This morning we took delivery of a 7.4mtr motorhome we had organised some time back before we left Australia. The reason we picked this company, who are based in Prague is that they supply all you need for a complete camping experience, all bedding, all crockery / cutlery, all cooking utensils and as well 2 push bikes for your time exploring wherever you travel. They also deliver to wherever you want in Europe & pick up from wherever …. They also come complete with all comprehensive insurance you need to feel secure that if anything goes wrong you are fully covered. It is a little more expensive than other companies but with no hidden extras ?? We were a little disappointed upon the arrival of our designated camper as it was not the one we had requested and was quite dirty and very well used with many small things broken. We told the delivery driver our thoughts and also sent an email to the company saying that we did not think the camper was what we had expected ….. They must have realised very quickly that we had received a lemon as two days later when we were near Koln ( Cologne ) as new camper fully equipped and with two brand new bikes arrived. We did the change over from van to van and proceeded on our way. This was a very good business decision on behalf off Anywhere Campers and we appreciated that they did this ……… Off on our journey ….
We left Hamburg about noon and drove a few hours to Bremen which we found to be a fantastic small city on the Weser River. We found a small van park and checked in for one night. We went for our first bike ride around this historic old, but very well cared for, city. The cycle ways are fantastic as in most European cities the push bike, cycle, even push scooter pretty well have right of way ………. There are designated cycle paths everywhere which makes you feel very safe …. The next morning we went for a ride again in another area of Bremen and found the real delights that we missed the previous evening, the main Concert Hall and a large church, once again. There was much construction going on in Bremen, a major facelift for some important old landmarks ..Truly a beautiful city tovisit…..
The next morning we headed off to visit an old friend from Rita’s family, the same lady who came to visit us last year when we were in Hamburg, Rosemary Fischer. She lives in a beautiful small town called Bechen ( Kurten ) which is about 30 klms from Koln ( Cologne ). The town was a bit congested but we finally found a park for the night in the middle of the town in the locals car park, it was a bit strange seeing such a large camper parked there but all went fine. We had dinner with Rosemary in a local restaurant, had a couple of night caps with her and retired about 11:00pm, we were buggered. The next morning our new camper was arriving around 10:00am. We did a change over and were back on the road after having breakfast with Rosemary in the local Backerie …… Our destination was just down the road, Cologne ….. This is a very large city but once again cycle friendly. After driving around for about an hour using our GPS looking for a place we had been told we could stay we gave up as there was major work happening on the highway and we could not access the spot we wanted. We finally found a van park about 5klms out of of town, right on the banks of the river Rhine, a great spot. We set up and headed off to explore this city ….. Once in the city proper, we just seem to stumble on things and upon rounding one corner there it stood, the mighty Cologne Cathedral. This we think really gives the Notre Dame in Paris a bit of ‘ a run for its money ‘, it is truly very spectacular, huge to look at and extremely impressive both outside and in… ( and, it was all but destroyed during the Second World War ) so it has been nearly re-built since then, an amazing feat in itself. After being blown away by this monstrosity we cycled / walked around a bit longer then headed back to our home via the other side of the Rhine riding along the river past all the new looking office blocks which canterlever out over the water, spectacular. Next morning we left around 9:00am for our detour route which was via Luxombourg.
PHOTOS OF KOLN (COLOGNE) HERE >>>>>>>>
On our way to Luxombourg ……..
We chose this direction after Koln as we were heading towards a town in Switzerland we had been told was a must see, that town is Aubonne. We had decided rather than just drive down the German border roads we would go through Luxombourg then down through Dijon, pick up some mustard !! before going into Switzerland and on to Aubonne, hoping to drive through some lovely French countryside. We arrived in Luxombourg, weaving our way through the maze of new roadworks entering the city from the east, we could not get a park anywhere and nearly gave up then drove up a side street only about one klm from the city centre and there was our spot ( we need at least one and a half car spaces to park this rig ). We parked, paid for 3 hours and into the city we walked. Luxombourg is a city you could spend more time in but we really wanted to see more rural villages than big cities. We looked around, saw most of the city sights, had a police motorcade pass us on a pedestrian crossing, and where told to stop immediately and with 2 seconds BMW numbers 1, 2 & 3 passed us in a flash, it was the Luxombourg Royals on their way to a luncheon at a local very plush hotel and apparently a very normal occurrence. After our 3 hours we went back to our Camper and headed south out of the city toward Dijon. As stated we had hoped to be driving through rural quaint France but we quickly found out about the super highways some say have ruined a peaceful days drive in the country. These are the privately built and owned highways which run down through heavily industrialised France, once you go onto these highways and go through the barriers and are given your toll pass it is impossible to exit and check out any quaint villages you may spot on your way down as the entry roads to these villages and towns are locked with large gates and being rural areas they are all very well fenced, making entry impossible. At around 8:00pm we were tired so we pulled into a semi secluded truck toll road area and bedded down for the night. I went for a quick cycle and found a neat little village but it was on the other side of the tollway.!!
PHOTOS OF LUXOMBOURG HERE >>>>>>>>
We woke the next morning and were off to Dijon. We finally exited the tollway,and found our way to this beautiful old city ….. The centre, or old section being the real France we had looked for … An beautiful collection of old stone buildings, churches and very historic buildings. We entered Dijon and were GPS guided through, unfortunately a GPS does know the size of your vehicle So we got ourselves into a couple of tight hairy spots. And had to very slowly wind our way around the minute laneways that are all over Dijon. We finally parked our Camper about 3 klms from the ‘old centre’ and cycled into town, rode and walked around this great old cities streets and laneways, really a beautiful quaint town ( city ). We then found our way back to the Camper and drove to a Motorhome Park just out of town on a very large recreation lake. Set up our spot and then cycled around the waterway, which was fantastic and then headed back into the Dijon city centre again. We locked our bikes outside an information office and did a couple of loops around Dijon in the free city buses. Finally late that afternoon rode back to the Camper to have a well earned rest for the night. SOME PHOTOS OF DIJON ( FRANCE ) HERE >>>>>>>>>>
We then headed south toward and into Switzerland to escape the cities and visit some smaller rural villages ……..
Continued next page >>>>>>>>>>>>>>