Category Archives: General Posts

Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น (Trieste)

Our time on the island of Krk was unbelievable. However, we knew that we had to move on. For the first time in a week there was cloud cover, but the temperature wasn’t affected. It felt really muggy and even after a shower I couldn’t stop the perspiration. We had breakfast and finished packing the van.

Both Mandy and I wondered whether or not we are making the right choice trying to stay south to miss the wet weather up north. The difference was a good 8 degrees between Croatia/ Italy, and our original planned Saturday night in Saltzburg, Austria. But we were where we were, and our destination was set for Trieste, Italy.

Apparently the campsite we chose is run by the Camping Club of Italy, who make visitors aware that they are basic, clean, and affordable.

Camping Obelesco is managed by the Camping Club Trieste,
an association of local campers that tries to do everything possible, with great efforts, to improve the structure from year to year. We are a 2-star , simple, small, spartan and with reasonable prices.

The campsite was founded in 1968 (the year both Mandy and me were born). After the relative experience of the last campsite we are happy to do affordable, but initial impressions of their dated website, we were a little dubious.

For the duration of the drive between Krk and Trieste we travelled under overcast skies, which probably helped from the point of view that we weren’t getting fried to a crisp by direct sunlight. We needed to get some supplies from Lidl so when we got close to our destination we used Google to find the nearest one. This took us back out of Italy, briefly into Slovenia, past a stud farm . It was all very strange, but great as there were fields full of white horses.

We eventually found the supermarket and continued on towards the campsite. The entrance wasn’t obvious or very well sign posted and when Google maps told me I had reached my destination on the left as we drove downhill towards Trieste it took a while before I could pull in and do a u-turn, but I was alerted as we approached the entrance a second time. A small discreet ageing brown sign was all there was to make us aware we should turn right up a very steep tarmac path.

After 500 meters taking it slow in first gear, with constant concern I may meet something coming the other way on a road that was obviously only wide enough for one vehicle, it finally opened out to car park, a barrier, and the campsite reception.We checked in and were asked to follow the receptionist to our pitch via a scooter .

Our low expectations of this campsite changed for the better as we followed on the narrow, windy path that meandered up into the hillside. Many of the pitches were taken up by caravans that are clearly long term residents. It was all very cosy and secluded being surrounded by trees, and the further up we moved into the campsite, the quieter and more remote it got.

After a few minutes we arrived at a roomy terrace pitch, edged by a low trellis fence with Jasmine growing the entire length. The aroma was unbelivable.

We went through the now all familiar 5 minute process of elevating the roof, winding the awning out, swivelling the chairs and setting up the table and chairs for outdoor living. We spent the rest of the afternoon in a state of disbelief at just how nice our new plot of land was high in the hillside of Trieste. This was a definite win for us! The shade from the trees was welcome, and there was very little noise aside from birds and an occasional bee pollinating the abundance of small white flowers. Bliss!

Later that evening I wandered down to the small taverna at the campsite entrance for a cool beer. The sunset just outside the entrance to the camp was amazing!

Our first view of Trieste from our campsite.

The following day was a Sunday and the high-street stores would be closed. So we spent time considering our options as to whether or not to venture into the city. We took our time  in the morning and breakfast turned into brunch as we chilled. But by midday we had decided that we would dip into Trieste for a wander around and a coffee.

Transport options were restricted to a bus service since the trams had stopped operating some four or five years ago. I’m not sure exactly why because all of the infrastructure is still there. Maybe EU intervention saying the vehicles weren’t up to regulations? Talking to one local the night before in the restaurant told me they have plans to run it again, but it is a slow process which is frustrating the region. As it transpired, the bus service is reliable and very cheap. We had to buy our tickets from kiosks machine as you couldn’t buy them on the bus. โ‚ฌ1.30 was the price of an hours travel on every day of the week except Sunday where it was valid for 4 hours due to a reduced service.

The bus followed the steep windy road into the city and stopped on a back street where everybody got off and the bus was empty! The obvious conclusion was this must be the end of the line so we followed suit. It was a little confusing as we were expecting a bus terminal, or some local place of interest like a water feature or town square, but nothing so obvious. By the time we realised this, the crowd of people that had gotten off at our stop had dispersed. So we were left scratching our heads on the adjacent street corners before we committed to a direction that looked the busiest. Our instincts proved to be correct and it wasn’t long before the quiet back streets were left behind us as, and we moved into the heart of Trieste.

Over the course of the afternoon we covered a great deal of distance. With no real plan we found it easy to find many of the things that makes this city so enticing. Towards late afternoon, and with the heat beating down on us we sought sanctuary in the air conditioning of a MacDonalds. Mandy was hungry, and I was thirsty. Never ordered a beer in MacDonalds before. This was a first!

We had certainly put the leg work in, and our smart watches were backing up what our feet already knew !

We were suprised when we returned to the campervan and settled down to look at a guide to the things to see and do in Trieste, that a large chunk had been ticked off the list during our afternoons outing.

That evening we were blessed with a cool breeze. This seemed to be exaggerated overnight due to the abundance of trees surrounding our van at the campsite, and I was really surprised we had no rain. On the morning the wind dropped a little and it was slightly overcast. We used this as an excuse to catch up with some of the UK news via BBC iplayer, and were slow to decide on a plan for the day. Based on our progress the day before around the city, we felt we were in a position where we could look a little further afield for the next days sight seeing. We chose to visit the local attraction Parco del Castello Miramare.

We chose to visit using the campervan, which we seldom use to get around locally once the van has been set up for camping. However, the options to catch two buses each way to get to the castle, one into Trieste, the other out and vice versa on return, really didn’t appeal to us knowing how hot it was going to be. It was only a 20 minute drive by van so it was a bit of a no brainer. We didn’t realise just how steep an incline it was to get to the Castle. Some of the steepest inclines I’ve experienced. This required cooling the breaks with water at one point on the way down, and a slightly scary moment where i had to stop for a bus coming down the road on just about the steepest (worst) place i could have wished to have stopped. (videos to follow).

As is often the case we knew little about Parco del Castello Miramare before we arrived. We had no doubts that it was worth a visit but we were blown away by the beauty of this place. It’s a coastal Castle with amazing gardens. It didn’t cost is a penny to get in, which was amazing, considering.

Our third day at this location saw us catching the bus into the city again for one final look around. Originally our plans were to stay at Camping Obelisco for 4 nights as it was really nice. It was a bit of a last minuite decission as it approached late afternoon that we may be better off leaving that evening and heading towards Saltzburg taking advantage of the cooler temprature, and less traffic on the roads. After a quick shower we were back on the road within an hour.

Camping Obelisco – Strada Nuova for Opicina 37 – 34151 Triestetel / fax: +39 040 212744email: campeggioobelisco@gmail.com

Croatia ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท (Krk)

With supplies replenished via the local Lidl, we left Rovinj with a comparatively short, two hour thirty minute stint to our next destination on the island of Krk.

The temperature had been rising the further south we came, and staying cool while travelling was becoming a bit off a losing battle. Climate control in our classic camper tends to be done by altering the window aperture to one degree or another. However, due to the ridiculous heat even early morning, opening the windows was just letting warm air into the cab, so we had started to be creative with small USB travel fans positioned to try and offer a little extra help.

I would like to say that the journey was an uneventful one but a hiccup at a set of roadworks put us on the wrong side of the motorway with no possible option other than to carry on up to the next junction some 15 kilometres up the road. I was a little miffed as I was knowingly travelling in exactly the opposite direction which increased our ETA to the next campsite and wasted fuel in the process. Not to mention the fact we had just entered a toll section and I was convinced I was going to have to pay to get off, before I could get back on again.

Mandy tried to make me feel better about the mistake by telling me the roadworks would have confused anybody and they should have made things clearer. But I wouldn’t be happy until I knew I was back on the right trajectory again. My foot was to the floor and at 120kph+ Wolfgang was certainly getting the brunt of my annoyance. Fortunately as we entered the slip road, toll booths in sight, Google maps said something that for the first time I was happy to hear. “Do a U turn when possible!” . It was s bit naughty but there wasn’t any traffic so that’s exactly what I did meaning we didn’t have to pay. That would have really rubbed salt in my wounds.

We eventually arrived an hour or so later than predicted to find weren’t due until the following day ๐Ÿ˜’. Not sure exactly how this happened but they managed to accommodate us for a night before we could move to our allocated pitch the the following day.

We set the van up as quickly as possible, had a walk round to get out bearings for the essentials like the toilets,  showers and water points, then sought the sanctuary of the van and the shade the trees around it offered.

It was always going to be the most expensive camp site we had on the agenda, but after our brief site exploration we could see that this was all about the location, and very special it was indeed. I had booked it after looking on the Cool Camping website. You always pay a premium for these locations, but I’ve never had a bad experience yet. This was pretty much the pinnacle of our holiday, so for it to be spoiled by scrimping on funds would have made a mockery of the whole holiday knowing it had taken so much time, fuel and effort, just to be let down by a mediocre location. We realised at this point it was well worth the extra!

The following day our booked pitch was vacated relatively early, so we quickly bundled everything into the van in a rather unorganised manner, dropped the pop-top roof and wound the awning in. It took about 2 minutes to literally drive round the corner to our new spot with an amazing sea view. Things just couldn’t get better. Crystal clear seas, the shade of the trees, and a 30 second walk to the beach. Bliss.

The facilities included bakery,  swimming / infinity pool, and a really nice restaurant. It was lacking nothing.

I can’t really say anymore about this place, but it’s really one of those rare instances where you don’t need to say anymore. Everything is to like, and less is more. Beautiful! Absolultely beautiful!

ECO Camping Glavotok
(Arrival: 12 June – Depart: 15 June)

Contact address: Glavotok 4
51500 KRK
Croatia (HR)

Telephone: +385 51 867 880
Fax: +385 51 867 882

Info: info@kamp-glavotok.hr

www.kamp-glavotok.hr

Croatia ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท (Rovinj)

A long day at the wheel, but been through some amazing scenery which included the Dolomite mountain range.

We set off from north Austria at 9am, drove into Italy, Slovenia and Croatia arriving at Rovinj for 6.30pm. It was warm as we entered the campsite’s reception where we explained that we would like a pitch for five nights. We made enquiries before our trip, but couldn’t book in advance because we were staying less than one week. As it transpired, the feedback from the campsite at the time was such that we shouldn’t have an issue finding a pitch as it wasn’t high season.

The options were they could allocate us a pitch or we could find one ourselves. My concern was the solar panels having enough light as I like to live on free energy whilst camping and not using electric hook up if we can. Proof of concept and all that :). So we wandered around the campsite looking for the perfect pitch. A couple were in contention , but the one that Mandy was drawn to was in a line of three, newly created pitches overlooking the sea. It was right next to the main coastal road, which I said could potentially cause us issues from a noise point of view, but we committed to the location and we’re pretty happy, although it was narrow.

Our first full day in Croatia was fantastic. Beach lounging, swimming, and in the afternoon a walk into the town of Rovinj. The icing on the cake has been a climb to the top of the church of St. Euphemia. Really proud of Mandy for accompanying me as I know she struggles with heights, but we did it all the same and both really enjoyed it. We had to remind ourselves that since having the campervan, we hadn’t been this close to the equator as all of our holidays had been in the van. We had done some nice travelling don’t get me wrong, but this put us on the beach with crystal clear seas in temperatures of 30+.

On day three our neighbours left for their home in Switzerland and after a brief conversation with the campsite reception we found that their pitch was free for the rest of our stay. It was far bigger than our pitch for just a couple of Euros more per night. This gave us much more sunlight which was also good for the solar panels

New pitch

Shortly after relocating we were approached by a couple of young Austrian guys who admired the van, and said that they had just setup on the campsite with similar age VW vans. I took a walk over to find they were both pretty rare. One a syncro multivan, the other a panel van that used to be used as a funeral van. Both in excellent condition. I was invited round for cold Austrian beers later that evening, but due to a decision to go paddle boarding sadly this didn’t transpire.

We had committed to a boat trip and were due to be collected at just after 11am. This was to view the 13 Islands close to Rovinj, and immediatly after we were due to head inland via an estuary to visit a local fishing village for an hour, with one final short stop to view some caves late afternoon before heading to port in the evening. This turned out to be a really good day out. We learnt a great deal and it gave us a better perspective of the town of Rovinj and its surrounding locations. Lunch was free as we had subscribed to two trips in succession, which also included wine throughout the duration of both trips. All for 70 euros (ยฃ63) for both of us.

In the afternoon of the fifth and final day we took one last walk into Rovinj. We were trying our best to be sensible to seek shade by the narrow streets in the heart of the town. We didn’t feel the need to do another boat trip, but the timing was right when we found ourselves on the harbor for the dolphin spotting, sunset tour. At 10โ‚ฌ each (ยฃ8) for two hours on the sea in such idyllic conditions seemed like a nice way to finish our five day stop in this wonderful location. Boy was it worth every penny. We saw dolphins, and although they were distant, we felt strangely humbled.

The following morning we got up knowing that we were moving on, so after breakfast we packed up, went to the local Lidl supermarket for supplies (very prominent throughout Europe), and headed over to our next stop some 2 hours away on the island of Krk.

Note: Currency for Croatia is the Kunar. Accept euros at some of the main attractions and fuel stops, but better to use kunar, or a card that lets you pay in their currency. Halifax Clarity card offers this functionality.

5,Autocamp Porton Biondi
Porton Biondi 1
52210 Rovinj
Croatia
Tel: +385 / 52 / 81 35 57
fax: +385 / 52 / 81 15 09
Mail: portonbiondi@web.de
google maps Coordinates: 45.094922 , 13.641508

http://www.portonbiondirovinj.com/

Austria ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น(Fernsteinsee)

The journey to Austria took approximately four hours with a single fuel stop. The weather is still fantastic and the van is performing brilliantly cruising at 80mph (120kmh). The last hour off the journey the landscape and roads changed noticeably as we moved into the Alps. We arrived early afternoon and had a great deal of flexibility as far as a camping pitch was concerned. There were trees dotted around which could offer some welcome shade, but with mountains looming all around I needed to make sure my solar panels could harvest enough power to keep the fridge working effectivley, so one was chosen free of tree canopy. Once the van had been set up we just chilled. I drank beer and Mandy read her kindle.

The following morning after breakfast and a shower we were slow to do anything meaningfull. I think we knew that we needed to start slowing things down. Don’t get me wrong we had enjoyed everything since we leaft the UK, but we needed to relax. I was adamant that i needed to update my BLOG as i travelled, because it was a lot more difficult to try and collaite all of the media and remember the experience if it was updated weeks after the event.

Blog updates using my tablet

There seemed to be an excess of energy due to the blue skies via solar pannels. So much so that after Mandy had used her hair straightners, she decided to ironed all her clothes.

We ventured out around 11am and had a walk to the local lake. We had seen photos on the campsite website of boats for hire, and this was also promoted in a small brochure they had given us after checking in. That said they were all locked up with no real way of being able to use them. It was a really nice day, and it would have been a different way to explore, but I figured that this would most probably be something that became available at weekends or as things began to spring into life in July, during the holiday season.

So we made our way around the lake on foot which took just over an hour. The vistas are truely awe inspiring. I have tried to capture this in the photos i took, but it doesn’t really do it justice.

Originally we planned to stay in Fernstiensee for 3 nights, but we have decided to try and break the journey up with only two nights here, then springboard into Croatia via an overnight stealth camp. This means we can enjoy our current location and explore for a day, knowing we will be on schedule without having to endure a whole day behind the wheel to get to Rovinj by Friday. 

I would highly recommend this campsite. We saw this on the Cool Camping website: https://coolcamping.com/campsites/europe/austria/west-austria/tyrol/2849-fernsteinsee

https://www.camping-fernsteinsee.at/camping/stellplatzplan/
Address:
Camping Fernsteinsee
Fernstein 475
A-6465 Nassereith / Tyrol
AUSTRIA
Tel .: +43 (0) 5265 5210
E-Mail: welcome@camping-fernsteinsee.at

Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช(Rothenburg)

We left Bruges at 9am and literally drove for eight hours (666km). The sun was relentless but I enjoyed the traveling all the same. They say it’s more about the journey than the destination. Our next destination is Rothenburg, a picture postcard town in Germany. We didn’t get to the campsite until late afternoon so other than a little food and a trip to the local pub round the corner the day was really just over.

The following day we were awake by 7am when the sun was already warm. By 10am and we are seeking shade wherever we could during breakfast. Yesterday’s long drive, and the two days of sight seeing in Bruges had eft us feeling like we need a chill out day. However, we only have two nights here, and need to make a concerted effort to have a look at the town of Rothenberg. Once the coffee had kicked in and breakfast settled we started to feel a little more like exploring. We left the campsite on foot heading up a steep 2km path to Rothenburg. The sun was beating down and just after midday there was very little shade or breeze to make it any easier.

After half an hour we arrived at the town. Seldom do we research places we visit before we arrive, so it’s no great surprise that we often find ourselves in an area that doesn’t really do it justice. As we entered the walls of the medieval old town ready for lunch. We found a nice pizza restaurant which offered outdoor dining. It was nice, but pretty quiet which seemed odd.

However, it wasn’t until we moved on that we realised the best Rothenberg had to offer was just around the corner. Street after street of historic buildings, quaint alleys and amazing gardens.

Late afternoon I noticed a very dark cloud on the horizon. Knowing we had left the roof vents on the campervan open we made a beeline for the campsite just in time, before the rain arrived. It was unexpected, but it cleared the air and made for a more comfortable nights sleep. we could only afford two nights at this campsite so we needed to head south towards our next stop in Rothenberg to maintain shedule. So van packed we moved on…

1.Campingplatz Tauberromantik
Detwang 39
91541 Rothenburg o.d. Tauber
Telefon: 0 98 61 / 61 91
info@camping-tauberromantik.de