"Travelling the world by van" Whitevanman's Profile
When flying to a holiday destination I used to peer down out the aeroplane window and wonder just exactly what I was missing out on by taking the fast route.
Catching a, 30 hour, trans continental autobus from Edinburgh to Tangiers in Morocco, Africa was a great introduction to the road trip but I was desperate to stop off and take a longer look at some of the fantastic exotic and interesting places we passed through enroute.
Thats when we realised a camper van was the ideal solution in order to catch all the sights, on a budget we could afford.
After spending a year searching for a van that we could afford that could haul us round europe I gave up looking, they were all much too expensive for us and instead decided to buy a mechanically decent van and convert it to a camper myself.
However as we always wild camp I thought it might be advantagous to have a stealth camper that we could use in city centres that would not draw too much attention to what we were doing.
We don't like motorway, freeway, autoroute, autostrada, autobahn, autopista. Whatever you call them we hate them and always choose the 'A' road instead. It may take longer and cost more in fuel but you actually get to visit a country and see all the sights rather than just sample the quality of its tar and concrete.
Travelling around Europe sampling its beer is a major part of our holiday. After all when you are parked up at the end of some quiet lane in a foreign country all on your lonesome how else are you supposed to get to sleep :)
I planned to collect beer from all over the continent but in July around the Mediterranean it is so warm. In the van even at 3 am it rarely drops below 30 centigrade. It made much more sense to drink it there and then, ALL of it.....
Here is the route we took on our first Grand Tour. The plan was to visit as many of Italia's finest cities and coastline as possible making it all the way to the toe and maybe even Sicilly. On route we stopped for a look at Luxemberg LUX, Strasbourg FR, Luzern CH. Then in Italia we visited Firenza, Pisa, Roma, Napoli, Siena. However our first van was a dark blue colour which did attract the heat somewhat and with temperatures inside the van never rarely below 40c in the dead of night, a lack of sleep drove us North before we got to Sicilly. Perhaps we might try again now we have a white van. 4 weeks and 6400km (4000mls)
Blue line outwardbound - Red line (if different) homewardbound
For this trip we decided to visit Portugal and Espana. We stopped for a quick look at Biarritz before heading on to San Sebastian and Santander then into Portugal and straight to the coast at Costa Nova then Coimbra, Lisboa and back to Spain and Huelva, Sevilla, Jerez, Gibraltar, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona. On the way home we had day visits in Clermond Ferand, Paris and Gent. Well there were many more but you dont want me to list every little village we stopped at do ya! In the 4 week trip we covered 9600km (6000mls) At this point we had covered every inch of coastline from Oporto in Portugal to Napoli in Italia
This years trip began as another visit to Italia with a quick look at Gent B, Maastricht NL Munchen D, Salzburg, Wien A and Ljubjana SLO enroute. down to Pula HR and a trip round the Adriatic with visits to Bologna and right down to Lecce and Otranto.
Then we caught the ferry to Igoumenitsa GR and heading round to Athina upto Thessalonika onto Alexanderopoulis and then it all started to get out of hand when we headed in to Turkey down to Geliboli then a dash up to the Bulgarian Black sea coast at Burgas for acouple of days b4 the mad dash home. We had 5 days to make our ferry at Calais F so we set off on the drive home through Sofia, Beograd SCG, Budapest H, Bratislava SK, Brno and Praha CZ, Nurenberg D and Luxembourg. With barely a couple of hours stop in each for a look around. Almost 6 weeks away and a huge 12800km (8000mls)
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