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Germany 2013


  • Germany/France/ Luxembourg/ Belgium 2013

     
    Fri 30th Aug
    Left Stockport at 11.30 for a 146 mile run down to Gulliver's Caravan and Camping site at Milton Keynes, with a 15 min  brew stop at the services i arrived at 3 pm so had a few hold-ups on the way. Its a pleasant site with good clean showers and toilets and £9.60 an night (single /age concession).Its a nice warm night so its a shared bottle of wine and a sweet and sour curry with Polly who will be one of my travelling companions.(the other 2 we are meeting in Belgium).                                                                                              
                                                           Gullivers C&C site


      Sat 31st Aug.
    Left Gulliver's for the 119 mile trip down to the Dover Rd Park and ride at Canterbury, it was an easy run down 2.5 hrs and we are there for 12am. Its very busy but we manage to find a couple of spaces then its a bus into town £3 includes 24hr parking for a bit of lunch and shopping. Back to the park and ride for tea and after a debate on whether we should go down to Dover (as we have an 8am ferry so have to be on road for 6am) we decided to stay put and as its another sunny evening its tea outside again.
    Sun 1st Sept
    Up at 6am for the run down to Dover for an 8am crossing, good crossing so arrive at 11am with the time difference. We went straight up to Antwerp (136miles) to meet fellow forum members ,Brian and Anne Wrigley and Tessajoe, Frank and Margaret Riley. We arrived at the quayside and found they had gone to a municipal a couple of miles outside the centre Camper-park Vogelzang   N51 11' 23  E4 24'10    so went up to join them ,they were not happy with the facilities here saying it was scruffy and not worth the money so we all went back to the quayside, close to hanger 41 off Sint Michielskaal then we left Frank to do a Sunday dinner and watch the football while we had a stroll into Antwerp (10 mins away) .The square was really buzzing with lots of market stalls and music so we had a good afternoon here. Back at the quay our resident chef had done a Sunday dinner for everyone so it was tables out and a few bevies.
      
    Antwerp centre .
    Franks sunday lunch Antwerp style
    antwerp



        Monday 2nd 

    Up fairly early for a leisurely run to Düsseldorf  (137 miles) and hoping to get to the show for 4pm ish, which is the time we believed you had to arrive so you didn't have to pay for the daytime parking, it turned out that everybody else thought the same as we were stuck in a massive queue which took us 2 hours to get in.We later found that they collect the money in the morning at your parking spot (they give you a ticket to go to a porta cabin near the bus stops) so arrival anytime in the afternoon would have been good.
               
                                   The queue for the show
    The set up was very good with a dump and water fill up at the entrance and 4 lanes going into it ,then the parking was a case of slotting you in where other vans had left (not good when you had 4 of us trying to stay together), we get parked up fairly close together but could have been places all one behind the other but the marshals were not interested so there were a few frayed tempers. So we got the tables and chairs out and have a few bevvies while watching the planes come in.  We had a stroll down to the area where they had set up the entertainment tent and also a few food stalls and bars. Considering the amount of people on the car parks it was not that busy so most must be enjoying their own company. After a bottle of beer and a hot dog we did the same and retired to our table and chairs and a few beers .(mental note to myself to check change as 2 off us were nearly ripped off on the food stall ,i got 45c change instead of 6 euro).The shower area which was near the entertainment and water and dump point was very good and if you chose your time (best at night time) there was no queue .
     

    Tues 3rd Sept
    Awake at 6 with the first plane rattling the van and they are every couple of minutes so no chance of a lie-in even though we are up at the crack of dawn it still takes us until 12.00 to get the bus down to the show-ground. The place is enormous and so many halls there is no way we will see them all in 2 days so our first call is the accessories hall and then see how many more we can do (which was only about 4 ).Bargain of the show must have been a 5 euro trolley from Dometic ,I went down to their stand and struggled to get back with 4 trolleys while the rest had a coffee. We leave show at 4pm and as Brian needed water myself and Frank go with him to the water point and then we are off to do a bit of shopping at Aldi leaving the girls behind at the parking area. We couldn't find the Aldi and ended up in the centre of Düsseldorf (not a good idea with a motor-home)and find a market and a small supermarket. Returning to the park was hilarious as we couldn't find our way back to our parking spot (took us about an hour of constantly riding round) and when we eventually did get back the girls had had a nightmare of a time trying to keep Brian's spot as the marshals wanted to fill it.(A few frayed tempers here).A Barby and a few beers and bottles of wine helped defuse the situation.

    Wed 4th Sept
    Managed to sleep while 8.30 with the help of some tissue in my ears ( I'm  partly deaf so a tip if your going to the show is buy some ear plugs). Today we are out early and get the bus to the show to connect with the tram to Düsseldorf as we have decided we will have a day sightseeing as the weather is glorious instead of being stuck in some stuffy hall. The bus stops across the road from the tram U78 and we can use the show ticket to travel round Düsseldorf which is good. Got off the tram at central station and the a 15/20 min stroll from here to the old town and seafront. Prices in Düsseldorf were reasonable and had a 2 course meal for 9 euro and after a bit of a meander down the seafront the market and a bar were the next port of call ,again the beer prices were not too bad. Even the buskers were a different class.
     
    Deciding where to go
    the water front Düsseldorf
     
    Busking Düsseldorf style  
    Messe Dusseldorf


    Thur 5th Sept
    the campsite Up early again with the planes and after a fill up and empty it we were on our way to the Mosel.  Koblenz was our first call 102 miles and we were going for a camp-site as Frank and Brian who had been over for a lot longer than me and Polly needed a launderette. It is a good run down and nearly all motorway so we are at  Camping Platz Gulser Moselbogen before dinner. Not cheap 18 euro for me  23 for couples but the facilities are good and its right on the river (shower tokens did cause a bit of bother here though)
    we can bring the tone of the area down
    our first view of the Mosel
    Koblenz


    Friday 6th Sept
    Left the camp site  and headed down the Mosel with the intention of stopping at Burgen a stelpaz listed in Bord Atlas. With me leading the way we turned of the road running along the river and then headed through a village with very narrow streets and then up in the hills and round some very hairy hairpin bends.

    We got to the Stelpatz or should i say i did as the road was a farm track leading to a dusty car park behind a bar/restaurant so there was no way we were stopping here so it was about turn and head for the river again. This was easier said than done and we ended up down a single track road where we couldn't get through so we had to retrace our steps and eventually ended up back on the Mosel rd. We tried for a stop at Muden but every where was full and we nearly lost Margaret here when she got out at a filling station. We carried on and found a good stop at Ernst (37 mile ) which was 8 euro for 24 hours with a wine warehouse a bakery and butchers and restaurant .Here we enjoyed the afternoon outside the winery bought loads of wine and then had a good meal later in the restaurant and enjoyed some cakes from the bakery.
     
     
     
    Sat 7th Sept
    Leave  Ernst with the intention of stopping at Traben Traben but we are on the wrong side of the Mosel so its a stop at  Enkirch  (36 mile)which is a massive stelpatz with grass pitches and a park anywhere site ,  here its 6 euro and 2 euro if you want leccy . There are toilets and showers here near the tourist office which is just across the road and there are also quite a few pleasant bars in the village which we tried .Our travelling chef Frank did a corned beef hash for tea which went down well with a few bevvies and some local delicacies from the cake shop.  
                                                                                                                           
    We had a really good downpour overnight which was well needed as it had been rather warm for the last week .      
    Enkirch    
      
                                                                                                                    
    Sun 8th Sept
    Away for 10.30 and set up in another 8 euro stelpatz at Kinheim (9 mile) which was right on the river with brilliant views. I must admit that the journey down the Mosel up to now has given us some fantastic scenery and well worth the visit (mental note must do the Rhine as well soon). With it being a Sunday most places were shut but it did give me an opportunity to wander into the surrounding villages  Kindel and Lostwich 
     
    to take some pics.


     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Monday 
    9th Sept
    The guy came round at 8.15 for the 6 euro fee so we were all woken early and it was decided to skip Trier and carry on to Luxembourg .We stopped at the border for fuel (cheap) and a bit of wine and with a stop at a shopping centre we arrived at Camping Fuuselkaul and parked on the aire outside the campsite which was all hardstanding and included the use of the showers etc on the campsite for 10 euro and with a chippie and restaurant on site.
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Tuesday 10th
    Had a bit of rain last night but it has cleared but its a bit nippy but quite bright .Todays destination is an aire 55 mile away in France at Stenay a pleasant village on the canal and with a bit of a marina and a pleasant walk into town. Fairly cheap at 8 euros and with free wifi and electric ,pay at the marina office 

     
     
    Wed 11th   
         Stayed an extra day here so had a wander round the town which has a biere museum 
     
     
                                                canal
                      Stenay


    Thurs 12th
    Today we are off to the Cambria region and an aire on a canal at Cattilon sur Sambre .It was a nice 4 van aire with all facilities and free electric if needed an overspill car park for 20 vans was just over the bridge but we timed it right and got all 4 of us on the canal. Nice spot but not a lot in the area so a night stop only for us.
    Cattilon sur Sambre
     
    Fri 13th
    Today we are off to Belgium and to the town of Ypres with a stop at a Carrefour for food and wine (no jp chenet for me though) and a bad 13th for frank as some woman ran into him on a roundabout (care must be taken on roundabouts as they don't go about it in the same way as us.
    Parking is possible down the side of the gates once past the houses (20 vans) also on other side of barriers near sports centre and also a camp site at back of sports centre. As i have been to Brugge this was very similar but bigger and there was plenty to do ,a museum, a live music concert in the square. Plenty of shops and cafes to pass the time as well as the last post at 8pm and a market on the Saturday morning.
     
    Sat 14th
    Today we will make our way down towards the port ready for the Sunday ferry taking in a trip to Cite Europe for a stock up on wine and a bit of shopping. Found a winery selling JP for 2.50 euro a bottle so stocked up with a few cases and Polly getting some red. Also called at Pidou on the way up to Gravelines for a bit more wine (no cheaper than Cite Europe) Spent the last night at Grande Forte Phillip at Gravelines a free aire by the river down by the side of Carrefour and a better stop than the marina.

    Grande-Fort Phillip
    Sun 15th
    Trip down to Dunkirk for Ferry home with Polly leaving Frank and Margaret and Brian and Anne on the quayside.
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