Gibraltar

30.06.2013

The night was not so good. It became really busy in the night. Till in the morning 6-7 o’clock was the teenager screaming and listening to loud music from the cars. I slept not much this night. Always listen if someone is doing something on our car. But luckily is everything ok. At 8 was our alarm clock ringing. Just I don’t wanted.
In the morning was the parking empty… till noon.

I started to translate the next article for my webpage. It took me till 3pm. Then I finished the translation finally and connected with the internet, to save it. I clicked the button to save and the webpage was refreshing and… everything gone. Gone… the last 5 hours of writing… gone. Just gone. I thought I’ll die. 5 hours just gone. What I could have done in 5 hours…
But nothing I could do anymore. We packed our stuff at 5 finally and went to the border.

Crossing the border was simple and without problems. We was showing our passports and could pass. Maybe they saw that our Kangaroo was fully packed and they wasn’t in mood to check everything :)

We went straight through whole Gibraltar, till the end… to the Point of Europe. From here you can see Africa. :) And also the rest of the view is nice.
Me at the lighthouseFrom this point is also a bus going to the city. Because of the bad parking situation in the city (not much space there) we took the bus to go into the city center. Actually we wanted to make just a roundtrip, just to have a better imagination of the town. But we had a ticket problem again and had to leave the bus in the city center (one way ticket… they call it again single ticket) and was walking through the city center. On a Sunday is everything closed of course, except some kiosks. But it was interesting already to walk through Gibraltar and to see some things already.

We went back around 8, with the bus again, to the parking place. We eat something and was converting our sleeping car. A few teenager had some fun in the evening on the parking. But soon they left and we could finally sleep.

01.07.2013

Around 10 we finally got up. The first way was leading us direct to the tourist office, which was straight next to us. We was took a few information and maps. That we will went on the rock, was clear. Actually I wanted to go with the cable car. But then we would had to walk to the sightseeing places. And the rock isn’t that small. On the other hand has it an advantage to go by car. 29 Euro Euro for 2 people and a car and all other entrance fees (for the sightseeing things) would have been included.

St. Michaels caveFirst of all we was visiting St. Michaels cave. A very interesting, but small cave. It is partly converted to a concert cave. In 15 minutes we went through the cave.

Around the cave entrance are the first monkeys. On the rock of Gibraltar are the only monkeys in Europe living. They are Barbary apes. And they are cheeky! When we arrived and didn’t know that they are there, we had the windows from the car open. Before we could realize what is going on, we had already on in the half open window. Luckily on Julias side (I would have probably made an accident). She was so surprised about it that she was hitting him out again. We closed quickly the windows and drove further to the parking.
An apeOn the street there, around the cove, was around 20 apes. They wasn’t very interested in humans probably. Only when a car with open window is passing. One guy they stole very quickly a bag of crisps… out of the car. To feed the monkeys is strictly forbidden and is sued with a fine of 4000 GIB (Gibraltar Pound).

After the cave visit we went to the other end of the rock. To the ‘Great Siege Tunnel’. A defending tunnel which they were digging in the rock, as defense in the siege in the 17th century. Here we saw as well some ‘big Bertas’. The big canons from this time. It’s very interesting to see these tunnels. Even they are prepared for tourists.
The Siege tunnelsIn the rock of Gibraltar are tunnels with a total length of 50km. I would have loved to see more of it. :) But like that we had a small view in the history of the country.

Here is also a view point with a great view of the north part of Gibraltar and behind Spain. Also on the airport with its runway, which is crossing the only entrance street to Gibraltar. If a airplane is arriving or departing, then they close the street and nobody comes in or out of the country :)

North of Gibraltar

After the tunnels we went back down of the rock. Actually we wanted to see the ape rock as well, but that are all one way streets and we passed the apes rock already and couldn’t go back not.

GibraltarWe went back to the parking at the Europe Point, where we was standing the day before already, and drove by buy into the city center. The most uncomplicated and relaxing way. It was already half past 5, as we arrived in the town. Luckily are the shops open until 7 in Gibraltar. We went in the shopping street and had a look around. The shops remembered me on Andorra. Some are a mix between phone, computer, jewelry and souvenir shop. Beside a few shops which was selling tobacco and alcohol. We was reading in the internet that Gibraltar is supposed to be a tax and shopping paradise. But we couldn’t find that part. Technique cost the same as everywhere else. Cigarettes and alcohol is cheaper, yes. And petrol is also cheaper. At the moment around 1,30 Euro for 95er. But the rest… the same prices.

Mosque by nightWe had a look around, but couldn’t really find something interesting. We bought some souvenirs and postcards. And of course I bought a pack of cigarettes… and a pack nicotine patches.
But that’s it.

The shops closed slowly one by one and we went back to the bus stop. Our bus was there already and made a break. We took this one straight away and went back to the car at the Europe Point.
I was translating the article again, which got lost last time.

02.07.2013

The day of leaving Gibraltar. But first of all we went to the café there and used their internet. :) I was finally publishing the article about Barcelona and wrote a bit more on the current one. Also postcards we had to write. :)

Some when around 2 we left finally. But first of all in the city again. The only postbox we known was in the city. We was looking for a parking space. In the city is everything to pay. I was feeding the machine with 2 Euro and we could stay for 2 hours.
Julia wanted to buy some more postcards, at the next kiosk. I had the spontaneous idea to buy also another postcard and send it to someone totally unknown. :)

We decided to go to an Indian restaurant, from which we saw the advertising board the day before. So, we was looking for the restaurant. It was a small one, in a small side street.
Julia ordered a mango shake… it was very tasty. Something like mango mixed in yoghurt. To eat we had chicken in 2 different ways. Also tasty.
PostboxAfter our lunch was it time to write postcards. Luckily we got the WiFi password from the restaurant. So I could search for an address for my surprise postcard. I’ve opened the online phone book and then I had no idea how to find 1 address from 80 millions. Julia mentioned that I could search for my surname. Maybe I could find someone and it would reduce the results a lot. So I was looking for my surname and really, just 9 result pages.
Then I saw on the first page the entry of an owner of a flower shop. Katrin Zube. I liked it (mostly because of the flower shop) and Katrin will get now a postcard from me. :)

PostcardsAfter all was done, we went back to the car. Of course passing the postbox, where we was sending our postcards on its way. Back to the car we almost got a ticket from the police. The woman was already writing something in her machine, when we was screaming, from far already, that we are leaving now. She smiled and say friendly ‘You are going NOW?’ … ‘Yes, yes… NOW’. She put her machine beside and just said again ‘You’re lucky’… :) Friendly police here :)

Apologizing from GibraltarWe stopped as well at a petrol station, on the way out of Gibraltar. We couldn’t miss it to refill our Kangaroo for 1,31 Euro per liter. And then we went to the border. That are no distances here. Parking, petrol station, border… all within 2 km :)
From this side of the border was the row extremely long. We was standing there in the line, in the heat, at least half an hour (they even have 4 lines, to save space). Then I saw the signs on the side, on which the government of Gibraltar is apologizing for the waiting and is explaining that Spain is trying to put pressure on Gibraltar with this circumstances. The political situation is not very good between Gibraltar and Spain. Spain would love to get Gibraltar.

We drove further in direction to Tarifa, the most south point in Spain (they say even from Europe, which is not true… the most south point is Limassol… reg. Akrotiri ;) … really!).
View to AfricaThe way was leading us on a hill. On the highest point of the hill-road was a small restaurant with a viewing point. We stopped. The air was clear and we had a great view to Africa… well, Morocco. We was relaxing a while and enjoyed that amazing view. But Tarifa was calling, from the bottom of this hill. So we drove the last kilometer down the hill and arrived soon in this – more or less – small fisherman village.

First stop: LIDL. We was almost out of drinking. But even more we was out of money. So we was spending our last few Euros for 2 packs of ice tea and toast. We urgently need a cash machine.

After we refilled our storages, we went into the town center. I told Inge to lead us to the most south point and was hoping that there is again a nice parking place. But unfortunately was the last end closed for cars. We parked instead close to the beach, on a free parking place, and walked to the most south point. It is a small ‘half’ island. Just with a small walkway connected with the mainland. But also the island itself was closed for the public. The interesting part is that this walkway is separating the sea. Left the Mediterranean and right the Atlantic. That is at least what the signs are saying. But hey… we shouldn’t question everything. :)

On the way back I saw some advertising from a dive school. To go diving on the most south point of Europe… well, at least Spain. :) In the street of Gibraltar. That would be a highlight of the tour.
I called the number of the advertising and tried to reach someone. It was already 8. But really someone picked up the phone. They will go on the next day at 10. To a wreck, he said. That sounds gooooood. And he spoke good English as well. That would be then our plan for the next day.

We decided to have a walk through the town center. We both was still out of money and for the next day we would need money for sure. We was passing some shops and saw suddenly one which offered Whale Watching. To see Whales… my dream… even my dream is more to go diving with them… but it would be a nice start to see them at least already. The shop was still open and we went in. We had a long chat with the nice lady in there, in German… Seemed like we have a lot of luck, because today was the first day they could go out with the boat, since 2 weeks. Before was nothing possible because of strong wind. And on Friday comes again new strong wind, as the weather forecast says. So, now or never.
But because we wanted to go diving tomorrow already… we had a small time problem. First diving and then Whale Watching? We will see.

We went further through the city. Here we found a post (Julia is customer at the Postbank), but they didn’t had a cash machine. And from all other ATMs she didn’t got money. So, I took money from the next ATM we could find and I got (luckily) money. Tomorrow will be an expensive day.

Back at the car we just converted it and went to sleep. Direct there on the parking. We was totally tired and I didn’t wanted to move at all anymore. On the other hand we had to get up very early next morning.

CU soon
Gordon :)


Bigger map

At the Hippies in Beneficio

27.06.2013

Our sleeping placeThe night was quite and relaxing. :) The fisherman, which was fishing around the corner, was still there in the morning. The bushes around us protected us a while against the sun. So we could sleep a bit longer… but Julia doesn’t bother about the sun in the morning anyway. I do.

We packed our stuff, after we got up. Our target was Beneficio. The Hippie village which was not in any map. We had an approx direction. In the village Orgiva we had to turn in direction Bubion and after to Cannar.
We found it so far. But then, they said, we have to take a turn to the parking of Beneficio. The road sidled up the mountain. After a while we reached a viewing point and we stopped, to have a look and saw in they valley some strange houses and a way. If this could be it? We turned around and tried our luck. And really was it the way to the parking of Beneficio. In Orgiva we saw already some Hippies (easy to recognize :) ). Direct in front of the parking we met 2 people, which confirmed that after the next rock will be the parking place and that we are right here. So, we drove further and saw straight the parking.

Beneficio ParkingWell, ‘parking place’ are maybe to nice words for that. It was a dirty place. Everywhere dirt and rubbish. A few caravans and self-made houses. We was at the right place. We was reading before in the internet that it is not save on the parking for the cars. People are stealing. So we didn’t wanted to leave the Kangaroo uncontrolled.

We decided finally at least to have a quick look together in the village. It is located a few minutes by walking, in the forest. We started and after 10 minutes by feet we reached the main tipi.
P1000545 (Kopie)The people here was watching us and we probably looked even more curious.
We got a bit closer and Hatidscha welcomed us and invited us in the ‘living room’.
We had to leave our shoes outside of the tent, of course. In the middle was a big fire place, in which was 2 big pieces of wood burning. Around the fire place was some carpets. The tent was so smoky that you could cure a ham within a short time.
Julia had a chat with Hatidscha and I was listening a bit and had a look around. Hatidscha was probably end of 50 and comes from Marokko. She spoke French and we guessed that she is from France. I had a very strange impression of her… I guess she was a bit (more) gaga. There was 2 more men in the tent. The chief and another one, which was just chilling around. They spoke just French and Spanish, as far as I could understand it.

We had to leave the tent after a few minutes. Our eyes was burning and we smelled like smoked meat already. We said Good Bye and continued to explore the village.

Further up the hill, deeper into the forest. Then we saw an advertising from a bakery… painted on a piece of wood. That is something we didn’t wanted to miss. We crossed the small river on a self-made bridge and came closer to the next house, in which we expected the bakery. We got welcomed from a big, wild balking dog. But nobody else seemed to be at home. The dog seemed to be a good strong dog… so we decided not to come closer and to turn around (it was anyway nobody at home).
We went back and continued to follow the path. Passing huts and many different building styles and made of different materials.
P1000556 (Kopie)They used everything. Stones, wood, plastic… everything which was available. Some looked better and others really bad. The last house was, for me, the most impressive. A round stone house, which looked solid. An addition to it was painted purple wood. The house had the biggest property, which I saw there. Direct at the river. In the garden was hammocks hanging, flowers was planted and it looked at all very cozy. That would have been something for me :)
We heard the owner was Baba, which is here the spiritual guy. And like that it looked somehow… spiritual. The way is splitting here into 2 even smaller trails. We guessed that this is the end of the village and went back to the parking.
We saw everything basically and wanted to leave again. I wasn’t impressed from this first impression (especially with meeting the people at the main tent). Julia thought the same and was also ready to leave again.But we decided to wait for the 2 people, which we met at the beginning, before we reached the parking. We liked this both somehow a lot already and wanted at least to have a chat with them.
They wanted to walk to Orgiva, that is what they told us. It’s a little long walk. We heard that today is market day in Orgiva and that most of the people of Beneficio are in Orgiva today. That’s why we didn’t saw many people in the village.

P1000566 (Kopie)We made everything ready for chilling on the parking.Took our chairs out. I had finally time again to read my book, which I bought at the beginning of our trip. From time to time was some people passing us, which came back from Orgiva. Everybody was friendly greeting with ‘Ola’ or ‘Hello’.

Almost all people here have a rasta hairstyle. But from all other aspects are the people very different here. Some skinny like hell, others normal (no big). Men, woman and children. All kind of ages.
But it strikes me also that many people here look dirty. That is not so nice and a bit … deter
Some came by feet back from Orgiva, others with the car (which was packed and old).Somewhen, after hours, came also our friends back. They was walking. We intercepted them straight away and started straight a chat :)
They was very likeable for us. They was not dirty, clear in their mind and we liked them (sounds strange, but it is like that :) ). They said that they are just 4 days here in Beneficio. They are traveling with a camper.
Nice camper. A Peugeot J5. 20 years old, but nice. Bedroom, bath, kitchen and living area. Well, a normal camper. In which they are also living in Beneficio, till now at least. He is Spanish and she from UK. Unfortunately I forgot always their names. Julia as well :( We was talking a longer time and decided then that we just park next to each other and that we stay over night on the parking place. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about the Kangaroo. And we could talk today a bit with out new neighbors. We did it exactly like that.

We converted our little camper as well and continued our chat with our friends.
Another guy joined us and also his name I forgot. But we baptized him later Einstein. Because he had already, for his young age, many grey hair and even looked a bit like Einstein. He was also German, from Berlin. Einstein was living since 4 weeks already here in the village. He have a tent near the waterfall. The both guys was playing a round chess and Julia was socializing with a girl from the other car.
Later we had all together a chat and around midnight we went to bed.

28.06.2013

The big advantage to park in a valley is that the sun is not shining straight away on the car in the morning. I could finally sleep relaxed until I woke up by myself, not because it is hot like hell. That was great!
I don’t know exactly when we got up… around 11. We started very relaxed in the day. Till suddenly a Police car stopped in front of our car. Julia was still in the bed and I was sitting next to our car on a chair and reading my book again. The was pointing on the camper next to us (from our friends) and asked if it is my car. I would have likely answered ‘Yes, I like to sit beside another car! ^^” … But said instead just ‘No’. Then came our friend already and they started to talk in Spanish. After they finished the Police drove slowly to the end of the parking space.

We asked our friend what it was. He said that the Policemen said that it is forbidden to camp here and anyway it is not allowed to stay here, because it is a national park.

PoliceThe Policemen came back and wanted our personal data and they made pictures of our car. They said if we are still here next time they come we will have to pay a fine.
That didn’t sounded very nice. Especially that nobody know when they will come next time. And it would have been stupid to ask it.
In the meantime a few people from Beneficio arrived as well on the scene. A big chat and discussion started. Generally they are right, but just half. It is allowed to park there, but just on one side of the road. Because the border of the national park is exactly on the road. It looks like the police dramatized the fact a bit to get the people away there. And the people there can’t prove their fact, because of lack of money.
They said more interesting facts, which would be to much for here.

But they said as well that the Police comes every 1-2 weeks. That calmed a bit our worries. But we was anyway thinking to leave. Because a fine of 300 Euro would be very bad for our travel budget.
It was just noon and we didn’t thought that the police will come back straight away. So we decided to stay at least until the evening. Also I could say that we are just visiting the national park and that I am photographer and nature friend. :)We wanted again in the village. To the bakery and I wanted to had a shower under the waterfall. Never done it to take a shower under a waterfall :)

The horse riderSo, back to the bakery with the big dog. Today was someone there. Our both neighbors was there already and some other people. The big dog was more or less lovely today and just snarled short, when we arrived. Later he even loved to get stroked. :) Even the horse war there.
Earlier, on the parking place, came someone with a horse. On the horse was a beautiful woman riding. It looked amazing. She was wearing a white dress. Looked liked in a story. And the horse belongs to here. The bakery son is the owner and the girl, which was riding on it, is his girlfriend.

But there is no bread today. He could only offer us a goat cheese. 5 Euro per piece. That is a lot. But the fact that it is handmade and from Beneficio… I bought one. Better leaving 5 Euro here then anywhere else. (And as we found out was the cheese a dream of a cheese!)

We had then a longer what with Peter, his name. A very interesting person. His parents are separated. His father came 8 years ago, from Slovenia, to Beneficio. Originally was he Sheppard. But here he was raising his own small farm and is baking now and makes cheese and is selling eggs. The eggs come from his approx. 30 chicken, which live here. He is buying the milk for his cheese. Beside the chicken he have also 2 geese and 5 … something, 1 dog and cats.
Peter came 6 years ago and was living until a few month ago in the village. Now he is living close in his own thing (don’t know if flat or house). He couldn’t stay in Beneficio with the horse, he said. And it sounded like he have ene more animals.

Peters houseThen he was showing us his old house in the village, which is on the same area then the one from his father. A round cottage, made of bales of straw. Inside plastered with cast. The diameter is approx. 6-8 Meter. Inside a kitchen, corner to sit, stove and a bed in a drop ceiling. Everything in the house are things he found. The building costs for the whole house are 500 Euro, he said. The rest came from the forest or things which other people was throwing away.
The house looked dirty. Things which people through away… No proper building materials. No construction which makes it easy to keep it clean. Everywhere can (and is) be dirt and dust.
But as longer we was in the shack and as longer Peter was talking about it (and himself) as more cozy it became. This shack has a soul. It was stable and it was visible that it was build with love. With things which was available.

He told us also that he is living as less as possible from the society. Meat and fish he is hunting by himself. He is eating what he was killing. I like it.

After the long conversation with Peter we went further. To the other bakery, to try if we get bread there. Here is a woman baking. We saw here already on the parking. Stefania, a thin Italian lady around 40. Stefania is living already 16 years in Beneficio and is earning her money with bread and making pipes out of ceramic.
She was just outside the house and we was asking her if she made bread today. She said it is just in the oven and it will be ready in one hour. Great.

The hour we spend down on the parking again. I was still thinking about the shower in the waterfall. If I really should do it… naked and without shower gel. :)

After one hour we went back up. The bread wasn’t ready yet. We went with her into her kitchen and was talking a bit more with her. She said that she is living already 16 years there. She have 2 children. 6 and 10. Both grown up in Beneficio. But they went to the school in the neighbor village. Then there was problems with it.
Her house is also very interesting. The many tools on the one wall got my attention first. The sleeping places looks like small caves. Of course a kitchen with an oven, to make the bread.
Then was our bread ready. She apologized and went in front of the door. Then we could hear a loud yell… I couldn’t understand what she was screaming, but the whole village must have heard her voice. Bread is ready… :DWe remembered that we still wanted to go to take a shower. So we left our bread with Stefania and went for a shower. The waterfall was a bit more up the valley. Actually it is not really a real waterfall. Here is an approx. 10 meter high wall, where the water flows over. But the wall is angular, so the water hits the wall already a few meter down again.

Waterfall in BeneficioI was the first one. Dropping the clothes and then slowly stepping forwards, with the flip-flops. Because of the falling water I couldn’t see what is in front of me in the water. But it was ok… no deep whole or something bad in the water.
The water was a bit… fresh :)
I made it quick. Shower gel or Shampoo is not allowed of course. Logical.
It was an interesting experience. Would do it again :) And I was – more or less – showered.

After the shower we was passing the spring. The Stefania was asking if we can bring her water from the spring. The drinkable water comes here from this spring, direct out of the stone. Impressive. A mini cove in the rock, from where the water comes out. In front is a small reservoir, in which the water gets collected and from which it flows in a big reservoir (which is used also for a bath… and in which swim even gold fishes). On the overflow from the small to the big reservoir is it easily possible to catch the water in bottles. There I was filling the bottle from the baker woman.
Back she was happy about the water and we about the bread :)There was news already again, when we came back to the car. Seem like here are always news. Unfortunately not good ones. Gandalf, the dog of our new friends got bitten from another dog. There are a lot of dogs around. Also many stray dogs. Gandalf is a beautiful dog. He had some smaller wounds around the eye. That was not good and the both wanted to park their camper somewhere else on the parking, to be further away from the other dogs.We was thinking what we will do. To leave straight away. Who knows when the Police will come again. It was already 7pm again and we didn’t expected the Police to come anymore this evening. Tomorrow morning maybe…
We decided finally to park again next to the other both and to stay until next morning and then to leave early. And that is how we did it. We was parking at the beginning of the parking space. It was quite here. Not many other cars was parking so far away from the entrance to Beneficio.We made the car ready and went soon to sleep.

29.06.2013

The night was ending again with my alarm clock. In the night was someone else parking next to our car. The other both also just got up, when a left the car.
In the car next to us, I thought it is empty, was also movement suddenly on the back seat.
Also the Germans on the other side seem to wake up. Someone was looking through the curtain. But it seemed like they needed more sleep :)Even our small cat came, to say Good Bye. Julia invited her even to come into the car, to cuddle.
Then we packed slowly our stuff and said Good Bye to our friends. This Good Bye was the first on this trip which made me a bit sad. I liked this both very much. At least we shared our email addresses and Facebook.

Another damThen we started to go back on the road, without any other meeting with the Police.The street down to Orgiva again and this time to the south. On snaky roads (again) through the hills… till we passed a dam. We stopped to make some pictures.
Then further on the freeway to Gibraltar. We left the freeway at San Roque and had to continue on a normal road till La Linea de la Conception. Here is the border to Gibraltar.

Unfortunately didn’t told me Inge that I have to turn soon and to change the lane. Later wasn’t it possible anymore to change the lane and I had to make a big round… which didn’t happen anymore. Because on our was a Mc Donalds…
Yes, we stopped and got stuck there again. We could see from the parking the rock of Gibraltar already. But we got the permission to stay on the parking of Mc Donalds over night… what we did. I needed to write a bit again.

Best wishes
Gordon


Bigger map

From Barcelona via Granada till the reservoir

20.06.2013

Hi all together,

we spent the night on the camping place. It just started late. The articles for the blog kept us away from sleeping until 3 in the night. Even Julia had to help me this time, that it goes quicker. I need to write less. :o

Today in the morning we went with the free shuttle bus at 11 to Barcelona. The shuttle bus is provided by the camping place. The bus brought us till the Catalonya square. Just the sight seeing places are spread in the whole city. Julia wanted to see the Sagrada Familia church. I had no idea what to see here anyway. So, we went to the church, which was 1,5 km away. On the way wasn’t many interesting things. We passed some shops. Nothing Hugo is looking after my Paleaspecial. We became hungry and stopped at a Spanish looking restaurant for a Paella. I’ve ordered the only Paella without fish, Paella de Carne. Julia ordered the black one… with Octopus and the rice is cooked in the ink of the animal. That’s why the whole Paella was black.
My one was very spicy/hot. But mostly the chicken.
We realized then that the restaurant was owned by Chinese people. So, Paella in Spain, made by Chinese. Anyway it was tasty.

Sagrada Familia in BarcelonaAfter we went to the Sagrada Familia church.They started to build the church in 1882 and didn’t finished it till now. They expect to finish it in 2026… we will see. It’s not that long in future :)
The outside looking is very interesting. It has it’s totally own style (you can see it on the pictures). But the entrance of 13,50 Euro per person was to much for us. That is expensive to visit a church. So, we just checked it from outside.

Because we didn’t wanted to walk the 1,5km again, we was choosing the subway. 2 Euro for a single ticket. The next subway came after 1-2 minutes. In the front of the train was the number 524 (but the 5 could have been also a ‘S’). But we was waiting for the train ‘S5’. So, we didn’t took it and was waiting for the next one. This one had the number “512”… or “S12”. Slowly we got the idea that it could be the right one. And it was the right one. Why that strange numbers… no idea.

We had to change the train after 2 stations. We left this train on the station “Verticale” and went to the platform for the other train. But here they didn’t wanted to let us in again. ‘Ticket not valid’ said the revolving door. (Here you need to put your ticket in a machine and you can pass the revolving door… if the ticket is valid. We asked a guy who spoke English, what the hell is going on. He explained us that a single ticket is for just one ride. If you want to change the train, it is a new ride and you need a new ticket. … Great!
There are also daily tickets for 7,50 Euro and a 10er ticket for 10 Euro.
We was walking again…

We arrived a bit earlier at the bus stop and went to Mc Donalds again, for an ice cream. (I we get soon discount as best customers in Europe?) Internet we didn’t need this time. By the way, in Barcelona is a free WIFI in the whole city. Very nice.
That is all what we saw from Barcelona. The Sagrada de Familia and the way there and back (plus a bit subway). But for me it was enough. Barcelona is a really stressful city. I didn’t needed more of it.

My first try with my new hammogAround 6pm we was back on the camping place. For me was clear… I just want to relax the rest of the day. Nothing else.
I took the time to try finally my new hammock for the first time… a dream! Such hammock is a wonderful thing to relax. :)

Tomorrow we go on to the west. :)

21.06.2013

We used this day again for relaxing. From time to time you need time to relax on such a trip. It shouldn’t be forgotten.
We switched off the alarm clock today and slept until we woke up by our self. It was some when in the noon.

And again we haven’t done much this day. We went snorkeling on the little beach near the camping place. It is good for snorkeling, but not good for swimming. A lot of stones and rocks under water.
As souveniers I took 3 golf balls with me, from the ground of the sea in Mataro. Julia took straight a whole signal rocket. We disposed it quickly again… bit dangerous this stuff.

Then we used the opportunity to wash our dirty clothes and did nothing else then relaxing.
We had to leave the camping place at 8pm. And we did it. Exactly 8 pm we left the place. But we had still one point on the list for this day. We wanted to visit the fountain ‘Font Magica’ in Barcelona. A very famous fountain, as Julia said. It plays with colors and the water to music… lets see.

Font Magica in BarcelonaWe arrived around 9 there. It was still bright, but the fountain was already playing music. Looked like the light is on as well already, but we couldn’t see it yet. It was still to bright. :)

We stayed until it became dark and as more dark it became as better it was. Absolutely amazing… a must see! Of course I made a lot of videos :)
We stayed there until 11pm and was watching the game of the fountain. But then we had to go. We still had to find a sleeping place for the night… outside of Barcelona.

So, back to the car and checking in the navigation system where the next good place to sleep would be. We ended up on a wild camping side somewhere outside of Barcelona. We just checked quickly the surrounding, converted the car and went to sleep.

22.06.2013

The night was good, but too short again. We got up around 9 and had a quick look at the beach, which was in front of us. Then we went back on the street. Today we wanted to travel the longest distance till yet. Our target today was San Pedro, a hippie village, or whatever. We had not really an idea what we can expect there.
We just known, because Inge told us, that it will be a ride of 700km.Thanks to the Spanish freeway we could make distance very quick, even without toll. We really arrived, with one hour delay, this day in Las Negras. There shall be also the hippie village San Pedro somewhere in this area. But there were no more detailed information about the position of the village on the map and also Inge didn’t know it.So we stopped on the first parking in Las Negras and asked some punks, which was also on this parking. They spoke just a little bit English, but they’ve known ‘San Pedro’. They just said ‘Down the road, then left and then straight ahead.’. … Ok, we was following this instruction and ended up in the center of the town… but no San Pedro.

On the way to San PetroWe drove a bit trough the streets until we saw a sign with ‘Beach San Pedro’ on it… that way. We was following this and the following signs until we came on a crossing without sign. Here we was now… standing stupid around and didn’t know where to go.
Julia asked a guy who was walking around there. His name was Manfred, around 50 and from south Germany. What an coincidence. Manfred is living since 6-7 years in Las Negras already. Before a while in San Pedro, but that wasn’t the real this for him and they had fights in the village, he said. Now is he living somewhere in the desert around Las Negras, in a house ruin, which he inherited from the guy who was living before there.
Manfred explained us what San Pedro actually is. An old, abandoned village or fortress, which was ‘taken over’ 30 years ago from hippies. Since this time are around 20-30 people constantly living in the fortress, the old houses, self made caves and tents.

This area there is actually a nature reserve. But as they are anyway illegal there… And the locals of Las Negras make also good money with the hippies. For example go every day several boats from Las Negras to San Pedro, to bring a lot of tourists there. And for one tour (there and back) it cost 12 euro per person. San Pedro is not reachable with the car. Just by boat or walking (60 or 20 Minutes – 2 different ways). It’s a bit complicated.

Moon in Las NegrasWe decided that it was to late to walk there. And for a boat was it to late.
All we could do is to find a nice place for the night and to go to sleep. That is what we did. We tried the last street on the map. It was behind the last houses. Lonely. Wonderful. That was our place for the night. On the one side the back of the houses and on the other side the half desert.

23.06.2013

The sun woke us up in the morning again with her unbelievable heat. Around 9 was it not possible to stay longer in the car. We converted the car and went to the beach, where we informed us about the boat trips to San Pedro. The first boats was gone already and we had to wait for the next ones. We spent the time with a coffee in one of the beach bars. Then we went back to the car, packed some stuff, reparked the car and came back to the meeting point for the boat trips.

The next boats went half an hour late. Antoino, the driver, spoke not a single word English. Some Spanish girls, which also wanted to drive with the boat. He was asking for 24 Euro… Hää? 2 persons and straight there and return fee. But we wasn’t it even sure when (and if) we want to return. But we had no chance, we had to pay. So we told him that we come with him back at 7pm. Then we would have 8 hours in San Pedro.

San PetroAnd then finally we started. It was not far with the boat. Just around the corner, in the next bay. With the zodiac was it a ride of just 10 minutes. It looks a bit strange when you arrive from the sea side. From far you can see already, on a small hill, the defense fortress from the 16th century. Looks like a small, rotten castle. The walls and the tower are still there, but it’s slowly falling apart. Then a few old houses become visible. They look like nobody is living there for ages already. But also the solar panels shine from far away already. On the beach are tents and everywhere self made houses from… what the people find.
The beach is surprisingly full with people. Mostly tourists.

We sit down directly on the beach and try to get in used to this place. The sun is burning and soon I start my first snorkeling trip. The water is very clear and here are more fishes as on every other places I’ve visited yet. It doesn’t mean as many as in Egypt (e.g.)… just bit more than usual here. :)

We took a good sunbath, Julia went snorkeling and I had a look around. Here is no dress code. Here are in general no rules. Everybody is doing what he wants. Some are nude, some are topless. Surprisingly many young people. Actually here are almost all people young.
San PetroBehind us is a stand with self-made trinket. I have a look at it, searching for a souvenir for Anna. The saleswoman, who is just working at the next piece, came and we had a little chat. She is from Sweden and her boyfriend from Argentina. They live already several years in the village.
Many German people shall also live here. But I haven’t met anybody yet.
Here are 4 fresh water springs in the village, which support the people with drinkable water. Electricity comes from the solar panels. Here is even a bakery and a pub.

We had a look around in the village. First of all we went to the spring which is close to the fortress. To the spring we had to walk up through the bushes. We pass some other ‘home’ on the way to the spring. Again build with everything they could find. It looks more like an junkyard then a village.
The spring is a usual (cement)stone with a hole in it, where the water comes out. Passing the spring we came to the fortress. Suddenly we could hear music and was afraid to enter a living room from someone. We got slowly closer and said ‘Ola?’… until a big, older, half naked man, with tattoos, looked around the corner. He looked a bit scary. But he invited us to come closer. Soon we found out that Flockie is from Berlin. The first German in the village. And Berliner is he still. Even after 16 years in the village.

San PetroWe had a longer chat with Flockie. About the village, which was build in the 14th century. The fortress against attacks from the sea (even a canon was found recently not far from the shore). Flockie itself is living in a cave, not far from the fortress. The cave is already 800 years old. I need to say that it looks really cozy. He even have a microwave and a TV inside (be couldn’t believe it until we saw it). He have some solar panels and a windmill for the electricity support. And he is the man with the bar here… with an amazing view!

After our chat with Flockie was it almost time already to go back. We was just back on the beach as Antonio arrived with his zodiac, to collect the 7 o’clock people. The trinket saleswoman also came to ask if we stay overnight. We couldn’t say it. We would love to. But this day is national holiday in Spain and all Spanish people get drunk. And our Kangaroo is direct on the beach… we was worried. We had to go first back to the car for sure.

We did it like that. On the way back I even saw 2 big stingrays in the water. Wonderful. I never saw such big and beautiful stingrays. Unfortunately was it just a moment. :(

Back in Las Negras we went first of all back to the car. Luckily it was still there and in one piece. We put everything back in the car and thought about what to do now. We would love to sleep both in San Pedro. But we couldn’t leave the Kangaroo alone in this village with all the drunken people. Julia made the offer that I can go alone to San Pedro and she stays with the Kangaroo. I was not very convinced about this offer, to leave them alone.
After a lot thinking about it, she could convince me, to go alone back to San Pedro and to leave Julia, Hugo and the Kangaroo alone with the drunken guys.

Julia drove me to the place where the shortest way starts. From there it should be just a walk from 20 minutes. It was late already, around half past 9. The sun was behind the mountains already.
On the way to San PetroThe way went through the real half desert. Vegetation was basically not existing anymore. Ruins of old houses on the trail. After a few minutes went the trail to the sea. From the mountain on the sea. It was the blue hour. The hour between the sunset and darkness. After a few more mountains and  curves I saw finally San Pedro, in the bay in front of me. The moon was raising blood red, at the end of the bay, direct next to the rock. A fantastic view. A moment you can’t save on camera. It takes me another 10 minutes, till I reach the village. I guess it took me around 30 minutes to get to the village, not 20. But I did it before it became dark.

But it was not very bright anymore and I couldn’t see much anymore at the beach. The trinket saleswoman wasn’t there anymore and I didn’t know anybody else. I was looking for a cozy place for the night. I found a place between 2 tents and without stones. After a small snack I was watching the moon how he was raising behind the mountain. It was full moon and in the moment, in which he came out behind the mountains, it looked as he want to see what we are doing on the beach. Genius.

I got in contact with the people in the tent next to me. 2 Italians, which live since 5 in Barcelona. Or he lives there since 5 years and she came 2 years ago for him also there. They come every year here for one week camping. But mostly the people here stick with their groups.
That is also what I realized here. Groups like always. Everybody stays with his group.

Some people made a bigger campfire at 1 in the night. The group of people around the fire became bigger and bigger. I went also there after a while, to see what is going on there. :)
One guy was playing guitar and sang Spanish songs. Some people in the round sang with him. I am not… my Spanish is limited to some simple words.
But it was interesting. The smell in the air contains basically 3 notes… burning wood, fish (which was cooking in the fire) and Marijuana. Mostly the last one.
The people around the fire was mostly Spanish, as far as I could see it. A few woman was dancing hula hoop.

I am sleeping on the beach in San PetroI got really sleepy around 2. The crowd became also smaller already. I went back to my sleeping place and wrapped myself in the blanket. I wanted to kick my own as, that I didn’t took my sleeping back and/or tent with me. It became colder than I thought. Luckily I took my long trousers and jacket with me. I tried to make everything as draft proof as possible and wrapped finally even my feet in a towel.
I needed a long time to fall asleep. This unusual way to sleep and the bright moon.

After half an hour, I was still not sleeping, I opened my eyes again. The moon was so bright like a energy saving bulb. When I lifted up my head a bit, to see the sea, I saw something beautiful. A girl was dancing silent on the beach with a hula hoop. She was, from my point, direct in the mirror-light of the moon in the sea. So I saw just her silhouette… and how she moved her beautiful body to keep the wheel alive. You can imagine it like a shadow dancer… just without the shadow wall… and much more beautiful.
I was staring at her for a while… until she didn’t wanted anymore or… noticed my views.

I think it took another half an hour until I fall finally asleep. I think I slept a few hours, till I woke up again, because my back was hurting. I went on my side and fall asleep again. It became bright already, when I woke up again, because my side was hurting now. I turned back on my back, watched a bit the morning and fall asleep once again. But just soon later I woke up again, because the sun was raising and the first sun rays was hitting me… over the sleep. But ok, like that I could start the morning very early. Early but relaxed.

24.06.2013

Actually I wanted to stay longer in San Pedro, but my stomach made problems. I don’t know if it was the cold night or the last sausage in the morning. And I didn’t wanted to be on a place without any normal toilet with stomach problems. So, I packed my staff and left San Pedro earlier as planned. :(
Also the way back was very beautiful. An impressing way back over the rocks at the sea.

Unfortunately was the communication not working. Julia didn’t got my message that I am on the way back. I had to walk all the way back to the parking space. At least I knew the exact place where she was. Anyway it was around 10 kilometer. I was so angry…

She had bad news as well. They stole our hubcaps and the front wiper. Great.
So our first way this day was to the police. The policemen was very friendly, even a bit slowly. But we had time. I think inside he declared us for mental, that we bother him because of stolen hubcaps (that the wipers was also stolen we realized first later).
GrenadaAfter this highlight we went further to Granda. Here was Alhambra waiting for us. The probably most famous Moorish fortress. At 8 we arrived in front of the fortress. They just closed it. We checked shortly the surrounding and went then back to the car. We found a parking without paying, but wasn’t sure if we can stay there. But for the night it looked alright. We went to sleep.

25.06.2013

In the morning was the parking full. Not even one space was free. We was thinking again if we could stay here or not. We asked a taxi driver and he told us that we can’t stay there. This parking space is the parking of the authorities, and they will tow away our car. Ups… We went quickly to an official parking around Alhambra. They charge exact to the minute… maximum 18 Euro.

We parked our Kangaroo and straight to the ticket shop. First of all we had to stay in the row. After 15 minutes it was our turn. 13 Euro for one person for all areas. Well, for such important building… what can we do. Our visiting time was from 2 to 8 pm. It was just 12. We had a bit time till we could go in.
We went back to the car to relaxed 2 hours.

At 2 pm we started finally to Alhambra. You can imagine it like a big fortress. A big wall around and inside the things to see. Alhambra is also known for it’s beautiful garden. We went first of all to the palace, because for the place we got a separated visiting time. Probably that not to many people enter the palace in the same time.

AlhambraThe palace consists of several buildings, which have the most ornaments. And it’s the most renovated part of the fortress. After it we went to the palace of King Karl. Looks like a Colosseum. Just smaller and somehow empty. And now it looks like a stage for something. After the both palaces we went to Alcazeba. The defence place of Alhambra. Of course with the highest towers and the best views. :) At the end was just the Generalife left. Here was the general life :) With beautiful gardens.

AlhambraThen it was 8 and we had to leave. Actually a very short text for such important building. But I think everybody should see it with its own eyes. And I was not very impressed of Alhambra. Maybe it is the best to rent such audio guide, to get more information about this stuff.
It was good to visit it. But one time is enough for me.

Then again the every evening question… where to sleep. And like always… first of all to Mc Donalds. :) Internet and then we will see what we will do. This evening we didn’t went further at all. We stayed overnight on the Mc Donalds parking. Julia was asking the manager, if it would be ok and they said yes. So, we stayed at the source. And the parking was empty anyway.

26.06.2013

Even at the next morning the parking was empty, except of 2-3 cars. The morning shift was probably wondering why there is a German car was parking there and why there come people out finally. :) But nobody said anything and was friendly when I bought my morning coffee (the 2nd time that I got a coffee in the morning :) ).

We had a look where we can find a DIY market and a swim bath in Grenada. Ah yes, I haven’t told you yet. On the way to Grenada we almost lost our exhausting pipe. The rubber, who is holding the pipe, ruptured. Luckily we realized it by chance and fixed the problem provisional. But we need to fix it professionally, not provisional. (We also still needed wiper)

So we went first to the next DIY market. It was located with some other stores together. But first of all we went to the DIY market. We needed some things. After it we went in the sports store. I needed bathers, flip flops, water boots and a towel… bit more then planed.

After the shopping tour we went to the swim bath of Grenada. Our last shower was already a while ago. :) And swimming was also nice. They even had a Jacuzzi. :)
But after one hour we left already again. Not before we took some Oranges from the tree in front of the bath. :)

Then the question what to do next. To the Hippie village or not. We wanted both to go there. But we read that the parking isn’t save. Steeling and so on. Here we was back at the security question. After a lot of thinking about it we decided to go to Orgiva. But first of all we still needed a garage. We still needed to fix the exhausting pipe and to buy wipers.

Unfortunately nobody spoke English in the garage… not to talk about German. With a few words Spanish, hands, feet and drawing we could tell somehow what we want. Somehow we bought the right wipers and one of the mechanics was crawling under the Kangaroo to fix the exhausting pipe. They didn’t had the rubber we needed, but they had better tools to fix the provisional solution more professional provisional.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo we went further with new wipers and a higher exhausting pipe… on the highway in direction to Orgiva. We left the highway and was looking at a dam. It looked interesting… we didn’t arrived in Orgiva that day… :) We are now at the shore of the dam and enjoy the evening. ;)

All the best
Gordon

Our route:


Bigger map

St. Tropez, Marseille, Andorra till almost Barcelona

16.06.2013

Hi all together,

We spent again a good night. (Slowly it becomes boring to write always how good we spent the night, or?)
The parking place was filling up already. Around 9 we went finally to buy a parking ticket for the parking place. A young blond French lady was greeting us on the little house for the parking tickets. She said something in French… I understood only ‘Bonjour’ and replied it. Gave her 3 Euro for the ticket and said fine ‘Aurevua’ (however it is spelt). I could listen to this young woman the whole day… her voice and the French language… hmm… :)

After it we went to the beach. At least me, Julia hat to go somewhere. As she came back, we went finally in the water. Not much to see here. Like in Cyprus. Just the visibility was worse. The swimming area in France is ending exactly at the break water… the most interesting part, because here are mostly the fishes. Anyway, I found an octopus, which was hiding in a stone, and a few small fishes.

We went out after our small snorkeling trip. The water was still chilly here. A few minutes sun bathing and trying our self and then back to the car. It was already early afternoon and we had still a longer way in front of us. First of all to St. Tropez. The famous village in the Cote d’Azur.
It was just a few kilometer in front of us. And it is not really a village… more a small city.
My grandmother was watching always the soap opera ‘St. Tropez’, that’s why I’ve heard already about it. :)

Ahh, not to forget the I have up the steering wheel the first time since 3000km to Julia. To drive every day is really tiring. And now I am passenger and can write while we are driving. Is also great, saves my time in the evening. But I am afraid that I will write now even more… and then translating again :-/

Even before we arrived in St. Tropez we had  a little confrontation with the police. Not really confrontation… they blocked a road (for unknown reason). The funny thing is that they blocked the road before a crossing and was redirecting the driver to the right street. But the other directions was open. So, everybody turned around and just drove from another direction to the same crossing and could enter St. Tropez. Totally senseless action of the police.

In St. Tropez we found straight an Mc Donalds. We was a bit hungry and they have mostly good toilets. After we checked that, I remembered the Internet in Mc Donalds. And yes, there was Internet and even free. Not fast, but better then nothing.
Just the Chicken Burger was a bit spicy. Not really as I like it.

St. TropezAfter Mc Donalds we went finally in the city. We used the first parking at the harbor. So, the first we saw, on our way in the city center, was the huge yachts. In the main harbor we saw the big sailer and heard that we just missed a regatta, which was this weekend. (Later I was reading that the regatta went on still the whole week.) Great… we missed it. The crew was just cleaning the boats.
We went on, walking a bit through the city. I needed cigarettes. France is a good country to stop smoking. You can buy cigarettes just at tobacco shops… and they are hard to find.

It seems like that St. Tropez is, beside the harbor, an artist city. On every corner you can find an atelier of an artist. I mean I can understand it well. This area is so inspiring (beautiful). The mountains before St. Tropez was, till now, the most beautiful ones I saw. And we passed a lot of great landscapes already.

After our round trip through the city, we walked back to the car. Finally we found even a tobacco shop (finally). Till now the most expensive cigarettes I bought on our trip. A normal package for 6,10 Euro. And I smoke already cheap ones.

Our thermometer in the car told us “HH.h”… which probably means something like “Hot like hell!”. Ok, the car was the whole day in the sun. We could just open the doors and wait. And then we went of to the last target today: Marseille.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMarseille is again around 130km away from St. Tropez. It was already late afternoon and I didn’t had hope anymore that we will arrive that day in Marseille.
Inge was leading us again over country roads, passing huge wine fields and trough hills (with even more wine), till we reached Hyeres. Hyeres is also a bigger city, through which we had to drive.
Julia took somewhere in the city a wrong exit in a roundabout and we ended up in front of a toll house of a highway. Turning around wasn’t possible. Great… well, we had to use the highway now.
We had no idea how to use it and stopped at the biggest house, in hope that someone is sitting there. But it was also just a machine, which was ‘asking’ for 1,30 Euro.  We gave it the money and it gave the way free. We was on the highway now.

From now on we could drive faster. The way just passed. Inge and Uschi told us always to leave the highway, because we told them not to use the toll streets. But we went on… till the next toll house. This one was asking for 2,30 Euro. Not always the same amount… ok. We paid and could go. It is always important to have coins in the pocket, if you want to use the highway ;)

We drove the whole rest of the way on the highway. It was nice fast. We arrived in Marseille after just 2,5 hours.
I was programming Inge to the yacht harbor. She said there are 2. I was choosing the north one. And she was leaving us in Marseille to the position of the harbor. But as we saw an parking place, we ignored her and just stopped.
It was a beach. Very nice. With restaurants, a big wheel and beach plus sea ;)
Marseille from the big wheelIt was almost sunset and I wanted to drive with the big wheel… which we did. Marseille at sunset. But we missed it. We went to early to the big wheel. Anyway was it great. My first ride with a big wheel and then at (almost) sunset in Marseille. Amazing! :)
After the big wheel we just walked around a bit to locate some internet network. And we found it.

The big wheelAfter a bit dinner with cheese sausages from Lidl, we was getting ready for the night. I’ve checked on the map where we really are. And I found out that we are in the south. Kilometers away from the city center. But it was fine for me, in the north of the city is the highest crime rate in Marseille… which is not low here. I felt better in the south.

17.06.2013

It seems like it was a good decision. Nobody robbed us in the night. We all woke up in one piece in the morning. Julia, Hugo, the kangaroo and me.
I wanted to use that we have internet and publishing another article in my blog. It cost the whole morning. From 9 till 12 I was just typing, translating, selecting pictures and reformatting. But then it was ready. And I was ready to go. It should go on… but to where… we didn’t know really. Andorra, that was clear.
Before we had to find a post again. We had again postcards with French stamps (from St. Tropez). So we needed a French post, before we enter Spain.

But Julia wasn’t ready yet. She still needed time. Some when around 4 we was back on the street. Highway in direction to Spain, with stop at the last French post office… or at least post box :)

And we found another specialty. There are 2 different toll systems on the highway. At the first one you pay first at the machine and you can drive. At the second one you get a ticket first and you pay when you arrive at the next toll stop or when you leave the highway.

We left finally the highway, for the last post box… and got some trouble with Inge and Uschi. They didn’t know the streets there and we got lost in an industrial aria. But luckily they had a Mc Donalds there. Our new favorite fast food restaurant. :) In France with WiFi inclusive. :)

We spent a while here. Checking this and this. Then the question, driving further or sleeping right here… on the parking of Mc Donalds with WiFi. It was also dark already. But Julia said that she still can drive.

So, we drove on, in the dark to Andorra. We also decided to stop at another post, to drop our post cards into a post box. And so we drove through the night, to the city with the post box. Around 11 we reached this city and the post box. No one was left on the street. We left this ghost town quickly again, in direction to the village Lliva.
The way was leading us in the Pyrenees. In the dark is it really scary to drive there… especially with strong fog. But Julia drove carefully. I am looking forward to see the movie. :)

Our sleeping place in LliviaAround half past 12 we reached finally the village Llivia, which is around 1500 meter above NN. We found quick a place to sleep. One street was ending in a dead end, with a turning loop. Here, behind the last houses, we stopped. Direct next to a cliff.
We just was building up our bed and went to sleep.

18.06.2013

Yet another good night’s sleep. I set the alarm at 10 for today assuming Julia not to be up and kicking before that time. Nonetheless I woke up at 8, but decided to snooze for a while. Finally, we both got up and prepared the car to be ready for the ride.

AndorraWe headed for Andorra, that wasn’t too far anymore. We had roundabout 60m to go for Andorra la Vella, the capital of the micro-state called Andorra. We drove through the curvy Pyrenees. Today, at daylight, we finally could see and enjoy that magnificent landscape… well, what can I say… I probably shouldn’t say a word. :) (It was just wonderful.)

You probably whouldn’t believe it, but there is still snow lying around here. Besides of that the landscape it greenish, but poorly vegetated. Andorra consists of lots of rocks, mountains and valleys. Things are somewhat extreme here: the mountains are a little higher and the valleys a little deeper than elsewhere.

After a couple of kilometers we passed the border. They seriously have a real border here, with border patrol and whatever belongs to a real border. But we did not have to stop, they just let us go. Yet another “tiny country” to check out! But this one is the largest of the tiny countries we had visited so far.

After a few kilometers we had to pass a long tunnel, probably something around 3km long. Straight behind that tunnel we were guided to some toll station… surprise surprise… we were asked to pay 6,60 Euros toll fee to contunue our trip. And it wasn’t even for a decent highway. It was just the same road we’ve been on for the last hour – so I quite didn’t get the point of paying the fee. But what else should one do? Well then, we paid and went on.

We literally curved through the landscape until we found some houses. The first village. They had a petrol station here (1,25 Euros for one liter of 95 Super gasoline!!!… yuck… we’ve been just filling up in france for 1,66 per liter…. damned!), and a supermarket. So we hit the brakes and checked out that supermarket. What a strange place!

Right behind the entrance whole legs of some unspecific animals were hanging around as ham – next to extra large bottles of vodka and other liquors as well as wine from the wood. There were “extra large” portions of just everything. The “supermarket” consists of 3 floors. First, we went to see the upper floor. The 2nd. floor contained odds and ends for home decoration. There were clocks hanging next to destillators (no joke, they had functioning destillators standing around), steam-powered flat irons as well as piles of other junk goods. What a cool crap! If I could, I would have bought some of the stuff straight away! But considering the limited space of our Kangoo camper… :(

Then we went up to see the 3rd floor. Here, I finally noticed the price differences to the rest of Europe: A bigbox of Pall Mall cigarettes for only 25 Euros. Seriously! As if there was no VAT to pay at all.

Compared to a regular duty free shop there virtually is no tax… smokers know that I mean. At a regular airport duty free shop you can also get the bogbox for 25, but the till girl will surely ask you where you’re going to “import” there cigarettes. “Ah, Berlin… so the bigbox costs you 39 Euros, tax included, now..”. Here things are different, here you pay only 25 Euros for the carton of cigarettes.

The basement was reserved for the food. Not much food was offered there. Some wild pig sausages here, some sweets in giant packages there… and souvenirs next to the pay desk.

After our shopping trip we went further to the main target: Andorra la Velle. It wasn’t far anymore. 10 Minutes later we’ve been in the middle of the city. A parking house opposite Mc Donalds (…) was housing our Kangaroo well and Mc Donalds itself was spending us internet… like always :)

Andorra la VellaThe city is very compact and the houses high. Partly it looks like they are build in the rocks. A house with 5 floors who has on the one side the entrance in the 1st floor and on the other side on the 4st floor. Very strange, but interesting :)

The city center is, like almost every city center, full with shops. The difference is that the shops are strange here. You can find a lot of small shops who offer all the same range of products. Basically: Softair weapons, knifes, laptop/tablets/mobiles and accessories. Beside a few perfumeries, clothes shops and from time to time also normal shops. But especially this all-around shops attract the attention, because they are so many and unusual.

I found an ‘all-around photo store’ and was asking spontaneously for a travel zoom lens, which I was wishing for this trip (Zuiko 18-180mm). Surprisingly they had this lens, which is not easy to find new. But the price of 500 Euro killed quickly the hope to buy it. (Even lenses are not cheap at all… but at ebay I could buy it for 350 Euro).

We walked a bit around the city center of Andorra la Velle. Had a look into some other shops, but didn’t bought anything because of lack of money and space.

Back to the car was it 5 pm already. How to pay our parking ticket was the next question. There are no machines to pay, but signs that we have to (obviously). We asked another person, who was there with his car, and he told us to go in an office and there we have to pay. Strange… But we really found an office (not really close to the cars) and had to pay our parking ticket there.  8,80 Euro for 4 Hours approx.

Next question: Where to sleep tonight.?

On the way to the city we passed a good place to sleep. A parking space on a mountain with great view. That would be a great place to sleep. The direction was also the right one, for the next day trip to Barcelona. So, we decided to go there.

Uschi wasn’t cooperating with us and lost always the satellites. And Inge don’t have maps of Andorra. Good that this country isn’t very large and doesn’t have much streets. We could follow the signs.

Suddenly we saw a red van on a mountain crest and got curious. I thought ‘If this is a parking space, then it will be great.’. And it was a parking space. We turned around and had a closer look on it. A really nice parking place with a great view from a 2400 meter mountain.
Here we will sleep.

AndorraJust the weather wasn’t the best. It was raining partly and stormy. The Kanguroo was shaking partly a lot. I was a bit afraid that it will blow us down the hill… but the wind will be not sooo strong… was my hope.

After an hour, we just wanted to convert the car, came the police for a visit. We was already afraid that they will shoo us away. But they just asked if we are ok. We said that we are fine, and asked also if we can stay there over night. They said ‘Yes, we have no problem with it.’. Then they drove off again. Very kind and friendly.

And now we go to bed. :)

19.06.2013

What a night. How to describe that. Imagine you park on a mountain crest. Ok, shortly before. Just a approx 30 meter higher hill approx. 20 meter behind you is the real crest. Behind it and in front of you is a valley. You park with your car on a plateau… the parking place. It is dark and late. Maybe around 12. You went almost to sleep in your car, just watching the car lights crawling up the hills. Outside you can hear the wind whistle around your car. Sometimes quite, sometimes in real squalls, that your car starts shaking. You need to go out of the car (for smoking or whatever) and the wind is almost blowing you away. You get in your mind that it was maybe not a good idea to stay there.
You go back in your car, you remove the gear (I let always a gear in, when I park the car) and you release the hand break… to see if the car is moving forward at the next squall… towards the cliff, which is 5 Meter in front of you. The squall comes, the car is shaking… but nothing is moving. Seems to be ok. Has to be…

You move in your bed and you close your eyes. 10 minutes later you’re asleep. The day was tiring.

Some when later you wake up. You don’t know how late it is. The voice next to you is asking ‘Could you feel that as well?’… you don’t even know in the first moment where you are and what happen. You can hear rain… heavily pushed against the car. The wind is like a storm now and is dragging on the car. You can feel it well.
Then you remember the cliff in front of you. You don’t even move a millimeter, to feel if the car is moving. But it doesn’t. It is just shaking in the storm. But does the wind have to power now to move the car?

Exactly that happen last night. I was seriously thinking to move the car backwards to the hill. Further away from the cliff. Ok, it wasn’t a deep cliff, but around 7 meter to the meadow below. It would have been enough to kill the car… at least.
But we converted the car already. In this stage isn’t it possible anymore to drive the car. We had to go out to reconvert it again… in the storm and heavy rain.
We was waiting… After around one hour became the storm more calm. The rain stopped and we went finally back to sleep.

The morning was totally opposite. There was nothing left from the storm in the night. The sky was blue, the sun was shining and the temperature went up to 6 already… in the night was it maybe 1-2 degrees.

We reconverted the car slowly and went off to our next target. Barcelona was it today. Inge was leading us back trough the Pyrenees, the same way we went in to Andorra yesterday. We spotted between all the mountains and valleys a lake. One of the 80 lakes in Andorra. Of course we had to have a visit.
We parked our car and walked a bit through Andorra. It wasn’t really far. Maybe 1 kilometer from the parking. At the moment is still the snow melting. Here is really still snow. Not much, but a bit. And the melting of it feeds a lot of small rivers, which are also crossing the ways. We had to be careful not to get wet feet. :) But we reached the lake with dry feet. I was seriously a bit thinking of jumping in the lake. But after I put some fingers in, to feel the temperature, I forgot about this plan quickly. :) We just enjoyed the landscape, took some pictures and went back to the car. It became also cloudy again.

Through the south of the Pyrenees we went in direction to Barcelona. We crossed France again, till we reached Spain. The Pyrenees are a really beautiful mountains. A very unique mountain and valley formation. Great also for biker ;)
As we left the mountains, we ended up straight away on a Spanish motorway. A highway without toll. Made for poor people like us. :)

The first Mc Donalds was ours. What else? :) We needed again a place to sleep. Julia wanted to go straight in the city of Barcelona. I wasn’t very happy about this plan. When I see the size of Barcelona on the map… So we checked out the camping places in this area. There are a few. But no one direct in Barcelona. Just in the area around. I choose finally the camping place Camping Barcelona in Mataro. Also almost 30 Euro per night. But therefore with shower, wasching machine, WiFi and shuttle service to Barcelona for free. That sounds good. Then we also don’t have the stress to drive in the city of Barcelona.
Julia was not very happy about 30 Euro per night… but finally we anyway ended up there.

And here we are now. Fresh after the shower, laundry is done and tomorrow we go with the shuttle bus to Barcelona and have a look there.

I’ll write about it :)

Best wishes
Gordon

PS:I just saw that I published a few picture of St. Tropez already in the last article. I get confused with writing and publishing already. :)

Our route (please hold the right mouse button to move the map until it fits):


Larger map

West Italy, Monaco and the Cote d’Azur.

13.06.2013

Hi together,

yes, we stayed for one more day. The internet, the shower, toilets and a bit relaxing was a good argument. We did nothing the whole day… except of swimming in the sea in the afternoon.

Camping placeThe camping place Campo dei Fiori was not direct on the sea, but just a few hundred meters away. We drove to a closer parking place and went to the beach. Of course I had my mask and my snorkel with me. :) And then we went straight in the water. It was warm already. We had to walk a while till we reached deeper water, which was straight cooler. And there was nothing to see. A few mussels, crabs and little fishes.
After the swim we took a sun bath and relaxed again.

In the evening we had disco again in front of us. :(

14.06.2013

P1000336 (Kopie)Today we planed to drive further finally. Next target: Monaco.
We wasted the time like always. A bit more internet usage and there a bit playing around. And I tried this strange squat toilet… well, unusual. But it has also advantages. No disgusting toilet seat, where who know who was on it before. You don’t spend, unavoidably, hours on toilet. :) It’s not so possible to make a ‘mess’. And still it is not that uncomfortable as I thought.

It was almost 11 when we finally left the place. Quickly payed our charges. 38 Euro for 2 days. That was ok. And Inge told us then where to go. First of all to the last post office in Italy. Because Julia needed to send postcards and she had still stamps from Italy. That wouldn’t work in France anymore.
And then the surprise, Inge told us that it would be still over 400 km to the French border and the estimated arrival time would be 20:30. It was clear that we wouldn’t arrive in Monaco today anymore.

Somewhere in ItalyIt became even worse as the streets was crowded and the estimated arrival time was calculated later and later.
Genova was really stress. Inge was leading us always through the middle of the cities… always. Through every town we had to go. But on the other hand we saw often also the sea and I think I don’t need to mention: The landscape was very beautiful.
But especially on the upper west coast is one town to another town. It’s basically just one big town there. Which also means always a speed limit of 50 km/h. Now it was clear why the estimated arrival time was so late.

In Genova we had to refill our Kangaroo again. I stopped at the first available petrol station. 1,81 Euro per Liter was written on the sign. Expensive… but I saw it a few times already in the last days. The owner came and was filling our car with 40 Euro, as told. I payed with credit card and back in the car we realized that he charged us 1,86 Euro per liter. I thought already that he was cheating us. But we got told later that in Italy they charge 5 cent extra per liter when you use service. Great.

Night view from our sleeping placeAround 9 we started to watch out for a sleeping place. As we didn’t found anything till 10, we just drove up a hill, in the hope to find a pleasant place with view. It was ascent sharply and with sharp curves. Finally we found a small cemetery. In front was already a car parking. A small camping car … from Germany. Surprise. :)
3 guys from Garmisch had the same idea as we had. They wanted to stay here over night. We started a chat and found out that we almost have the same routing. Strange where you find people from your country which have the same idea as you have :)
We will stay here tonight and hope that nobody will shoo us.Tomorrow we will head forward to Monaco. We will see how long we will need for the last 30km and how it will be in Monaco…. at the pretty folk. :)

Best regards
Gordon

15.06.2013

Hi all together,

and I can straight continue. :)

We had a good night between our new friends and the cemetery. And nobody came to shoo us. We came good out of the bed. I think short after 8 was it. We drove before the guys, but which was already half past 10. First of all we needed a cafe, that Julia can write her postcards, to send them with the Italy stamps.

We went to the last cafe before the French border. Close to it was also a Post office. To write the cards needed also till 12. Then quickly to the post office. I could get finally some money again (again is good…) and Julia could send the postcards.
Just a kilometer further was the French border. But except of the customs office is nothing left from it. We just passed it and that’s it, we was in France now. But our target was another country, which is just a few more kilometer behind the French border: Monaco.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere was just a small sign on the street: Monaco. That’s it. We crossed the border to this small country. I almost didn’t realized it, with this stress on the street. But it is easy to realize that you are in Monaco. The first building which I saw was a pompous casino. A curve further we was in the middle of Monaco. It is hard to describe how it looks there. I would say all is more beautiful, bigger and pompous. … And more expensive.
We drove first just through the streets. Inge had no maps and Uschi (Julias navigation system) doesn’t have POI’s and does not know parking places or anything else.

MonacoFinally we ended up in a parking house. There was even maps of the city for free. We ended up at the wrong end of the city. Well, wrong is maybe not the correct word, in a country which you can cross by walking in a few hours. Just at the end where nothing goes on. So, we walked in the right direction. It was just 2-3km to the interesting part. We passed on the way another pompous casino, several (fuckn) expensive shops, passing the harbor, in which are the yachts of the rich folk. After a cappuccino for 3,50 Euro (small one of course :) ) and an ice cream, we went back to the car.

It was around 5pm. The parking ticket was 10,40 Euro (was ok) and then back on the street in direction to St. Tropez. We found a cheap petrol station on the way and filled up the Kangaroo for 1,56 Euro per liter. In compare to the last Italy petrol station for 1,85 Euro was it really cheap.

Sunset on the beach before St. TropezWe was following the coast – more or less – and came through Nice, Canne and some other cities on the coast. Again stress on the streets (especially Nice and Canne).
Also the technique was not working as expected. The GPS tracker on my mobile told me that it is working, but it wasn’t. Now are many points missing on the route. Also Inge was not working well today. She lost always the GPS signal.

But finally we arrived somewhere. We are now on a beach somewhere before St. Tropez. The beach is direct on the main street and the parking is during the day fee-based. But now is nobody there to charge us.
But here are still people running around. It looks like a varied mixture. Young couples looking for privacy, fathers which looks after their daughters and families with children. Plus a few bored teenagers. I am looking forward to the night.

Best wishes
Gordon

Our route (please move the map with pressed left mouse button till it fits)::


Larger map

San Marino – Florence – Siena bis Castiglioncello

I am sorry, but the translation takes always a lot of time. This text is mostly translated by the Google Translator. I know the translation will be not the best, but I need to save time. I hope you’ll understand it.
Cheers
Gordon

09.06.2013

Hi there,

sometime in the morning we came out of the bed. By 13 clock we had to be gone from the campsite. I once again enjoyed the beautiful shower. Then packed stuff and just looked again over the internet. To item 13 clock we went off and paid our bill. Almost 90 euros for 4 nights. With us one night when our car just stood there, was also adopted.
But we stayed for a while in the visitor parking area and have set ourselves again to the restaurant. Julia has not seen what the internet and I’ve been drinking a cappuccino.

Gatteo Mare Then we was on the road to the south. Along the Adriatic Sea. The goal was Gatteo a Mare. A small coastal town that Julia knew from before and wanted to visit again. In the meantime, however, the place has developed over the last 10 years into a tourist site. A hotel at the other. And where no hotel has space, there is a gift shop or other business with junk. We went short down to the beach. Julia was brave and is with her feet in the water. I once touched it with the hand. Is quite enjoyable. But we had no time for swimming. The water had not a good visibility. It wouldn’t be great to snorkel in it. Then we turned a lap time in the village, eaten an ice cream and left the village quickly again. The aim of the day was finally San Marino .

San Marino, a fly s*** on the map. Approx. 30km from Rimini and in the middle of Italy. It did not take long until we were there. And like it has pushed us to the mountain titanium. Here is a Giant fortress on the mountain. In this even today people live and of course also many souvenir shops, restaurants and other tourism industry is based. But authorities are also located here.

Sunset view from San Marino We have reached the place shortly after 7pm. It was still a little light, and so we had a quick look around. Then the search for a nice place to stay over night. We found a car park nearby (P8). Which we liked. Front view of the country and right behind us the huge city walls. Totally awesome, again :) At night also no parking fees, so we left it to chance. If nobody is telling us to go away then we were lucky again and a great place to sleep.

10.06.2013

Hi there,

we was lucky. No policeman shooed us away at the night. Julia am still concerned with regulations a parking ticket at 8 … and then we have continued to sleep. :) At 10 was the parking ticket expired and we needed a new one. Then I also got up and we started to explore the fortress / city.

San Marino First, we was in the souvenir shops. Buying Postcards of course. :) Then again run through the streets. Look here, look there, uphill, downhill. In a cathedral, we looked inside and then came a short rain shower.
At the end of the tour we visited the Museum of Torture. Real sick shit …

In between times we talked about anything and there came somehow this “Your mother” jokes in my mind. It then came to me, “Your country is so small …” come to mind are … this time we were constantly busy to invent “Your country is so small …” jokes. Such as
“Your country is so small, that the tourists have to stand on the border in a waiting line.” (San Marino has an area of ​​60 km ² and 32,000 inhabitants.)
Or
“Your country is so small, that the neighboring countries have to donate the view” (60 km ² … from the mountain you can see more Italy than San Marino ;))

Sorry Love San Marino citizens :) But there are still more small countries (by which we are also still get through). Lichtenstein we already had, San Marino now. Come Monaco, Andorra and Gibraltar (although I’m not sure yet if that is a separate country).

After the city tour we went on towards Florence. Inge again refused the service. But it was because she had no maps of San Marino. Later she took over the leadership again and led us along country roads towards Florence. And through beautiful countryside, again. First through a valley and then back again into the mountains. I made videos of it, but I can edit only after the trip, as I have no equipment for it at the moment. Anyway, we drove on a small road through the mountains.

Cathedral Florence After a little eternity we left the mountains and came to Florence. It was now almost dark. Our goal was in the middle of downtown. Actually, even in the pedestrian zone. The museum Ufizi. Where the famous painting “The Birth of Venus “ by Sandro Botticelli is. This is a highlight of the trip, which Julia wanted to see.
I’ve just drove as Inge told me. An mistake. She led me directly to the city center of Florence. Not a good idea! Traffic-calmed zones, small mini lanes, pedestrian, darkness and no plan where to go. Pure stress factor.
And then we couldn’t find any parking space. Back again and still found no parking outside. Taken a wrong turn and we’re back in the middle. All one-way streets. No chance to escape.

Cathedral Florence After a Perceived eternity, then we have found a place in front of a hotel and get hold of a car park there. We decided to go to visit the city center by night. If we’re here already, after all the stress.
So we were still quite a large round through the city, down to the river. We passed also already the museum and knew where to go next day.
On the way back we got ourselves a pizza to go, just before the restaurant closed. Back at the car we then eat the pizza and talked a bit. After that we wanted to build and stay in the same place too actually, even if the place was in the middle of downtown – more or less.

But then Suddenly a police car came. Shortly thereafter, another team transporter. The police was just standing around. Somehow they did not seem to really know what to do. We were a little confused now, waiting and see what happens. To park there is not forbidden.
Then 2 police cars came and stopped right in front of us. And suddenly there was a squad of about 25 police officers in front of our car … and ran over and behind us into the next street side. :o … We are waiting. And Julia fall asleep in the passenger seat.
After about 20 minutes they came back and said goodbye to each other and one by one car drove off … until all were gone. What they have done we don’t know. We then built on, however, and finally went to bed around 1:30.

11/06/2013

Hi.

Unexpectedly quiet we slept in the middle of Florence. In the morning, the place was, as expected, filled with life. The bus had a stop directly in front of us and many people (most probably tourists) ran through the streets.

We joined them soon. Again through the streets we was walking yesterday night already. Today, however, in the light and with a lot more people in it.
I realized much again from the time when I was here on completion of the classroom before. Also raises a few old memories that were long disappearance.

Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence We reached the Uffizi Gallery very quickly and had to quickly find here a huge queue in front of the the entrance. …. Like in front of almost every attraction in Italy But since we really wanted to come in here, we presented to us. The display told us that we will queue for about 2 hours. Great!
So I quickly ran again through the streets in search of a restroom and found it finally in a restaurant. Back Julia was still in the same place in line. Nothing had moved. Only every 15 minutes they let purely a few visitors in.

Then I sent Julia going on, so she could see a little of the city and I waited in line. It could still take some time.
In the end we got away with just over an hour wait. Then we went – after a security check like in the airport – finally into the Uffizi. Who does not know this … it is a huge and famous collection of paintings and statues. Photographing strictly prohibited. Each room was guarded by 1-3 guards.
Within the Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli. The work for which we, especially, were here. In addition, many famous paintings of Italian and International painters and all kinds of statues.
We spent in the art exhibition around 2 hours, before we were through and had seen everything.

Then we went on – more or less – a direct way back to the kangaroo. It was still there and in one piece. Good! :)
After another sweaty journey from Florence out we went on to Siena. Here is a cathedral which Julia had also visited many years ago. It is completely striped black and white.

About 18 clock we reached the small town on the west side of Italy. Again, these mini lanes, but not so crowded as in Florence … fortunately. We found a parking space right at a roundabout in the city center. But there was nothing going on. We went for a walk, to find the Cathedral already and visiting it in the evening. After 10 minutes of walking through the city, we then found it. Is indeed difficult to see such a huge cathedral. Moreover, a black and white striped. :)
Of course it was closed. From 10:30 to 19:00 it is open (for 6.50 euros). Unfortunately, we were there only 19:30. But even if we had previously been there yet, we want also still have to watch a bit of time.

So we are back through the city back to the car. We went in a supermarket (Conad) shop that was near the roundabout. It was now about 20:30, but it was still open. So we are pure and have looked here and there which added to the cart. Until eventually the man ran out of the information by the market and told everyone that she has yet ready to close the market now. We were almost through already. Just quickly wrap up drinks.
At the checkout, the cashier asked me in Italian if I want a bag (which are there not around, the cashier has it). I have not understood the same and he asked me again in English. I told him yes, two please.
Then he whispered something to the other cashier and finally came the type from the information to the conversation and chimed in with a. They were all grinning and the whispering. Julia told me later, when we were outside, they have blasphemed through us. He had to make us several times pointed out that the market does close and we still continue shopping. The cashier said that we are a little handicapped. This kind of rudeness … I have repeatedly noticed in the last few days in Italy, even without understanding what people are talking about. Sometimes it’s just rudeness, sometimes it borders on racism and sometimes both. Of course, not everyone is so, but some here.

We are then back to the car. In the parking lot we could not stay overnight. So new car park for the night. Although we had seen on the way a nice one. However, it was something outside of the city and without any Wi-Fi. We tried our luck at a McDonalds parking lot. Of which we had heard that they always have Wi-Fi for their guests. In Italy, unfortunately, not really. There was free Wi-Fi, but that was with a login. To get the data, you have to register with an Italian SIM card (mobile phone). We have not. And so there was no internet for us at McDonalds. So we then drove to the parking lot which we had previously seen.

A nice big parking lot just outside the gates of the city, coming from Florence.
There were already two campers there (from Greece). We simply placed behind it, about in the middle of the parking lot. Building up our car and Julia fall pretty soon asleep. I had to write a few lines finally about the trip. I haven’t done it for days already.
Just before I was about to go to sleep, I’ve smoked one. And just in time, the police came and placed himself under the nearest lamppost. What now? Since they do not come over, I just got back in the car, lights off and waited a few minutes. Maybe they just did just break. Eventually, I just closed my eyes and fall asleep as well.

12.06.2013

The night was not good. Because of the police I slept in full gear. Eventually I woke up because I was sweating. Back asleep and later woke up because I was freezing. I felt in the morning like a piece of…
Julia had already come rather out of bed and came back from somewhere and said “Overnight, they have set up the signs ‘campers 20 Euro’ in the night ‘, ticket booth, and WC”. Of course they have not. Last night was it all already there. We have not seen it on the huge parking lot. Especially since it was on the other end.
I then booted again to the newly discovered outhouse. Then we have Mined and went. There are fortunately still 2 other exits without ticket booth (otherwise we would have seen it in the evening). Moreover, we are anyway not a camper, but a van. :)

Then we went back into the town center, on a parking space. And that was a cramp. Worse than in Florence. A small town with a few parking places  for to much tourists. We finally found a place in a private car park. 1.80 Euro for the hour the price was still good. When I remember of the EUR 7 per hour in Munich …

Cathedral Siena From there was it again about 15 minutes walk to the cathedral. This time, the ticket office was open and we set off immediately. The cathedral is very impressive. As I said very black and white striped. All walls. Hard to believe when you can not see (see photos below ;)). We spent about 2 hours in the cathedral. Of course, many photos. Some I’ve attached below.

After the visit to the Cathedral, it went for a coffee (and a good toilet) in a cafe and then back to the car. We wanted to continue to Castiglioncello, close to Pisa. Another place to Julia would like to attend. On the way there we drove through the beautiful Tuscany. Really (and again) a very beautiful landscape. And I wondered how hilly / mountainous Europe. Until now, anyway. Almost every day we drive up and down mountains. And usually with a beautiful landscape.

Cathedral Siena We then arrived right early in Castiglioncello. We went to first parking lot and went straight to the beach. He looked a little … concreted over and over. Hardly you can find beach, lots of concrete. But not so much hotels as in Gatteo a Mare. It is also only a small village by the sea. To sleep we found nothing and unfortunately reminded us that we didn’t had a shower since Venice. So I asked Inge for nearby campsites. (As an Inge is worth real gold!) 7 km away she was showing me in an area equal to 4 at one place. So we went off.

  The first ran. 8 EUR per person and a car for 6 euros. Would then 24 together. But first we had a look at the campsite. Situated on the seafront. Once we have looked at the place. Looked good. Directly behind the beach. WiFi was also available. So back and booked directly … until the lady said the price of 32 euros. Why this now? Since we would sleep in the car, the car would count as caravans. Hmm … that was not the plan and not in our budget. So we are to the next, here’s the same game. Then, the 3rd. A bit into the country side, not directly on the beach. This effectively. Here we have really paid together only 18 euros. And except beach was also all there. Toilets, showers and free Wi-Fi. This, however, only near the bar. But just what was free.

TuscanyWe liked the campsite also very much. A bit in the trees (even squirrels jumping around here). We have the feeling to have landed here a bit at a hippie place. But totally cool. When we asked when we need to be off the next day and the long-haired young man at the reception said ‘actually at 10, but there is just nothing going on … does matter. And if you leave in the afternoon, it does not matter. ‘… Take it easy :)

The only thing that bothers us here is the bar. In the evening is apparently disco doing here … and we are right next to it … But otherwise great visit here :) Our next campsite. Tomorrow we may continue to Genova or we stay here. We’ll see.

Greetings
Gordon

Our route (hold the left mouse button to move the map a bit to the right):


Größere Kartenansicht

Venice – Italy

06.06.2013

We woke up wonderful this morning. Around half past 9 we was out of the bed. Really early for us. We took it easy… took a shower, was eating breakfast and wasted some time. Around 12 we was finally ready for Venice. Quickly buying bus tickets, direct on the camping place and then to the bus stop. The bus drove us direct on the island, till the last station.

Our first target was the hostel. Because we went with 2 backpacks and it was the best to bring them first to the hostel. But the hostel is in the middle of the city. Like that we got the first impression of this famous and amazing city. Well, I’ve been there already 2 times, but for Julia was it the first time.
Inge was leading us again the way. And even with Inge we got lost on the last meters. It is really easy to get lost in this city.
At the end we ended up in a dead end and had to go around 3 corners before we found the hostel finally.

Unser Hostel - Our hostelIt is a very common building, between all the others. Just a small sign on the door shows ‘Casa Rosetta’. We rang the bell and someone was looking out of the window. We didn’t booked it online. A Chinese Lady opened the door. The owner of the hostel. We was a bit surprised about Asian owner, but ok. We are international. :)
And they was very nice. We even got the double bed room for the cheaper price. I think they thought that we are a couple :)
The hostel is not big. As far as I saw it have 3 rooms. Our double bed, a 4 bed room and in the 3rd I didn’t had a look. The price is also great (for Venice). We paid 23 Euro plus 3 Euro city tax. So 26 Euro per night and person (inclusive breakfast). It is just 5 minutes walking from the Rialto bridge. (Hostel ‚Casa Rosseta for Backpackers‘, San Polo 1108 (Campo S. Silvestro (der Name des Platzes)), Venedig)
The owner was just quickly cleaning our room and then we could move in. Changing clothes, repacking the backpacks and then we went out again. It was around 2 already and we wanted to explore the city.

P1000133 (Kopie)I can’t exactly tell where we went. Criss-Cross trough the city. Just following our nose and a bit the map :) First of all over the Rialto bridge, of course. Then to the St. Mark’s Square and then further, following the water. On the way we was walking through a park in which was the exhibition of the ‘Museum of Everything’, which we visited as well. And then further… this exhibition, church, cathedral and other sightseeing points… until our feeds started to hurt and we decided that it is time to go back to the hostel.

After a short break we went straight out again. We wanted to eat something on the canal Grande. It was just around the corner and there are several restaurants. We was choosing the restaurant ”Canal Grande”… how fitting.
We was choosing this one, because it was advertising with the best offers. A normal pizza for 8 Euro. A good price for Venice.
But I decided to order Gnocchi again, which was so jummy in the hotel. Julia ordered first and was choosing one of the cheap pizzas. An the waiter told her to relocate then, if she like to order one of this pizzas. The tables on the water are reserved for customer who order from the menu (means the expensive meals). The cheap pizza eater have to sit on the cheap places. … And he was absolutely serious. Unbelievable… and that is what we did… we couldn’t believe it and thought it was a joke.
Another waiter said something to our waiter and in the mess I ordered my Gnocchi (from the card) and we just stayed on that table. My 5 Euro beer was also not very cheap.
Later we asked the waiter again if he was serious with the table thing and he said ‘Yes’ and tried to explain it… really?

After our late meal, we walked through Venice by night.But my feet was still hurting and it was just a small round.
Venice by night is even more amazing then during the day. All the tourists are gone and it is much more quite. Quite enough to enjoy the city much better. The only light in the streets are from some lanterns. It’s mystical. Just wonderful. It was a great decision to stay over night on the island. Just pity that our feet didn’t wanted anymore.

The round trip ended on the hostel again. On the place in front of the hostel was some teenager partying. Maybe with a reason, maybe just to enjoy a Thursday evening. Who knows. But they was entertaining half Venice.
We didn’t cared. We was so tired that we fall asleep even with this noises in front of the window.
It was a great day in this amazing city. And tomorrow again :)

07.06.2013

Unfortunately was the night not so relaxing. I woke up in the middle of the night, don’t know why. But could fall asleep very quick again. And in the morning at 7:30 was the night over. The worker started their work on the place in front of the window. I couldn’t sleep anymore with this noises. But ok, at least we was – more or less – early awake and had more time to explore the city again.

Around 9 we went for breakfast. The other both Chinese girls, which slept in the hostel, was also at their breakfast. I even got a coffee. Great. It’s seldom at the moment, that I get one in the morning.
After we eat a bit and had an intercultural chat, we packed our stuff and left the hostel.
This time we had to carry all our stuff with us. And we was shopping yesterday. :( The first place to go was a post office. I bought a Venetian mask for my mum, and needed to get rid of the parcel. Luckily we passed the post on the way to the St. Mark’s Square. To send a parcel is no problem. I just hope it will arrive in one piece. And we bought straight a hoard on stamps for our post cards.

And then we arrived again on the St. Mark’s Square. Julia wanted to get full of Pigeons (which are in thousands on that Square and just wait for tourists who feed them with bread or corn). Julia bought some bread on the day before and started straight to allure them. But more then 3-4 didn’t wanted to sit on her, in the same time. And I made pictures of it :)
Until some people in orange came and told us that it is not allowed to feed the birds there. The St. Mark’s Square police… so we had to stop it and went to a shadow place to have a rest.
We made a plan where to go next and what to see. The new target was the Jewish ghetto of Venice. And on the way was several other sightseeing places to see. Lets go.

On the way we got several times lost. Even with detailed map and Inge. But finally we arrived in the Jewish ghetto. Here we made a break to relax and to enjoy a great Italian ice cream. It was a great sunny day, with at least 25 degrees in the shadow. Weather to start to sweat and to be lucky about a nice ice cream. ;)

P1000230 (Kopie)

 

On the way to our bus station we was visiting another 2 churches. The bus no. 19 brought us back to the camping place, where we relaxed our hurting feet and was washing our laundry. And most important: relaxed.

I also used the (fucking slow) internet connection on the place. I found some mails from my customer… who was telling me that I have a lot of work to do. Work for several days… on a normal computer. Well… will see what it will be. Sitting days and working wasn’t in my plan. Especially is our time schedule tight as well at the moment.

08.06.2013

Hey,

another day where we did nothing much. Actually I planed to work in the morning a bit and then leaving the place. At 1 we had to be out of the place. But as I thought needed the work more time and we decided to stay on the place for one more day. As we have here internet (which was now during the day much faster) and good toilets and a shower.

So, that was all we have done today… I was working. In between we was quickly shopping at LIDL, as today is Saturday.

But tomorrow we go back on the street. Further to San Marino. After Florence, Pisa and then further to the west.

Best wishes
Gordon

Our current route:

Bigger map

Bassano del Grappa in Italy

03.06.2013

Hi together,

as expected was the view in the morning great. :) Like every morning, till now, when we slept in the car.
The sun was already above the mountains and was shining in the valley. Anyway we was early this morning, as long sleeper. It was still before 9, when we left our bed. After a short washing, we packed our stuff and went back on the street. It wasn’t far anymore till Bassano del Grappa, our target.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Inge (our navigation system) wasn’t in mood to work this morning. She wasn’t able to find satellites (I shouldn’t have said so many nice words to her). So I had to drive by signs. Luckily was Bassano already on it.
And the landscape was even more beautiful then the day before. The last end, before the Alps end, you drive through gorges… just amazing. If you ever drive from Austria to Italy… take the Brenner street, not the highway. It takes more time, but is much more beautiful.

A few kilometers later was Inge ready to work again and was leading us to Semonzo. A small town near Bassano del Grappa. This is the place where all the paraglider come to. Julia wanted to stay here for a few days, to see the place and the surrounding. She wanted to make a part of her paragliding course as well here, but unfortunately she didn’t managed to get all flights together, to make the course. So, she had to stay on the ground.

But she wanted to have a look anyway. So we went, after a small stop at the tourist information and a small supermarket, direct on the mountain. From 0 to a height of 900 meters in 15 curves. And this curves are nothing for softies :) Partly 180 degrees. I think that is even to much for biker to have fun. The Kangoo also didn’t liked the 3rd gear anymore. We drove up the hill with 30hm/h in the 2nd gear. Slowly slowly. :)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut the view up there made us forget everything. On half of the hill (the Mt. Grappa itself is around 1700 meter high) is a small restaurant with a bigger parking space. We stopped and enjoyed the view from there. I am sure you can see half of north Italy on a day with clear air. Today was it not soo clear, but still great. Even Venice is visible from here, and it is around 70km further.

Direct at the restaurant parking space is a ramp for hang-glider. The meadows for the paragliding was a bit more down and up the hill. On this mountain are several places for both sports. Seems like it is very popular for para- and hang-gliding.

The search for Julias people was a bit complicated. On the place where we was, they wasn’t. An other participant said that they are just down for lunch and they will come back later. So, we was waiting there and watched the other guys and enjoyed more the landscape. But as they wasn’t back at 3, we guessed that they are maybe on another place. So, we checked another place further up the hill, which is for beginner. And there they was. Julia started to chat with them and I used the time to make some pictures of the landscape and the nature.

We’ve decided to stay on the mountain over night. On the restaurant was a parking space and in the night is there nobody. So we went back to the parking. Julia was building again on the car and became mad from the short term rains in between. I wasn’t feeling very well that afternoon and I took a nap. My hayfever is here also back… great! :( After the nap I felt better again.

Mt. Bassano by nightAfter the night came and it became dark on the mountain, we could enjoy again the view. But a different this time. Everything was dark up there and in front of us we could see a star sky on the ground, below us. The lights of the houses and streets look from up there like a second star sky. If you ever come to this place to camp. Go up on the mountain and sleep one night there. It is amazing.

After we went to bed. Early this day… around 10. But it was good to relax a bit.

Best regards from Italy:)
Gordon

04.06.2013

Hi again.

Sleeping long was good :) I woke up sweating around 9. On the evening before the temperature went down to 13 degrees. But as soon as the sun was shining on the car it went up straight to 24 degrees in it. I guess I was never so quick out of my bed in the last days. Julia did got got disturbed by it so quickly.

But it was good, because a bit later the first pilots arrived and was parking next to us. The first morning chats started (Julia from the bed).
Then also hang-glider came this morning to fly. It was interesting also to see this kind. But it looks very complicated with all the stuff and building the glider.Paragliding is much easier. You just need your parashoot and the backpack and that’s it. But even there a beginner equipment cost around 3000 Euro. Also an expensive hobby. But I think it is fun anyway :)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAToday I had finally the chance to try the solar panel.The solar panel on the big tank and then in the great morning sun. After approx. 2,5 hours was the battery tank full (from 50%). That looked good. That the solar panel does not charge the battery (88Wh) in one hour is clear. But 2,5 hours for half a charge, is ok.

The rest of the day we was just relaxing. One day doing nothing. The restaurant was open from the noon and I had the chance to finally get a coffee… sorry, Cappuccino. And we got the WLAN key from the restaurant WIFI :) I need it to go online from time to time… for example to write here in my blog ;) or to check Couchsurfing or to check the weather forecast or to check my bank account or or or… :)

In the evening we relocated the car direct on the restaurant parking. As we are customers now :) From here we had a direct view, from the front window, from the cliff on the plain in front of us. That was even more great… to lie in the bed and look straight on the lights in the plain.

05.06.2013

Also this day was very quite today. We got up somewhen very slowly. The first pilots came also slowly on the mountain. The weather wasn’t that great this morning. Cloudy and a bit raining partly.
For us it didn’t matter. We was in use to shit weather already and we didn’t wanted to fly. Luckily it became better at the end of the morning and the pilots could start.

We was checking in the internet where we could park in Venice, talked a bit with the people and I made pictures. :)

We decided finally to stay on a camping place in Venice (mainland) and then having a look what we can do from there. There is really a camping place in Venice. That was our target. But before we passed by the hotel ‘Garden Relais’, where all the pilots stay. We hoped to get some warm food, a shower and toilet there.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo we went straight there. Direct next to the hotel was the landing field for the paragliding. That’s why it was the favorite hotel for the pilots. The food was tasty, even we couldn’t order half of the menu. The kitchen was already half closed (at 2pm.). I’ve ordered noodles and got Gnocchi. Was very jummy, but for 8,50 Euro was it a very small portion. I didn’t got full at all, but at least the first hunger was gone.
And after I enjoyed the nice and clean toilet (sounds strange maybe, but in Italy they have usually the squat toilets… and public toilets are usually not really clean… then you’re happy about a usual and clean toilet). :)

And then, after a quick chat with Julias fly-school people, we went back on the street… direction Venice.

Inge has the option to give the drive a selection of several routes. She was showing me 3 different options. I was choosing this time another then the preselected one.It was an interesting decision. Because with this route Inge was leading us just a few kilometers later on field roads. I was thinking already that Inge is going mad. But I followed her instructions (couldn’t do anything else). At least we saw the nowhere of Italy. More in the middle of nowhere was not possible anymore :) We even had to drive through a (small) river. (I have it partly on video.)
But the Kangaroo managed everything very well.
Some when we came back on a normal road. We just ended up in the rush hour traffic. It was very busy and we needed again more time then Inge estimated.We also had to stop for the 5. petrol refill. It seems like in Italy is every petrol station doing their own prices. Even they belong to the same company. The best is to check a few petrol station to get a price range and then choosing a cheap on. We saw a range from 1,60 to 1,80 Euro in a circle of around 20 km. We got a petrol station with 1,70 (the 1,60 we saw first later).

Gordon

Gordon on the mount Grappa

And then we drove in direction to Venice… sometimes faster, sometimes slower. But Inge told us the way. And then we arrived in Venice.
Very strange to drive there. For most of the people (incl. me till a few days ago) is Venice just the island, with all the canals and no cars. But this is just a part of it. Venice is also on the main land. And this most of the people don’t know.
A few minutes later we was standing on the camping place. I almost missed it. It is in a dead end road, which starts in a roundabout and just a sign is mention it. But we saw it and found the camping place ‘Venezia’.

And we was lucky. The check in is closing at 8 pm. We arrived 5 minutes before 8. Lucky us. 28 Euro per night for 2 people and a car (good that we sleep in the car). Wlan for 2 Euro per 24 hours. The washing rooms are clean and new (shower, toilet (normal ones ;) ) and sinks). There is even a washing machine and a room to wash the dishes.
After a short visit at LIDL (800 meter around the corner), we prepared our bed and got straight in.

It was Julias first night on a camping place ;)

See you
Gordon :)

Our current route:

Bigger map

Munich, Castle Neuschwanenstein and more…

01.06.2013

Hi,

it goes on. :) And again we slept to long. We wanted to go today to Munich, to visit the German Museum. But I ignored successful my alarm clock again. So, we started around 10am. Then on the highway in direction to Munich. It was around one hour driving. The weather was – of course – shit already. It was raining like hell. :(

First of all we had to go to a special post office. Julia had to pick up a parcel from this post office, which was send there until her call. Of course I was adding a wrong address to the navigation system. We ended up in the wrong area of Munich. Luckily it was not far to the correct address. It was a time loss of half an hour.
Then we found finally the right post office. In the middle of the city. No parking. But it can’t take long in a post office – was my thought – and I just stopped opposite of the office, in a driveway. Of course… it took longer then a few moments. The post officers couldn’t find the parcels. It took them half an hour – plus Julias help – to find them.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe German Museum was almost just around the corner. And again searching for a parking space. I decided to go in a car park. It’s easier and less stressful. But more expensive. 7 Euro per hour (max. 20 Euro). Really expensive. But it’s Munich city.
The exit of the car park was just next to a Globetrotter shop. Of course we needed to have a look inside. Julia wanted to have a look for shoes and I was looking for one of this great towels (very thin, feels like leather… but dries very good). So we went in the shop. 4 floors… probably the biggest Globetrotter store in Germany. In the basement the people can even try canoes. ^^

After ages later we left the store. No shoes, but I found a towel, a map of Europe and lashing straps.
After we left, we went quick to the next cash machine. I was out of money again. The third time I took 200 Euro from my account. Slowly it becomes expensive… but there was till now a lot of stuff which was not planed in the travel budget, like the solar system. And then we went finally in direction to the museum.

Finally we reached around 2pm. the museum. It was full, for such shit weather. We payed our 8,50 Euro entrance fee and realized that the museum will close at 5pm already again. So we had 3 hours for this huge museum. It’s not much, but well… what we will see, we will see… and the rest unfortunately not.
First of all we came in the shipping area. Old vessels, new vessels… original ones and replications. For me was the U1 (submarine) the most interesting part of this exhibition. It was in the basement and sliced, so that you can see everything inside. That was very interesting. To see the first submarine.
Then we reached the electronic section. So, generators and high voltage devices. And every 3 hours they make a high voltage simulation. We came back for the next show. Really interesting and very loud. I made a movie, but can’t show it. As well the pictures. It is not allowed to show any video or pictures from inside the museum. Totally dumb… but what can I do. :(

We had around one hour left, after the show. We decided to go separated ways. To see more what is interesting for us. I decided to have a look in the IT section. But it was boring. Sure was it interesting to see this old technique and how it works before (I mean before the computer came in every single house). But when I passed by the air section of the museum… in the last 5 minutes, on my way out … I know that this would have been much more interesting. Well… it was to late. I had a quick look through and then had to go out.

Julia was waiting already outside… or better in the souvenir shop, direct in front of the postcards. Postcards… good idea. I also needed some. I took 3 nice ones from Munich. I always take 3. 1 is always going to Lotta :) and the other both always to 2 different people.

After we went back to the car. But first to Globetrotter again. :) I found a knife and a tool for the way (each for just 10 Euro) and 2 books about traveling. Something to read on the way :)

Then we payed our 15 Euro parking ticket and back on the street in direction to Castle Neuschwanenstein. Not much further Julia realized that we forgot the mountings for the solar panel on the roof in Augsburg. We took the panel off in Augsburg, but didn’t put it back on the place… and now was the mounting still in Augsburg. We had to go back. :(
Around 8 we was back in Augsburg. Christine was out and we went in the city to have a lunch. Then we went to her home, took the mountings and got straight a few more tips from her, for the next days.

And straight back on the street, from Augsburg on the B17 down in direction to Schloss Neuschwanenstein. Christine told us a parking place on the street, where we could sleep over night. We found a place (maybe the one she told us, maybe another) und sleept there.

02.06.2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t talk about sleeping late anymore. We got up around 10, packed everything and went straight to the castle. On the way we remembered that we wanted to visit the church ‘Wieskirche’. Christine said that the church is beautiful. So, we had to visit it. Luckily we didn’t passed the point where we had to turn to the church. I told Inge (our Navigation System) that we want to make a stop at the church and she told us where to go :)
The church is hidden somewhere in the nowhere.Looks like she is also a very popular pilgrimage destination. And it was not a lie, inside like outside is the church very beautiful. Mural art inside and outside.

Today there just arrived pilgrims. They walked partly over 100 km to this church. Well…

We checked the souvenir stands quickly and left the place again. Heading forward to our main target of the day, castle Neuschwanenstein. It is just a few minutes away (by car). We saw a castle from far already, but we thought it is the second one. There are 2 in this place. It didn’t looked like the one from the postcards. Much more grey and smaller and the shape was different as well. But then we realized, it is Neuschwanenstein. Well, maybe it looked so grey because of the weather.

Schloss NeuschwanensteinAnyway, the village was full of tourists. Almost no Germans, many Asians and people from Eastern Europe. We decided to have a look to the Marien-bridge anyway. From there shall be a great view on the castle. So, we packed our stuff (incl. umbrella) and started our walk… in the rain. After the way up, of 20 minutes, we reached the bridge. The view was really great. The weather was still shit, but it looked anyway great.
The castle is approx. 100 meter direct in front of the bridge, on the same height. The bridge itself is approx. 50 meter over the ground. It’s great to make good pictures. Much better pictures when there is no rain and sunshine… but we have to take what we get.

We went back to the car, without a visit of the castle itself. Julias shoes was totally wet already, it was cold and we needed to head forward. We wanted to reach Italy on the same day. Inge (our Navi) estimated 5 hours for the 350km way, via country roads, to avoid toll roads.

We was back on the road in direction to Bassano del Grappa. That was the final destination of the day.
It seems like Inge is calculating the arrival time by the highest speed you can drive on the roads. But in the Alps is it mostly hard to drive with 100km/h on a street. Partly it is still hard with 30km/h. Plus the cars in front of you, which are even more afraid and which drive just 20-30km/h. Our estimated arrival time delayed more and more.

Of course it was also raining the whole time. Car convoys was moving slowly over the mountain roads. I felt mostly said for the biker, in this weather conditions. And there was many on the road.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe left Germany and was crossing Austria till we reached Italy, via the Brenner road. Further and further trough the alps, always next to the highway, on the country road. The landscape, in the moments I risked a view, was very nice. Mostly I had to concentrate on the street. It was stressful to drive there. The rain, the curvy street and partly mountain pass. And then also watching the signs.
But we managed it. But not till Bassano del Grappa. This night we stopped, somewhere 70km before Bassano, on a petrol station. A few trucker was already there.
The place is in the middle of a valley. Also a great landscape. Of course something with a great view :)

I am looking forward what will be tomorrow.

Best wishes
Gordon


The church is hidden somewhere in the nowhere.

Visiting Liechtenstein and storm in Germany.

29.05.2013

Hello together,

Chur in the morningunfortunately today in the morning was the view not so great as we expected…but it was anyway great. It became cloudy during the night and it was raining in the morning, when we woke up. Clouds moved trough the valley. That looked really great. Imagine the valley, down is a little city (Chur). And a long cloud is moving slowly trough the valley. And you are in between the clouds and the city. That was stunning.

We packed our stuff around 10 and started in direction to Liechtenstein. Our next target.

Vadouz was just 50km away from Chur and is the capitol of the Principality of Liechtenstein.
We parked in the middle of the city, to walk around a bit. It’s not that big… more small. :) The weather was ok. The clouds was hanging in the mountains, not high above us, but it was not raining.

We saw the whole inner city within one hour by walking.
The town hall in VaduzWith town hall, parliament building and all other important buildings. Quick a Döner against the hunger… for 8 Euro(!!!) … I was really hungry… and then we went back to the car, half past 1.
But because the weather was not really nice, we decided to move our visit at Castle Neuschwanstein to the way back from Munich, and to drive today straight to Augsburg. We want to meet there a friend from Julia, from the world travel forum.

I disallowed our navigation system to use toll roads, because we didn’t wanted to pay for it in Austria, which we had to cross on the way to Augsburg. So, we drove on the country roads.
We left Liechtenstein a few kilometers later already again. Not very big this country :)
And then on the normal road through Austria. The landscape is in this area everywhere (almost) the same. Everything very mountainous :) But very beautiful! I think it’s because I don’t live in the mountains and even never been there and never saw this kind of landscape. Maybe that’s why it is so stunning for me. But it is stunning! :)
A few kilometer more and we was back in Germany. Nowadays there are just little signs left, which are telling you that you just left a country and entered another country. Nothing else. Just in Switzerland and Liechtenstein there was still a real border crossing.Back in Germany we went straight on the next Highway, to save time. It is tiring to drive the whole day and walk around.
Around half past 5 we arrived in Augsburg. Julias friend is living a bit outside of the city, direct on the highway. Here are just a few houses… but 2 big DIY markets, 2 big supermarkets, a big electronic store and even IKEA.Of course we went straight shopping :) We still had to buy plastic boxes for our stuff. We found some in the DIY store. The Media Markt visit was not so successful. I still needed a charger for my pocket camera. I couldn’t charge it with USB, like the girl in the Media Markt, where I bought it, told me. But also here I couldn’t find something with which I could charge it. :(

Reorganisation of the car in AugsburgThen we went finally to the Lady. After a short welcome, we unpacked everything and Julia started the reorganization. To put all our stuff from the temporary bags into the plastic boxes. I wasn’t allowed to help :)

After it we got nice dinner (vegetarian) and then we got internet *yess* :) Of course I had also emails from my customer. And then I had to spend the whole evening to make my customers happy. No time for writing my blog anymore.
I hope I’ll find the time tomorrow, to write a few lines.

See you then. Lovely regards from Augsburg (Germany):
Gordon

30. und 31.05.2013

Hi,

I just add some lines straight behind. There is not much to tell about the last 2 days. We decided to make resting day yesterday. I had to work and Julia wanted to work a bit more on the car.

We decided to change our plans again. Munich then on Friday and Saturday. And Sunday morning straight from Munich to Castle Neuschwanstein and then further to Bassano del Grappa in Italy.

And we had the chance to wash some clothes.

Today (Friday, 31.05.2013) was it raining. We decided that there is no sense to go to Munich. It wouldn’t be fun in the rain. We are staying today also ‘at home’ (Chrstines place). I still have to work and Julia is using the chance to visit some relatives here in Augsburg.

But tomorrow morning we definitely leave to Munich. We want to visit the German museum. And then straight further in direction to Castle Neuschwanstein. On the way we will watch out for a nice place to sleep again. Maybe with view on the Castle :)
My only worry is the storm, which the weather forecast told, with heavy rain and storm. I hope it will be not that heavy and the wind will not blow us away in the night.

Ok, then read you soon and warm regards from Augsburg (Germany).
Gordon

parliament building