 13 miles we hadn’t got there! From here, we went to the Wind Turbine Centre at Osterlid.
  • Skagen – Right at the tip of Denmark. We loved it here! We cycled into the main town and port more than once. It’s a great place to visit. We are definitely coming back here!
  • Aarlborg – a beautiful town on a river, with cycle routes and a variety of takeaways and restaurants.
  • Island of Fyn – Faaberg – Another amazing place and one we’re coming back to.

As always, thank you for reading. We hope you and your families are well and surviving lockdown, we’re safe and well in our little spot, waiting for the opportunity to continue our journey. Reg continues to grow and his training is ongoing. We’ll be back with another part of our trip, soon, #staysafe #stayhome.