A visit to Europe


The Plan

When we left Clacton on Sea the state of the economy was such that the price of buying houses had dropped so much that we decided not to sell our house but to let it to tenants and in turn rent a property in Lancashire in which to live.

The property market has still not returned to it’s former level so we are still living in a rented property and our house still has tenants. This has actually made the idea of travelling easier as we don’t have to worry about a property while we are away and it does provide some income.

Having experienced the joys of renting (roof leaking? never mind phone the landlord! fuse blown? never mind, where’s the landlords phone number?) we are happy to do it again

So - where are we going?

The plan at the moment spreads over three years and is very fluid (although if we don’t like the lifestyle may last just a few weeks or months)

Year One.

First we must attend a family wedding on 30th June in Hereford and in order to do that must be permanently in the van by about 25th July - this will give us the chance to remove our bed and the last two chairs into store and to give the house a last top to bottom clean, as we don’t want to loose any of our security deposit. We plan to take the slow way to Hereford taking a few days and arriving on 28th, and then after the wedding we must drive in a big circle visiting (saying good bye) to various relatives until 7th August when - HURAHH!! we cross the channel to Dunkerque and then on to Lith in Holland.

We have a friend who lives in Lith who has booked a pitch for us and we will stay here for a few weeks getting used to living in the van in a foreign country and also learn to ride our new bicycles (neither of us has ridden for years) whilst exploring the River Rhine from where it exits into the North Sea near Rotterdam to where it crosses the German/Holland border to the east of Nijmegen.

Germany next.

We plan to continue following the River Rhine south(ish) through to Lake Constance, although we have no time plans we want to be away from the Alpine areas/countries before snow tyres/chains need to be fitted which is generally from the beginning of November to the middle of April, so if we get to Lake Constance early enough we will continue over the Alps into Northern Italy. But when the witching hour of November approaches we plan to head south west into Spain where we intend to overwinter returning to the UK  in the middle of March to enable us the Service and MOT the car and service the caravan before heading off again to start

Year Two

Year two in Europe will be (we think) rather different we plan to do a long loop to the east, taking in a number of countries including but not only :-

  1. (I)     Poland

  2. (II)     Czech Republic

  3. (III)     Slovakia

  4. (IV)     Hungary

  5. (V)     Romania

  6. (VI)     Bulgaria

  7. (VII)    Greece

We also hope to travel into Ukraine (but not with the car and van) to see some friends but where we will travel from, if we even go, will depend on how easy it will be to get in and out. Last time I went to The Ukraine passing through customs  (both in and out) took hours. The main target for the trip will be Rome in Italy after which we will probably go back into Spain/Portugal for the winter returning to the UK as the previous year in the middle of March.

Year Three

My but that seems a long way off - we have to survive the first two yet - but assuming we do the idea for this year is, during the summer only of course, to go through the usual Holland, Germany and Poland and then head north into Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia where there is a ferry to Finland. A circle route round Norway, Sweden and Denmark would then bring us back into Germany.

What then? Your guess is as good as ours. If we are still alive and reasonably fit then I expect we will find something to do.