Germany Spain 2009

Our second trip of 2009 this is our first year of retirement so we are travelling as much as we can (and stopping) Just a word about ACSI cards if no one knows about them ACSI cards are a low season camping discount £10.50 for a very good European camp site guide that comes with a discount card 11,13,or 15 euro's a night depending on camp site, this is a Dutch book available in Britain from Vicarious books. See
Left home 11th August drove to Dover no problems caught Sea France ferry to Calais stopped night as previously at the dog check in compound for the channel tunnel.
Huge truck conversion at the dog pound. How many dogs can you get in here?

Departed approx 9:00 am for Germany on toll free motorway network. Belgium and Holland passed very quickly without a stop,
arrived Cologne in Germany 1:30 pm.
Really nice camp site on the banks of the Rhine with beaches etc temperatures in the forties did not expect this in Germany. site has biergarden and restaurant, and something I had not seen before free gas cooking rings in the wash up area. The views along the Rhine were great. Cologne centre not far by scooter, but like London is an emission control zone with on street parking limited so no vans in city area.
banks of the Rhine

CIMG0229 Wash up
reception and bar CIMG0227
toilets and shower
on the beach of the Rhine
Cologne at sunset
Auf Weidersein Pet CIMG0237
end of the day
CIMG0111 CIMG0114
Cologne cathedral
CIMG0127 CIMG0165
Spent hours in the Cathedral its magnificent
Left Cologne after 3 days and set off for Heidelburg on the Autobahn . We discovered that Germany has motorway churches in service areas for use of travellers.
CIMG0250 CIMG0255 motorway church
Although there are no speed limits on the Autobahns the traffic was extremely well behaved and we saw no evidence of excessive speed.

driving along the Rhine valley

Arrived at the campsite close to Heidelberg Camping Friendensbrucke (PEACE BRIDGE) site is right on the banks of the Rhine and you can have waterside pitches if you want.
Falltorstr. 4 69151 Neckargem√ľnd Germany +49 (0)6223-2178
GPS: N 49.39638° E 8.7945°
wonderful reception office converted from old wooden caravan


bar and restaurant

Us on campsite on the banks of the Rhine

Various views of Heidelberg a historic university town
The old castle under restoration
CIMG0390 CIMG0391 CIMG0392
CIMG0394 CIMG0396
So after a hot 2 days its off South no idea where to, but as it turned out we crossed the German French border near Strassbourg, and using Rogets campsite guide on the sat nav arrived at the most wonderful German town in France. Went to camping municipal at Ribbesville a well laid out site with excellent amenities and only 15 euros a night in high season also free Wi Fi we were well pleased with this site. Big supermarket nearby, and the most picturesque town you can imagine.
CIMG0405a (29)
This part of the country is famous for its Storks and they will come and eat out of your hand.
CIMG0405a (33) CIMG0405a (35)
This is Pied Piper country
CIMG0405a (36)
Just a taster of the views to be had this town is unmissable if you are in the area we will definitely be returning.
CIMG0405a (37) CIMG0405a (40) CIMG0405a (41) CIMG0405a (42) CIMG0405a (43) CIMG0405a (44) CIMG0405a (46) CIMG0405a (47) CIMG0405a (50) CIMG0405a (51) CIMG0405a (52) CIMG0405a (53) CIMG0405a (57) CIMG0405a (58) CIMG0405a (60) CIMG0405a (61) CIMG0405a (62) CIMG0405a (63) CIMG0405a (64) CIMG0405a (65) CIMG0405a (66) CIMG0405a (67) CIMG0405a (68) CIMG0405a (69) CIMG0405a (70) CIMG0405a (72) CIMG0405a (73) CIMG0405a (74) CIMG0405a (76)
storks nesting platform on roof
CIMG0405a (77) CIMG0405a (78)
Place was so beautiful we were only stopping 1 night but 3 days later we set off for Spain.
Drove South through France to Macon stopped 2 nights at camping municipal Macon route national 6 71000 Macon a very popular site with travellers stopping en route to Spain or the south of France. Carried on south to Castries just outside Montpelier stayed the night on a pleasant site we had used before. Carried on South to Spain arrived camping Solmar Blanes Costa Brava for an extended stop.
CIMG0405a (124)
We documented and photographed this site in an earlier blog. Stopped for a couple of weeks. Then left van on site and flew home for 5 days to attend a wedding and catch up with grandkids etc. Ryan Air flights and connections a fraction of the price of diesel for return trip. Returned to camp site, weather exceptional for time of year so decided to stay till site closed. Lots of Brits on site who had decided to have an early Halloween party.
CIMG1114 CIMG1115
Whilst on site we were invited by the owner Senor Kim to a gala night to celebrate his 40th anniversary in the camp site business. We had a 4 course meal free drinks all night and entertainment all free of charge, a wonderful evening.
Our daughter flew out and joined us for a week we had a great time.
Decided as weather was still good and camp site was now closing we would move further South so set off for Camping Eden Peniscola Valencia turned out to be a wonderful site with first class facilities a nice swimming pool and the proverbial stones throw from a really nice Beach. Possibly a wonderful site because my surname is Eden. The main road to Barcelona NII was closed for a sporting event so the police diverted us onto the toll motorway system, and gave us a free toll pass for the next 3 motorways which was quite handy. This decanted us into the centre of Barcelona and gave us good views of the city , and a surprisingly clear run through the centre of the city.
approaching la familia segradia
La Placa Catalunya
very hairy coast road south of Barcelona great for bikers not recommended for caravans and motor homes.
pitched up at camping Eden, could not get satellite reception so moved up a few pitches.
2nd pitch had first class view of local soccer pitch we had a good view of matches junior and senior.
CIMG1384 CIMG1470
the centre of Peniscola is a historic walled town with fortifications
Beach is just outside entrance to camp site
We met 4 young Australians who were doing the grand tour of Europe they had hired a motorhome for the Spanish leg, they were very good company, and we were up till 2 am talking much to the annoyance of some of the Spanish and German campers. When they left they gave us embroidered Australian handkerchiefs as mementoes.
site has excellent security with gates and barriers controlled by pass cards

CIMG1767Finally time to leave we only came for a week and stopped over 3 weeks heading north back to Blanes.
The wife's sister and her husband live in Cardedeau in northern Spain so we did a little detour so we could visit for a couple of hours
Stopped at camping Blanes one of the few camp sites open all year 13.4 euros a night or 10 euros a night if stopping a month or more.
Left next morning and headed north to Montpellier, rear brakes had started to make a grinding sound, and on examination it was found nearside rear disk calliper had seized so stopped at again, and with the help of SBMCC members on the forum managed to change the disc pads.
There were an English couple parked next to us who were travelling with there cat which was free to roam across Europe. I have met lots of people with dogs , but this was the first with a cat.
CIMG1824 there was a wonderful old fashioned greengrocers close to the site

After 3 days it was time to resume the journey home. It was now November and the days were getting short, and the further North we travelled the more the temperatures dropped.We managed to find a campsite just outside Beaunne that was open Camping les Bouleaux nice little site but only 3amps electric We had already made our evening meal and just needed to microwave it which was fun and games on 3amps. Apart from the electric it is a nice site with excellent heated facilities.
les bouleaux
only stayed 1 night and then carried on North to this was close to the city of Troyes and 1 of the very few campsites open this late in the year, but within easy reach of Calais. So spent 1 night and left to catch sea France ferry to Dover and then home.
We left home on August 11th and finally arrived home on November 4th a total of 86 days, and just inside our 90 day insurance period,