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Showing posts from April, 2015

Camping and cycling on the north Norfolk coast

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We spent a weekend at Kelling Heath holiday park and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. As the weather is starting to get better we took our bikes with us and were already on our big coastal adventure by 9.30am on the Saturday morning.

From Kelling Heath we cycled to Weybourne and picked up the coastal path. The scenery is stunning from the path which is on the cliff edge, and due to erosion sometimes uncomfortably so! It's a hilly and bumpy ride, not for the faint-hearted.

We stopped in Sherringham, locked up our bikes and explored some lovely little gift shops. We enjoyed a giant cup of coffee each at Pungleperry's, a cafe with a funky American diner feel. Their cakes and sausage rolls looked amazing but since our goal for the day was fish and chips for lunch in Cromer we resisited. Tony couldn't resist buying a pot of cockles from a seafood stand before we got back on our bikes though.

We arrived in Cromer just after midday and bought cod and chips from Number 1 Cromer. We …

Domaine les Gandins

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We followed blue skies from Switzerland into France where our final two campsite nights would be spent. With about half an hour left of our four-hour drive I looked for the print out of our booking for Domaine les Gandins and my heart sank when I read the dates. I'd booked for 9 and 10 May and this was 9 April. Not only that, this site had required payment in advance by international bank transfer.
I confessed what I'd done and Tony shrugged and said it'll probably be OK. I was less convinced thinking the site might not have space, or might not be willing to let us move our booking. I also had a sneaking suspicion the site wasn't even open yet as I'd tried booking this one for our February trip.
We arrived in the little village of Saint Germain de Salles and before long Cleopatra was making her way up the private drive of Domaine les Gandins. Halfway along the drive a group of people flagged us down, looking at us inquisitively. I wound down my window, showed them…

A baguette in my backpack

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We crossed from Germany into Switzerland at Basel which doesn't give a great first impression, but fortunately after 20 minutes the scenery is green and very pleasant indeed. The grass looks so lush and the hills are scattered with pine trees and small wooden cabins.
We turned off the motorway around 30 minutes before the sat nav reported we'd be arriving at our destination and we still didn't have any Swiss Francs. We drove slowly through a small town on the lookout for a cash point.
As we sat still at a junction, deciding which way might lead us to a bank, a police car pulled up alongside. There were two policemen inside and the driver motioned for me to wind down the window. As far as we were concerned we'd done nothing wrong. We had stuck our GB sticker on the back of the van, and I think we had all the necessary high-viz vests etc required, but still I was nervous.
'Do you speak French?' asked the driver of the cop car. When I replied 'No,' he ask…

The Black Forest

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The journey from Remagen to Enzkl√∂sterle was very straightforward and the German autobahns very efficient. Thirty minutes before our arrival we had begun a climb up into the mountains. At 15 minutes prior to arrival we were so high that there was snow on the trees and ground. We stopped to take a photo and I noticed Cleopatra was reporting the temperature to be 2°C. Now so close to our destination I really expected the campsite to be at that altitude and so it was a relief when we started to descend again before the sat nav announced our arrival.

The campsite, Camping Muellerwiese, was perfectly situated to give the most amazing view of the valley. I didn't want to do anything other than find somewhere to walk in this beautiful place and so we ambled around the centre of town until we picked up a marked path.
Almost instantly it began to snow and it seemed to make the scenery, which already seemed impossibly stunning, even more endearing.
We passed Cleopatra from higher up a hill…

Blog on the Rhine

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The Golden Mile campsite on the Rhine sounds more prestigious than it warrants. The site was jam-packed with vans but luckily our allocated pitch was on a lake and so relatively private compared to most.
After getting Cleopatra settled on her pitch we went for a walk along the Rhine and covered quite some distance. The river is wide and fast flowing, and clearly deserving of a lot of respect. You wouldn't just plop a dinghy in here and go for a row.
The scenery on the river bank either side, with its painted houses and castles is stunning. A railway follows the course of the opposite bank and freight and passenger trains pass by frequently. The whole scene looks reminiscent of a Hornby train set.
I had said to Tony only five minutes before that a pub with tables outside would be ideal here when we arrived at one. Actually it was a restaurant but most people were enjoying only drinks so we stopped, and I ordered what we assumed must be wheat beer. We were correct and we ordered tw…

No room at the aire

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We're off to Europe for ten nights. The first and last nights are to be spent on a French aire de camping car. These are small parking areas, usually free, for motorhomes. There are hundreds along the motorways, but our preferred aires are in small villages and so we choose Bertry enroute to Cologne.

We arrived at 11.45pm to find four motorhomes had already filled all pitches. This aire had free electric hook-ups and it was no wonder it was popular. We parked Cleopatra next to the official pitches, on the verge outside the train station. We were on the road by 7.15am so it's unlikely anyone knew we'd even been there.