Thursday 30 June 2016


Czech Republic, 24th - 26th June 2016

Mala Strana
Our main reason for fitting the Czech Republic into this trip was to go to Prague, as it was a place we wanted to visit at some point and it had also been recommended by friends. We’d been enjoying the rest of the country with some interesting towns, being able to spend time sat out in the hot weather on cheap campsites, and the cheap beer and food. Now it was time for the main event though as we were nearing the capital city. Temperatures were soaring making it hotter than ideal really for exploring a large city but we stuck at it and enjoyed our couple of days here. It’s a nice city with a gothic, gritty feel and is a lively place with lots going on and plenty to see and do which kept us busy. Costs are reasonable for a capital city although more expensive than the rest of the country, roughly 50% more for camping, drinks and ice creams for example, but some lower priced places can be searched out.

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Beer and Bones: Exploring the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic really love their beer. This is a selection
Matt bought to try when we arrived

Czech Republic, 20th – 24th June 2016

It was time to put Austria behind us and move on into the Czech Republic. We’d been in Western Europe for a long time, where there are motorhomes everywhere and things are generally rather easy.  The Czech Republic marks our first Eastern European country in a while (depending on where you define East), and for the first time in months we weren’t sure what to expect or where to stay.  There was a certain kind of adventurous spirit about the act of crossing the border into unknown territory that we’ve not felt in a while, amplified by the fact that we were in the less touristy more rural part of the country, Moravia.

Sunday 26 June 2016

Coffee, Cake and Currywurst, Thanks Vienna

Austria, 17th – 19th June 2016

The Schönbrunn Palace, summer residence of the Habsburgs

The key word when it comes to describing Vienna: grand.  It seems that all of the major historical landmarks have been designed to make a statement, with gold plated domes atop museums and shining halos on the fountain statues.  Vienna (or Wien as the Austrians know it) was home to the Habsburgs, the family that ruled Austria as well as an empire spanning multiple countries, and so it is only fitting that the city is one that leaves an impression.  History aside, it has a culture that has embraced the idea of coffee and cake, with numerous cafés all over the town offering a large selection of sweet treats.  Two famous establishments spent nine years bickering over who was the first to create one well-known cake, the Sachertorte.  Any place that takes chocolate cake that seriously is a place that sits well with me.

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Down the Danube: Melk and the Wachau Valley

Austria, 13th – 16th June 2016

Recently the weather in Austria has been very variable between hot and sunny, and thunderstorms and rain on the same day. We’d been lucky the day we visited Graz with only a light shower for a short period, then later during the drive to Stainz it poured it down, with full-speed windscreen wipers required and our speed was down to 50 km/h on the main road. We thankfully had nicer weather in the morning with a bright sunny day materialising so after a bit of planning where to go that day we went for a look around Stainz. It’s a pleasant little town with some cafés and shops that we wandered around for a while then investigated at a large building that turned out to house a museum, and the nearby church.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Ambling across Austria: Zell am See to Graz

Austria, 7th – 12th June 2016

Lake Zell
The main reason behind choosing to stay at Brock am der Grossglockner was because it was fairly close to Zell am See, but for the main town of Zell am See we didn’t have any parking listed other than a couple of campsites a few km away around the lake.  We decided we’d wing it and set Daisy the Satnav to lead us to a fairly central open parking area with the hope there were no height barriers.  It looked promising when we arrived and found there were indeed no height barriers, but less promising were the signs banning motorhomes and lorries.  We left the main town and drove around the lake, looking for parking in the various nearby villages and finding all were either private parking or had anti-motorhome signs; it seems we’re not so welcome here.  After doing a full lap of the lake we came back to Zell am See and in a last ditch attempt tracked down the bus parking, which was quiet and out of the way, free, and best of all had no signs banning us.  We assumed it wouldn’t be a problem for a few hours at this time of year, so gave it a chance.

Friday 10 June 2016

Into Austria, In and Around Innsbruck


Austria, 3rd – 6th June 2016

We’ve been making our way east through the Tirol region of Austria in the area around Innsbruck which has involved having a nice meal out at a restaurant, socialising with fellow Europe-wide travellers and spending all but one night on paid overnight spots which was a shock to the system! There aren’t many free places in this area which we’re hoping will change as we get further east.

Monday 6 June 2016

Isny and Lindau, Germany

The harbour clock tower at Lindau

Switzerland and Germany, 30th May – 3rd June 2016

We’re getting some relief this morning from the rain that’s been pattering down on the roof at our current location in western Austria, after having left Switzerland and spent a few days in Germany.  We’ve been told that there’s been flooding problems this week around southern Germany and Austria, but haven’t seen any signs of trouble so far spare for a bit of rain and this unappealing, overcast sky.  This time last week we would have had to place drip-trays in the van to catch water leaking through a skylight during such weather, but no more!  Our motorhome is now touting a brand new skylight, which is filled with air rather than puddles and condensation.