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.
On Saturday the Munich weather was quite bad. It was cold, cloudy and raining. Everything looked grey. We wrapped up some stuff, put it in the back of the Jeep an went on the Autobahn from Munich via Brenner to Südtirol. Surprisingly there was not much traffic and the trip was quite pleasing.
Right after Europabrücke it was still dripping but with less clouds. In Italy the sun came out and weather was great.
After passing Bozen, the capital of Südtirol, our first stop was Meran, a city with thermal springs and baths. We had quite a tasty lunch with dumplings and the local Schüttelbrot.
Just an espresso and we went on to Trentino.
Our spot for the night was near an artificial lake, the Lago di Santa Giustina, once the largest dam.
The road was small and when arriving at the dam it was quite a view downwards. Landscape around the reservoir is pittoresque with vineyards and apple farms.
The last piece of the path was not much wider than the Jeep, luckily nobody came from the other side.
Our final stop for the day was a small B&B right at the northern end of the reservoir – the balcony view was amazing.
After breakfast we drove via the Mendel Pass to Bozen. There we went to see the famous Ötzi, a man who died in the ice about 5300 years ago. The museum around the iceman is quite amazing and provides thorough information about the scientific findings.
From Bozen we directly went back to Munich, thankfully without traffic jams.
The second trip with the Jeep took place on Easter Weekend 2014.
From Vienna to Neusiedler See, a common recreational spot for the Vienesse.
I couldn’t resist to cross the border to Hungary, visit the famous Esterhazy castle.
The spot where the ‘Pan-European Picknick’ took place in 1989, an event where the borders between eastern and western Europe were torn down.
The area around Neusiedler lake is a UNESCO site with quite some wildlife like storks.
Right after I went to the dealer to finally get my new Jeep with just 36 kilometers, I drove it to Vienna. As the first 500 kilometers are supposed as break-in, it took about 5,5 hours from Munich and arrival was just before midnight.
That was the fastest pickup of a new car for me, it felt like I went there and just drove away without further ado.
After years of thinking (actually I thought about a Wrangler even when buying the Mercedes years ago), finally moved a step up and got a new Jeep Wrangler JKU 2014 Polar Edition made for offroad. However, my goal is to use it for travelling around Europe.
As public transport is quite excellent around here, it’s not a daily drive.