All credit to the Renault Grand Picasso that has kept us safe and on the road all this time. I was sceptical at first, but it has well and truly earned its place in our family 🚘
16 August 2018
A final few hours in Reims then homeward bound! A speedy, smooth journey along ‘route des anglais’ to Calais in less than 3 hours. Paid our first road toll of the holiday! Surrounded by stinky feet 😷🤢 Another excellent ferry ride. They even let us onto an earlier crossing. Made it back to Peterborough around 11pm. A very happy boy reunited with his ‘best friend Nanny!’
15 August 2018
One of the main reasons I’d chosen to stay in Reims was in order to see the cathedral sound and light show. It was spectacular and everybody managed to stay awake for the 10pm start. Lewis fell asleep in his pushchair starring up in amazement! Isaac nearly fell asleep in a ball on the ground! The other reason I’d liked the sound of Reims was because it’s the champagne centre of France 🥂🍾 Needless to say, I am yet to get a glass of champagne!
After a mammoth 5hr journey halfway across the country (the country that won the World Cup as Isaac keeps pointing out) we have arrived in Reims. Very basic but very functional accommodation that is well located. First of all, we went to find a play park and then a McDonald’s to make the boys happy. They wolfed down happy meals! We then had a good look at/run around of the amazing cathedral.
14 August 2018
Last stop, Barr. A hilltop pretty flower filled village! The highlight was a wide avenue of steps: one of the only genuinely pedestrianised places we’ve found! The boys loved playing tig around the flowers whilst listening to a bagpipe group.
Next stop, Sélestat. Another very pretty place! I feel we’re beginning to get a bit blasé towards these beautiful places now - oh look, another beautiful flower filled town with old, colourful timbered houses!
Scavenged apple and pear in hand, we then found plum trees and vineyards. I’m still to actually drink a glass of Alsace wine despite standing in and admiring many vineyards!
Next stop, Châtenois for a quick picnic and a scavenge in a medieval garden. The flowers here were even more beautiful than usual for this area. The French love their ‘Villes Fleuries.’ 🌸
The Alsace wine route is intertwined with the Alsace Château Route. There are lots of little castles perched on the hilltops. Today we visited the largest and most impressive of these - Haut Koenigsbourg. The car did all the climbing for us. It was an excellent view from the top. The boys were very excited to be in a castle. Isaac kept asking astute questions about French Monarchy that I was unable to answer ☺️ Lewis was just a complete liability but he loved every step of it even if they were rather frantic, chaotic, speeding steps! The canons were of course the highlight! Eventually Lewis collapsed with exhaustion from being chased around a medieval castle so I was able to stay put him whilst bill and Isaac went back for a less stressful look!
13 August 2018
Headed towards Obernai once the weather brightened up so as not to waste a day. Another very pretty place. Stopped off at Molzheim em route, the city closest to us. Discovered a wonderfully decorated house down an alleyway. We could’ve enjoyed Obernai much more if Lewis hadn’t spent the whole time grizzling! He’s really getting past it now. Luckily his big brother is always on hand to look after him. His lightening reflexes stopped lewis from running into a road today. He was even quicker than Daddy! We tried to go to an Alsace performance and tasting inside the town hall but lewis was having none of it! I would so love to just sit down in these beautiful places and taste some of the wine the area’s so famous for!
These guys - the hummingbird hawk moth- are definitely my favourite nature find of the holiday. I like them even more than the storks though perhaps not as much as I love Karl the llama! Our gite is fantastic from the outside but on the inside it’s not the most comfortable. Full of clutter and there’s a horrible musty smell. Definitely wouldn’t choose to stay here again.
The rain put a bit of a dampener on our day. But can’t complain - 1 drizzly day out of 20 isn’t bad going! We visited Super U to stock up, munched a Bretzel (traditional Alsace snack) in the car and gave up on a walk when it really started plonking it down! 🌧 Back at the gite ‘Zafari’ and ‘Grizzy et les lemmings’ kept us entertained until the sky brightened up enough for me to take the boys for a walk around our village, Ergersheim.
Strasbourg is stunning! It was a nightmare finding somewhere to park but then it always is with my husband! Strasbourg was incredibly crowded as it was a Sunday. Once again, Lewis was not at all happy about being in a pushchair! He was very happy when we found a pirate ship playground next to the canal. Notre Dame Cathedral is awe inspiring.
12 August 2018
The boys’ favourite things about Strasbourg - a tree with loose bark, tricolore meringues and Alsacian patisseries!
Ice cream in smurf and Minion flavours! The stork is a symbol of the Alsace region. We can see why as they’re everywhere and quite superb. Isaac even spotted some in our village. It’s a 50min walk from the park to the centre so we jumped back in the car, much to Bill’s disappointment as he had to forfeit his free parking!
You know you’ve woken up in a French wine region when a land rover stops next to your car and hands over a bunch of fresh grapes from out of the window! 🍇 We continued the day in not such a traditional way with a McDonald’s but there was a soft play and a computer screen for fault proof ordering so it was perfect! A bemused Isaac was bossed around by a persistent French girl whilst we got to munch in relative peace! We headed in the direction of Strasbourg stopping at Parc D’Orangerie first as the boys were in desperate need of a run around - Our gite is extremely compact with too much clutter they can break. They were not disappointed! The highlight was the rowing boat 🚣♀️
11 August 2018
Our typical Alsace gite for the next 4 nights.
Described as the French Venice. It was quite a bumpy ride for Lewis along the cobbles. We all paused for a moment for an ice cream: Lewis from his moaning, Isaac from his wriggling and Bill from his oblivious photo taking. The main tourist route in Colmar is cleverly marked with golden arrows. This kept Lewis contented for a while, looking for gold! We were very reluctant to leave Colmar. Such a beautiful place.
Picnic time! Lewis appreciated his new found freedom and went from gremlin child to complete charmer!
Such beautiful streets! Of course it was incredibly crowded being a Saturday. Lewis wasn’t at all impressed with having to stay in the pushchair which did take away some of the ambience! Tasted delicious macaroons. So delicious that even Bill wanted to buy some!
A 3 hour drive into France and Colmar with arguing Sat Navs. Colmar is a truly magical city. Like being in a giant fairytale village. Bill insisted we got a map from tourist information first then spent the rest of the visit getting confused by it! 🗺
A free visit to Triberg World to admire the model railway scenes.
There was no way I was leaving The Black Forest without a generous slice of Black Forest Gateau 😋
A final visit to the waterfalls walking from the apartment to the centre.
10 August 2018
Isaac spotted nutcrackers of the bird variety up in the trees. Today has been an excellent day for wildlife. In addition to the nutcrackers, we saw black squirrels in the Black Forest and an incredible hummingbird hawk moth on our balcony. Finished the day with a special purchase and Bill cooking a delicious Lidl meal dressed in traditional attire! 🍷
Reached the top of the cascades and went for a paddle. Isaac loved climbing from rock to rock.
Another trip back to the waterfall. This time along the forest path from our apartment. The boys were very energetic even by their standards: Lewis running down every slope possible towards sheer drops and Isaac constantly disappearing into the forest to climb. Lewis was eventually contained! We got a Triberg card with our accommodation that gets us into free at most places including the waterfalls.
A quick stop at Lidl to make Bill happy. Remind me to never give lewis a German marshmallow cake again!
Found another giant one! This one is officially the world’s largest cuckoo clock but we didn’t like it anywhere near as much as the other one. It was extremely commercialised: surrounded by shops and a busy road.
Found a really big one!! When it was made, this was the world’s largest cuckoo clock. We were shown how the clock mechanism works and how the cuckoo makes its noise. We then waited until the next half hour for the cuckoo to make its grand appearance! A wonderful setting.
Started the walk up the cascading waterfalls but it seemed every tour bus in Germany had also chosen to descend that moment so we left to find more cuckoo clocks...
Found quite a few!!
A gorgeous morning in Triberg. Ready to explore the Black Forest and find some cuckoo clocks...
9 August 2018
Arrived in Triberg after yet another car journey windscreen wipers going crazy in the rain 🌧 Isn’t raining here though and our apartment looks nice. Boys are busy playing with their new addition to the world’s best Brio collection. Looking forward to exploring Triberg in the morning.
Today was a bit of a flop. Headed towards Spieleland in Ravensburger- home of the creators of our beloved Brio train sets 🚂 Think we were expecting a Brio World version of Disneyland (and for the price we paid for admission it should’ve been!) However, the real thing was just pretty lame. The boys could hardly go on any rides despite them being nowhere near as thrilling as ones they’ve been on previously. It was so disappointing that we tried to get a refund on our tickets after 15mins but to no avail. If I ever again think it’s a good idea to go to a theme park with Bill, any theme park, please shout NO at me! Even in a completely child orientated theme park, he was only interested in how many rides he could get on. I was left waiting with Lewis in the tractor area for almost 2hrs! I had to drag him out at the end of the day! The boys of course had an amazing time, completely oblivious to the hole that was burning in mummy’s pocket!
8 August 2018
Back to Karl 💖 Had a lovely long chat with our host Mark who came bearing beer and wine 🍷 The boys just love running around the teepee grounds singing, dancing and being silly. The lucky llamas were put into a ‘show!’ The same kind villagers who had taken pity on us yesterday found us to give us bread for the morning, McDonalds chips 🍟 and sweets for the boys. Isaac managed a poo 💩 in the compost toilet!
Drove past the landmark Vaduz Castle on the way back to Treisburg. A stunning road.
A play in another wonderful play park then a fruitless search for somewhere to eat. Liechtenstein is wonderful but it is EXPENSIVE! 40 Swiss dollars each for a basic meal. We headed to Vaduz to find cheaper eats but the boys had already fallen fast asleep 💤
Back down we fly!
Back the way we came to the sound of cow bells jangling. How do cows manage to get up so high?! 🐮
I did eventually put my foot down when the drops either side became sheer and the path incredibly steep and narrow. Walking with Isaac was like walking with Skippy the bush kangaroo. Bill was cross but no mountain top is worth the safety of children and he’d only want to reach the next one.. and the next...! He went off by himself to reach one peak whilst we waited. We were visited by butterflies who thought our feet were beautiful flowers!
The rest of my family don’t share my concept of ‘treacherous.’ I loved looking at all the beautiful alpine flowers whilst they scampered ahead. 🌸
The trail was treacherous but the view was worth every step.
As it still wasn’t raining and the sky wasn’t looking too menacing, we decided to take our chances and head further up the mountain to Malbun. Have definitely learnt to pay no attention to the weather forecast in Liechtenstein, just look at the sky instead! The weather was perfect! I wasn’t overly keen on heading up on a cable car to the top and then mountain trekking but Bill was adamant and I’m now very glad he was. Truly and utterly spectacular scenery from all directions and the cable car was like flying!
First stop was the nearby playground.
Can’t beat waking up to a llama! Especially one as wonderful and cuddly as Karl. He’s even won over Lewis who was constantly telling him he loved him 💕 We had a bit of a slow morning as the weather forecast was awful. A breakfast from the onsite shop shed of fresh milk and yogurt. We drew pictures of Karl and the boys went to and fro finding food to feed him. Eventually, we decided not to just sit around waiting for the rain and headed out.
7 August 2018
And then came the thunderstorm! 🌩⛈ The hosts gave us the option to escape to a ‘garden house.’ However, the boys were happily settled into the yurt, snuggled under the covers and listening to the sound of the storm on the canvas. ‘This is the life!’ declared Isaac! Thankfully the storm had passed by 10pm and we were all able to get a surprisingly good night’s sleep 💤
The village is very much like staying in a rich European version of Bill’s village. There is definitely a lot of money here (and gnomes!) A wonderfully friendly place. Passing villagers took pity on us and bought us water and giant marshmallows for the boys. The Airbnb hosts are very helpful and welcoming and gave us lots of ideas of what to do is the whole 30km stretch of Liechtenstein! The mountains we look out onto are Switzerland 🇨🇭
A stunning drive through the mountain villages, an unmanned toll and immigration and an incredible number to hairpin bends on steep inclines later, and we arrived in Liechtenstein 🇱🇮 Our accommodation for the next few days: a teepee on a llama farm in the mountains.
Quick stop in Imst on a souvenir hunt but no luck! Perhaps we should’ve taken these umbrellas as a sign of things to come ...
Final frolic at the hotel. It was very difficult to leave ☹️
6 August 2018
Last dinner at the hotel. Tyrolean beef was delicious 😋 The boys got matching tattoos. They will miss the play room they were deposited in every mealtime. So will we!
Back at the hotel and it’s quite a different view from the window! Thunderstorms, hailstones and gale force winds! Was all over after 30 minutes!
Bill and Isaac went up another cable car to get down by go cart. There are no photos of this as Bill was too busy having fun and they went past me too fast 💨
The piece de resistance of the trail.
Beautiful new cow friends with their jangling bells.
The Zirbenpark trail is a series of amazing play areas and activities amongst the pine tree woods. At the beginning the boys bought a pine ball each to use on the various ball runs. A truly superb place up high in the mountains.
Once off the cable car, we were greeted by the magical sound of cow bells. We started the trail at the ‘Wasser Park’ where the boys got wet and dug for treasure. Daddy got a little obsessed! 💎
Next mode of transport = cable car! Up the mountain to visit the Zirbenpark. It was only a 20 minute drive away but Bill required nerves of steel up all the incredibly steep hairpin bends.
What a wonderful way to start the day! Lewis followed behind in the pushchair. Bill and I took it in turns to hold the pony. Isaac loved his new mode of transport!
A morning pony trek.
5 August 2018
The very scary ‘poisonous spider!’
The return leg turned into a bit of a nature walk with pet grasshoppers and a giant spider. As creepy as it was, the spider saved our trek! Just when we thought the boys would walk no further, Lewis turned to the spider as his new spirit animal and spent the rest of the walk chasing us!
When Austrians categorise a walk as ‘pushchair friendly,’ they really don’t take into consideration steep gradients ! Thankfully the 3 wheeler we borrowed from the hotel was slightly better suited. I am expecting thunder thighs by the end of this holiday!
Second time lucky! After some cake and a swim, the boys were ready to face the bridge walk! 93metres high, this is one of the highest suspension bridges in The Alps.
We soon lost the rest of the group! Daddy wanted to keep trekking to the suspension bridge but an emotionally torn Isaac recovering from the trauma of whether or not to release his balloon was having none of it!
Started the day with a balloon release to send holiday wishes. As normal with these kids activities, a presumed 10 minute excursion turns into a strenuous trek with only me seeming to find it strenuous!! When we eventually reached the meadow, it was an uplifting sight seeing all the balloons float up. All except for one blue balloon. Wonder who that belonged to?!
4 August 2018
More fun in the sun! Making sure we ate as much cake and sweets as possible whilst Daddy wasn’t there to moan!
Climbing in progress!
Today Bill went off to climb the mountain he’d been eyeing up in front of our hotel. The boys and I spent the day playing. Our first activity was pony riding with the Kids Club. It was just a quick walk up and down the path but Isaac loved it. Lewis missed out on his opportunity in favour of a massive meltdown because he didn’t want to wear the hat!
3 August 2018
An extremely special treat in the evening with an open air music concert in the village. There was an entire orchestra, lots of beer, a tribute to Mama Mia and a rather bonkers toddler squeezing in and out of the tables with his eyes closed! Unfortunately said toddler is now nursing a large bruise on his head after dancing head first down some steps! 😨
Party time with Pitzi the goat. Everyone was told to go and hide much to the frustration of Lewis who stood in the middle shouting ‘gone’ then jumped up and down with excitement when Pitzi arrived!!
Another look at that view 😍
The adrenalin junkies return! Then Isaac went flying!
And this is what we got up to whilst we ‘waited!’ Bill will probably never realise as he never asked and is very unlikely to ever bother to read this journi!! The ice cream cost 7 euros!! He he he!!
Daddy and Isaac went to ride the Alpine Roller Coaster which they both absolutely loved. Meanwhile, Lewis and I waited for them at the bottom for a few hours.
Fireman training! The children were dressed as firefighters, all jumped into the fire engine and drove down to the fields with sirens going! They all jumped out and lined up to put out the ‘fire’ with a hose. 🚨 Isaac had his extremely serious face on throughout! When told he was free to smile, he replied with ‘but being a firefighter is a very serious thing!’ Can’t argue with that! I think he trying to mimic his daddy at his passing out ceremony! A lovely activity that the children evidently thought was fantastic.
Lots of fun in the swimming pool 🏊♂️ Isaac’s swimming has come on phenomenally. They must have been really good lessons at school as he can now pretty much swim and loves every second of it! Angelic Lewis just paddled around singing ‘row row!’
Not bad waking up to this view out of the window!
2 August 2018
Our rather substantial room.
Kind Isaac posed for photos in the meadow! 🌲
The first scheduled activity was a tractor ride. Of course we happily jumped on and squeezed up with all the very pleasant German guests. We were expecting a quick chug around the hotel. Little did we know, we were on a real tractor adventure! The tractor played party tunes and travelled high up into the mountains. It was slightly petrifying at points with sheer drops and a very heavy trailer! We came to a halt at an alpine meadow with a short nature trail through the forest. Wonderful scenery! Just a shame we hadn’t bought any basic supplies e.g water and bubbles on our ‘10 minute tractor ride!’ It made the experience rather tense but we survived!
Have arrived at the incredible Kinderhotel. Another 4hr drive from Stuttgart. The journey became a real battle of the will powers with somebody nearly thrown out of the car but I decided it may be a little difficult continuing without Bill so he survived once again! Otherwise, it was a stunning journey. The scenery was so spectacular once we entered Austria that the boys were even happy to turn off Paw Patrol and Blaze in order to admire the mountains and ‘oooo’ as we went through the tunnels ⛰ Lewis kept spotting snow! The whole car was full of excitement. The location of the Kinderhotel didn’t disappoint. We checked out the play parks, farm and pirate ship. Absolutely perfect.
1 August 2018
A long drive across Germany 🇩🇪 Some beautiful forest scenery with long tunnels. In places, we drive through more rain than what England’s had in a year! The journey ended with sunflower 🌻 fields, apple orchards and lots of going around in circles with an irate driver trying to locate the hotel!
Ended up eating in McDonalds! Lewis kept telling Daddy off for eating his food! Isaac and Daddy walked under the bridge whilst Lewis and I walked on top. Thank you Luxembourg 🇱🇺 for a lovely day.
A stunning and significantly less perilous stroll along Chemin de la Corniche.
Next stop on the to do list was Casemates du Bock for the best views of Luxembourg. I can’t say that I paid much attention to the views with two happy, energetic boys and lots of vertical drops!
Following the advice of a really useful travelblog at https://www.earthtrekkers.com/one-perfect-day-in-luxembourg-city-itinerary/ we set the sat nav to the Pfaffenthal Lift. The boys absolutely loved this! They fearlessly jumped up and down on the glass floor and raced each other along the bridge and into the rain. We must’ve gone up and down in the lift at least six times. I thought we might never be allowed to leave!
Despite the rain, we decided to stick with our plan and spend the day in Luxembourg, tucking another country off on the list! It was a good call as the weather soon sorted itself out and it would’ve been a real shame to have missed out on this beautiful city. It’s ideal long weekend getaway material. The photos get better in a minute once the weather clears...
It’s pouring it down with rain in Luxembourg but at least Bill’s found his cheap diesel!
31 July 2018
A lovely evening back at the Airbnb. Turns out I’d accidentally bought alcohol free beer at the mini-mart. Isaac was very impressed! I was not 🍺 😎
Favourite quote of the day, ‘time to get back to sunbathing class Lewis for another busy day!’
Still there! When asked what was the best bit of his day, Isaac talks about this cat friend before anything else!
Once out of the cave, the boys were greeted by a play park and ice cream!
The finale was an incredible light show. We can really understand why this place is rated one of the best tourist attractions in Europe. Absolutely fantastic day. The HanPass was worth every penny.
The photos really don’t do justice to how vast, immense and all-encapsulating these caves were.
The caves are immense! We chose to join the Dutch tour as no English one was available and the queue was decisively shorter than the French one! Decided if we really wanted to understand something, the Dutch people would be able to interpret into perfect English for us! We hovered at the back of the group, which was great for feeling a little more free in the caves but did mean the lights kept getting turned off on us! From the reception it was getting, I’m assuming the tour was excellent and we probably missed out on loads of fascinating stuff but we kind of had our hands full!! Remarkably, the only one of us to fall down was Bill!
Cave time! The queues were huge to get onto the cave tram. When we eventually arrived at the caves, it was more queuing as they take visitors around in tours. The queues were really beginning to annoy us but the excellent organisation and true greatness of this attraction soon won us over! Already tired from fun packed morning, the boys’ behaviour was very hit and miss but they soon settled once they believed they were hunting treasure and gold. Must apologise to the poor tour guide who was constantly interrupted by echoing cries of ‘TREASURE!!’
A quick lunch back at Airbnb via the mini-mart and our favourite furry feline friend 🐱
The team was certainly a noisy form of transport! Lewis fell asleep! This is not the place to be if you don’t appreciate the odd loud noise. Not only are the teams rowdy but at the end of every tour in the caves there is an almighty bang that shakes the whole village! Don’t know what it’s for as we couldn’t understand a word of the tour and definitely made us jump on several occasions! 💥
After escaping safely from the scary big bad wolves 🐺, it was time for a gauffre! Can’t visit Belgium without eating a waffle!
Definitely the most impressive treetops walkway I’ve ever been to! 🌲
By far the highlight of the safari park was Lewis’ ‘treehouse.’ The boys were so happy up high in the trees! Lewis zoomed along the bridges like a bullet, almost unable to control himself for excitement!
Everybody recommended we did the safari park first as all the animals go to sleep in the afternoon and the caves make a great place to escape the afternoon heat. People here don’t really seem to use pushchairs and I was wondering why we were getting some pitiful looks. Endless uphill gravel paths, steep slopes, steps and 3km later, I realised why! The transport to and from the attractions is quite an operation. Firstly, we got a shuttle bus to the beginning of the walk. After 3km, we had to get on a small safari park to view the more dangerous animals, then we walked to get the tram back to the village. The wildlife park is certainly very ‘wild’ e.g you barely see any animals! Nonetheless the surroundings were stunning and it was lovely to walk/run in the woods, looking down to the valley below. The same woods that we can see from our Airbnb.
A lovely feeling waking up in a place like Hans Sur Lesse knowing everything was on our doorstep. We knew we had a lot to fit into the day so headed out early to a deserted village, 3 Euro discount cards in hand and bought our HanPasses for the day. Isaac’s favourite cat friend was still at the end of the alleyway to great him!
30 July 2018
Arrived at our Airbnb. What a find for £45 a night! The location is simply stunning: a few minutes away from a gorgeous village centre and its tourist attractions. Currently sat outside, looking out onto the forest, hills and field of Shetland ponies, listening to the crickets 🦗 sing bonne nuit! If only Lewis could understand them!!
The driving is already taking its toll on Bill who is probably realising the thought of driving through Europe is better than the reality! He’s doing a really good job of it and got to show off his lightening reaction speeds at one notable moment! 😲Thankfully tomorrow should be a car-free day so I might be spared the constant groaning and moaning! The driving bit was his idea! I take no responsibility!
The canon hunt continued, much to Lewis’ enjoyment!
C’est tres jolie! Dinant is in French speaking Belgium. I’d noted it down from a travel article a while back. It’s still yet to be mobbed by tour groups but I’m sure that time will come! The main bridge has lots of saxophone sculptures as it is believed this is where the saxophone was first made 🎷
Inside the Church. Apart from its unusual shape from the outside, the best thing about this church is that chimes a friendly, jolly music box-esque tune every 15minutes. Just adds even more to the prettiness/cuteness of Dinant.
We loved riding the telepherique down to the centre. Even Lewis declared ‘that was fun!’
Lewis’ hunt for canons!
Destination Dinant. Our first stop was the Citadelle car park where I’d heard they have a play park! We paid 23 euros in total for tickets for the citadelle and the telepherique.
Everybody managed the 3.30am alarm ⏰ The ferry crossings have definitely improved since the days of French school exchanges! A super crossing on DFDS ferries ⛴ Beautiful large windows and a little soft play that the boys thought was wonderful. Batteries recharged ready for the first stretch of driving on the continent.
29 July 2018
A drizzly drive but The Dartford Crossing did look very impressive towering above the fog. Isaac was pretty awestruck that something so big could stand up without lots of poles and described it as being on one of his train sets. The Travelodge is well located and the same as any other. As usual, Lewis announced his arrival with the world’s stinkiest nappy! 💩 Bill is straight in the bath to make the most of the free water! 🛀
And we’re off!! Emotional farewells to nanny. We’ve got as far as Thorney fire station so that Bill can check he’s definitely on holiday 😩 Help me!!
24 July 2018
We have a car! 🚘 Certainly makes the road trip more feasible!
So, the plan is to have both a relaxing and adventurous summer holiday heading towards some mountains ⛰ Our main destination is a Kinderhotel in Austria near Innsbruck. Bill was desperate to drive through Europe so we will be ticking off quite a few countries as we go...