Back from the tour around south west Europe. We travelled around 5000 kilometres in May with the Jeep and everything went fine. Basically we did a tour around the Iberian Peninsula. Besides work, the goal was La Manga to visit a wedding of dear friends. Many different experiences, kind people and interesting weather – at first quite chilly and then still mild temperatures in the south was unexpected.
We stayed in different kinds of places, hotels, AirBnBs and we also did camping with the roof tent of the jeep.
Just to provide a short wrap-up of the locations we stayed:
From Germany we went via a small piece of Austria at Bodensee to Switzerland where we could travel fast and good to France where we stayed in Oyonnax just around the corner of Geneva. Next stop was on the other side of France at the Atlantic Ocean: Bordeaux. We stayed there for two nights to get a bit of an experience of this lovely city. Via Biarritz we moved on to northern Spain and stayed on a Camping ground near Santander where we also visited the Palacio de La Magdalena. Next stop was Santiage de Compostela, the place where pilgrims swarm to on the path of self-reflection. Then it was time to hit nature in northern Portugal where we stayed a couple of nights in a hut.
In Porto we checked out the vegan scene and walked around that very nice city. Via the highways 1 and 2 we went south to the Algarve and the southwest point of Europe near Sagres. We stayed at two locations at Algarve before we moved on to Cadiz, the oldest city of western Europe. In Almeria we had a short stop before staying at the wedding area of Cartagena and La Manga for a week including a short visit to Murcia.
Then it was time to drive back home via Barcelona, where we stayed for a night and did the walking tour. Andorra on the way to Carcassonne was quite interesting, however the building style did not meet our favours. In Carcassonne we discovered La Cite, an UNESCO world heritage site. On the way to a night in Aix-Les-Bains we checked out a single vegan eatery in the middle of meat world of southern France. From there it was straight back through Switzterland with a big traffic jam in Zurich and we were back home in Munich.
The 2016 Euro Expedition followed the following route:
Starting point was Munich, Germany and from there with the Jeep to Vienna, Austria and onwards to Trencin/Pohoda festival for a long weekend. We moved on to High Tatras mountains to climb the beautiful area and north-western peak of Rysy mountain (2499m).
After that I pushed alone to Košice, the easternmost big Slovakian city and from there over the border to Uzhhorod, Ukraine. From there to Ivano-Frankivsk and further to Chernivtsi to visit the famous university.
This was also the last big city in Ukraine, from there I went south to Vornet, Romania to visit the monastery which is quite a touristy place nowadays. The big city I stayed a bit was Cluj-Napoca in the west which is quite a busy place also with a few fine vegan restaurants (go to Samsara).
Next spot was camping in Budapest, Hungary at Arena Camping before the final trip back to Munich.
Equipment-wise this was the first time I used my roof tent. Despite two zipper incidents it was quite good (sleeping comfort, build-up time). Also first for me: crawling around on the roof of the Jeep.
Zuerst ging es am Morgen nach Vaduz, um ein wenig die kleine Hauptstadt Liechtensteins zu erkunden. Hopp zur Burg und St. Florin-Kirche, leider zu spät für das Kunstmuseum. Am Abend ging es dann nach Eschen, wo ich mich im B&B Schönblick einquartiert hatte. Um den Tag vollends auszunutzen gings sportlich in einer Stunde durch den Wald hoch zur Gafadura Hütte. Den Ausblick auf das Tal und die umgebenden schneebedeckten Berge konnte ich erst garnicht genießen. Nach Apfelschorle und einem Stück Linzer Torte ging es aber wieder.
Danach lockerer Abstieg zurück zum Jeep und dann nach Eschen. Superglücklich die Tagesziele bei wunderschönem Wetter erreicht: das 50. Land erkundet sowie den Berg hoch gekraxelt, dank Föhnwind noch unter der Schneegrenze.
February 5th to Valentines Day (14th of February) I went across BeNeLux to meet up with a friend flying in from Singapore.
I found out that Denham the Jeanmaker did quite some expansions since I saw it in a tiny shop near the spot I stayed in Amsterdam for work some years ago.
We met in Amsterdam, checked out Paradiso club, took a boat trip through the Grachten, visited the Rijksmuseum. By train we went to Bruges and stayed at a very nice little place I was a couple of years ago named a room with a view right in the medival part.
Despite the rainy spring weather we checked out the top of the Belfried while the bells rang (when you’re nearby its crazily loud).
Quite interesting was the beer museum, also did quite some beer tasting/drinking in Bruges.
This topic went on when we moved by train to Brussels where we took a beer experience tour with the Sandeman guys of the free walking tours. Also checked out the European Parliament, the Atomium which I quite enjoyed as inside is an interesting architecture exhibition.
As you can guess already – by train we went to the last stop Luxembourg which showed no mercy and provided us with constant rainy weather. From there I went straight back to Munich – but by plane.
The last part of the Balkan trip 2015 started in Tirana, from where I went via the Albanian Speedway back to Montenegro for beach vacation.
However, the first spot was crowded, noisy and not well maintained. Just camped there for a night and went on – what a good choice as the second camp ground was such a difference. Tiny spot on a small beach but excellent maintenance, nice people all around. Here I stayed some days to enjoy the summer sun at the beach.
Met Vasel from the visit to Theth valley in his hometown near Podgorica, capital of Montenegro. He was quite surprised to see me so soon again 🙂 We had nice lunch and went for the church near his native place.
I went to the sea to drive northwards to Dubrovnik, the posh city where parts of Game of Thrones were filmed. Despite the hefty price tag on everything there it is a really nice example of a middle age city. Sadly got ill so was not able to enjoy everything, would have tried the boat trip to Lokrum.
Finally the long drive back from Dubrovnik to Munich with a short overnight stay in Ljubljana.
Sarajevo. After I finally found the post office in Belgrade to get a stamp, I left for BIH. Two border crossings(busy at SRB->HR, fast and easy HR->BIH) and a nice trip on new roads through the Bosnian landscape later, I desired something to eat at a vegetarian fastfood restaurant. However, the uConnect navi is not fit for the city and showed no helpful info(no, not a lake!):
I switched to HERE app on my mobile which thankfully supports offline navigation and brought me to my destination.
Wednesday – today is the first step of travelling. Did I get everything necessary? Will find out on the trip.
From Munich to Salzburg/Austria and then across the country to Karawankentunnel. On top of the Pickerl/Vignette a Videomaut at two points is required along the road in Austria. It can be obtained online at Asfinag.
Plan is to attend the early Free Tour tomorrow at 11 a.m. on the steps in front of the Pink Church in Preseren Square (City’s Main square).
From Munich via Champagne and Paris to Normandy and then home at Eastern holidays.
First overnight stay: the romantic Chateau de Marjolaine
After more than 750 kilometers we arrived in the night at the Chateau and I had to fiddle the Jeep through the main gate for parking in front of the Chateau. The few rooms to rent are very nice and breakfast was really great and huge.
We had to do a little detour to the middle of Paris as I hadn’t tried the Jeep around Arc de Triomphe and was now able to do it. Have to admit it was quite easy and we went on to Normandy.
Chateau de Damigny, another beautiful place with great hosts and delicious breakfast was our base for four nights. It is located near Bayeux and a good starting point for trips to the beaches where the allied forces landed on D-Day.
Of course, the tourist must-see Mont-Saint-Michel. Regarding the Mont-Saint-Michel we were extremely lucky as the time was well pre-season and not too many tourists were visiting the place.
Also the famous Bayeux Tapestry was an amazing piece of history to enjoy, the audio tour is quite interesting.
The last stay in France was in Honfleur. A small old town house in the middle of the old city provided shelter for small excursions including a hike to the top and around the city of Honfleur.
The route back to Germany was via Belgium heading for the parent’s homes over Easter holiday. Also a short visit to Luxemburg was included.
The Jeep has already seen 13 countries with me:
Germany, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, France, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland.
From muddy offroad event near Leipzig to North Cape and the desert of Almeria. Now we’re waiting for Winter time which will hopefully be snowy and fun.