Europe · 189 Days · 40 Moments · June 2018

2018 Adventures

12 December 2018

Rounding the year off we went with friends, Jane & Alan, to London and spent a few hours exploring Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, followed by a meal at the Hard Rock Cafe (the original one) and then off to the O2 to see Josh Groban in concert.

8 December 2018

On the way back from Aachen to Düsseldorf we took a small detour to Schloss Merode where they had a (genuine) real Christmas market around the edges of the castle (complete with Rapunzel tower, moat, drawer bridge etc)
Saturday and we headed off to Aachen, very pretty church, but otherwise....maybe not for a second visit

7 December 2018

Squeezed in a long weekend in Düsseldorf following a business trip. No photos of Düsseldorf as we did that in the evening. Friday saw us rent a car and head off to cologne to view the “Dom”. We walked across the Hohenzollernbrücke bridge to the Triangle building (great view and only 3 euro’s to go up), every single inch of the railings on the bridge is covered in padlocks (lovelocks).

6 October 2018

We waited just over a year to see Michael McIntyre on his “Big world tour” tour at the O2 millennium dome at Greenwich. The show was great, as expected, however the seats were at the very very top of the rows, they are very very very high!

30 September 2018

We stopped off for a coffee & sandwich at Burford on the way home, pretty little town with just about everything you would need.
Batsford arboretum was a quick 1 hour walk away from the campsite, we assumed it would be a short tour around before moving on to something else. We spent hours walking around thus fantastic place. We finished the day with a couple of shows at the adjacent Cotswold falconry centre

28 September 2018

On our way to a weekend away at Moreton-in-Marsh-in-marsh, we stopped off at Bibury, quintessential Cotswold village, very pretty.

8 September 2018

BBC Proms in the park. Fantastic day & evening of “British eccentricity” wonderfully started with a stage full of “Rock Choir” being joined unannounced by ~4,000 other Rock Choir members in the audience as a flash mob!

12 August 2018

Tate Modern day, we had always wanted to go and have a look around, probably fair to say that we can now confirm that neither of us really “get” modern art!

11 August 2018

Next day was busy...really, really busy! The Royal Mews was really interesting with a great showing of carriages & cars, St James’s park had a fab selection of birds in a great setting. Highlight of the day was St Paul’s Cathedral, we managed a guided tour followed by our own explore, in all we were there for just over 3 hours, fascinating place.

10 August 2018

Our hotel for the weekend was the CitizenM, very funky place in Southwark near the Shard....not the greatest view from the bedroom mind 😃
A weekend in London. We started with an evening dinner cruise from embankment pier, cruised down past the O2 and then back, a completely different view of London, especially as night approached and all the lights dame on.

1 August 2018

Carew castle & tidal mill pond

30 July 2018

Just about perfect! The view from the cliff tops above North beach, Tenby
Amroth beach North beach South beach Cliffs at Amroth
Tenby harbour, wonderful little fishing village with everything you could want for a relaxing holiday.
Another trip to Wales in the Van. This time we are centred on Tenby and managed to pick some perfect weather for our visit. North beach is the smaller of the two beaches.

21 July 2018

Our first Festival! We went with friends (and their van) to the “Marvellous” festival at Dinton Pastures in Wokingham, 5 miles from where we live 👍 A gentle Friday night with local bands followed by 2 days of Tribute bands on some of the hottest days of the year Truly Marvellous. Saturday line up Oye Santana, Pink, Sir Tom, Police Force, Ed Sheeran, Def Might Be, T Rextasy, Ultimate Eagles Sunday line up Rock Choir, Sounds of Simon, Bruno, Fillers, Boot LED Zeppelin, Typically Tina, Legend, Coldplace

15 June 2018

Well, that was the end of the good stuff! Friday saw us get up early and pop down to the local Real Kauf supermarket to stock up on lots of fresh packed meats, good plan but their fridges packed up the night before! So we set off into Trier to find another which delayed us somewhat. We managed to get underway by about 11ish, which meant it was a straight slog all the way to Calais with no time for a real break. 300 Miles and 5 hrs later I was very glad to have paid a few extra pounds for the club lounge on the boat! Off the other side and a quick 2 hour dash home brings our first European trip to a close.

14 June 2018

Today the sun came out, so we stayed put until the afternoon and just soaked up the rays! We had a quick cycle into town to view a few more things just to round the trip off. Dinner in the Vinyard restaurant tonight - Yum 😋

13 June 2018

We’re staying on a Vinyard, of course we were always going to “do” the tour and partake in the wine tasting at the end - really glad we did as it was fascinating to listen to the production story. The hill we are facing had just been terraced and planted with new Vines, the vines won’t be ready to produce wine quality grapes for 7 years! The owners have just planted 17 linear kilometres of new vines for their son so that he can continue the business - forward planning at its best.
The Dom (cathedral) and Frauen Kirche are connected to each other, both are magnificent pieces of architecture.
Trier is old, very very old! Our first stop off was to visit the Roman Amphitheater, superbly restored example originally dating back to AD200
We decided to try our hand a a site a little more basic today, no showers, no loo’s, no water point, but we do get an electric hook up - we’re parked in a Vinyard (how cool is that!) with a row of vines down one side of the van, facing a hill full of vines. The Vinyard is “Georg Fritz Von Nell” clearly royalty 😂 Bikes off and away we go into the centre of Trier....
Headed towards Trier today but decided to detour via Schiesentumple falls - amazing what water can do to solid rock with a little bit of time in the mix.

12 June 2018

Really odd, but interesting, characters adorning all sorts of buildings throughout the City
A selection of other interesting buildings dotted throughout the City
Today we caught the bus into Luxembourg, nice and easy, and didn’t get soaked which was pleasant. We walked to an area called “Grund”, fabulous older part of Luxembourg City with throwbacks to the 12th century, a number of the towers that formed part of the city battlements remain in really good condition.
Pont Adolphe bridge
Grand Duchess Charlotte bridge (taken from the glass observation pod, 65 mtrs above ground) It was raining.....again
Bock casements bridge

11 June 2018

We arrived in Luxembourg and arrived Unbooked at Altxxxxx, handily we arrived at lunch time which is when they are closed, fortunately the nice lady on the barriers let us in and found a space for us. This being our first acsi site we were pleasantly surprised to discover that is also the cheapest nights camping so far (17Euro), pitches are a good size, water and electric on the pitch, loo’s and showers looked brand new! We grabbed the now customary handful of blurb, listened intently to the briefing and parked up. Grabbing the bikes we set off to explore Luxembourg via a 9km cycle path that follows the river all the way into the city centre, we arrived just as the heavens opened, shame that we didn’t have proper waterproofs with us 😱 We explored a little, Palais Grand-Ducal was impressive, however the Cathedral Notre-Dame was awesome in scale and features. It was getting late, the rain wasn’t going to stop so we headed back....and got thoroughly soaked!!!
The Victor Bodson bridge

10 June 2018

Oh dear! We had a biblical storm at about 5 in the afternoon, the hail was interesting but the deluge of water has exposed a leak somewhere on top of the van, only seems to do it when under water though - so on with the holiday.
Today was Cochem, what a fabulous place! The castle is fairy tale pretty, and fortunately they have a bus that will drive you to the entrance! We did our bit for fitness by walking down the hill (and having an ice Cream). The stone frog is, of course, actually a lion wearing a helmet from a suit of armour (Maybe he needs a good kiss!) Our stay for 2 nights was in “Camping Cochem”, which seems to be about 60% permanently pitched caravans and the remainder motorhomes/caravans.
We jumped onto a boat and took a quick ride up (Down?) the Mosel to Treis-Karden, the sun was blazing and the views spectacular. I can easily understand the attraction of a long lazy boat tour down the Mosel.

9 June 2018

We went to Spa to break the journey up, underwhelmed! Filled up with diesel and left after a 10 minute walk around.

7 June 2018

Day 1 of our first European adventure. The ferry crossing from Dover to Calais passed in a flash after finding a chatty pair of older travellers (yes really, older than us!), we turned left out of Calais, however we only got as far as Bruges! But very pretty it is too. We stayed at “Camping Memling” about 2.5 miles away from the centre, but with the bikes released from the back of the van we managed the marathon distance into the centre in about 15 mins. Today was just a mooch around town enjoying the architecture and sounds of the city (we’ll ignore the stinky river though), we left the sightseeing bit until tomorrow. On the advice of Jenni we ventured to an all you can eat place called “Ribs & Beer” - fabulous ribs, but we may have over eaten a bit 🤫