Saturday, 28 November 2020

Europe July 2019

 

Europe 2019

France /Germany/

Luxembourg

 

 

Saturday 6th July

Set off from home at 10am hoping for a decent run down to Dover , “Big Mistake” only got as far as M6 Knutsford and as i have live traffic on satnav was informed of 50 minute plus delays around stoke ,decided i would take the old rd of A50/A34 so came off the M6 at Holmes Chapel and re-joined again at Stafford missing all the standing traffic around Stoke ,had a fair run down via M6/M1 with a stop at the services and then when i hit the M25 an update on traffic was informed on another 50 min delay close to Dartford .I opted for the alternative route the satnav offered and ended up going the opposite way round the M25 down to the M2 for Canterbury (was still quicker than sitting in the traffic and had no hold ups.) Arriving at the Canterbury park and ride i was surprised at how quiet it was with plenty of spaces. After the run down didn’t feel like doing any cooking so we went for a very enjoyable meal in the Old Gate Inn on the edge of the Park and Ride. The addition of an extra tap on the services is new to me as last time i was here there was only one tap for fresh and cassette rinsing .Still had people not lifting the grate to empty the cassette even though there is a webbing to help you lift it resulting in some dirty b***ards leaving toilet wipes dangling from the grate. Fran donned her rubber gloves and removed these and put them in the bin and i hosed the grate down in keeping with my OCD .Spent the Sunday in Canterbury (afternoon tea and scones at M&S is recommended) leaving sunday evening (cost for the over night and daytime parking and free bus was £7 so very good value)and then parked up on the Esplanade in Dover as we had a late ferry over to Calais.  As it was a late /early morning ferry we opted for Cite Europe to park up for the night as its a free safe parking spot with plenty of other vans there and handy for the shops if needed. No services on the aire but the 24 hour service station down the road has a bourne which was free while we were there, also a van wash close by.  Left Cite Europe around lunchtime and headed off to the aire at Avion as it was on the way to a lot of the first world war sites that we intended to visit .It is a free aire with a wooden barrier which helped to keep the cars from parking, there are walks around a couple of lakes which made up for the very quiet town .Services (which we did use) were 3 euros payable only by card .  Left Avion and then went to the WW1 Canadian Memorial site at Vimy Ridge. The monument on the hillside you can see for miles around, Lots of craters still on the site and has a free museum with loads of information and also access to the trenches.  From Vimy the next stop just past Arras (been before so gave it a miss) was Bapaume, a small village not far from most of the sites around Albert. The aire is at the rear of the church with half a dozen places at the side of a very large and unused car park .Parking was free and a borne with services for a couple of euros just round the corner. Spent the next day touring the sites of the First World War around Pozieres then over to the museum at Thiepval and also Albert. Also on route was the crater at Boisselle and a coffee at the Le Tommy cafe.  From the WW1 sites we went on to St Quinten to spend the night and the next day there. The aire is a town run barriered site pay by card €8 for 24hrs including electric. We parked up and couldn’t get any electric even though we had paid for it , A phone call and 2 very helpful electricians turned up and as they couldn’t solve it moved us onto another pitch which did work. Nice walk down the canal into the centre and a few memorials there. We did witness a family raiding the doggy poo bag dispensers along the canal and they cleaned all of them out of bags!!!!.  From St Quinten we headed to the Charleville Mezieres area, had a look at the aire at Rocrio but didn't like the setting so we moved on to Riven which is by the river with many shops, supermarkets close by and would have been a nice stop but all the spaces were taken by badly parked French long termers and no chance of getting a place so we had to give this a miss and moved on to Montherme. The aire right on the river i have stopped at before and the views are good and although there are no on site services there is a bourne just up the road. Small quiet town but small bar and chippy van close by and views of the barges etc. €4 plus tax for 24hrs so good value.   We are now heading towards Luxembourg and then the Mosel so we opted for an aire we had stopped at before at Stenay. Used to have to go to the tourist info site in town or the captainaria and pay there to get a code ,it is now a pay by card entry and €9.40  but does include electric and toilets and showers. A Lidl on the edge of town 20 mins walk away and a few bars, a brewery and plenty of bakers in the town. Stayed here for 2 nights and travelled the second day to visit the Citadel at Montredy which also had services and it was possible to stay.   Sunday 13th July: - Moved on from Stenay and as it was a Sunday and we were close to the Luxembourg border and we needed to fill up with diesel we opted for the pretty little village of Longwy and then we could call at the Luxembourg border booze shops on Monday .Not a lot going on in Longwy as it was a Sunday but found a couple of walks down to the village which was a bit of a walled village. Free aire has half a dozen dedicated spots for campers but as it’s a quiet car park room for more (there was a French R.V. there that looked like it had been there a while). services was a Flot Blu which you can obtain tokens from the machine which will give you access to services and electric points. We had tokens from last year so did use it for water.   Monday morning we filed up and got some liquor at Rodange before moving into Luxembourg.  Went over to Dudelange on the outskirts of Luxembourg , a small village that has been updated quite a lot since we were last here a couple of years ago. The aire has 8 dedicated spaces but can fit more and there are more spaces down near the bowling club a few hundred yards away. All services are free and there are 4 electric points and if you arrive before the French as we did you will get free electric. The village which has a large supermarket is 15 mins walk and well worth a visit, We stopped a couple of days and caught the train into Luxembourg , the station is 2 mins away and with a change at Bettembourg  which ties in with the time of the Dudelange train you are in the city in just over half hour and all for €4.(free in 2020).Luxembourg at the moment is a building site everywhere (using our E.U .money).  As we were heading for the Mosel we moved on to Perl a small village on the border of France, Germany and Luxembourg. The aire is next to the swimming pool where you pay for your stay €5 (open 7.30-10.30, 4pm-7pm) pay at reception, you can pay by phone but it is a German website. You can walk down to Lidl and a few more commerce's via the lane in front of the aire which also takes you to the Mosel and the German/Luxembourg border and a few bars/cafes but it is a good uphill hike to get back. There is an Aldi and a couple more shops closer to the aire and if you turn left at the roundabout close to the aire you will come to Sehndorf which has a few bars etc and the only cash machine/bank for miles. The aire itself can take half a dozen /eight vans with services at €1 and also electric at €1 for 6 hours. The services is a new type which i had not seen before where you empty the cassette onto a stainless chute which then goes into the drain but considering it had a big black button on the front for flushing we found it full of waste that somebody had left and couldn't be bothered flushing it.

Moved up the Mosel past Trier to  Weingut Edwin Pauly a small Stelpatz with 4 places with views facing the Mosel but after parking up (nobody came for money €8 ) and having a stroll into the small village we decided as there was not much there and we would need bikes to get about we moved on to Urzig .  Arrived Urzig and luckily got a place at the end overlooking the Mosel. Small village with great views watching the barges and cruisers on the river. Free services and water and €8 for 24 hours, €2 for electric if you need it.   Moved up the river to a Stelpatz we had stopped at before at Traben Trabach which was surprisingly quiet as last time we were here we couldn't get on. The entry is now via a camered barrier which takes your reg and then you pay at machine inside. €13 plus tax of €1.70 made it the most expensive stop but you get toilets ,showers, electric (I blew a fuse ) and free Wi-Fi .A half hour walk down the river and across the bridge and there are many bars/cafes. While we were there they had a large craft market, and also an Aldi and another large supermarket close by.  Now Sat 20th and we move a little further down the river for the weekend to Zell. Busy Stelpatz outside a campsite (you can use services) €7 for 24hrs and managed to get a spot on the river. Nice village across the bridge which had a wine festival on the Saturday. Massive shopping centre close by but not walkable unless you are a mountain goat.   After a bit of shopping at Zell Barl and a top up of gas we went back down the Mosel to another site i have stopped before on the river at Kinhiem €9 a night plus extra for electric. As the temperatures are now getting up to 40 degrees we move from Kinhiem to a small private Stelpatz at Piesport  €8 a night again on the river with plenty of bike trails for the cyclists. We walked into the village and found a very nice cafe/bakery. There was still not a lot of shade here so off again tomorrow to find shade somewhere. Moved a bit further down the river to Ensch again on the river but luckily we found some shade under a tree as it was now getting unbearable heat wise .Very small village across the road with just i shop which was a grocers bakers and butchers. Services also on the opposite side of the road so if you do stop a few days make sure you are full with water another at €8 a night. Bit of wildlife here for a change with a couple of unusual birds and a deer. As it was getting no cooler we decided we would stay until late morning when the sun came round the trees and then move on and use the cab air conditioning and a bit of shopping to try to cool down.  We needed to refuel so called at Remich on the Luxembourg border. The intention was to stop here as it is a nice touristy village but when we found the aire even though it had an open air swimming pool next door was unshaded and the heat was getting worse so we found a hypermarket and did a bit of shopping.     From here we went back to Perl and did a bit of shopping and stocked up with some Aldi wine. The Stelpatz was empty when we got there around 6pm and we found a bit of shade under a tree.   From Perl we again opted for Dudelange for the weekend as we were going into Luxembourg for the Darts Open in which a friend of ours Darryl Fitton (The Dazzler) was playing. Again it was fairly quiet when we arrived but it did fill up a bit later, the weather also changed a bit and we got a bit of much needed rain.   Left Luxembourg Sunday afternoon and as we wanted to get somewhere near Calais so we could spend Monday without much travelling as we had a 12am ferry on Monday night Ghent was on our route up so we opted for that . A busy free stop on the yauchtdreef in a car park close to the canal which was handy just for the night.  Left Ghent and had a short trip to Calais and Cite Europe where we chilled out for the day doing a bit of shopping, washing the van and the relaxing before the late ferry. We got an earlier ferry (11.30) so arrived dover 12 am UK time so i filled up with fuel and set off to do most of the 6 hour trip before the traffic started. Trip was ok until the M1 around Luton at around 2.30am and i have never seen so many lorry's nose to tail making passing very hairy. (Will never go this way again). And to make matters worse junction 4 -5 on the M6 was closed making it a detour through Coventry.

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https://travelblogs.club/author/rebbyvid/

France September 2018

 

France

Sept 2018

           

 

 

After a trip to the dog/motorhome show at Malvern and a couple of days at a rough C&C holiday site in North Chailey Sussex we set sail Newhaven -Dieppe on the 21st August for France. A 5.30 crossing meant we arrived at 10.30 and with it being dark and not knowing Dieppe we set off for a small aire about 10k away at St Nicolas d’Aliermont . When we arrived the access road was littered with someone’s large bag of food waste .All the bins were nearly full and this looked like someone had emptied their fridge stuck it in the bag and left it on the floor at the side of the bins and a cat or fox had been at it .We re-bagged it and squashed a bin down and then settled down in one of the 3 spaces alongside a German van. The aire is free and room for 3 vans on tarmac but there are many more car parking spaces which are tolerated. Services by jeton from the town hall €3.

22nd Aug :-  After a stroll round the town St Nicolas we found a lot of the shops were closed for holidays (it does have a clock museum)we set off in the direction of Mailleraye after 10 miles we spotted some friends in a lay-by heading home so we did a quick about turn and had a brew and a bit of a catch up with them . Then off to Mailleraye sur seine a €6 for 24 hours aire, barriered and pay by card. Nice place on the river but only small town with usual bread shop etc.

Thurs 23rd Aug:-  A good run today with a stop at Nonancourt for water, here there is a free aire with free services and one electric point on the borne ( three English vans who looked as though they had been here a while hooked up with splitters and we call the French ).Bonneval is quite a large aire even though it says about 10 places ,there were nearer 20 while we were there and we even had a German tugger pulled up next to us then got table chairs out and then started cooking as though it was a campsite.(no awning out though).Free aire with services in car park in centre of Ville ,Canal runs alongside where you can hire canoes and boats. A nice stroll through the Ville with a few bars and all the usual shops. Fri 24th Aug  :- From Bonneval we moved down to the Loire area to a great municipal stop overlooking a lake with all services inc electric for €6.80. Not much in the town but good location, also toilets on site and washing facilities which you had to get the key for (we didn’t bother).Pay at the Marie just up from the site. Sat 25th Aug   :-  Getting a bit nearer to Bordeaux now and found another great aire on the Charente at Nersac. Another small ville with a bar and boulangerie and charcutterie and not much else but the 7 van aire is free with all services including 6amp electric in a nice location at the rear of the Marie and next to the police station, a sports stadium and supermarket nearby and a short walk to the river .Fields full of corn on the cob if you like that.

Sunday 26th Aug :-  Down on the coast just up from Bordeaux at a place called Blaye. Was going to stay on the aire in town which is €3 a day without services but came across this vineyard just down the road which offers 48 hr parking with all facilities including 6amp electric. You are not pressured to do a tour or do the wine tasting and buy any wine but we did the tasting and bought a couple of bottles (they only do red and we don’t drink it so it will be presents for someone) and stayed 2 nights .Parked next to a wonderful couple who happened to come from Northenden which is close to us so we had a tour of Blaye with a couple of drinks and a visit to the Citadel. Great location to be parked amongst the vines but beware after tea the Mossies’ awake and start feeding on you as we found out to our displeasure as we sat out drinking both nights until dusk with our neighbours and i have never been so badly bitten.

Tues 28th Aug :- We have now passed Bordeaux and the next stop is a small walled town on the river Garonne, Its mainly a stop due to thunderstorms forecast in the area of Cahors on wed and as we are heading to Saint-cirq-lapopie and Rocamadour which are in the area we thought a stop here and we would miss the thunderstorms. Mistake as it was the hottest day we had had at 38 degrees and just as we got back from a walk in town after tea the thunderstorm hit. Even the rain didn’t do a lot to cool things down so we had an unpleasant night’s sleep. The aire is very quiet with all services free except electric and on a car park just out of town with room for about 10 vans.

Wed 29th Aug: - Heading now towards Cahors and we are on an aire right on the canal at Caumont not far from Marmade. Great free aire with black and grey waste disposal, toilet on site (which was disgusting) and a pizza cafe. Water could be got via tokens but the connector was the boat type metal female connector so you would need to make sure you had an adaptor. Good walk down the canal path .Pitches are between trees but check before you drive down that you can get in although you can turn at the end.

Thurs 30th:-  On now to St Cirq Lapopie a €7 a night aire with services on the river (we are staying 2 nights) On the approach road there are 2 parking places ,on the left a grassed area and on the right you go down to the river .Guy comes to collect money between 5pm and 7.30pm. We did a night on each. Bakers van comes round at 8.30.The village (medieval) is only a mile or so away but uphill all the way. You can walk down the road but we opted for the river walk and then onto a rough climb to take us there. Once there the place and views were fantastic so well worth the uphill struggle.

Sat 1st Sept: - Moved on now to another medieval village and one of the stops on the Camano way religious route. There are a few parking spaces here we opted for the Chateau park as it was close to the lift to get up and down to the village. Just a rough stone car park but plenty of space and no facilities so make sure you have water and empty tanks. We walked down to the village and must admit it is a place worth going to even if you’re not religious, plenty of cafes and touristy shops on the top as well as in village. The lift was a godsend for getting back up but… it only took you half way up for €2.50 and then another lift for same price to get to top, think the bus return would have been cheaper but better than trying to walk back up. On the Sunday afternoon we moved onto another parking spot just up the road L’e Hospitalet here was a massive grass field with toilets and  room for about 50 vans (some shaded ) even though most sites say 20 vans. Both spots were easy walking to the cafes and shops on the top. Monday 3rd  :-  On our way now in the direction of Clermont Ferrand and found a little village Sadroc (6 van aire)not far off route that has all the services and has 4 unmetered 13 amp electric points .We stop here for lunch and use the facilities and top everything up while here . Nothing in the village except for a church, school and a small shop. (We needed bread and cheese so spent a bit to cover the water and electric. Off now to Ussel an aire on the lake in the Park Naturel in Limousine, What a sight when we arrived, there were caravans (and plastic gutter and soffit vans) everywhere and quite a few motorhomes as well. They had smashed the borne and there were electric leads everywhere including some running from lamp posts. Needless to say we didn’t stay here and moved to another aire by a lake about 20k away at Meymac , this time it was just motorhomes ,and the lake was just across the road ,no views but just a short walk to lake and beach with canoes and peddle boats and a swimming section. Room here for 20-30 vans and fairly quiet as most French have gone back to work. All free services (except electric.). Great walking area with an hour and half walk round the lake (which we did) and a few other walks. And the nigh time view of the stars was unbelievable.

Wed 5th sept: - Now on a massive aire the north side of Chaumont on the river in a nice village with plenty of places to eat and usual shops and a few photo opportunities. Very busy aire so if you go make sure you get there early, Free parking but services are not.€2 for cassette emptying and water .Met a couple who i know from the forums so spent a night reminiscing (The Wints ,Alan and Eileen ) for anybody who is a member of a few forums. Fri 7th Sept ,:- Slowly working our way northwards and today we arrive at Moulins a town with loads to see and do with an Intermarche across the road .The aire is an old municipal site ,barriered and 10 cents an hour, Entry is though barrier and payment by card only ,jetons for the services (they were left open and there was water at an old shower block) I did buy 5 at €2 for electric and services but only used one for electric on the first night as we were parked under trees , Stopped here for 3 nights for €7 ,great walking and biking trails.

Monday 10th sept :- We are slowly going down the Loire and today it’s a small village on the canal basin with lots of activity with hired boats and the people working on their own boats. Plenty of parking, we were on grass overlooking the canal and 2 more vans joined us later. Free parking and water at side of Marie, services were by token and they were facing the Marie. Usual shops a chemist, boulangerie and charcuterie.

Tues 11th sept :-  Now onto a small village on the Loire and at the junction with 2 canals , free parking but services again by token. Not a lot in town but a few bars near the aqua duct .Again plenty of walking in the area and the Pont du Braire is the largest aquaduct in Europe. Wed 12 sept:- Only an hour down the road and now at Sully, A great aire all free behind the castle and on the Loire with a lot of forest walks into the town which when the temps are as hot as it is at present makes it easier to get about. Quite a few shops and bars in centre. All services are free and we stayed 2 nights and chilled.

Fri 14th sept :- Heading in the direction of Le Mans/Fouge’res  and now at a small walled town just south of Chartres, A 7 van aire overlooked by the castle ( 11 vans parked when we were there and cars will park in spaces in the day)and with the Loire running alongside .Services are €2 and there is a toilet block in the park. Nice town with lots of bars, shops and eateries but it is a good hike uphill. There are steps facing the park which will take you to the chateau and town ,also a little further down the road is the Grotttes du Moulin (a series of caves) , closed when we checked so cannot comment.

Sat 15th sept :- Intended to stop at Le Mans but could not find the aire so had this as a backup , Medieval village on the way to Fouge’res and was our first camping -car park site. Fairly easy to use once you suss it and this is right next to the village, €12.50 for 24 hours with all facilities Inc 6amp electric and Wi-Fi. It’s also barrier entry and exit so very secure. Self-cleaning toilets in adjoining car park along with bins. Sunday 19th sept :- Arrived at Fougeres and found the aire close to the castle was full but a couple of roundabouts up the hill is another which is a big car park with free facilities and toilets across the road it was fairly empty and closer to the town centre. Plenty to do and see here and as i have been before reckon it must be amongst the best in France .Tues Sept 18th:-  Getting closer to the end of the tour so we opt for this small village on the way back up north, the aire had nobody on so we opted for the municipal which was just down the road and for an extra pound €10 a night inc Wi-Fi the facilities and the views over the lake were much better .Nice walks and a small town about half a mile away also a couple of supermarkets close by. Site over looks 2 lakes, 1 fishing and one has a manmade beach and i presume swimming.

Wed 19th Sept:- Getting closer to the sailing date of Fri 21st so we opt for this free aire in a little village on the Seine , Stopped at La Mailleraye on the way out but thought we would try this on the opposite side of the river which was recommended by a friend. The aire is big enough for maybe 30-40 vans but only 10 here tonight , grass and gravel parking with black and grey emptying ,water you need a token for €2 . Couple of cafes and a bars in town and an old Abbey ruins. Our final night before the ferry back to the U.K we again spent a very quiet night at St Nicolas d’Aliermont .The trip on the ferry back to Newhaven was the worst i have been on and couldn’t get out of my seat for the whole trip and so put me off using this route again.

Ireland 2017

 

Ireland

2017

 

 

First stop, a couple of nights at Howth great stop with train into Dublin for the day (20+ vans here tonight Saturday) off to Carlingford Sunday

2nd stop at Carlingford Marina, great stop, good pubs in town and very busy for a Sunday. €10 a night with all facilities.

3rd stop at Island hill, free stop with a toilet block in lower car park , called at Annalong aire where they have problems with the local youth and there were fresh doughnut tyre marks so not a stop on my list,  and also at Shetrick castle which was a lovely spot with a great cafĂ© but not very level.

4th after a call at Carrickfergus and a tour of the castle (the aire had a fair on it so no stopover there.) Stopped to have a few drinks    with a very friendly couple close to Antrim

5th stop was Glenarm marina with a call at Broughshane aire (great aire but we were a little early for a stopover).

Glenarm was busy at first with about 20 French vans on a rally but they went on their way after a lunch break. Small town with a couple of pubs a craft shop and a general store. Also a castle but didn’t do that one.

6th stop Castlerock prom , busy day today called at Cushendun (looks a nice stop) then up to Torr Head, bit of a hairy drive but worth it in the end, then onto Kinbane with some fantastic views but about 150 steps down to it and then you have to get back up   , after a lie down and lunch it was then onto the Carrick-a-rede  rope bridge but after parking up decided it was too busy so came away ,then onto the Giants causeway and as i have a membership for the national trust went onto the car park, the bus was also free but this again was mad busy as everyone from China must have been here (so you can imagine how hard it was to get a good pic),went from here to Portrush and as it was bouncing down with rain we were going to stop there and it does look a good set up but a few local brain dead youths put me off when they started messing about in the toilet block.( they seemed to get a kick out of throwing crisps through the windows and emptying packets all over the floor. )  

Great stop at Castlerock on the promenade, very quiet after 10 until 8 the next morning, called at the bakery on the way out to sample the sausage rolls and scones. Called at Magillan point (no ferry at the minute and very quiet) from here to Buncrana where we spent the day and a rainy night parked behind the tourist office .Some nice walks and i even got a pic of a heron catching fish.

This is day eight but our seventh stop as we had 2 nights in Howth to train it into Dublin. Armed with info from the charming young lady in the tourist office we set off on the wild Atlantic way tour of Inishowen. First stop the waterfall at Gleneven, nice walk up the falls with a view point half way up. Then onto Pullan bay, and large beach and possible stopover, Then to the famine village where they had no overnight parking signs and a sign directing you to a couple of nearby caravan parks. I was talking to a lady here who i think was a local as she recommended the tea rooms and we got into a conversation about motor-homers not being catered for but they expect you to park in the day and spend your cash here and then farm you off to a campsite. She did see my side and agreed with me. The car park here was extremely large and could have accommodated motorhomes .From here it was off to Malin head ,great views but not a lot of room at the top for a motorhome ( i was lucky as a 4x4 was just coming out of a space otherwise i would have struggled to turn round never mind park. From here it was lunch outside the Seaview tavern (again great views) from here we decided to head back to Buncrana and spend another night there and then do the tour round Donegal tomorrow.

Sunday and it’s raining again so we decide to head off to the nearest 24 launderette at Mountain Top in Letterkenny. As we pass Donagheys we call in to check it out, you can stop here overnight with water and i think electric with a donation to charity. Glad they were closed as i could now be on my 7th van     . With the washing done we head up to Dunfanaghy for lunch and also take a look at Sheephaven bay pier which had a motorhome on it but not sure if it would be a good place to overnight as there's a campsite close by. Also looked at Wild Atlantic campsite but at €25 a night thought it was expensive .As its still raining and misty we decide to give the coast a miss on this trip and head to Donegal marina to spend the rest of the day and night .Free parking Sunday and overnight and we paid in the morning for a couple of hours which wasn't expensive. The downside of Donegal was the constant stream of noisy crap cars from the boy racers from 7pm until 12.30am.

Monday it’s a run down to Sligo where we get a space on a meter close to town and spend a few hours enjoying the sights. From here we go up to Strand hill beach which is very busy with a constant stream of cars coming and going in the hour we were there. No overnight parking signs on the front. A quick check on the parking app and we head to Crossmolina to spend the night at the aire at Lough Conn. Very quiet here with good facilities and half a dozen other vans. Not sure if they get trouble with boy racers here as the car park at the bottom had doughnut marks on it, but we never saw any.

Tuesday and it’s not raining so we head off towards Galway down the WAW stopping at Newport where the app says there is parking alongside the river (we parked there and had a walk round the village) then off to Westport where we parked for lunch at another overnight stop at the Heritage centre. There were no camping signs further down towards the town and height barriers on the car park. It is a good walk down into the town from the heritage centre so we headed off into town in the van with the intention of parking at Tesco near the station but we found a car park close to the centre and got a space out of the way against the wall near to the shops .A couple of hours here and a few more souvenirs then it was off to Galway.

Wed A great evening last night at Galway love the hustle bustle and the music, Parked on the Marina €4 from 7pm until 8am and €2 an hour in the day, (got caught out as I didn’t check the time so it cost me €6 for the night). Only about half a dozen vans here but i can’t see the logic in reversing over the pavement with a bike rack on (causing problems for pedestrians), 3 of the vans did this and one (French) with a four bike rack overhanging. From here i called at Rinville where i had parked the last time i was here but now no overnight signs, then on to the newly opened aire at Portumna where we spent the afternoon sightseeing and a bit of shopping.

Thursday and it’s raining again (but we are heading towards Dublin for the Fri morning ferry, we stop off for lunch at the services on the M7 at Mayfield and find a coach service area that has black waste disposal and a water tap alongside it so useful if your heading that way .We then carry on to Howth to spend our last afternoon and night so we will be close to the ferry terminal.

We will be back soon    

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Europe September 2017

Set off from Stockport at 5.30 pm on sat 2nd sept, had a good run down until they closed junction 10-11 on the M25 but after a detour off the motorway arrived at marine parade in Dover for 12.30. There are quite a few vans here so we stop at the Esplanade end. Move away for nine into town centre car park and a trip to McDonald’s and a bit of shopping Ferry’s at 8pm so as we are English heritage members a trip to Dover castle is planned.
           

First stop after getting an earlier ferry is the new aire just outside Gravelines at PAarc Rivers de l’Aa. A free aire without any services (there are services next to the police station in Gravelines). There are 14 plus pitches Grass and tarmac, the grass is hard and as it rained hard overnight i had no problems getting off. It’s next to a water sports centre and ideal for biking or walking, I only stopped overnight so didn’t do either but will be back. Went from here to Ostende but the only dedicated motorhome stops were full and the place was hammered so after a stop at a motorhome dealer just out of town (you can overnight  no services working when we were there, ) carried on to Ghent






Ghent.

Just outside town on car park overlooking river, no services at all , if you come out of the car park and cross the road then walk past the shops (and massive launderette)on your right you come to the river, turn left and it’s a half hour walk into town. Plenty to see in Ghent and its ideal for biking. If you do have bikes there is parking further up with riverside views.










From Ghent we moved further into Belgium and stayed on the quay at Antwerp where i have stayed a few times before at Sint Michielskaal. It’s not in any of the camper books but a large car park close to the town centre, there was only one other van a French van so maybe not a dedicated place for campers but apart from a few shady looking characters i have never had a problem. Edit :- did have a problem last night as local pond life parked not far away playing loud crap music from about 12-1.30 and then they must have fell asleep and it started again at 5am but only for 15 mins then they must have crawled back to where they came from.





Fourth stop a camperplaats just out of the centre of Middelburg. Free parking with toilet emptying, €1 for water and there is electric but didn’t use it .Was lucky here as there are only five places and as i drove in there was one empty, there were about another 20 vans parked at the back of the car park. Shame as rumour has it that this is closing in Jan 2018. A nice easy stroll into a large town with many shops and bars cafe’s etc. The downside of this stop is
1 there are not enough places
2 there are 5 places and only 4 electric points
3 electric was €4
4 there is a drive over drain but not really suitable for cassette emptying as there was no water to rinse cassette and the opening was not ideal as there is a bar across which caught the paper from those that put paper in the cassette (we don’t we do as the Greek and use a bin.)
5 the drive over drain also had no proper fall towards the centre so a lot of water ran into the car park (not very well thought out).
Noticed the car parking around the town was €2 per hour and maximum 2 hours and there were plenty of traffic wardens issuing tickets. There is a small car park across the road from this park with spaces for about 20 cars which looked as though it had never been used ,again €2 an hour.








Next stop
Camping De Vlugtheuvel Stellendam
Cheap campsite, €12 for 24hrs including electric, all facilities, showers toilets and i believe Wi-Fi but i never got the code. Can’t say a lot about this as when we arrived it was raining hard, we did manage to get to the shops which were about a mile away before another torrential downpour. That was the only sightseeing we managed but believe there is lots in the area. The motorhome parking is just past reception on tarmac and facilities very clean.



Jaughthaven Strijensas
Great place on the marina 6 places and €7 for 24 hours including Wi-Fi, water 0.50 cents, toilets and showers. Electric €2.50 for 6 amp for 24 hours. Sun came out here so able to do a short walk on a nature trail, The way we accessed this was down a single track road and at the end we had to cross a bridge to get to the marina. The signs said 3.5 tonne 2.8 wide which was ok  but 2.4 height which i was worried about ,on inspection it was about  20ft high so no problem as i didn’t fancy going all the way back.










Dortrecht.
Dordrecht
From the marina we went on to Dordrecht the parking was on a large car park just out of the town which is free with services on the entrance. Room for plenty of vans down near the river and a water bus runs to the centre. We stopped here as it was not far from the 19 windmills at Kinderdijk. Stopped here a couple of days first day we walked into the centre and walked back. Second day we tried the water bus and then walked back. Plenty to see in the town, there were a lot of road works when we were there and a lot of buildings being erected close by so not sure if the stop will be available in the next couple of years but the area was Dordrecht Stadswerven. Also visited the windmills before heading off to the Rhine in Germany.














Rees
Great stelpatz on the Rhine, village 10 mins walk and loads to see. All facilities including electric for €8 for 24 hours, had a lot of rain but still managed to get out and about lots to see in the town and well worth a visit.






Ruhrorter Yacht Club.
Next we are off to Duisburg , a yacht club and a great spot on the Rhine €9.50 per 24 hours inc electric 6 amp, showers €1 and washing machine and dryer. Nice walks along the river and a couple of museums. Some steam boats in the harbour and a 100+ year old crane. Netto and hyper market close by. Only downside was nowhere to empty cassette or grey water but still stayed 2 days as toilets and showers compensated so didn’t have to use our own and needed to do some washing. Club bar was also very cheap as we had 4 beers and 2 wines for €8.50 which is good by German standards.




Unkel
Car park on edge of town with cassette and grey waste emptying across the road water €1. Spaces for 8 to 10 vans free. Only downside is school next to park where the kids get dropped off at 7.30 onwards so lots of door slamming. Nice village and on the Rhine so plenty of passing boats . Lidl and Aldi and another supermarket close by and €1 shop and builders merchant and cheap garage for fuel and LPG.
Unkel.Car park on edge of town with cassette and grey waste emptying across the road water €1. Spaces for 8 to 10 vans free. Only downside is school next to park where the kids get dropped off at 7.30 onwards so lots of door slamming. Nice village and on the Rhine so plenty of passing boats . Lidl and Aldi and another supermarket close by and €1 
shop and builders merchant and cheap garage for fuel and LPG.


              

             

              

              
   











Unkel
Heading down the Rhine now to Unkel a car park on edge of town with cassette and grey waste emptying across the road at the fire station water €1. Spaces for 8 to 10 vans free. Only downside is school next to park where the kids get dropped off at 7.30 onwards so lots of door slamming. Nice typical old German village 2 minutes away and on the Rhine so plenty of passing boats . Lidl and Aldi and another supermarket close by and also a €1 shop and a builders merchant and cheap garage for fuel and LPG.















































Andernach
Next stop on the Rhine is Andernach , One of the biggest stelpatz i have been on , it was like a hymer convention. €7 for 24 hrs , water €1 electric €1 all other services free, plenty of shops close by for the shopaholics, right on the river so views of the Rhine and the cruise ships are good although chances of getting on the front row are slim. Full of large German R.V's as i suppose they cant go anywhere else as they are too big. Very very busy but worth a stay as the parking is plentiful and room for a hundred or so vans.






Urmitz

Just down the road from Andernach this is a gem of a place , right on the Rhine, €7 for 24hrs, water €1, electric varies €1 for 8 hrs, €2 for 16 , €3 for 24. tarmac pitches overlooking the river ,very clean and lots of cycling paths and walks. Just before you get to the stelpatz is the biggest retail park i have ever seen which is worth a visit before you go to park up. Its only a small village nearby with a few shops . We are now close to the split of the Rhine and the Mosel and we intend taking the Mosel route into Luxembourg from here. We were going to stop at Koblenz but looked a bit short on spaces for parking so we opted to stay a couple of days and get the train from here and spend a day in Koblenz.









Urmitz
Just down the road from Andernach this is a gem of a place , right on the Rhine, €7 for 24hrs, water €1, electric varies €1 for 8 hrs, €2 for 16 , €3 for 24. tarmac pitches overlooking the river ,very clean and lots of cycling paths and walks. Just before you get to the stelpatz is the biggest retail park i have ever seen which is worth a visit before you go to park up. Its only a small village nearby with a few shops . We are now close to the split of the Rhine and the Mosel and we intend taking the Mosel route into Luxembourg from here. We were going to stop at Koblenz but looked a bit short on spaces for parking so we opted to stay a couple of days and get t
Briedern
Now we are going down the Mosel and the first stop is 20 van site right on the river €6 a night with free services , a guy comes round about teatime for his money, small village nearby no shops but a few bars and wine caves. Great place to just chill and for shopping go to Zell barl ,a massive shopping centre with lidl and aldi, fuel, and 24hr washing machine. Also possible to stop but no services.
Now on the Mosel route at a 20 van site right on the Mosel €6 a night ,guy comes round about teatime for his money, small village nearby no shops but a few bars and wine caves. Great place to just chill and for shopping go to Zell barl ,massive shopping centre with lidl and aldi, fuel and 24hr washing machine.Also possible to stop but no services

Losnich
Next stop a very big and busy stelpatz right on the Mosel , plenty of room and spaces for 100+ vans , a couple of nice villages to explore ,€7 a night with all services free except for electric which will cost you €2 for 24 hours. Also free WiFi . Stopped a couple of days and even had a free firework display.










Luxembourg Camping Fuusselkaul

Now off into Luxembourg for some cheap fuel and booze, this campsite/motorhome stop is a great stop if in Luxembourg, €10 off season (Sept- March) a dedicated motorhome area across the road from the campsite with about 30 pitches all with electric water waste and tv socket. Free WiFi at reception, showers and toilets and a washing machine and pub /restaurant can all be used on the campsite. Also a motorhome dealer with accessory shop next door and a Delahaze supermarket (although it was very sparse when we were here so maybe a refurbishment or closing , a burger bar and chippie. 15 minutes to the border where there is a massive shopping centre and cheap fuel and booze , also an Aldi and Lidl . You can also get the bus into the centre of Luxembourg from outside the site , and then change to a train at Ettlebruck (takes about 45 mins ) all for €3 , believe all travel will be free in 2020.






Now on our way back to Calais but with a few stops in Belgium

Dinant



Fantastic place on the Meuse in Belgium, a car park on the edge of town no facilities . I have stayed here a few times in sept/oct  no problem but it is not a dedicated motorhome stop and i have only stayed for 1 night . Did ask if it was ok at the tourist office, loads to see and the birthplace of Adolph Sax the inventor of the saxophone. A lot of work going on with the riverbanks and walkways at the moment so hopefully it will still be possible to stay . I stopped going out from the centre just past the prison and Casino. It is only a car park but good spot close to town and with views of the river .
Thieu

St Venant
Aire municipal close to St Omer and handy stop if going back to Dunkirk. On a marina with canal walks and a small town with a few shops close by . All facilities free but a French van parked on bourne hooked up which looked like he was permanent along with 3 other vans who had leads running to the boatside electric points.(all fishing). This left just 4/6 spaces instead of 7/10. Spoke to a guy who had been there a few times and full timed in France and he complained to the council meeting but got nowhere.














From here we moved up to Gravelines ready for the Dunkirk ferry home.

Luxembourg Camping Fuusselkaul
Now off into Luxembourg for some cheap fuel and booze, this campsite/motorhome stop is a great stop if in Luxembourg, €10 off season (Sept- March) a dedicated motorhome area across the road fro the campsite with about 30 pitches all with electric water waste and tv socket. Free WiFi at reception, showers and toilets and a washing machine and pub /restaurant can all be used on the campsite. Also a motorhome dealer with accessory shop next door and a Delahaze supermarket (although it was very sparse when we were here so maybe a refurbishment or closing , a burger bar and chippie. 15 minutes to the border where there is a massive shopping centre and cheap fuel and booze , also an Aldi and Lidl . You can also get the bus into the centre of Luxembourg from outside the site , and then change to a train at Ettlebruck (takes about 45 mins ) all for €3 , believe all travel will be free in 2