For our second van adventure we went big. The van passed its MOT with flying colours, European breakdown cover was arranged, the Eurotunnel was booked and off we went!
Not quite sure what to expect, the holiday that followed definitely came with some added challenges we hadn’t quite predicted but it also took us to places we would never otherwise have visited and gave us a whole host of brand new experiences to share together.
In 9 days we traveled over 1000 miles. We ate cake for breakfast, walked in the mistiest conditions I have ever encountered, enjoyed communal nudity in German spas and slept in a wide variety of locations including carparks.
Highlights of the trip were numerous; some van related others not. For this post I’ll focus on the van but I’m also planning to focus in on a few biking days we enjoyed such as our tour of Bodensee and a days mountain biking in Ischgl, Austria.
Before we left we had ordered a copy of Camperstop Europe which definitely paid for itself during the trip. It came up trumps on our first night when we pulled in to a beautiful wooded aire du camping in North East France. For 7 euros we had a gorgeous pitch and showers and toilets in the local community centre. Perfect. It did turn out to be by far the nicest offering that the book turned up so perhaps it was beginners luck!
I had envisaged spending every night in the van but in some locations it just wasn’t practical, for example, in the Austrian Alps around Ischgl. Here we turned up to find that the nightstop we had planned to stay in was now a building site. The nearest campsite was 45 minutes back down the valley and didn’t look very special, the only campsite in nearby was fully booked. Struggling to formulate a plan we retired to the only open restaurant – which appeared to be in a nightclub. After some unexpectedly delicious food we had a quick look on booking.com – rescue from our peril came in the form of an apartment for 50 euros a night – only 10 euros more than the campsite when we finally came to stay there.
The beauty of having a small van is you don’t feel duty bound to spend every night in it; carpark living is fun for a night and on very long trips might become a necessity, but this was a holiday for us and varying the accommodation was the right thing to do.
Here are a few choice pictures which show the scenery far better than I could describe it – enjoy!
For interested parties here is our itinerary:
Day 1: UK to Verdun – driving, driving and a lot a of waiting around at the Eurotunnel
Day 2: Verdun to a carpark near Seewald via Baden Baden (lunch and a dip in the spa)
Day 3: Seewald to Fussen via Tubingen
Day 4: mountain walk near Fussen then on to Ischgl
Day 5: Mountain biking in Ischgl
Day 6: Mountain hike in Ischgl
Day 7: Ischgl to Bodensee via Kase Strasse (cheese road) – the cheese road was great but this day ended up having too much driving in it along windy mountain roads. We did however have some fantastic Kasespatzle at this gorgeous restaurant
Day 8: Cycling around Bodensee with a trip to Mainau Island
Day 9: Bodensee to Freiberg via Badeparedis Schwarzerwald and Titisee
Day 10: Travel home
If you’re interested in how we converted the van you can read about all the details are on the post linked below ⤵️