8 week Europe tour

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by normanandsue, May 17, 2013.

  1. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Well we finally made it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But willit be worth it? At the moment feeling a little depressed and disillusioned. The last tour of Europe in Sept/Oct 2012 consisted of 3 weeks of non stop rain. This years 8 week tour is carrying on where we left off; it has rained non stop for this our first week, add to that I managed to bump the Beast on a low level granite boulder whilst trying to turn around to avoid a low bridge. Things could have been worse the front tow hitch took the full impact so apart from a cracked front spoiler and a bent tow hitch there is no real damage.

    I am sure things will look better when the sun shines. As the songs says, "The suns coming out tomorrow"

    We have been in Germany for the last week and although it could not be described as tourist friendly we have found the people most helpful especially as we have only about a dozen words of German. In desperation trying to find a stellplatz near Koln we have found a muddy campsite, overlooking a river, offering inclusive wifi, water on emplacement and electicity for 15 euro pn, only down side its on the flight path to Koln airport but at 10.oo pm the planes stop flying ( Belay that - no they don't! Just got buzzed by a jumbo jet) so will not be a problem tonight. If weather improves we shall stay a couple of nights if not we shall set off in the direction of Bonn.

    Will try and set up a blog if I can manage some encouraging pics but other wise will keep updating thread.

    Happy hols to all funsters

    Norman and Sue
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
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  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    There's a lot of rain about. Look at the www and try and do better. Look at the Czech republic. Further east the rain runs out.
     
  3. Onderweg

    Onderweg Funster

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    Hi Norman

    Sorry to hear but the weather is bad in the western part of Europe, even down to Spain and north Italy. Even floods in the north of Italy :Eeek:

    The eastern part of Europe is nice and warm

    Here is a link to a site were you can see the weather forecast for Europe, the outlook is for four days, but you can go down to the forecast of a city and see the 14 days weather forecast.

    Stellplätze in Germany can be easily found on this site, keep on clicking on the icons and you will down drill each time

    Hope this can be of help
    Regards to Sue

    Paul and Ineke
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013
  4. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    The man said, "Cheer up, things could get worse!" So I cheered up and sure enough things did get worse! Well at least the same; it is still raining but we have managed to have 2 days of glorious sunshine, 28 degrees.

    At present we are just about to leave Koblenz and head for Oberwesel further down the Rhine. Have had some good and bad experiences.

    The bad - managed to bump the mh into a low granite boulder, the good news the tow hitch took the full impact and the only damage a chipped front fender that can easily be repaired.

    The bad news I have blown to lamps; one indicator and one rear brake light. Managed the indicator light easily from legally required bulb kit, the brake light was a little more difficult as I had a loose earth wire which a kind Dutch lorry driver crimped for me and also explained how the pins on the bayonet bulb are not the same length one is longer then the other which explained why I was having difficulty fitting my bulb - a note for those who like me are technically challenged.

    I must admit Germany was not my first choice for a holiday but have met some wonderful German people not least a really friendly German couple who were keen to practice their English, learned at school 35 years ago, and patiently tolerated my attempts at baby German. Their parting gift to us was a most valuable "Bord Atlas" with all the German Stell Platz in it, and an invitation to call in and see them on our way home.

    Yesterday was a dry day - sun an option but not for long - we visited Koblenz and returning to mh intended to download pics on to Facebook but managed to delete all holiday pics so far; result happy memories and no pics to bore you all with.

    If you are interested in our 8 week adventure I will post again when I have internet connection.

    Happy motorhoming

    Norman and Sue
     
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  5. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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    Look forward to reading your next instalment Norman.

    Love Germany and found the people mostly very friendly :thumb:


    Hope the weather cheers up.
     
  6. Phill D

    Phill D

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    soth of france

    hi Norman, its been no better in souther France been here a week now and while driving from Macon south on Saturday was treated to the worste wet driving conditions i have experienced in a long time. sheet rain, strong gusting winds, spray so bad you could hardly see 20 meters.

    the weather has settled for the last 4 days now near Narbonne but wind is very high and gusty.

    was going to go west to Carcassonne but the forecast says go EAST young man... so i think we will be back tracking to Nimes / Provence on Friday.

    new arrivals have been telling us of hail and snow yes snow in Spain in the last week.
    but the weather aint great anywhere in central europ at the moment.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2013
  7. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Look forward to following your travels and hope the sun comes out and stays out soon.
     
  8. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    wet, wet? You have just retired from one of the wettest places in Europe, at least its a little warmer there enjoy the food and the delightful scenery, helpful people etc. then you can tell us all about it in August.:thumb:
     
  9. Onderweg

    Onderweg Funster

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    Hi Norman and Sue

    Sure hope the weather will improve soon.

    We will try to keep on watching this thread but we are leaving tomorrow for Scandinavia and will not find many free wifi-points overthere.

    Dont know yet when we will return

    Have fun and SUN

    Paul and Ineke
     
  10. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Hi Norman and Sue!

    Hope the weather will improve soon... for you as for us!! It's getting so depressing...:Sad: . Let us know how things go! It can only be better!!!

    Happy Holidays !!


    Amicalement

    Frankie:Smile::Smile:
     
  11. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    I must admit the weather has continued to be lousy!!!!!!!!!!!! Temperatures down to 4 degrees one day and the day we visited Rudesheim the rain was so bad and temperature so low, i was dressed in vest, long sleeved shirt, jumper, winter coat, cagoule and a wooly hat and still struggled to get warm. Returned mh bumped on Wabasco heater and managed to warm up.

    Today the weather is brighter and we are stuck with our "Beast" as it is in N+B for the repair we had planned. I am pleased to say with typical German efficiency "Beast" was wheeled in at 7.30 am and within five minutes two guys were at work on her. They found major problems with water ingress which we had not expected but all will be fixed within the agreed quote; so our brilliant mh will now be super brilliant.

    We found a brilliant stelle platz at Bad Marian Burg a place where the Brits never seem to go. It is a brilliant site with a swimming pool attached complete with Sauna, massage and steam room! Not being keen on swimming or sweating I did not go with Sue who returned with a huge grin on her face from her sauna and swim. On entering the sauna complete with swimming cossie she was told "we don't wear those in here so at 68 she enjoyed her first nude sauna and sunbathe, and gained a tan with no white bits.

    Having enjoyed it so much we returned with the philosophy if it continued to rain Sue could at least go swimming and sauna again, which she did; but discovered an urgent need to find a doctor and the lady in the cafe, as she was finishing her shift, drove Sue to the doctor in the next village and then to the pharmacy for her tablets. (We intend sending her a present when we get home to Scotland)
    Can't recommend Bad Marianberg highly enough. If you fancy a visit there are plenty of safe cycle trails and walks and a free wildlife Park and really friendly people.

    Well its time to leave the friendly factory at Polch, who kindly provided all the coffee we could drink, and free internet use and go and look at some luxury mhs, don't think we will be buying though.

    Watch this space for the next "thrilling installment of our 8 week tour in Europe"

    Norman & Sue
     
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  12. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    Hi, good to hear your motorhome has been fixed, and the site seems really good, hope the weather keeps improving, safe travels. :thumb:
     
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  13. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    It is now Saturday and believe it or not ********************* it is still raining, but not all the time, we have managed one day of glorious sunshine as we drove to Luxembourg and found a brilliant stelle platz at Heiderschied - Fussekaal for 10 euros your own water, electric, and if you only had the leads cable TV.
    A round trip to the city which is 46K away is only 4 euros return by bus and train. If you like cycle rides and walking there is an inexhaustible supply around. Also diesel is 1.18 euros which is worth a tank fill up.

    From Luxembourg we traveled south still looking for the sun but only finding it for one evening on a lovely free aire just above Epinal and by the canal; an evening cycle ride along the tow path and back the other side was a real joy, but by morning the rain had returned and stayed with us as we set off on the long drive to Annecy by way of Geneve. It was a lovely drive and would have been beautiful if you could have seen the mountains and the valleys, but it was a real test for our old "Beast" who performed beautifully up and down all the hills and hairpin bends.
    A word of warning to the uninitiated - don't do long drives = we drove too long arrived to late to find a place on the aire and had to wild camp outside a sports hall. No problem to us but maybe not everyone's taste. If you want a space on an aire be there by 3.oopm.
    A quiet day in cloudy Annecy is a must, we are too tired and need a rest so we shall explore the beautiful old city.

    Had a look on the Europe weather map for next week and it seems to be clearing from the south west so perhaps now I can stop moaning about the weather, take some pics and spread a little sunshine.

    Happy motoring Funsters'

    Norman and Sue
     
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  14. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Hi Norman and Sue,

    Thanks for your updates, after living in Germany for 20 years, your posts bring back nice memories of the place and time I spent there:thumb:

    I know the weathers not the best, but your still clocking up some quality time in the Beast and more importantly, filling your lives with unforgettable memories:thumb:

    Enjoy and hope the sun breaks through for you soon too:thumb:
     
  15. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    No such thing as bad weather norman only bad clothing I was always told, what a load of tosh, hee hee. Anyway the sun is shining in Devon warming up your parking spot for august. I hope you are both well and enjoying the trip irrespective of the weather. I trust we will not lose you to the charms of France like so many other funsters.
     
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  16. hdvrod

    hdvrod Read Only Funster

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    if its any consolation its 28 and sunny here in Southern Portugal:Wink:
     
  17. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Well the sun did finally break through whilst we were still in Annecy and we enjoyed a couple of nights on an unofficial aire right by the lake and opposite Macdonalds.
    The aire is just a car park with 10 spaces that are long enough to take a motorhome. We arrived along with a Kiwi couple and parked in the allocated space right next to a large Concorde owned by a French man who came out of his mh ranting I was too close. As his door was on the other side there was no real problem so I politely ignored his demands to move and occupy two spaces instead of one. We stayed the next day, when he had left and were surrounded by cars until late afternoon when our friend returned, parking 6 places down from us, but as spaces became available he moved closer until finally he moved back into the space he occupied previously - and just as close as before - I didn't say a word.
    The beginning of our sunny tour of Europe has begun, if only 3 weeks late.... but it has started and continues.

    Leaving Annecy we headed for Sisteron a thrilling drive through the Alps but although arriving early the aire de camping was full but we found a wild spot that was on hard standing and perfectly level so spent a good night before leaving, still in glorious sunshine for Castellane - this is a must, don't miss this beautiful Medieval town situated below Le Roc on which is situated the temple of the roc, a good stiff climb but I managed it well. The aire de camping is set below the Roc and is 6 Euros for the night including all the water you can want as well as the usual waste facilities - sorry luxury lovers no electric!

    Met another couple of Kiwis touring Europe as well as a couple who live on a houseboat on the Canal de midi and have asked us to call in as we return home.

    Now we are sunning ourselves on the Riviera in temps of 30 degrees at a campsite we have visited for old times sake; we brought our boys here every year for about 12 years and have not been back since 1998 - the staff were so amazed anyone would come back with such a story we got a discount for our two night stay, which includes the use of 5 swimming pools, a sauna, Jacuzzi and fitness room.

    Tomorrow we continue our tour along the Riviera before swinging north and slowly making our way back home..........

    "You've got to admit its getting better, a little better all the time" (The Beatles)

    Norman and Sue
     
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  18. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    I'm glad the weather has finally turned in your favour enjoy it whilst you can it will be cold and wet back in Scotland, hee hee. But don't worry too much ads it will be hot when you come South again in August.
     
  19. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Time passes quickly and the sun is still shining; we have left Frejus and headed along the Riviera and found an expensive and scuffy aire at Cavallaire with a situation to die for. The site is in tiered and you look across each layer over the road and to the sea. It is 16 euro a night with free electric, free wifi (when it works) and free water. Getting over our initial reservations about the site it is well placed if you want an unlimited time on the beach, as there are no time restrictions on this site. Campsites will cost a lot more along here and not be as close to the sea and shops as this. So we stayed a couple of nights and three days before heading off down the road to find a beautiful wild spot outside Toulon overlooking the plain out to the Mediterranean.

    A trip to the Camargue was next on the list and a stay at Saline Giraud avoid this aire if you don't like midges, the town has little or nothing to offer but it is a good overnight stop with usual facilities, but if you want water you will have to find out where they sell the Jetons. A trip around the Carmargue is a joy in a motorhome as you can see above the hedges and reed beds and see the surrounding scenery complete with flamingoes, horses and bulls. The aire at Ste Maries sur La Mer is a holiday place with a large aire with all facilities and is free until 24th June thereafter 10 euros for 7 meter mhs and 20 euros for over 7 metre mhs.
    Now up to Arles, a beautiful town and well worth a visit the aire is reduced to 5 slots now but we all overflowed into the coach park that has more spaces than it needs and no one seems to mind. But beware this site is beneath a couple of lions guarding a destroyed 19th century bridge, It is here I was propositioned by a French Gay man who asked in his broken English if "I was here for men?" I replied "No" most emphatically but then learned this raised platform area is the meeting place for the gay brigade - so guys don't go up there alone.

    Thanks to Macdonalds we are sat outside catching up on our internet connections and enjoying a hot but sunless day. We are heading to Baucaire to try and meet up with our new friends with the boat (see earlier thread) if not we will probably head south for Carcausin and then on to Narbonne, but whatever - no plans just the freedom to do whatever seems best at the time - that's what motorhoming is all about.

    Will add more later

    Still enjoying our trip

    Norman and (Sue)
     
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  20. normanandsue

    normanandsue Funster

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    Well we made it to Beaucaire and enjoyed meeting new friends and making even newer ones among the friendly Brit boating community anchored on the canal at Beaucaire. The aire is very small at Beaucaire but it is by the canal, it is free, with facilities but again no indication where the Jeton may be bought. If the aire is full carry on further up the road and there is a big space right by the canal where after a friendly word with a local Brit boat owner you will be able to have a free water fill up.

    The market at Beaucare is worth a visit on Sunday with brilliant fresh fruit and vegetables and a great general market for buying everything else. Three days here and it was time to move on, this time to Aigue Mortes a beautiful walled town well worth a visit. There are three aires but avoid the one on the right of the town its expensive at 16 euros with no facilities, there are other ones nearer the wall of the town.

    What have we learned recently? "Don't assume leafy trees are just that" They conceal damaging thick boughs ready to score your paint work and dent your aluminum body armour - I know having just done it in a supermarket car park. I feel sick and all I wanted to do was pack up and come home - but time passes and emotions settle down and now we have a super over night stop at a massive shopping complex before heading on to Narbonne hopefully for some swimming and sunbathing.

    Keep on trucking is the motto = let nothing deter you for with every new challenge comes a new opportunity


    Norman and Sue
     
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