|Dates:||4 Mar 2017 - 14 Jan 2018|
|Duration:||10 months, 2 weeks|
Our road trip around Europe in our Mazda Bongo campervan
We ended up in the Belgian Ardennes. What a beautiful area this is. Amazingly not many people about but that made it even better!
The Waterloo Memorial was amazing. You could see it from miles away!
Beautiful Bruge 💜
Stopped off for coffee & a wander around Lille.
The beautiful city of Arras 😍
Thiepval Memorial. Remembering more than 72,000 British & South African soldiers who died in the battle fields of the Somme & whose bodies were never found.
Ulster Memorial Tower - and had the place all to ourselves! 🙂
A very interesting history to this Chateau in Creully. It was recommended to us by one of our Instagram followers & it was great! Hardly a tourist in sight & so much history here, starting in the 11th century, continuing through the 100 Years War & on into the the 2nd World War & the Battle of Normandy.
The stunning Bayeux Cathedral lit up at night 🙂
We visited the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy. This sculpture is by Anilore Ban & is a memorial to those that lost their lives at Omaha Beach.
And.... here it is! 😍
Stayed at a great Aire close to the Mont St Michel. Weather still abysmal but cleared a little for a nice sunset 🙂
Stopped off for a quick wander around St Malo. Nice walk around the coastline but weather was awful! ☹️🌧🌪
Another fabulous historic old town in Brittany. Don’t miss Dinan if you are ever out this way!
Went on a night visit to Futurescope - amazing show by Cirque du Soleil at the end of the night. Well worth the 20€ entrance fee 🙂
Poitiers was a delightful surprise. Full of beautiful old buildings & narrow streets. The Catedrale de Notre Dame looked incredibly old... suppose it should since it was founded in the 11th century 🙂
We were invited to spend Christmas with a couple we met in Italy. Such a great week walking & cycling in the French countryside, visiting beautiful old villages & towns, as well as eating far too much & drinking lots of red wine. But oh what a fab week!!
Some early Christmas drunken goings-on in Arcachon... 😂😂
Well worth the steep climb up to the top of the biggest sand dune in Europe. Amazing views as far as the eye can see!
Yummy Tapas & vino... 😍👌🍷
The beautiful old town of Hondarribia.
Stayed in San Sebastian for a few days to rest up & catch up on some reading 🙂
Fab park up by the Cares Gorge Road on the way to Poncebo! No one else in sight... unless you count the small group of curious mountain goats that came to stare at us! 😂
Yet more amazing architecture & design from Antoni Gaudi, this time a house in Comillas called El Capricho. Beautiful tiles with sunflowers, birds & plants on them 🙂
Los Cubos de Memoria in Llanes 🙂
Did some daytrips to small fishing villages & towns along the coast of Asturias & Cantabria. Still raining though! ☹️
Hola Picos de Europa! Me gusta mucho!! 😍
Stopped off here in Candas for the night. Lovely small town on the coast with some great tapas bars. Shame about the weather though but hey, northern Spain, can’t expect anything else really! 😏
The most beautiful beach & totally deserted! Much prefer this coast of Portugal to the horrible over-developed Algarve! Not another person in sight at sunset & we could walk for miles 😍
Finally! A beach with no development, no people, no bars blasting music, no dune buggies or 4x4s racing up & down. Just mother nature at her finest!
We drove through mile after mile of fire ravished national forest when we left Obidos. It was incredibly sad to see the vast amount of devastation the recent fires left behind here in Portugal & awful to think of all the people that died. 😞
We loved this little hilltop village called Obidos. It was also a great place to celebrate my birthday indulging in local food & wine! 🙂
Stopover on the way up the coast
The most south westerly point of mainland Europe, Cabo San Vincente. They used to think this was the end if the world!
Visited Lagos in the western Algarve. We were hoping to find somewhere less developed than the eastern bit but no such luck. The old town in Lagos was okay for a wander around but that was about it.
We drove all the way from Madrid to El Rocio in Andalusia as we had heard it was kind of quirky and off the beaten path. It was! All the streets are sand & there are hitching posts for horses in front of all the restaurants & bars & houses. It’s like a wild west town!! There is also an amazing national park right next to it with thousands of birds visiting everyday at sunset. Just beautiful! 🙂👌
Great time in Madrid. Day was spent drinking coffee in old coffee shops, sherry in a bar that is still the same inside as it was back during the Spanish Civil War when Ernest Hemingway drank in it, tapas & local cerveza in a typical Madridleno tapas bar & then a wander through the back streets. Perfecto! 👌🥂
Cuenca - famous for its Casas Colgadas, hanging houses, which sit precariously on the cliff tops.
Great free-camping spot in Parque Natural de la Serrania de Cuenca 👌And not another person in sight! Perfect 🙂
Not sure what or who these statues are but great rest stop between Albarracin & Cuenca and nice for freecamping. One of the statues looks like Don Quixote!
The beautiful village of Albarracin. What a lovely discovery.
Stopped off in Cambrils for week to rest up. Great campsite right on the beach & an esplanade that runs all the way along the coast into town 🙂
Daytrip in to Barcelona on the bus. I love this city. Such a great vibe to it. A few protest marches still going on but no trouble anywhere.
Discovering Sitges was a delightful surprise 🙂👌
Time to get south of the Pyranees!
Windy Narbonne! Pleasant enough for a stop over but nowhere near as nice as Albi 🙂 The wind is cold too - time to head south for the winter I think! 😉
What a delightful discovery Albi was! And as we are both fans of Toulouse-Lautrec, it was made even better by the fact Albi has a museum dedicated to him.
This beautiful medieval village in the south of France is my fave so far! So much to see packed into such a small space! Najac is a hilltop village in the Aveyron region of France.
The medieval village of Rocamadour is built almost vertically straight up a cliff face. It has a complex of religious buildings at the top which people used to travel to as part of their pilgrimage. The chapel houses the statue of the black madonna.
The very eerie & sad Oradour sur Glane. A village that has never been rebuilt since 10th June 1944 when German soldiers entered it and massacred every single man, woman & child. Over 600 people.
The beautiful view at Le Meandre de Queuille
We were hoping to climb the Puy de Dome in weather like this but unfortunately, by the time we got there, it was so foggy you couldn’t see a thing. We climbed it anyway but this photo is a view of the park in the distance.
The historic town of Autun. Really lovely place & never even heard of it before. Love finding places off the beaten path with hardly any tourists!
Beautiful Basel! 😍
Stopped off in Bad Belligen so we could visit Basel in Switzerland. You get free travel!!
Driving through the valleys in the Black Forest
Hmmm... it appears that Frankenstein’s Castle has been turned into a theme bar!!
Well hello Luxembourg! 🙂
Passing through the pretty but touristy village of Viane in Luxembourg.
This place is so mysterious & incredibly peaceful. Extersteine was apparently a pagan site which the church then took over, but no one really knows what it was originally used for.
The Hermannsdenkmal commemorates The Battle of Teutoburg Forest when Arminius, the leader of the Germanic tribes, defeated 3 Roman Legions in battle in 9 AD. This battle was depicted in the movie Gladiator 👌
Weringerode is pretty much more of the same as Quedlinburg - just not as good! 🙂
We drove across this dam & reservoir on the Bode River where they also have a very long suspension bridge! 😱
The beautiful medieval town of Quedlinburg is full of tiny timber framed buildings like these - 100s of years old.
In Thale, in the Harz Mountains, there is a reputation for all things witchy & bewitching! This amazing hall, called Walpurgis Halle, was built in 1901 & the guy who designed it also did the beautiful huge paintings inside. My favourite was this one depicting witches dancing around the flames on Walpurgis Night.
Apparently, the most visited thing in Weimar is this statue of Goethe & Schiller. Personally, I preferred the building where the history of the gestapo & then the Stasi keep their files on people far more interesting.
Went to Richard Wagner’s house & the museum about his life, work & the Bayreuth Festival. Was great fun looking at all the costumes through the years & the stage settings.
We dropped in to visit Bamberg & so glad we did! Such a beautiful place - like stepping into a fairytale! 😍
Stopped over in Nuremberg for the weekend. Pretty fascinating place with an old historic centre plus all the buildings built by Albert Speer for Hitler. Everyone has heard of the Nuremberg Rallies of course & also the trials. Amazing city.
We went to the Bavarian Forest National Park to walk the longest tree top walk in the world. It ends with an amazing 44m high tower! Just stunning!
Beautiful Cesky Krumlov! 😍
The city of The Sound of Music - Salzburg!
Beautiful Hallstatt - shame about the constant bus loads of tourists being disgorged throughout the day!
Crossed over the amazing Vrsic Pass heading to Austria.
Driving through the Soca Valley & skirting the Triglav National Park.
We stopped over near Kobarid for a few days. Stunning area by the Soca River & very famous historically from the war. Hemingway wrote A Farewell to Arms based on his experiences here. Shame the world didn’t pay attention to his book. 😔
Really love Lake Bled in Slovenia. Absolutely spectacular & lives up to all expectations! 👌😍🚐💨
Love Zagreb! ❤️
We hoped to visit Plitvice National Park but the cost was ridiculous & it was so overrun with tour buses, there was no way you would get us in there even if it was free!! 😖
On the way to Zagreb. Had enough of the touristy Adriatic coast 😖
Stopped off in Zadar to hear the sea organ! 👌
On the way to the Island of Krk
We discovered the beautiful old town of Rovinj in Croatia. Wandered the streets here for days.
Spent a couple of days in Trieste. Lovely city to wander around with some very beautiful historic coffee houses.
We arrived at Lago de Ledro back in Italy. It was our 29th wedding anniversary so we treated ourselves to dinner 😊👌
Very foggy going over the Croce Domini Pass. Single lane road too - glad it was too foggy to see how far down it was!! 😱
We stopped off at the Brusio Viaduct on our way to Trieste. Very foggy but didn’t have to wait long for the Bernina Express to come along.
Stopped off for a couple of days in Poschiavo. So sad to be leaving Switzerland 😞
On the way over the Bernina Pass on the way to Poschiavo
Stayed overnight in Chur before we head back down to Italy.
Over the pass & at the top was this beautiful lake.
Heading up the Susten Pass on the way over the mountains to Chur.
We hiked the trail through the Aare Gorge & back again. So amazing!!
The famous Reichenbach Falls where Sherlock Holmes fought with Moriarty & they both fell into the falls.
We stayed in the beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley in the shadow of the Swiss Alps.
The beautiful village of Lauterbrunnen, with a waterfall in the town itself!
Stopped to stock up at the Coop!
Coffee break at Thun Lake 🙂☕️
Paid a visit to Berne, the capital of Switzerland. Very quiet for a capital city & lovely to wander along the Aare River on a beautiful sunny day.
Took a cog train up to Rochers de Naye - amazing views from the top!
Had to pay a visit to this 😍
A giant fork in Lake Geneva! Love it! 😍
Staying in Villeneuve near Montreaux on the beautiful Lake Geneva
Spent a day wandering around Chamonix
Stayed in the shadow of Aguille du Midi & Mt Blanc! Stunningly beautiful!
What a beautiful city Turin is!
Took the train for a day trip to Genoa - shame about the rain ☹️
Stayed over for a few days at Deiva Marina to visit Cinque Terre National Park.
The hiking trail between the five villages of Cinque Terre was closed due to rain from the previous week so we had to make do with wandering around the streets & allyways of Monterosso. Not a bad second choice though!
The beautiful & historic hill top town of Assisi. Very touristy, but what a view from the top of the castle hill.
Stopped off in the hill top village of Todi in Umbria, before drivng on to Assisi.
Second lot of Etruscan tombs but this Necropolis is laid out like a city & the tombs were decorated with elaborate paintings & murals. Not as old as the other site.
Visited the amazing Etruscan tombs at Cerveteri. Not much is known about the Etruscans & these tombs are unbelievably old - dated at 400 to 700 BC. Reminded me a lot of the Egyptians.
Stayed over at Lago di Bracciano. What an amazing town Bracciano is. Little did we know that the hill top castle has a famous history with the Medici & Orsini families & we had only just finished reading a book about them.
Drove to the top of the hill to Monte Cassino. Not to visit the Abbey, but to see where 70,000 soldiers died fighting over obtaining this hill top from the Germans.
Stayed over in Sorrento for a couple of nights as it was pouring down on our 2nd day.
Very touristy Amalfi!
Visited Ravello high up on the Amalfi Coast. Such amazing views & a gorgeous sunny day. Apparently, all the best people spent time here - Virginia Woolf, Joan Miro, Gore Vidal & now us!!
Driving the Amalfi Coast - so much traffic!
A stopover before driving the Amalfi Coast
The town of Matera with it’s ancient caves called Sassi. The location was used by Mel Gibson in his film The Passion of Christ. Absolutely stunning setting.
The beautiful Trulli houses of Alberobello. It was very touristy in the centre but further out there were some great examples that hadn’t been tarted up for us tourists! 😂
Arrived in Brindisi & headed straight to Alberobello
On the way to Brindisi!
Overnight stop before catching the ferry to Italy tomorrow ☹️
We were really disappointed to arrive at Olimpia & find that they were forcing people to buy combined tickets for the site & the museum. You used to be able to buy a ticket just for Ancient Olimpia, and even though it was still up on their sign, they wouldn't sell us one. We were not prepared to pay €12 just to look at the ruins. Complete rip off! You could see it from the road anyway.
The amazing seaside castle at Methoni 😎
The beautiful seaside village of Koroni 😍
Stopped over at Camping Kalagoria to recharge batteries 🙂
Absolutely loved the stunning Mani Peninsular with it's tower houses in villages set on hill tops & hanging on sides of cliffs & it's barren countryside with endless views of the sea & winding roads 😍
Hiked all the way out to this lighthouse n the southernmost tip of mainland Europe
Stayed over near Mavranouni after visiting Ancient Corinth.
Parked up for the night on the coast near Ancient Corinth. After watching a lightening storm come in from the sea in the early hours, we had a beautiful sunrise to start our new day 😍
Had to stop here this time & take a photo as having seen it for the first time on the train from Athens many years ago, we couldn't stop & take photos then.
Overnight stop at the top of Evia in Pefki
Headed up to northern Evia
Finally made it to Evia & set up camp at Camping Milos - right on the sea front! Think we might be here for a few days 😍
Such an awesome feeling to visit this historic place. Have wanted to come for years & finally made it!
Beautiful, magical Meteora 😍
Spent several days here just hanging out, swimming & sunning. Such a quiet beautiful place.
Stopped off here to restock the fridge, restock our finances & wander around. Beautiful views from the top where the old fortress is located.
The village of Vikos & the view to the Vikos Gorge. Simply stunning!
One of the beautiful villages of the Zagorohoria in the Pindus Mountains, Monodendri
Travelled up into the beautiful NW region of Greece to the beautiful town of Ioannina set on a lake.
Stopped off in the village of Melnik, famous for it's wines.
The stunning Trigrad Gorge in the Rhodope Mountains 😍
Went to The Wonderful Bridges - beautiful natural structures that look like a series of bridges but was actually once a cave.
Amazing location with incredible views!
Another scorching hot day here in Bulgaria. We had a really lovely drive up through part of the Rhodope Mountains to Asenovgrad.
Not sure about this! Came across this doll tied to a tree by the lake in Kardhazli. Unsure what it's all about but have seen a few of these during our explorations of the Rhodope Mountains.
Staying near the Kardzahli Dam for a couple of nights before heading up to Assen's Fortress
Finally left Tsarevo & headed to the Rhodope Mountains. Stopped at the Thracian site of Perperikon on the way. Amazing site & there were only two other people there! Sooooo hot though... 38 degrees! 😓😩
Staying in Tsarevo for a day or two to rest up before heading into Strandja National Park. Actually, a day or two has now become 4 & can't see us moving on in the next few days either! Loving it here 😍
Another old town with distinctive architecture in this region
Visited Nesebar old town on the way down the coast
Stopped off for a couple of nights in Varna
We were hoping to hang out here at Corbu Beach for a while but after two nights of feeling very claustrophobic due to the number of people around & having to listen to techno shit nearly all night, we decided to move on. Not why we go to the beach!! So, still searching for some peace & serenity ... not sure anywhere in Europe has it! 😩🚐💨
Our longest drive in Romania yet has finally got us to Murghiol so we can do a boat trip out into the Danube Delta 🙂
Arrived in Sinaia & thought we would visit Peles Castle
Border crossing into Romania
Border crossing into Hungary
Loving Vilnius! Definitely our favourite of the three old towns we have visited in the east so far! 😍
Spent 2 days wandering the cobbled streets of Tallinn.
Stopping here for a couple of nights so we can visit Savonlinna for the castle in the lake 🙂
Stopped off just outside Trondheim for a visit 🙂
Arrived at The Troll Road - so amazing!!
Arrived at beautiful Geraingerfjord 😍🇳🇴
Finally stopped for the night...
Beautiful Stegastein! What a view... 😍🇳🇴
Treated ourselves to a hotel stay in Bergen. Beautiful hotel in a lovely part of the city 😍
Hiked up to Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock) - started out very early so low lying cloud & mist made it very magical & surreal - the clouds eventually parted to reveal Lysefjord in all her glory 😍
Stopped for lunch with a view! 🙂
Stayed by the lake near Seljord - beautiful!
Stopped over at lake Stor Bor for a day or so 😍
Arrived in Stockholm! And it's 23 degrees! 😎😎🇸🇪😍
Parked up on this lake near Horby for a day or two
Crossing the Oresund Bridge into Sweden 🙂🇸🇪
Crossing from one Danish island to another! 🙂🇩🇰
Stopped over in Ribe in Denmark in time to catch the end of the parade for their Tulip festival
Arrived in Bremen & spent a couple of days wandering around this lovely city
On the causeway from Netherlands to Germany 🙂
Arrived at Camping de Laken in the National Park Zuid-Kennemerland. Will be here for a few days! Beautiful campsite set amongst the dunes & the beach goes on forever! Just need the temperature to pick up!!
Arrival in Rotterdam!
Off we go... bye Hull. Rotterdam here we come!
Visited Bempton Cliffs to join a Puffin Patrol. Was way too windy!! Only saw one Puffin & she was hiding in her burrow. Don't blame her!! Great visit though 🙂
Parked up for the next couple of days at Filey Brigg, a small seaside town, before we head to Hull to catch the ferry to the Netherlands 🙂
Scarborough - typical British seaside resort with loads of tacky souvenir shops & arcades. Not our kind of place but we could see it must have been quite grand once upon a time.
Stopped off at Robin Hoods Bay to have a wander around this historic village 🙂
Arrived in beautiful Whitby & think we'll stay a couple of days 🙂
On the way to Whitby!!
Good luck Bonnie Bongo! 🤞
Stayed overnight in a hotel - comfort! - as we are booked in to have some repairs done on the van & get an MOT so we don't have to come back in November. Fingers crossed xx 🤞😎
Stopped for the night in Streethead 🙂right next to an old georgian inn - how convenient!
Visited Richmond - really lovely old market town with a castle perched on a cliff 🙂also found a great book stall in the market hall so filled a bag with some as they were all new books for £2.99! Happy days! 🙂📚
View across Ullswater Lake from the Aira Force Waterfalls trail 🙂
Hadrians Wall at Birdoswald Fort
Corbridge Roman Town ruins - following Hadrian's Wall from today 🙂
Have always wanted to visit Newcastle & it was a lovely city!
On the causeway back from Lindisfarne 🙂
Loved Berwick-upon-Tweed 😍
Woke up to this today! 😱
Standing stones at Stenness ~ huge!!!!
Visited Smoo Cave
Beautiful waterfall & hiking trails. Suspension bridge over the canyon was a bit scary though! 😳
Camp view for tonight 😍
So chuffed! Always wanted to cross this pass on the NC500. What a beautiful sunny day to do it as well! Near the top of the Baelach Na Ba ( Applecross Pass).
Me outside Eilean Donan Castle near Kyle of Lochalsh. Was apparently in my granmothers family heritage.
Restock of supplies, coffee break & update on phones! 😂
Overnight on Loch Leven
On the way to Glencoe
Back to Oban & on to Glencoe
Arrived in Tobermory - nice hot shower & yummy breakfast!
Stopped for the night at Calgary Bay 😍
Driving through mountains, lochs & waterfalls!
Our overnight stop on Lochbuie
Arrived on Mull
Ferry to Mull
Stopped off at the village of Luss on Loch Lomond
Ferry to Scotland
Great walk up the Cave Hill today 🙂
Camping out with family in Belfast for a week. 🙂
Camped out next to Lough Neagh - shame about the weather 😩
Hiking in Glenariff National Park
Parked up for the night next to the sea in Cushendall
Walked around the walls in Londonderry, stopped off for a coffee & visited the Peace Bridge. Beautiful sunny day!
Driving over Glengesh Pass
Amazing cliffs of Slieve League
Settled in for the next two days at Lakeside Camping in Ballyshannon
Had a look around Sligo. Seemed like half the town was closed! 😱
Lunch by Lough Ree
Arrived in Doonbeg - great lil campsite by the sea 🙂
Stopped off in Kilrush for lunch
Crossed the Shannon River on the way to Doonbeg
Slea head drive was spectacular
Wee drive around the Dingle Peninsular today 🙂
Arrived in Tralee & ready to relax for the rest of the day in the sunshine 🙂☀️☘️💚
Stopped off for a coffee & a sausage roll! ☕️
Did the drive around the Ring of Kerry today - stunning scenery.
Stunningly beautiful in Killarney National Park
Drove from Kilkenny to Killarney today. Looks like at least 3 days of sunshine so into the national park for lots more hiking! 🙂☀️☘️
Just loved Kilkenny! Really pretty medieval town & so much to see wandering around 😍
Wexford also a little disappointing. Nice enough town but not what we were expecting 😦
Hmmm... not overly impressed with Wicklow. Mountains & glens are far better!
Too knackered to think much! 😩😴nearly an hour just to get out of Dublin! Peak traffic here worse than London!
On an almost empty Irish Ferries Ferry to Dublin 💚🎩☘️🚐💨
Breakwater Country Park, Holyhead, Wales
Penrhyn Bay, Wales
On the way to Penrhyn Bay campsite 🏕
Beaumaris Castle, Wales 🏰
Menai Strait, Wales
Llanberis Lake, Snowdonia National Park
Conwy Castle, Wales 🏰
Clywedog Reservoir, Wales
Carnaerfon Castle 🏰
Stunning Harlech Castle
Beautiful Tintern Abbey 😍
A climb up the hill to Glastonbury Tor 🙂
Beautiful Mill Park Campsite near Ilfracombe in Devon
The beautiful Minack Theatre
A visit to Lands End & the strongest wind ever! 🌬
View of St Michael's Mount from Marazion
First sunny day!
Stayed overnight in Dartmoor National Park but too wet to do any walking 😩
Stayed overnight in the New Forest - cold & wet! 😩
This is our new van and today is the big day! 😍
|Dates:||4 Mar 2017 - 14 Jan 2018|
|Duration:||10 months, 2 weeks|
Our road trip around Europe in our Mazda Bongo campervan