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04-17-2011, 09:00 AM
A 14+ European 'Country' Tour Page 1

Europe Tour AutoRoute Plan


Countries in the tour include: France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, back into Poland then back into Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, back into Germany, followed by Luxembourg, then back into Belgium, finally back into France and last leg into and across England to Wales!

Our trip starts after we had to go back home to shut the garage door!

10 Miles from home and I could not remember closing the darn thing so we turned around, went back and found it open!

Sorted that out then finally set off leaving South Wales and a 200 mile drive across England to Folkestone.

On our way!

While on our way to Folkestone we met this superb outfit that I think is possibly the best 4x4 AWD ‘Tractor’ on the road and it used to be a Fire Engine on Chatsworth Estate.

The ‘Tin Tent’ behind it had been just bought to be refurbished!
Mini Mog & Ex Army ‘Tin Tent’

Arrive at the Eurotunnel Centre, checked in a bit early with no extra charge went on to the car park and set about swapping the beam settings over on the headlamps.

Thanks to some kind design person the headlamps have to be removed and the rear cover taken off then by putting your finger inside you flick a lever that swaps the beam over, you then have to re-assemble the lamp, fit it back in the car and put what look like a couple of ‘Tent Pegs’ in to hold it in place!

Bit of a dam nuisance really especially as you can end up with filthy hands!
Headlamp Beam ‘Change over’

Having ‘checked in’ & cleared Customs & Immigration Control we are already effectively in France but we are still physically in the UK & not even on the train yet!

Shortly after we are heading along the road leading to the train:
Train sidings

Here we go down the ‘On Ramp’ with the Swedish Tug & ‘Tin Tent’ (Caravan) into the BIG Aluminium box of the train carriage, straight down the middle of the carriage, to the man with the chock in his hand, stop, handbrake on, engage 1st gear, open window slightly, he meanwhile puts the chock behind the front wheel, then 10 minutes later the train is off, nice and smoothly but strangely we cannot hear the normal ‘clickety clack’ of the wheels. Must be the insulation in the carriage?

On Ramp

Train Carriage

‘Tin Tent’ shoehorned in!

Must admit that the lighting inside the carriage is excellent & must certainly help to allay any claustrophobic feeling that some people have experienced because of going into a tunnel, pity we cannot ‘Hook Up’ to their Electrics and make a quick cup of coffee, but as the heat will set off the Fire Alarms then that is a definite ‘No No’!

35 minutes later and ‘Voile!’ we are now out on the French side, driving out of the carriage

Off we come in nice sunlight!

10 miles up the road we stop for a much needed ‘injection’ of Diesel fuel and a few hours sleep, courtesy of Carrefour Market & their car park!

That’s us in the corner, well it was Sunday!

04-17-2011, 09:06 AM
A European Tour Page 2 Köln


06:30 and after quick breakfast we are back on the road heading through, France, Belgium then the Netherlands and into Germany.

Traffic as usual going through or around Brussels was horrendous, but while stuck in it we did spot this rather interesting ‘Caravan’!

As the traffic moved a bit quicker in our lane we managed to get a better view and picture:

Once clear of Brussels the traffic congestion disappeared and we made good progress along the road right through to Köln.

There are ‘Windfarms’ all over this place!

Rather strange shaped ‘Water Towers’ (Well we didn’t see any BIG Bees come out!)

Our first stop for 2 nights is on the outskirts of Cologne (Köln) at Köln City Camping (€20/Night NO Electric Hook Up!) where you can pitch up and watch the BIG Barges still plying their way up and down the Rhine river.



Notably there are still a number of them after my first visit here just on 45 years ago that are still carrying coal, but I must admit, not as many!


Now there is either a darn BIG hole somewhere or these guys have been going up and down with the same load for a very long time, but on closer ‘inspection’ more of them are now carrying other alternative items or materials instead.

First job after getting set up is to get the bikes off the roof of the car so we can set off on the cycle path that is alongside the river, watching the barges and little boats going up and down the Rhine River, and make our way towards the city, but as we pedal along we see a rather strange site that you don’t normally see ‘Down by the River Side’!

A Herd of Sheep with Lambs, grazing on the banks for the Rhine!

Bit further along there is “Der Dom zu Köln am Rhine”

Meanwhile on the opposite bank to us, there are some strange buildings!

It looks like the first two are Office Blocks, and the third is Flats as they have small balconies!

Tuesday “A Day in Köln”

While “Der Dom zu Köln am Rhine” still holds a majestic place in the architecture along the river, we didn’t get close to it today as my day was spent making a visit to the local Pharmacy and then with some hopefully suitable medication it was back to the ‘Tin Tent’ and stay warm!

I was woken up around 03:00 this morning with a violent headache and some serious coughing and it looks like the virus that I had around 10 days ago has returned with a vengeance which is also affecting my eyesight!

Sorry folks no pictures today and with a 250 mile drive tomorrow then I want the eyeballs to be OK!

Between the coughing, headaches, the noise from Köln Airport with planes taking off from 03:15 & Trains going over the Rhine Bridge I was rather glad to be only staying for 2 days here.

04-17-2011, 12:12 PM
A European Tour Page 3 Buchenwald


After a 245 mile drive mainly using the ‘Autobahn’ we arrive at Buchenwald which is the Concentration Camp from WWII.

Interesting travelling along the Autobahn to see all the Wind Farms and not so many Solar Panel ‘Farms’ which is unlike Spain as they go for the opposite!

On the Autobahn passing Geisen

Wind Farm on side of Autobahn

Rolling hills of Autobahn

Nice little church as we pass by!

We have been given permission to park in the car park for the night but as we arrived relatively early today, then we thought we would make the most of it and see how much of the museum we could cover, so after getting the ‘Tin Tent’ sorted out off we go!

All parked up and ready to look around!

I will apologise for a couple of the pictures below, but without including them then you do not get to realise or understand the horrors that were this place, which I seriously hope will NEVER happen again.

110,000 People from 18 Nations were here, 56,000 were killed by the Nazis, 20,000 were freed by the US 3rd Army on 11th April 1945

A Plan of Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

A picture to show how it grew in size, from left to right: 1937, 1941, 1945

The Railway Station

The ‘SS’ and Camp Guards ‘Accommodation and Offices

The ‘Room’ where every prisoner who ‘died’ passed through to have gold teeth removed before being cremated

Some of the 51,000 People who were killed in the camp

The perimeter wire (Electrified) of the main camp

The Crematorium

Crematorium Ovens

Camp Prisoner Kitchen Utensils

April 11, 1945 ‘Liberation’ as painted by a Camp Survivor after the 3rd US Army had liberated the camp and around 21,000 prisoners had survived.

Buchenwald Bell Tower (Memorial)

Sculpture Group
On the left is the youngest ‘Prisoner’ Yushu, who survived, he was just 4 years old.

A truly very sad & humbling day and one that like Auschwitz will stay embedded in the ‘grey matter’ memory banks for the rest of our lives.
Buchenwald had a lot more to show about the camp possibly through the exhibitions in the buildings even though all the wooden prisoner huts had been demolished, and it was well worth taking the time out to stop, look and learn.

04-17-2011, 12:27 PM
A European Tour Page 4 Ronnenburg


After a quite cold (+2C) but very quite night on the Buchenwald car park where I could not stop thinking about the 110 Polish Prisoners who had been put by the ‘SS’ in an entangled enclosure made of boards and barbed wire resembling a cage, it was called the ‘Rose Garden’ it was Winter and they were left to die of hunger and cold.

We finally left Buchenwald this morning for a quite short drive to a small town called Ronneburg as we wanted to try a campsite that we found in the new version of ADAC Stellplatz Fuhrer.

On our way having gone through 3 lots of ‘Roadworks’ in a very short distance we pass the very large blocks of old East Germany Flats in the city of Jena.

Jena ‘Flats’ from the Autobahn

Arrived not long after at the ‘Campsite’ and yes it is very basic, only a fresh water tap is provided up at the old ‘Farmhouse’ there is no liquid waste or chemical disposal points on the site but interestingly there is 16A Electric Hook Up.

Payment for 24hrs stay is €9 fed into an automatic ticket machine.

Quick lunch and then we are off for a walk around the town which is not too far away.

First sign we see as we make our way into the centre is for “Schloss” (Castle) so off we go in that direction to find:

Ronneburg Castle

Nice views from inside looking over the walls.


Today was Market Day by the ‘Rathaus’ but the stallholders were packing up!

Another nice building around a different corner!

Tomorrow we are back on the road to Dresden.

04-17-2011, 12:53 PM
Thank you very much for the photos.

04-17-2011, 11:19 PM
Thank you very much for the photos.

My pleasure Giorgio! [thumbup]
There's more to come!

04-17-2011, 11:32 PM
A European Tour Page 5 Dresden


Left Ronneburg this morning for a relatively short drive to Dresden where we plan to stay at a Motorhome & Caravan Dealer’s Campsite.

Well they have 52 places and are half the cost of the other commercial campsites around the city.

On our way to Dresden

Dresden Campsite

Campsite ‘New Section’

Having checked in and found a place we then found that as well as having to pay extra for your water & showers & you also have to pay for dumping your Chemical WC & Grey Water (Kitchen) waste. Electricity will set you back €0.50/Kw.
Places in both the old and new sections are quite small and some of the ‘Trucks with Beds’ (RV/Camper) seriously protrude into the roadways which makes getting in and out fun!


While we have been to Dresden on a couple of previous occasions it is a city that is still re-building after WWII and has also now completed the ‘clean up’ of grime coated buildings bringing them back to their former glory, lets hope with less pollution it lasts a bit longer this time!

Handy Tram Stop about 500 meters from the campsite so we were able to get a ride for a Senior Citizens Fare of €4 for a ‘Day Ticket’ and this allows you to travel extensively bus within a ‘Zone’ that covers the city!

On the Tram

In the City Centre ‘Old Communist Flats’ being refurbished.

Old and New structures

The inside grounds of the Meissen Museum

Plus a Panoramic Picture! (It’s 3 Pictures bolted together that Jan’s camera provides the facility!)

The Clock Tower in the Museum with the Ceramic Bells down each side and they actually chime!

A “S—T—R—E—T—C—H” Trabbant, WOW!

Dresden Cathederal finally cleaned up

View as you approach the ‘Old City’


‘Litter Patrol’. All the Yellow & Red ‘spots’ in the picture are people picking litter off the river bank. (Not seen this in the UK?)

‘Steptoe & Son’ for Tourists, but the horses were very friendly!

The Lutherian Kreuzkirche Dresden (It looks like a stucco finish on the walls




City view of Cathedral

We asked the lady in this ‘Model Shop’ if we could take a couple of pictures to show friends around the World and all we got was a very stern ‘NO’ so we went outside and took them through the window! :D

Magnificent Fretwork Models in a city shop



Lunch Today was: Curry Wurst! Yummy!

We decided after lunch to go off on a couple of Trams and ‘Ride the Rails’ to see a bit more of the outer parts of the city.

Making our way back to the tram stop the Double Decker Horse & Cart City Tour came by!

Interesting church with black towers and red tiled roof


Wall ‘Art’

House ‘Shapes’

Every Boys ‘Dream’. This was in the Railway Station and could be run by putting money in the slots as there were 3 Trains

NCSI ‘Fan Club’ for Abby (But it was a bit weird watching the gyrations as they danced!)


Spontaneous ‘Street Dancing’ but we think ‘Bunny Ears’ was celebrating something?

And for the man in the Red Jacket with his booze bottle in the bag there is really nothing to say, other than ‘Hic’!

Got back to the campsite after quite a long but interesting day and found that the very expensive brand new ‘Truck with Beds’ in the picture below had been ‘SOLD’.
The family and the salesman were all enjoying a couple of celebratory bottles of wine! I think the dealer also threw in a couple of free nights on the campsite so they could work out what all the buttons were for, but the bread rolls were waiting on the step this morning!

Now that’s what I call ‘Service’!

Finally a nice Dresden Sunset!

Next stop will be the Czech Republic via a little bit of Poland. [thumbup]

04-18-2011, 06:06 AM
A European Tour Page 6 Vrchlabi


After leaving Dresden at 08:30 this morning we should have had a relatively short drive today to Vrchlabi, except it didn’t quite turn out like that!

Our route took us across the German – Polish Border then through a small corner and a few miles of Poland with a planned ‘Re-Fuel Stop before we cross the border into the Czech Republic and arrive at our destination.

Church close to Autobahn in Germany

Yet another German ‘Wind Farm’

German – Polish Border Crossing (No Passport required!)

Much needed ‘Re-Fuel Stop’ at Zgorzelec in Poland

Having filled with fuel we set off only to find not far down the road a sign post about a POW Camp which has now been completely demolished.

It was called ‘Stalag VIII A’ and was a German POW camp during WWII.

Reading the notices we see that although the camp was supposed to have a capacity of 15,000 Prisoners, it held over three times that capacity at one time and around 12,000 Soviet prisoners died there.

Stalag VIII A Pictures




If anyone wants to complain about the number of ‘Potholes’ on the roads back in the UK then maybe they would like to come over to Poland and compare notes!

I thought at one point the ‘Swedish Tugs’ suspension was going to come off it was that bumpy, but surprisingly the ‘Tin Tent’ took it all in its stride and nothing came adrift off either when we finally stopped.

Here are a couple of pictures as we made our way through this little bit of Poland to get to the Czech Republic.


Next ‘slow down’ was the Czech Republic Border Crossing, again completely open, not a Border Guard in sight!

Cold hard winter has caused number of river walls to collapse with ‘Road Works’ that are long time ongoing!

Very glad as we made our way down this ‘Road/Track’ that it was Sunday and no one was coming up! We just about managed to get through without any ‘Bark Removal’ being carried out!


As we passed the church in the last picture which was on our right-hand side in a village called ‘BiLȳ POTOK’ we then started to climb up the road going around a few hairpin bends and noticing within a relatively short distance SNOW on the road side!

Continuing up the road the snow was getting more noticeable on either side but thankfully not on the road at this point but that was shortly to all change!


After 3.5 Miles of ‘Hill Climbing’ with around 1600Kg hanging on the back in the ‘Tin Tent’ we get to the top of the mountain to find 2 METERS of Snow is still blocking the road on the other side!

As the ‘Swedish Tug’ does not come with either a Snow Plough or Blower fitted as an accessory then we are left with NO choice but to turn around, crawl back down the mountain and take a 38 Mile Detour to get to our next stop, which kind of made the day interesting but quite knackering!

Finally arrived at our campsite in Vrchlabi for the next 4 nights and it is: “Euro-Air-Camping, Kralovehradecky”

By the time we had got set up, water on-board and sorted out a couple of other things we really did not fancy starting to think about or even cook Dinner and as the campsite owner came over to greet us he also gave us an A4 sheet of paper which on one side was the ‘Restaurant Menu’ and on the other side ‘Places of Interest’ in the area and information about the campsite including the access code for the Wi-Fi.
All in English! Brilliant.

As a result we ordered, as spelt on the Menu!

1 “Pfeffer bieefsteak,garnish”

1 “Devilish roll (join of pork rolled with cheese and asparagus + gingery asparagus sauce, garnish)

The meal was delicious and at a cost of £15 for both of us including drinks it was truly Value for Money.

Off now for a hopefully good night’s sleep and a trip into Vrchlabi tomorrow.

04-18-2011, 07:35 AM
A European Tour Page 6a ‘Monday’ Vrchlabi


After a really nice quiet night after breakfast and with the Sunshine breaking out we decided as both of us are running out of clean clothes to firstly get some washing done!

Well when you have had your ‘Long Johns’ on both forwards, backwards & inside out there are not a lot of other ways to wear them! :D

With that out of the way along with a quick wash for the front of the ‘Tin Tent’ thanks to all the road dirt from our trip up and down the Mountain yesterday we decided to spend the rest of the day in the town of Vrchlabi

Before we set off I thought it might be good to show you what the campsite looks like as along with a family from Denmark we are the only ones here!

Campsite Reception


Got into Vrchlabi and parked up outside the area that required ‘Hourly Payment’ as we had no Czech currency until we got to the proverbial ‘Hole in the Wall Machine’ (ATM).
Walking up the main street we spot a little market stall set back off the road like you see quite frequently in cities in the Far East!

Market Stall

Main Street Pictures



The ‘Town Square’

As you turned left from the above picture you saw the entrance to a Park that had the following ‘Explanation Signs’ on the entrance gate:
(Look closely all you ‘Men’ at the bottom row, second from the left!)

Just across the green is the ‘Town Hall’ which looked rather majestic, and inside the doors to offices or corridors looked quite spectacular with their marquetry panels!




Walking a bit further up the main street we spot this rather majestic church which the outer door was open but the inner door closed and locked but at least we could get a picture through the glass


Moving further along the street and now more or less on the outskirts of town we come to the river and looking one way a rather nice newly built house, while the other way is a pleasant view of a weir (At the top of the picture)


From the next picture I hope you can see how much later the tree foliage is in opening up for Spring!

Turn around and make our way back into the town so we get a different view looking down the main street

Spotted a couple of the ‘Local Oldies’ having a conversation outside one of the shops along with a couple of Geese who looked like they were getting ready to start ‘Honking’

As it was getting on past Lunch time we stopped at a small café for a quick bit to eat and a wonderful Czech Coffee!

Ordered a bowl of ‘Mountain Soup’ which is a speciality of this area and along with the coffee it was more than satisfying to keep us going till dinner

Finally, can you remember the story of “The 3 Little Pigs”?
Well in this town they have 4!

Tomorrow “Tuesday” we are off exploring a place called Pec Pod Sněžku

04-18-2011, 02:07 PM
This is great stuff, great pics and very inspirring, i'm working on talking my other half into a road trip now. i cant wait for future updates on your trip. what weight is the caravan you are towing?[thumbup]

04-18-2011, 03:30 PM
Thanks for posting that! So, where was the best food? :)

04-19-2011, 07:52 AM
Thanks for posting that! So, where was the best food? :)

Hi Ed!
Your very welcome, I hope you are enjoying the ride?

I have to say at the moment the Czech Republic as that's the only place we have 'Eaten out':D:D

France and Germany have been too dam expensive for a couple of 'Pensioners', but the German 'Curry Wurst' according to my good lady was 'excellent'! :D:D

All I can say is 'Watch this space/Blog' and we might just get to try a couple of other places if the price fits into the Tour Budget! [thumbup]

04-19-2011, 07:57 AM
This is great stuff, great pics and very inspirring, i'm working on talking my other half into a road trip now. i cant wait for future updates on your trip. what weight is the caravan you are towing?[thumbup]

Hi Paul!
Glad you are also enjoying the ride!
We are supposed to be 1500Kg on the 'Tin Tent' but I think we could be over by a few kilos! Oops! :eek:

But I have to admit that 'The Flamenco Red' is running like a dream, and just "GROWLS" its way up the hills, even the steep ones! [thumbup]

The 205Bhp and 4x4 is not to be messed with! :D

04-19-2011, 12:15 PM
A European Tour Page 6b ‘Tuesday’ Vrchlabi


Woke up to a glorious blue sky and a climbing temperature that has managed to hit 21C (69.8F) by this afternoon!

Nice HOT shower as the ‘Men’s’ shower block has been repaired so we now cannot get our backs scrubbed by going into the Ladies! BooHoo!

Quick breakfast and then we are off to Sněžku where you can stand ‘Across two Countries’ with a small rock between your legs while having one foot in the Czech Republic, and the other in Poland!

Not far after leaving the campsite we find ourselves entering a National Park.

National Park “Welcome” sign

While a bit further up the road another nice church looms up.

Bit further along the road we are confronted with a ‘Newly Painted Half of a Zebra Crossing”!

Then after getting around 3 of these we find the ‘Zebra Painting Team’!

They paint one half going up the road, then go back down to the bottom by which time the first one has dried out, and do the other half, then go back and pick up all the cones!

After passing a couple of nice buildings on the road


We arrive on the outskirts of Sněžku

Find the Tourist Information Office and ask about the ‘Gondola’ to get to the top of the mountain to stand between 2 countries we find from the lady in the Tourist Office who for some reason is ‘not a happy bunny’ that it is having ‘Annual Maintenance’ carried out and will not be available for the next 4 days!
The alternative is a 5 mile hike all uphill and very steep in parts, (10 mile round trip!) so we decide to give it a miss.

Drive to the top of the town hoping to find we can get on the snow for a bit of fun driving,

Then find the snow is out of bounds as we are in another car park and the only way in and out is at the bottom!

Enough is enough so we make our way back but on the way we hear a ‘Chopper’ and our thoughts turn to ‘MASH’ but it’s not them guys it’s the Cable Car Maintenance Team taking materials up to the site.

You can just make out the ‘Umbilical Cord’ on the bottom of the Chopper.

Having then consulted the A4 paper given to us by the campsite owner of places to visit we decide to head over to Harrachov and the Mumlava Waterfalls, on the way down the road we pass a fabulous Dry Stone Wall building exercise!

Notice the ‘Old’ Truck which is has a Crane on the back of it!

Nice house a bit further down the road

Followed by possibly a ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ (Well Chimney Cover)

Finally reach Harrachov and see that one Ski Run still has quire a covering of SNOW on it. It is not in use but shows how good or bad the winter was here.

Manage to get directions to the Mumlava Waterfalls which is along a footpath just out of town past the Bus Terminus and 2 large car parks which happen to be closed off so no chance of parking there, so we find a quiet spot, have our sandwiches and notice a couple of nice little flowers growing while all the trees are still waiting to open their blossom.


Lunch over so off we go up the footpath, spotting the first ‘Sign Post’ on the trail!

Getting close.

Closer but not quite there!

Finally made it into the middle of the bridge.

A slightly different angle

Walk over the bridge and there is a road on the other side but not open to cars, however we spot a small Café so decide to go and try for a couple of coffees

Inside was absolutely brilliant with all the nick-knacks up on the walls!



Panoramic Version

Nearly back at the car and we spot this little object and it seems that this town was once a mining town, but not sure for what, coal or some other mineral

As there is still some time left in the day we decide to carry on to a place called Bozkov which has some ‘Dolomite Caves’ and should be open!

Next few pictures are of the journey across country on roads that are not on the map we have but the ‘Tom Tom’ GPS system came up with them and it was quite an interesting ride!

Countryside as we start to climb the hills

On top of the chimney is a rather large bird not sure if it a Pelican or Albatross but it was imitation!

Road view

Ski School Building


5 minute ‘comfort break’!

Entering Bozkov

Bozkov Church with nice BIG Onion Dome

‘Free Parking’ by the School

Having arrived we set off to find the Caves only then to find that they were closed for the day, as we arrived too late!

So off we go again to make our way back to the campsite again across ‘Tom Tom’ generated roads




Finally back at the campsite then first thing I need after the ‘Ups & Downs of today is a nice COLD Beer!


04-19-2011, 01:25 PM
Hi again, i am amazed you are the info supplying, also amazed how deserted the roads and towns seem to be, very few people? but its great following your trip, and the car looks awesum.[thumbup]

Ocean Racer
04-19-2011, 02:44 PM
Awesome work!
I used to live in Brussels and this thread brings back some good memories :)

04-20-2011, 02:00 AM
Hi again, i am amazed you are the info supplying, also amazed how deserted the roads and towns seem to be, very few people? but its great following your trip, and the car looks awesum.[thumbup]

Glad you are still enjoying it, 'Page 6b' from yesterday took me 4.5 hours to complete and get uploaded! :eek:

I also brought a 1000page book with me that is the Autobiography on 'Slick Willy' formerly known as Bill Clinton (I can hear the 'groans' from across the pond already!) I have now just got to page 144 but for the last 3 days have made no progress in reading it!

04-20-2011, 02:02 AM
Awesome work!
I used to live in Brussels and this thread brings back some good memories :)

Thank you.
Glad you are enjoying the 'memories' and hope that you enjoy the rest of the trip, we still have a ways to go on this one! [thumbup]

04-20-2011, 09:17 AM
A European Tour Page 6c ‘Wednesday’ Vrchlabi


Another great sunrise followed by a real good blue sky and a temperature slowly climbing upwards after a bit of a warmer night!

Quick shower then bit of breakfast and am I glad I brought the 4Kg of Porridge as it definitely is ‘Central Heating’ for adults first thing in the morning!

First thing this morning was a trip into Vrchlabi for some grocery shopping as the larder is starting to look a bit bare certainly for vegetables and some fruit.

While in town we see the ‘Skoda Car Train’ pulled in with some cars already loaded and waiting for the next arrival on the car transporter from the factory at Mladá Boleslav

Drive on the back end

All nicely lined up ready to pull out

On the other side of the road is the Bus Station

Back to the ‘Tin Tent’ with the groceries, then a spot of early lunch and after that a drive over to Adršpach via Trutnov.

On the road can you see the nice straight lines from the Lawn Mower in the field?

Passing through one of the villages we see this factory with all the Solar Panels on the roof and they went from front to back about 100 yards!

Pass another factory but not sure if this was a Power Plant as it had very large green pipes going into and coming out of it as though it was supplying Hot Water to the Residential Flats in the area which is what they did in the Communist era.

For all of the UK ‘Tin Tent’ brigade we saw this UK Caravan with CZ Registration plates on the way

Just over the hill and into another little village

After turning left and a couple of miles we come into Adršpach where we hoped to visit ‘Rock City’

Find the car park but while a ‘closed’ car park wants to charge the equivalent of £2 ($3) for a couple of hours the main car park that is open wanted DOUBLE the price!
We thanked the attendant but decided not to stop as the rocks did not look that interesting so turned around and made our way to Trutnov

Off ‘Mountain Climbing’ again and had to go ‘Up’ before we could come ‘Down’



Entering Trutnov we are met by a good friend from South Wales in the middle of the Traffic Island!

Manage to find a FREE car parking place in a residential part of the town then walk back to the centre

Call in for a couple of Ice Creams as boy it’s HOT!
Sorry NO Picture we ate them to quickly and they were melting!

Make our way to the Town Square which was nice with all the people also indulging in Ice Creams



Tucked in one of the corners you can make out a Church dome in the next picture

While the side door had a notice saying ‘No Pictures’ the main door had none, so I took one of the inside!

Around the Town Square there are all these wonderful arches that keep you cool as you browse in the shop windows or just amble around


Making our way then back to the car we go back down the main street

Spotted this view down one of the side streets looking across part of the town

Went into a bar for a nice Cappuccino and found an ‘Easter Egg Tree’ which was quite nice! (They were all painted HARD BOILED EGGS!)

Then spotted an ‘Old Friend’ who had been fossilised and plonked in a shop window!

Bit further along we found a few ‘Escaped Cats’ from the zoo but they were minding their own business and did not present a ‘problem’

Just passing the Bus Station on the right in the picture below and just to its left are a couple of other ski runs with very little snow left

Back to the car and making our way back to the campsite we spot this Factory up for sale and the web address for the Estate Agent (Realtor) is in Holland!

Hope you can see the ‘Crown’ on top of the chimney?

While further along the road we see an overhead bucket system coming from a quarry and carrying rock across the countryside and the road, good job none fell out as we passed underneath!

That’s it for this area, we move tomorrow to Lipova Lazne which is still in the Czech Republic, but we have to go through another part of Poland to get there!

04-21-2011, 08:53 PM
A European Tour Page 7 Bobrovnik


Another short drive today and we arrive at Bobrovnik, but again our route takes us from the Czech Republic into Poland for a short distance and then back into the Czech Republic to our destination, but on our way we visit a Paper Museum in Poland!.

Before we left EuroAir Campsite I thought you might be interested in the ‘Room Heater’ that is installed in the Restaurant.
I have never seen anything like it before!
You feed the wood logs in through the door at the front, hot air comes out of the angled ‘pipes’ on either side, and the smoke goes out the back and up the chimney!

As we were packing up this morning we noticed a herd of Deer in the field across the road all grazing quite happily.

You may recall the Large Green Pipe I mentioned that was coming out of or going into what looked like a Power Station, well as we left the campsite we passed part of it on the road


Back on the road and it was not long before we are heading down the narrow roads again!


It was amazing to see the blossom appearing and made us think of the Cherry Blossom appearing in Washington DC (USA) which thousands of people from all over the world go to see

No ‘quite roads’ here as we join a ‘Traffic Jam’ but it was traffic heading for the CZ-PL Border which was not far away

Here comes the Border!

15 Miles further down the road sees us at the Paper Museum
Muzeum Papiernictwa Duszniki Zdrój


Some of the old paper making machinery from other paper mills


The entrance to the Mueum

Model of a ‘Stamping Mill’

Model of a ‘Tissue Paper Machine’

A chart from Gutenburg’s 42 Page Bible

Some of the things made of paper


We thought this next one was fabulous!

Now for the paper making!

We caught up with a couple of families and the kids were having a great time making their own pages of paper, plain and coloured

Plain Paper 'Bath'

Coloured Paper 'Bath'

Pressing out the excess water

Waiting for the pages of paper to come out of the dryer

Quick bite to eat and back on the road through the rest of Poland



With more ‘Little Roads’ thankfully traffic free!


Few more miles of ‘Roadworks’

Finally back at the PL-CZ Border on a little ‘Country Road’ with not a soul in sight!
Walked into the Czech Republic looking back to Poland

The walked back into Poland looking towards the Czech Republic

Hold it! Train coming

Finally get to Láznĕ Lipová

Now to find the campsite which is:
Bobrovnik Camp.

I think it’s time for a Cold Beer, after a rather eventful day! [thumbup]

04-22-2011, 11:27 AM
A European Tour Page 7a Bobrovnik


Wonderful blue sky this morning and expected temperature of 24C
Quick shower, followed by breakfast but before we take off on the bikes for Jesenik here are a couple of pictures of the campsite!

Campsite Reception

The main field

On the tarmac as the grass is still a bit waterlogged from all the winter snow!

As the town of Jesenik is around 3 miles from the campsite it made a nice change to take the bikes and cycle in after breakfast. The only ‘downside’ was that 80% of the journey was along the main road with rather large trucks passing by, but staying close to the grass and off the road you can stay out of the vortex that they create as they pass.

Just as we turn off the main road and into the start of the town, it was very nice of the Fire Brigade to present all their ‘Engines’ this morning as we cycled passed, so I stopped and here is the result!

Bit further along we see this Factory where again the roof is covered with Solar Panels and I guess today the Canteen will be making lots of Toast with the ‘Power’ coming from this lot!

Next thing we saw was a complete surprise and never seen before!
You take your 1ltr Milk Bottle place it in this machine, which is what the lady in the picture has just done, put in the required money and it fills your bottle with Fresh Milk!

Heading towards the ‘Centrum’ we then spot what turns out to be the Museum which is going through quite a refurbishment program at the moment but you can still go inside.

Inside the courtyard of the building.

I went in to see what was on offer and was told that in the ‘cellar’ they had an exhibition of Geological items.
It turned out to be a bit of a letdown. It was nearly all placards with photographs of different underground cave systems in the Czech Republic with a few Stalactites or Stalagmites in glass cases. The commentary on each of the placards was only in Czech with no handouts in any other language, so after 5 minutes I was done and ‘exiting stage left’!

Went further into the town centre and picked up a couple of nice creamy ice creams on the way, which took us into the Town Square

Made our way back to the bikes and passed a Fair Ground that was just being assembled for the Easter Holiday.


It was good to see the ‘Recycled’ Army Trucks and other vehicles being used for towing and accommodation by the fairground people.

As there was not a lot else of interest in the town, we headed back to the campsite and an early lunch, then head off to see if we could find a ‘Lookout Tower’ at a place called Zlatȳ Chlum which meant a drive towards a town called Zlaté Hory.

The view looking back towards Jesenik as we went ‘hill climbing’ yet again was quite nice

I think we missed the turn for Zlatȳ Chlum as before we knew it we were approaching Zlaté Hory, then driving down the main street!

Pulled over and parked with a nice view up the main street.

Walked back up and spotted this church set back.

The inside this time was quite spectacular for its decoration

While coming back outside the Church and looking directly in front was the Town Hall with the ‘Air Raid Siren’ on top of the roof!

Making our way back to the car I looked between a couple of other buildings and spotted this Crane’s nest on top of a chimney.

We think it was a baby crane inside the nest as its head kept coming up but it made no other movement.

We tried to find the Lookout Tower on the way back without any luck so might try the Tourist Office to see if they have a better map with clearer directions on it tomorrow.

04-23-2011, 09:56 AM
hello,love the tour.

Nice to hear, and 'Thank you' [thumbup]

Hang in there though we still have a ways to go before it's over!

04-23-2011, 10:04 AM
A European Tour Page 7b Bobrovnik


Thankfully at the moment the good weather is continuing, but we could possibly see a change for the worse by Sunday night or Monday morning when rain is expected to move back in! YUK!

After breakfast this morning we decided to go for a ‘Round Tour’ firstly heading for the Palace at Linhortovy.

On the road to Linhortovy.

Next came the wonderful ‘S’ bends before we once again encountered the ‘Hairpin Bends’ on the ‘Cross Country Roads’ that are rather narrow!

But interspaced with some nice views across the countryside!

After around 1.5hrs driving we came to Linhartovy Palace which is just inside the Czech Border with Poland, and what a fantastic sight it was!
But on this first picture I could not get all of the darn Palace into the picture! Sorry!

Tried again on the other side of the river and made a better job of it!

Didn’t realise when I took the above picture that I was actually taking it in Poland, as going across the river bridge had put me in that country except someone had stolen the sign!
It was only when I was on my way back that I realised I was returning into the Czech Republic!

Trying to take a picture of the Palace and the River proved equally fraught!

Back in the car now on our way to Krnov and we pass this little fella on his chain at the side of the road!

40 minutes later we arrive in Krnov and were we in for a nice surprise!

First view as we round the corner from the car park

Next view as we come into the city centre

Same place different angle

A view up the main street

Around another corner and this used to be Krnov Castle which whilst now becoming a restaurant is also being re-furbished on other parts

Inside the castle looking towards the main gate

Back out of the gate turned right and while walking down the main street we spot this poor soul who is ‘practising’ the Saturday Night- Sunday Morning feeling a bit early!

Found the ‘Information Centre’ which provided a brief history of the city which I hope you can read

We then found the Tourist Information Office and the young lady on reception spoke good English and provided us with information about a ‘Lookout Tower’ that was open and with a bit of walking was not too far away, but our route took us past another grand church up on the hill outside the city which had an interesting presentation for the ‘Stations of the Cross’ as they were all outside and surrounded the church

Station 1

The buildings up to Station 13 were all identical

But then Station 14 was completely different

Picture inside Station 14

A little bit further along the pathway and there was the ‘Lookout Tower’ which to climb up I managed to get the ‘Pensioners Discount Rate’ which was good as I did not have enough small change to pay the full adult rate!

It was built in 1903 and must have close on 300 steps from bottom to top, that when you get there you emerge through this little doorway

The views over the city are however something else!



Got back to the bottom of the tower and started to make our way back to the car, then spotted this well decorated roof

Back to the car, and my legs were killing me, or rather my thigh muscles with coming downhill!
We then after a short rest, started to make our way to a place called Bruntal which we were not impressed with, so no pictures, but having said that we stopped at a Lidl Store to get some provisions as tomorrow and Monday are Public Holidays here so no shops will be open and as we came out there was this nice old house opposite

Having made our way then along a few more narrow, bumpy roads we arrived back at the campsite at the end of another interesting day.

Tomorrow is Sunday so I am having a ‘Lazy Day’ so no story or pictures, sorry! :(:(

04-24-2011, 11:06 PM
how are you finding the fuel Economy of the xc70 when towing? we are of with bour tin can for a short break on tuesday.

04-25-2011, 06:35 AM
how are you finding the fuel Economy of the xc70 when towing? we are of with bour tin can for a short break on tuesday.

At the moment averaging between 29 & 31Mpg but not pushing it and change down when I come to any hills no matter how small! BUT I am running a 6 speed Manual Box [thumbup] NOT Automatic!

Enjoy your trip!

04-25-2011, 07:25 AM
thats not bad mpg:) i will let you konw what we average with ours when we get back, carry on enjoying your trip and i'll tune into your adventures again when i get back[thumbup]

04-25-2011, 07:33 AM
A European Tour Page 8 Plumlov
Sunday at Bobrovnik
While we had a nice relaxing day we also went for a short walk into the village of Láznĕ Lipová with the following results
‘Fuel Store’ Hope you can see the difference with last year and this year’s supply, and every house was well stocked with cut wood?


View up and down the river



Walking a bit further we found this nice ‘Easter Celebration’ up on the balcony


While a bit further along was this Easter presentation in the front garden


Got back to the campsite to see the ‘Sunday Train Service’ passing by


After saying our ‘Goodbyes’ to the lady on Reception at Autocamp Bobrovnik she managed to take us completely by surprise as I walked in with the ‘Switch’ that is traditionally made here in the Czech Republic for Easter Monday.
I believe it is then the custom to use the ‘Switch’ on your wife across her back as it is supposed to give good health and long life!
Your wife then presents you with a small egg!
In the picture below is the ‘Switch’ and the ‘present’ shaped like an Easter Egg that the lady on reception gave us as a ‘Goodbye Surprise’ as we left the campsite this morning!


So after this really nice surprise which further convinces me that ‘Normal People are GREAT it takes a Politician to screw it up’! Here we are off once again this time to the small town of Plumlov, but with our experience from the ‘Solo’ drive on Saturday without the ‘Tin Tent’ on the back I decided to try and stick with the ‘Minor’ but wider roads as the roads we used on Saturday would have given us problems had we followed the route provided by the GPS system!
At one of the ‘Stop’ crossroads we noticed this nice display in the house window so pulled over and went back for a decent picture!


Switched on the Car Audio and was provided with the sound track from ‘War of the Worlds’ which for some of the roads/countryside and the possibility of meeting ‘Strange Things’ as we travelled was quite good as we came across this when we went around the next bend!


A few more ‘Road Views’ on the way to Plumlov





Arrived in Plumlov and our campsite here will be: Camping Žralok, for the next 4 nights. Webpage is only in Czech Language but nice pictures, and if you look closely you can understand some of the items!


Booked in and then found the place with the view!
You don’t get many like this to wake up to in the morning! [thumbup]


Quick bit of lunch and off for a walk around the town that is concentrated around Chateau/Castle Plumlov which looks impressive but could do with some restorative work and a coat of paint!



Need to try and get to a Volvo Dealer while we are here as we have an error message appeared on the dashboard that will not go away.
There is one in a city that is fairly close so will see if with a telephone call we can make a reservation to have it looked at.

04-26-2011, 03:31 PM

Wow. Great Pics!

04-27-2011, 07:24 AM

Wow. Great Pics!

Stay 'tuned' there will be more![thumbup]

04-27-2011, 08:04 AM
A European Tour Page 8a Plumlov


Well I guess it had to happen.
03:00 this morning woken up to the constant drumming of rain on the ‘tin tent’ which finally stopped just after lunch time!

So after breakfast we decided to take a chance and go to the Volvo Dealer in the city of Olomouc to see if we could get the dashboard error message resolved.

Interestingly although the garage was already installed on the inbuilt Volvo GPS system I opted for ‘NON Toll Roads’ in the 'settings' however when we set off the dam thing wanted to take us on the TOLL ROAD into the city!

Thankfully putting the address for the garage into my Tom Tom it kept us off the Toll Road and away from the possibility of a rather LARGE fine!

Having arrived at the garage we then found one of the Salesmen who spoke good English, explained the ‘problem’ passed over the keys for a Technician, the next thing the car was in the workshop, up on the ramps, diagnostics run and a broken electrical wire identified on the nearside suspension leg which had stopped the ‘Active 4C Chassis’ from functioning correctly.

The Technician made a temporary repair for us so that we can continue the trip. The garage has advised me that the car will need to have a complete new suspension leg fitted to resolve the problem completely when we get back home! :eek:

Whilst it beggars belief really, I was impressed with the help provided by the Volvo Garage in Olomouc, so a BIG ‘Thank you’ to them with handshakes all around, but I am glad we were not in some remote location with no chance of a garage, now that could have been a bit scary! :eek::eek:

In view of the persistent rain we decided to call into a Lidl Supermarket and get some groceries then head back to the campsite and see if the rain eased off in the afternoon.

Shopping completed and I left it to Tom Tom to get us to Lidl and back to the campsite which it did with no problem.

Lunch was cooked and served and the rain did ease up, so much that we got out the ‘Tourist Book’ and decided to head for a place called ‘Bouzov’.
No it’s not a dehydration place for alcoholics it is in fact one of the best kept castles in the Czech Republic!

On the road there we saw these nice sights




Then as we came over the hill surrounded by the mist the castle appeared.


We made our way to the ‘Hrad’ (Castle) Car park to find ominously we were the only car there, but there was an information panel on the castle in English which I hope you can read

Out of the car park and walked along the track to the castle and then through the trees we get this fabulous view



Went to read the notice on the entrance door only to find it was only open for pre-arranged/booked tours so we could not go in……maybe next time?

Back to the car by which time the rain was coming down harder, so we decided to come back to the campsite and the ‘Tin Tent’ to listen to the ‘Pita Patter’ of the rain on the roof, but a couple of interesting sights from the trip back below:



Notice the angle of the house roofs in the next photo, to ensure there is not a great build up of snow.


Would like to go ‘Sightseeing’ in Olomouc tomorrow but again the forecast is not good, so will have to wait and see.

At the moment I am having real 'problems' with the Internet connection here on the campsite.
(This latest update has taken me close on 5 hours to get the pictures uploaded to Photobucket so bear with me for the next one!) [cussing][cussing]

04-27-2011, 10:46 PM
A European Tour Page 8b Plumlov


Well the rain came back again in the evening but it was a soft ‘Pita Patter’ on the ‘Tin Tent’ roof which is not too bad when you are trying to get some sleep!
However we woke surprise, surprise to a clear blue sky as the forecast was promising more rain!

So decided to try and go for a visit to Olomouc and it was a tossup to drive there or go to Prostĕjov then get the Bus or Train.

Under the direction of TomTom GPS we set off for the ‘Centrum’ of Prostĕjov and after a short drive found ourselves outside the Town Hall asking for some assistance from a couple of ‘Policie’ who advised us where to park for free and gave us directions for both Train & Bus Stations, also advising us NOT to leave any valuables or GPS system on view in the car which I thought was extremely nice and helpful, so BIG ‘Thank you’ to the 2 'Policie' Officers!

Parked up made sure all was clear and decided to go for the Train as it would be less ‘problematic’ than the Bus.

Looking back to the Town Hall this was the view

Got to Train Station which you could not miss with this ‘Old Guy’ sat outside

Purchased return tickets using mixture of English & German with credit card payment.
The tickets at £4 ($6) for both of us for a 24mile train journey were good value.

The ‘Waiting Room’ was really nice with a history of Prostĕjov & the Czech Railways from 1860 to 1999 when they were ‘Electrified’



We did make enquiries about the ‘alternative transport’ in the picture below but was advised that it had been withdrawn as the High Speed Train tended to knock you off the tracks!

And here is the train, complete with ‘Plateman’ as another coach was joined up after I took the picture below!

We finally arrived as the train was late, at ‘Olomouc hl. n’ which is the main station, as there is another Olomouc station just outside the centre and we nearly got off there! :eek:

From our map we could see that by walking directly away from the station and then bearing round to the right we should come to the city centre, and luckily we did.
First stop was a small café just opposite the City Market for a nice espresso, followed by a stroll around the market itself which was all outdoors with the stalls selling plants & clothes.

Out of there and made our way up the main road again

Went around a corner and in front were ‘Two Fountains’ but could only get 1 in the picture. Neptune Fountain & the Baroque Marian Plague Column.

Then another corner which gave us the UNESCO Holy Trinity Column & the Arion Fountain

A close up of the Arion Fountain with the big Turtle and the object of whatever it is on its back.

Next was a small but nice Floral display as there is a ‘Floral Event’ being held in the city

Just a bit further along we came to the ‘Astronomical Clock’ which is I guess around 3 times the size of the one in Prague and absolutely stunning, so as it was coming up for 12:00 we sat on the steps of Hercules Fountain which had been drained, and ate our lunch while waiting for the Clock to strike 12:00 which it did with the help of the figures in the small ‘square alcoves’.

This was immediately followed by a whole host of Bell Chimes with the figures in the lower alcoves revolving to the chimes, and the whole show lasted just on 10 minutes!

Just to the left of the Astronomical Clock was this wonderful model in bronze of the city, with each place numbered and the description in Czech & English

In the picture below is Hercules Fountain and in the background you can see a doorway

that leads into a passage & inside the passageway we saw these prints of ‘old’ Olomouc!

Coming out of the passageway on the other side you come to a church that has a square tower on it that looks like it was bolted on after the church was built.

I could only get a photograph of the model of the church as there was not enough room to get the church in the camera lens.

Inside the church….

Now for a few street views of Olomouc some with the Trams in…



Then having gone around in a circle we find a better view of the UNESCO Holy Trinity Column & behind it the Town Hall and Astronomical Clock

While walking up another of the roads we come to a great view of Hauenschild’s Palace

Back in the centre of the city heading for another part I spot this nice little set of archways between buildings

The off we go down another road towards St Wenceslas Cathedral the spire is in the distance, but notice the Tram Lines, so no stopping along here unless you want your car ‘squashed’!

Getting closer with a nice new Tram going the opposite way!

But before we got there we got diverted, and I think you are going to like this!
We went into…..

Where we found…..


The Coach is full size and not a model as you can just see one of the ‘Museum Wardens’ through the spokes of the rear wheel

The next picture was taken in a room which was curtained off to stop daylight from affecting the exhibits, and you were not allowed to use your camera flash to take pictures as there were surveillance cameras all around, so apologies for the picture quality
“Monstrance of the Gold Sun of Moravia”

Out along the corridor again we came to this exhibit

While in the small chapel we found the following frescos


After a short climb up the tower you find yourself up in the roof so you can see how it was built

With a couple of carvings in the window side

Back down the steps and into more exhibits, this one of a very nice book

We then moved on to St Wenceslas Cathedral


With what I thought was a really nice though & one I had not seen before.
The front cover of the book in the picture was ‘raised’ like a jelly mould so that a visually challenged person could use their fingers to ‘see’ the Cathedral, while inside the book the description was in Large text & Braille

Inside the Cathedral…



Finally making our way back to Olomouc Railway Station we took a slight deviation to going direct and found the following nice views…

This was the view through the locked ‘grill door’ of the three coloured church in the centre of the picture above

View off to the left as we crossed the river

Then finally back up the road before we got to the train station and caught the train back to Prostĕjov, then a walk back to the car and back to the campsite just before the Thunder arrived followed by a heavy shower!

Another fantastic day and my legs are knackered, and I think I could happily give my feet to someone else! [thumbup]

04-28-2011, 08:42 AM
It's all good! How warm exactly is it?

04-28-2011, 09:54 AM
It's all good! How warm exactly is it?

Between 20 & 22C (68 to 72F) but today we had another roll of Thunder with a couple of spots of rain, so it's not bad! [thumbup]

04-28-2011, 10:19 AM
A European Tour Page 8c Plumlov


While the Thunder rolled around for quite some time last night thankfully there was not much rain with it and this morning has turned out nice and sunny once again, so we will keep our fingers crossed for the day.

As it is our last day here in Plumlov we decided to go for a ride to Prostĕjov as we had not spent any time there other than to make our way to the Train Station yesterday, so after breakfast we set off along the Czech ‘Country Lanes’ which are nicely identified with little signposts at various points to stop you getting lost! :D

The first part of the ride took us alongside the lower lake/reservoir that is being cleaned out and lowered in depth, and here by the grace of technology is a panoramic picture where I hope you cannot see the join lines!;)

Another picture from the corner of the reservoir where there is an overflow basin

If the water rises over the basin it is fed off down here

Then we have the ‘watchtower’ just at the side of the overflow basin

Not long after with some cycling along the main road into the town we come through one of the main roads

That when you turn to your left you see the Town Square

Next we have the entrance to the Castle that was undergoing some serious re-construction and only this bit looked any good! :D

Not sure what the building in the next picture was as it was not identified but it looked nice with the pink blossom in front

Spotted this fellow strolling down the street and as soon as he saw the camera he was over like a shot asking for money, but when I asked him if American Express would do he shook his head, muttered something unintelligible and moved on! :p

A view of the left hand side of the Town Square

Side view of City Hall with the tower

Front view of City Hall

I noticed on the door that was open on City Hall that the general public were going in so off we went to have a look inside, and it was quite convenient as there were WC’s on each floor which in my ‘condition’ after coffee and juice for breakfast was a welcome relief! :D
However the inside decoration of the building was wonderful.

As you made your way to the stairs you were confronted by a list of people who died in WW1

Then as you climbed the stairs to the third floor you saw the ironwork of the gallery and the wonderful colours of the ceiling


The next picture is not quite clear as a result of a rather dark interior for the offices, but you can see the ornate surroundings for the office doors along with the pillar and ceiling lights, much nicer than the 'Rabbit Hutches' you find in companies these days! :D

Back outside was a rather nice view of a building on the left of the Town Square

And finally a better picture of the ‘Fresh Milk Dispenser’
1 Litre will cost you 15 Czech Crowns + 10 Czech Crowns for the bottle if you haven’t got one and it is dispensed from the right hand side of the machine.
You then open the Oval cover in the middle and put the bottle in, where it is cleaned/sterilised then filled with the milk which you then remove once the operation is complete
If the machine runs low then the Cows standing to the right of the machine are called on for a re-fill! :D

On that ‘note’ we then went back to the bikes and made our way back to the campsite in Plumlov to start getting sorted out for the next stage of the tour which will take us to Pasohlavky in the South East of the Czech Republic tomorrow. [thumbup]

Hope you are keeping up, and haven't fallen asleep? :D

04-29-2011, 02:56 AM
A European Tour Page 9 Pasholavky


An even shorter trip than normal for us today as we move from Plumlov to Pasholavky for our last stop in Czech Republic before we move in Hungary.

On the road again and coming into another small village

We thought for a minute that the building in this next picture was the beginnings of a ‘Lighthouse’ but then realised there was no water around!

Over the hill and down into another little village with a surprisingly LARGE church!

Not much further and we enter the outskirts of Brno

Passing more of the Flats built in the communist era of the country, but at least they have brightened them up with a coat of paint!

Now on one of the ring roads around Brno with a suitably positioned Power Station!

Really have to watch which lane you get in around here as you come under a bridge and find you need to be on the LEFT and NOT the right, and it just started to rain!

Got through or ‘around’ Brno then we saw this HUMONGOUS Solar Panel set up in a field which I guess was a ‘backup’ for the power station we passed earlier!

Now back out in the countryside and the Rape Seed plants in the fields have really come on in the last few days with bright yellow fields stretching for hundreds of yards

Turn right, follow the road down the lane and Hey Ho there is the campsite!

Now there is just enough time left to set up the TV as the ‘Missus’ wants to see the Wedding of the Year! [thumbup][thumbup]

04-29-2011, 09:35 AM
A European Tour Page 9 Pasholavky continued

Friday Afternoon

After watching the ‘Wedding’ while chomping on a Cheese & Ham Sandwich we decided to go into Mikulov for some shopping and a look around the town, but before we took off I went for a short walk around the campsite for a few pictures, and here are the results.



There is a quite large lake at the front of the campsite which is used for most watersports

With this waterslide that dumps you straight into the lake but not at the moment as it is too darn cold!

While taking the picture above I could hear one heck of a racket coming from the other side of the water slide so went to have a look and as I got closer it went quite, so I stood still and the noise started up again. It was caused by a large number of ‘Kermits’ in the water, and here are a couple! :D


Got back to the car and off we went to Mikulov which presented itself like this as we drove in

Parked up and walked into the ‘Centrum’ to be met with this view


While spotted in a shop window were these guys looking for a home! :D

As we came to the main square the view got better


Not sure what happened to the church in the corner as only the front is still standing

In the top right hand corner was this view

While in the top left hand corner was this view

Then after walking through the archway you are presented with this view

You then walk forward for another 200yds, look back and get this view

The castle was built around the rock formation and you might just see some of it through the open windows that are slightly darker at the rear

Looking to the left across the garden you can see a small church on the opposite hill with the stations of the cross leading up to it, with a very dark and ominous sky behind!

The view from the front of the castle was nice with a couple of the Rape Seed fields laid out like short runways!

Meanwhile back in the garden the trees and flowers were blooming!



We finally got caught as we made our way back to the car by a dump of rain that followed the Dark sky, with quite a bit of Thunder & Lightning, but the temperature today has been up around 29C (84F)!

Next stop tomorrow is Hungary via Slovakia when we go around Bratislava then down to the bottom end of Lake Balaton.

04-30-2011, 01:28 PM
Hi, great to see your trip is still going well, the work you are putting in uploading it for us all to read is fantastic. sorry to hear about the broken electrical wire, thank goodness you were near a dealer. we have just got back from our easter break, averaged around 30 mpg towing our tin tent and it towed great. i shall look forward to reading more of your trip tomorow.[thumbup]

05-01-2011, 01:56 AM
Sorry guys. At the extortionate rates required by the campsite in Hungary my Internet access is on 'hold' for a few days!
All I can say is thank you McDonalds for Free Wi-Fi access where I am posting this message!:D

05-01-2011, 07:04 PM
Thanks for all this, I can travel with you (and by the way try to convince my wife to go in Europe instead of Mexico!)

05-02-2011, 05:37 AM
Thanks for all this, I can travel with you (and by the way try to convince my wife to go in Europe instead of Mexico!)

You are welcome to the 'Third Seat' and maybe we can put your wife on your lap as the 4th Seat is full of kit! :D

05-02-2011, 05:40 AM
A European Tour Page 10 Keszthely 'Zala'


While we managed to get an early start to Keszthely ‘Zala’ and the South Western tip of Lake Balaton in Hungary, I must share with you as we went for a stroll to the lake and back last night, a picture of the Mosquitoes that were prolific in the atmosphere, but just in certain places on the campsite, along with hopefully a short video clip that I also managed to get of our ‘Kermit Bullfrogs’ trying to be a bit amorous!

All the ‘splodges’ in the picture below are Mosquitoes!

Hopefully if you ‘Click’ on the WHITE picture below it will show you a short video clip of an amorous Bullfrog, but make sure your Speakers are turned up a bit as the sounds they make are quite entertaining in their own right!


http://i946.photobucket.com/albums/ad307/Traveller11/Europe%20Tour%202011/th_BFROGS.jpg (http://s946.photobucket.com/albums/ad307/Traveller11/Europe%20Tour%202011/?action=view&current=BFROGS.mp4)

We got away at 07:00 this morning hoping to beat the traffic going around Bratislava as having been through the city before we had some idea as to how heavy it could be!
Our second sighting of a Stork’s nest and we are still in the Czech Republic

A few miles further on and this ‘pops’ up on the horizon.

Followed by…

Now I thought we had left the Mother-in-Law behind?

Finally out of the Czech Republic and into Slovakia
Must sat the road ‘conditions’ prove it, as I’ve never run over so many potholes, lumps & bumps in my life!

Some of the little villages you pass through remind you of France but with a bit more ‘life’ in view!

While the roads are ‘rough’ in places some of the buildings still look quite good

To get closer to Bratislava we have to pass through a tunnel


Once through that and we find ourselves on the Motorway but this section is FREE!

As we travel around Bratislava on the ‘Ring Road/Motorway’ once again we pas the high rise flats of the city environs


Get off the ‘Free section’ of the Motorway as you need a ‘Vignette’ to continue and I haven’t bought one, and we are very soon back into those nice things called ‘Road Works’ with 2 guys on the shovel and the rest telling them ‘how to do it’!

Very soon after this we are again at the next Border Crossing, which is rapidly falling apart and once again not a Guard in sight!

Now in Hungary with the Railway line on our right and the Toll Motorway further over to our right but not in view.

It was nice to see a bit more life on the road even if it was stationary at a set of traffic lights

While passing through a number of the small villages in Hungary we saw quite a few people all smartly dressed & carrying bunches of flowers or small floral displays, but could not find out what the celebration was

Next thing around the corner we find the Horse & Cart from ‘Steptoe & Son’
Hand Signals only as you can see there are NO indicators!

Now in the next picture we are not sure if this fell off the back of a truck or it was a relic from WWII!

Out in the countryside and around the next bend we find this massive castle sat on top of a hill


While a bit further on was this rather nice ‘Watch Tower’

Finally we get close to the campsite and the GPS ‘Voice’ says Turn Left, so I do and we end up behind this, for which I am very grateful that the ‘Outlet Pipe’ remained CLOSED as it went over all the bumps and holes in the track!

Finally after over 200 miles we get our first view of Lake Balaton

Then after turning right and 0.5 miles further we are at the entrance to the campsite!

Checked in and around to the pitch then a couple of pictures of the campsite
Finally after over 200 miles we get our first view of Lake Balaton




First impressions with the campsite were disappointing, and we have even more of a Mosquito ‘problem’ here, requiring full cover up by mid afternoon!

However one item in the Dish Washing place did bring some much needed exercise of the Chuckle Muscle as you will see when you read the ‘Information’ provided on the next picture!

I don’t believe I have ever seen a ‘Constipated Kitchen Sink’? :D

05-02-2011, 05:55 AM
A European Tour Page 10a Keszthely 'Zala'


We set off this morning to firstly have a look around Keszthely.
After parking up and not walking very far we see this little ‘Choo Choo’ coming toward us but he didn’t stop to pick up passengers which was a bit of a letdown.

Bit further along we run into the ‘Roadworks’ again but as ‘foot passengers’ this time!

Was tempted to sit down for 10 minutes and have a conversation with this chap as there would have been no answering back! :D

Looking back was this rather nice building

Then we get into the ‘Pedestrian Area’ which was nice with the trees on either side

Another impressive building that is undergoing some re-construction
Left hand side

Right hand side

Now I know that ‘Spring’ is in the air but this is taking things a bit too far!

A bit further up the road we come to Keszthely Castle which was quite impressive

Even the Pansies looked good in their beds.

After leaving the castle grounds we made our way back to the car via a different route and found these two houses in a little side street

Bit further along we go over a level crossing and there is the Railway Station

Make our way down to the lakeside and we are met with these nice views





Got back to the car and decided to head off to Balaton Uplands National Park, and specifically a place called Szigliget, and on the way this image looms up in the distance!

Got to the ‘Centrum’ of Szigliget with a rather nice house on one side

In the centre of the ‘Centrum’ was this notice with information about the immediate area, which I hope you can read

Parked the car again and started to walk up the road to the image that was in the previous but one picture and turns out to be a Castle, when we thought for a minute that we had been transported back to Somerset (UK) with the beautiful thatched roofs on the houses



As we came to the Church just outside was this rather interesting little Wine Shop which had just opened in time for the Sunday Service and a row of 1Litre ‘Flagons’ on the right hand side of the entrance ‘For Sale’!

We had to pass through the church grounds to get to the steps/track leading up to the Castle and on the way we were provided with the following little piece of information

With the following result when the castle was in one piece!

Presented with a small brochure after paying the ‘Entrance Fee’ of about £2 ($3)

Then set off through the first entrance where there would have been a barred gate

Into the main grounds with the crests of the families who have owned the castle over time

First stop was what was thought to be the ‘Barn’ as they found horseshoes and other items here during excavations

View from Barn looking up to Castle

Now having started the climb up to the top we look back to see the Barn and how big it was

First level and we come to the armament platform with the small canons

Next level with the commanding views across the countryside



Ever upward towards the Main & Oldest Tower in the centre of the next picture

With the ‘explanation’ placard

With a couple of pictures from this ‘perch’


Then coming down the other side we find the ‘Kitchen’

While below that was a small church, which I think had been freshly painted on the inside as there was a strong fresh paint ‘smell’ when I went inside!


Must admit the visit provided a fascinating insight as to how the people and area fought back against the invading Tartars & Turks.

Now time to find a nice cup of Cappuccino, then head back to the campsite as the rain has started again!

Once again on Sunday night we had the wonderful experience of being kept awake till the small hours of the morning by a constant “BOOM BOOM BOOM” from something like a 5000Watt Bass Speaker in a club near the lake, so after 2 nights of very little sleep we have had enough so tomorrow we are off out of Hungary and into Croatia!


Having arrived at the campsite just outside Zagreb and pitched up I was offered the chance to update the Blog by the lady on reception using a Local Network Connection for which in view of the file size involved I was extremely grateful, but more about that later, it’s time for a bit of exploration!
See ya!

05-02-2011, 10:56 AM
A European Tour Page 11 Zagreb


We left Lake Balaton this morning at the start of what looked like a nice day, and as we travelled South the temperature rose, so by the time we got to ‘Autocamp Plitvice’ it was ‘HOT’!

On the way down as we departed Hungary we spotted this rather nicely decorated tower.

Then what we thought was a nice house, but turned out as we went past to be the office of a car sales plot!

Well despite the efforts and programming of both TomTom & the Volvo GPS systems we ended up at the WRONG Border Crossing again, the last time was 2 YEARS ago, AND THE MAPS IN BOTH GPS'S ARE THE LATEST! :mad:

It seems that the ‘OLD’ Border Crossing is now reserved for Hungarian & Croatian Nationals only. There are NO Border Guards only Security Guards.

So we had to turn around and with clear instructions make our way to the correct International Border Crossing…


Where it was Passports at the ready, and ‘Tin Tent’ door open for checking as we had been listening to the last part of ‘The War of The Worlds’ on the way down from Hungary and even though I did explain we had NO Martians in the ‘Tin Tent’ he still wanted to verify it for himself!

After the Border Crossing it was not far to the point where you collect your ticket for the Pay Motorway which we duly collected, not realising the nice surprise we were in for when we got to the point where you pay!

We were very surprised how quite the Motorway was, as we pulled in for a ‘comfort break’ as we were the only outfit in the parking area!

Bit further down and we see our first ‘hills’ in Croatia

Followed by a short tunnel with a speed limit of 100Kmph and a gap between vehicles of at least 50meters with video cameras in the tunnel ‘watching’!

Out the other side to yet more clear road

But a bit further down we came upon this Truck, and the first thought that came to mind was ‘YUK!’

Not sure having spotted this if we should drop McDonalds a short explicit note?

It was not much further down the Motorway that we came to the ‘Pay Point’ and the surprise came when we found it is currently 23% VAT (Sales Tax) on EVERYTHING here in Croatia! Ouch!!!

After feeling like we had gone back on ourselves, plus around a few roundabouts umpteen times we finally arrived at ‘Autocamp Plitvice’ which is actually a Motel with a campground at the side, but extremely difficult to get to!

Pitch chosen, legs of Tin Tent down, and before we wrecked all the Daisies a nice picture!

That’s it for today!
We are off into Zagreb in the morning hopefully by Bus (Public Transport) if we can find the ‘Bus Stop’.
So if we make it there might be some nice pictures of Zagreb![thumbup]

05-03-2011, 07:43 AM
A European Tour Page 11a Zagreb


After a wonderful and knackering day in Zagreb here are the results!

Up at 06:30 for the 08:05 Bus to Zagreb! :eek:

Found the Bus Stop after a 25 minute walk from the campsite to the village of Lučko which was a No112, and 30 minutes later we were at Savski Most which was the Bus/Tram Terminus on the outskirts of Zagreb so we started to walk

After some time we asked for directions and were advised to get a Tram to the city centre, as it was a good 40 minute walk from Savski Most, so we did!

Zagreb ‘Old’ but OK Tram.

Got off much nearer to the city centre

These buildings surrounding us were mainly art galleries





Moving on a bit further and looking up one of the side streets the nice architecture is still in evidence.

Next we came into one of the main shopping areas but not many people around as it was just after 09:25!


Walking along a bit further we come into one of the squares in the city and this one had a small festival going on



Just behind the festival was the start of the City Market which was mainly outdoors and quite large as it was on 3 levels, well Zagreb is built on 2 hills.



Not forgetting the Fish Market which was under cover but I think that was to keep the smell inside!

After that we called into a Market Bar for our first ‘Croatian’ Espresso, and boy was it good!

With another view of the Fruit & Vegetables Market as we came out we bought I guess around 3lb of very sweet apples from a really nice old man for 10 Kn which was about £1.20 and quite cheap

While up a few more steps brought us to the third level and more flowers, but also at the back the clothes stalls

While strolling down the alley I spotted this nice little sign on the wall which seems to have been around for a few years!

A bit further along we come to this fine structure just before the Zagreb Cathedral which after this was our next stop

Zagreb Cathedral








Outside the Cathedral to the left is the start of the wall that was built to stop invasions by the Ottoman Turks

While to the right is the other end of the wall

While just in front of the Cathedral is the Virgin Mary with Angels Fountain and in the background the ‘Onion Dome’ of St Mary’s Church

Moved a bit further away to get all of the front of the Cathedral into this picture

Then back into the town centre to show the depth

Further into the City led to some more nice views


Then we found a nice park where we found a seat and sat in the sunshine having lunch

Hadn’t realised how hot it had become as we found out when we looked at the Thermometer, 27C!

The Thermometer was set in a nice case along with a Barometer in the park and it was interesting to watch the locals coming up to find out the temperature.

Final view of the other side of the small park before we moved on

Off up another side street

With a nice archway entrance part way up

We then find a statue of George & the Dragon

Turn around the corner and we come to the Upper Town Stone Gate

Which inside has a small chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary

Next stop was the headquarters of the Croatian Government which is on one side of St Marks Square

While in the middle sits St Marks Church


Walking down one of the side roads we spot this Water Well Winch in the garden of a property, so slipped inside quick for a picture

Next we came to the smallest Funicular Railway and for 4Kn about £0.50 you can have a one way ticket! The ride lasts for 55 Seconds!



With a panoramic picture from the top of the Funicular to round of the day in Zagreb!

Tomorrow we are off to look at a couple of the places outside Zagreb, and they are a bit up country!

05-04-2011, 08:04 AM
A European Tour Page 11b North of Zagreb

We set off this morning to go and visit 2 places North of Zagreb.
The first is called ‘Marija Bistrica’ the second ‘Belec’.
This time we have a ‘lie in' till 08:30 which was quite nice!

After setting off it was not long before we were once again ‘hill climbing’ and making our way around yet more hairpin bends some of which were quite narrow and made worse when the car coming around the other way was on your side of the road, :eek:
But the scenery was nice.




Not long after and we arrived at our first stopping place which nearly blew us away!
Marija Bistrica is a Marian shrine the main pilgrim church is called ‘Church – Basilica of Mother of God of Bastrica’ and dedicated to the Virgin Mary because of a miraculous black wooden statue of the Madonna & Child dating back to the 15th century, which having been lost twice and then found in the 17th century, has been revered ever since, not least because of its supposed healing powers



Inside the church

The black Madonna & Child at the centre behind the altar

Some of the frescoes on the walls



The church organ with another fresco on the right

While outside on the wall of the church set in a recess was this wooden carving

Surrounding the church on 3 sides were these archways and inside each archway was a painting of a miracle with a small icon of the Madonna & Child in one corner of the painting

The icon is in the ‘Sun’ like circle on the paintings




Walking out into the square this was the view looking back to the church

We then walked off down the left hand side of the square were all the ‘Souvenir’ shops are and this reminded us of Knock in Ireland & Montserrat in Spain, with all the ‘Plastic’ which the locals were not happy with when you read the write up given to us by the Tourist Information Office!

Passed this rather nice wood carving made in 1994

We then caught up with this group of Kindergarden children who were holding onto a centre rope at handholds that had been made in the rope.
I asked if it would be OK to take a picture and the Lady in front said ‘Yes’ and asked the kids to wave!

This then brought us to the ‘Open Church’ which was as the Lady in the Tourist Office described it and with that ‘3 in 1’ technology here it is!

Thanks to the Lady in the Tourist Office we learnt that not far from the church up the road by the Post Office if we went, we would come to a large number of Wood Carvings, and boy was she correct as you will see below!


The Nativity scene


The scene of The Last Supper



The region is also a wine producer, but as I was driving it was not sampled!

Even the barn was nicely carved on the doors!

Next stop was the Coffee Shop for 2 Cappuccinos and a couple of home made cakes, WOW!

Refreshments finished, then back in the car and off to Belec, but on the way we stopped briefly at a small village called Zlatar as you don’t often see a rather LARGE Easter Egg at the side of a church!

With a view back down the main road

We then spot this a few miles further on and we have arrived in Belec as it’s that small if you sneezed when you got there by the time you had recovered you would be out the other side!

The church which is called ‘The Church of Mary of Snow’ was easy to find but was all locked up!

However I spoke with a girl waiting at the bus stop who in turn spoke with another younger girl who then spoke to a group of boys on their way home from school and one of them took us to the house of the Church Warden, he then promptly walked into the house and announced that we were outside and wanted to go into the church.

A lady came out with wet hands, said OK and four minutes later here are the results of the door being opened!








That completed our day out, but on our way back to Zagreb and the campsite we ended up going a slightly different way that resulted in us passing this Farm with all these Sweet Corns in a large mesh cage, but could not find anyone to ask what they were being kept for.

Tomorrow we are off again to another campsite at ‘Duga Resa’ which is supposed to be very pretty.
I guess we will find out tomorrow! [thumbup]

05-04-2011, 09:50 AM

05-05-2011, 02:21 AM

Does that mean the Beer is on you if we get to meet up? :D [thumbup]

05-05-2011, 06:14 AM
A European Tour Page 10 Duga Resa


“Dobra Dan” (Croatian ‘Good Morning’)

Interesting trip today from Zagreb to Duga Resa, as we stayed off the Toll Road and stuck with the ‘narrower’ National Road Number 1 which in places was like a ‘Roller Coaster Ride’ with all the lumps and bumps, but it was really more interesting going through the small villages than just hammering down the Toll Road and having to pay for it!

So here are the National Road Number 1 Road Pictures!

Try pronouncing this one and get it right!

The ‘Napa Valley’ maybe of Croatia?


Next village



Roadside ‘Refreshment’! (Hic! :D)

This Tractor Driver had just been ‘refreshed’ as he couldn’t get above 15Kmph!

Now we have come off Road Number 1 onto the narrower road :eek: to the campsite and the ‘Tin Tent’ which is wider than the car is hanging on the back!


We finally make it to the campsite (Camp Slapic) without driving anyone off the road! [thumbup]


Get set up, and after a cup of coffee set off on a walk around the site, which turns out to be extremely nice.
It is sited on the side of the river with some nice items and views, like the small water wheel below!

A view to the very Old Wooden Bridge, which is up the road from the campsite.

A wider part of the river, that has beautifull clear water in it.

One of the interesting little creatures with gossamer wings and very L O N G back legs that are flying around the campsite!

After a spot of lunch we then set off for a wider look on the bikes, going to the Old Wooden Bridge which looked in parts like it was close to falling in the river, but before you see that here are a couple of the old water wheels which are prolific in this area!

Now here is the bridge, where you can see how it goes ‘up & down’ if you look along the rails!
Reminds me of one I saw on the Mississippi River a number of years ago!

As this bridge has been closed to Vehicular Traffic they have now put in place a ‘Bailey Bridge’ a few hundred yards upstream. I guess it must be classed as ‘surplus stock’ by the Army as there has been no sign of building a replacement for the wooden bridge!

We are planning 3 nights here so it’s off exploring a bit of a wider area tomorrow, so will see were we end up and what we have got at the end of it!

05-06-2011, 06:54 AM
Does that mean the Beer is on you if we get to meet up? :D [thumbup]If you make it to cowtown in Canada, absolutely. It's my favourite smiley when I'm watching a good topic. :)


05-06-2011, 07:06 AM
If you make it to cowtown in Canada, absolutely. It's my favourite smiley when I'm watching a good topic. :)


Thanks for that.
My wife would like to come and watch the Calgary Stampede at some point in time so we might just be over!

Meanwhile there is more coming later! [thumbup]