Back from first european trip

Discussion in 'Germany' started by mjltigger, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    We got back the early hours this morning.

    Van performed wonderfully except the odometer quit before we got to the ferry.

    We left home Thursday night after work and took PandO from Dover to Calais. Headed towards Germany and stopped somewhere in Belgium at a service station for a sleep.

    In the morning after coffee and breakfast and not having opened a van door since the ferry we headed for Berkastel Kues. What a beautiful journey over the mountains. We had to stop and take pictures of the snowy trees and I couldn't resist popping out to throw a snowball. Once we got there it took us no time at all to find the well signposted stellplatz and work out that it was well situated for the town. It took us a little longer to track down the Christmas markets but then we settled in by the Mosel, paid our few Euro through the machine to park until 10am on Saturday and walked over the bridge to enjoy the beautiful town and plenty Gluwein, rot mit amaretto.

    A lovely nights sleep and we used the automatische thingy to empty wastes and fill fresh water and headed for Trier. We found the stellplatz very quickly again but it was some distance from the town so we tried to find parking. Having failed for some time to find anywhere to park do more than an hour we found signs for a park and ride and headed that way.. imagine out surprise when we realised the stellplatz and the P&R were in the same place.. doh!! Anyway, Trier was a beautiful city and the Christmas market as well as other shopping was brilliant. The free bus service for park and ride was very convenient but the long winding journey to the city showed how much better off we were using the bus! We headed back on the last bus nearly just before 8pm and settled in for the night. Had a great nights sleep and on Sunday morning having only visited 2 of the 4 markets on our list headed for Luxembourg.

    Luxembourg was very very foggy. By the ti.e we got to the car park I had identified as being campervan friendly we really hadn't seen a lot. Unfortunately we couldn't find any information about the Christmas market and couldn't actually find it... tip for next time is internet access... so we had an in vehicle explore, took some lovely pictures of the misty city and headed to Metz.

    Metz was lovely although seemed to be having issues with their drains (eww smelly) and again, having found good parking we set off on foot to explore. Just before we locked the van I put Calais in the Sat nav (at least I thought I did) and realised we were apparently much further from the ferry than I'd thought we would be. Setting a deadline of 4pm for exploring we set off to find the Christmas market... and failed. We found odd bits here and there and I bought a very nice hat from an ordinary Sunday market but nope. No Christmas market.. so stupidly (or not) we got back in the van and headed off early, giving up a prime parking space which was instantly snapped up and driving past the real Christmas market on the way out of town. Doh again!!

    About 50 miles later I began to get suspicious about the Sat navs intentions as it stubbornly decided to head us towards Paris instead of Rouen and Lille... even going contradictory against a sign for Calais.. I gave up on the Sat nav then and started using good old road signs and realised we would be in Calais by 7pm...let's see if there's a Christmas market there. Well there was but it was closing as we arrived. The Christmas decorations were amazing though and we had a lovely walk round taking piccies, even being allowed by the night watchman into the grotto outside the Hotel de Ville which was very special.

    Finally we picked up hotdogs and frites and headed for the sea front for a feast. Tanking up for a full tank of not as cheap as you think French Diesel we headed for the port. On arrival the kind PandO chap put I'd on the earlier boat and we boarded very soon. A smooth if Rocky crossing and then a long drive home.

    Because the odo stopped working I can only officially claim to have driven 279 miles but estimates before we set off were about 1500 in total. The van performed brilliantly and is out on the road waiting to be unloaded and prepped for winter with over half a tank of the 3 tanks of fuel total she was given. We didn't need to swap to the backup leisure battery and had pumped water, lights and charged phones and tablets all weekend. We were welcomed everywhere we went and had great food and great sights and sounds. Perfect long weekend and we now feel incredibly Christmas y..

    Thank you for reading and bon noel, guten weihnachten
     
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  2. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Hi

    Good trip you did well for a virgin (first European trip I mean), sounds exciting, did you go into the Cathedral in Trier if not you have to go back now you know where the park-n-ride is. It sounds like you parked right in the town at Bernkastel Kues very handy we could not fit two 8.5 metre vans in when we were there just over a year ago so parked 10 mile away and drove in for the day but no alcohol.

    Make it up as you go is what motorhomeing is all about I think.
     
  3. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    We didn't manage the cathedral. Ms Tigger was on a Christmas shopping mission so tourist stuff took a back seat. Now she is persuaded on the merits of Germany I am sure I can persuade her to go back many times.. although we have decided to aim for one or two sites of interest in future rather than 4...
     
  4. Cinderz

    Cinderz Funster

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    Lovely account of your time away, glad you enjoyed it.
     
  5. Debs

    Debs Funster

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    Sounds great - are you going to to some pics up?:)
     
  6. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    It's a good idea to preload sat nav with places you want to visit...it avoids disappointment!:) I use my tiny Garmin bike sat nav when visiting city's its a life saver on busy days.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  7. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Next time
    P1060872.jpg P1060864.jpg P1060848.jpg P1060869.jpg


    Mind blowing craftsmanship.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2014
  8. Rob and Val

    Rob and Val Funster

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    Hi, Mr Tigger

    Glad you had such a good time. We wish more people would do write-ups on their trips abroad as it gives the rest of us tips on where to go, where to park and what to expect when you get there. Trier has been on our 'must visit list' for a while now, so it was good to get feedback from a fellow motor-homer. Thank you!
     
  9. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    when we went to trier we found the stellplatz right next to the river mosel and it was a short walk into town along a straight road. so you must have found a different one.
     
  10. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    great write up - but some pics would put the cherry on the top perfectly :D
     
  11. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    The camera is hooked up as we speak.. I will check it's progress later on...

    The one we found was by macdonalds.. there was a heated debate about whether it was a short walk or not up to the point we realised the P+R was in the same place at which point it became irrelevant :)
     
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  12. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    I had put loads into Google's My Places and thought I had them synced to my phone but it turns out having the map offline doesn't store the places.. I've got other offline GPS apps so I will use one of those in future.. would have helped in Luxembourg as well as I had the markets in there too..
     
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  13. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    McDonalds is the other side of the river, there was a straight road across the bridge to the shops. Maybe half a mile? Sue walked it I didn't.
     
  14. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    We parked on the stellplaze near McD's which was a continuation of the campsite alongside the Mosel, you had to go through a barrier and got issued with a ticket which you could use to get water, showers etc then paid either by cash or card at a machine built into a garden shed before you exited the site. Some people we met had parked up on the carpark right next to McD's and overnighted there with some German vans for free.
    Sounds like you had a "normal" ( for us anyway ) trip away, not everything going to plan but making the best and learning for the next time, congratulations :)
    EDIT, just remembered, the Welsh couple we met who had parked beside McDonalds thought that it may have been a bit of a dogging site due to some of the activities they witnessed later in the evening :0
     
  15. injebreck99

    injebreck99 Funster

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    Did they have dog racing there then ?
     
  16. Ann&MikeMancs

    Ann&MikeMancs Funster

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    Great to hear about your first 'foreign adventure' We didn't get SO far lol but we have been over to Sheffield this weekend to stay with daughter at Uni there, we wouldn't have considered it in our previous 'life' with our caravan. It was great pulling up outside her flat,getting the heating on and cooking for her lol...we feasted on steaks a la Motorhome!
    We would love to venture abroad so please keep posting ideas for us!
     
  17. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    It's just under two miles into the centre from the Stellplatz so by the time you have walked around the town and back again you might have done six miles. Nice riverside walk though.

    image.jpg
     
  18. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    When we were there in August, most of it was barriered off as it was being used as the base between WRC special stages.
     
  19. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    We saw that first and actually considered it but Me Tigger wanted a shower.. which it turned out were closed for the winter.. having said that it was nice to use a grown up toilet for once.. there is electric on the pay site as well although with all the work I've done on electrics in our van we didn't need it and I was determined not to use it. Proper round 3 pin as well although couldn't comment on polarity..
     
  20. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    Depending on where you are in the UK it really is easy. We have been going to France for a couple of years using Premiere Classe hotels and the car but bought our camper to extend the range we could manage in a weekend. We've done a few shake down trips in the UK but this was our first time in the camper in Europe. We had a great time and will be going again as often as possible
     
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