Outfit 2005 Kia Sorento XS Diesel towing 2005 Elddis Crusader Storm the same as the last 3 years. We find the size and comfort ideal for long trips.
We are booked on the Tunnel at 3.30am Wednesday the 7th April at the price of £182. return which is the 29th June. We will leave home about 10.30 pm on Tuesday night, giving us plenty of time to get to Folkestone, in case of punctures, hold-ups etc. We will travel to Belgium border and then stop to refuel before aiming for Brussels, Leige, down past Spa racing track to Bitburg, branching off left for Oberweis to our first site for 4 nights, at approx. 12 noon. Mileage from Calais 285 miles. We usually stop every 2 hours for a coffee and comfort break, going into a service station, to get some exercise or the caravan. Most of the Service Area's in Belgium are very good and safe.
Map and List of Sites of Route we intend to take this year Calais to Germany, Austria, Switzerland back to Germany to Belgiium into Holland and then France for 1 night. I do this every year, but it is only a guide, we do change it sometimes as we go along. We try not to do more than 200 miles a day when we are on the move but sometimes less or more.
Arrived at the Tunnel early at 1.05 am and were told to go straight to the train if we wanted to go early so off we went. Arrived train and boarded at 1.15 am and arrived France 35 mins later. Off on our journey South East stopping for fuel in Belgium. Diesel 1.15 euro's litre on the Motorway and then on to Germany crossing the border at 9.40 am and arrived first site Prumtal at 10.22 am.
This being the site we always choose for the first stop there is not much to say it is already on the website on other trips. The site is just as good as is the Restaurant. See more about this site in the Links page of this site and go to their excellent website.
I was delighted when I went to get the bread rolls one morning when a Brit guy was paying for his stop there and we chatted, he asked if I was Dianne and I said yes and he then told me he had stopped here on my recommendation on the Practical Caravan Forum and he was going to another site we like from the same thread at Alisehof in the Black Forest. Herr Kohler, owner of this site, was quite impressed too.
A change from last year is the WiFi, to include the service to include, the whole of the site has cost quite a lot of money so a charge is now made. The charges are 5 Euro's for 5 hours which is very reasonable I think. Electricity is metered on some pitches and you get an allowance of 4 kWh per day. This amount if ample in the warm weather but early and late season if you use the electric heating in your van you will most probably incur a small extra charge or keep to Gas heating.
We arrived here to meet up with our German friends from Frankfurt and later on the week with another member of the Practical Caravan Forum. The site is not ACSIso a bit expensive at 22.40 Euro's per night but this did include Electrics, no metre. The Toilets and Showers have been updated since our last visit and are very good but it was quite cold in there and it is chilly at the moment.
This site being right on the side of the Rhine has plenty to view with boats and barges going up and down all day and night, though not many at night and they do not disturb us and thankgoodness there is no railway going by near to the site like some sites on the Rhine. There was no ACSI site open this early in the year nearby.
We did our normal trip into Rudesheim for a Rudesheimer Coffee with Brandy in it and cream on top. Found a new Cafe on the Drosselgassee named The Angel in English, Engle in German.
No WiFi here so had to use mobile phone as a modem just to get my emails.
This is our first time at this site though we have heard a lot about it. It is midway between Stuttgart and Munich. This site is excellent though it was very cold there as it is 800 metres above sea level so we had to go a long way for water. The toilets and showers were excellent as was the Italian style Restaurant.
WiFi, if you go to the Office or Restaurant is Free.
The area was interesting and we did a tour taking a day and 50 miles to a village named Weisensteig which was very pretty then to Geislingen where it had a large shopping centre to visit Lidl andAldi to stock up on food. We then went on to a pretty little town of Blaubeuren where there was a pretty watermill where the millpond was bright blue. It was so pretty. After a good look around we then went back to the van. Another large town that is very nice is Ulm. You will need an Umwelt Plakette to get into the city with the car. The large main church in the city has what they say is the tallest church spire in the world. It certainly was very impressive.
This is our second visit to this ACSI Site which is 13 euro's per night but the Kurtaxe is quite high at 4.20 per night. The site is very pleasant and the owner, who we thought quite off hand last year, was a lot more pleasant this year.
WiFi was cheaper this year than last at 5 Euro's for 2 hours instead of 7.50 Euro's last year. Dearer than most sites but good reception.
Everybody, on check in, gets a Visitor card for the area and can travel on all public transport free plus get discount for lots of places of interest like the Documentation Centre on the Obersalzburg where you can read and see lots on the Hitler era during the war. You can also visit some of the Bunkers which are attached to this Centre.
Well this is our favourite site of all in Europe and this is our 7th year visiting here. Everything is just as good as ever and we are settled in for 6 weeks before moving up to Upper Austria and then to Switzerland.
WiFi here changed to a different, improved system Charges of 5 Euro's for 5 hours, less time can be bought but 5 hours is the better value. Cafe is excellent with fresh selection of bread rolls etc., on order the night before, collect from 8 a.m. Cakes and Pastries to die for, no calories of course!!!. They also serve a very good breakfast from 8 a.m. which is a very good idea on the day of leaving.
There is so much to see in this area of great beauty and if you want to have friends or relations visit from the UK the apartments are super and at a very reasonable charge. All info can be had on the Jodl website.
There is nothing else I can add to this site that is not already on my website in the last 6 visits. About the site and trips around the area.
This is a trip into Slovenia we did and the scenery is stupendous.
We left Jodl Camping on Ossiachersee at 10 am and made for Villach and onto the start of the Wurzen Pass then past the Bunker Museum a series of Bunkers built to protect Austria date 1955-2005. As the Museum was closed and we were not able to visit them see websites http://www.bunkermuseum.at/ and http://www.fsgfort.com/ for more information.
Further up the road, at the top of a steep hill, is a World War Tank on the left hand side of the road for info on this see the above websites.
Continuing over the border into Slovenia for which there is no toll, and as the roads are not Motorway, no Vignette is needed either. You will reach a fertile valley and the village of Podkoren, tuning left at the crossroads takes you on to the famous skiing town of Kranska Gora arrival time 10.40 am. So it took just 40 minutes to reach this town in Slovenia from our Campsite in Austria. This is worth a stop to walk around and get a cup of coffee. There are many ski runs and chairlifts close to the town. Leaving here at 11.44 am we reached the entrance of the Triglavski National Park at 11.51 am. and negotiated the 49 S bends and steep inclines. We stopped at some Russian Military war graves from the First World War which was most interesting. This road is also know as the Russian Road as it was built by their soldiers, as prisoners, during that war. Further on we reached the summit of the road at 1600 metres where there was quite a lot of snow.
The next stop was a viewing platform over the valley we were a going to decend into later on, what a wonderful view! This is the valley of the Soca River winding on its way to Kal Koritinica. The water is very blue and there are many single foot suspension bridges of wood slates and metal spanning the river with wider ones for cars to various houses on the opposite side. Also on the top here are the remains of the Austro-Hungarian Military telpher line over Vrsic during the First World War.
Further on you will pass through the villages of Trenta where there is a very good Information Office and a campsite, Camping Trenta, here we stopped nearby for our picnic lunch, beside the river, before entering the next village of Soca, there is Camping Triglav here, which looked quite nice, as did the site in Trenta. Obviously to get to these sites with a caravan you cannot take the route we are on as they are Prohibited together with Lorries and Coaches. You would have to approach from Bovec and Lubliana. From the next village, Kal Koritinica, you can go on to Bovec a largish town for skiing and Rafting. Plenty of cafes, hotels and shops here. This was our journeys end at 2.30 pm with mileage from Jodl Camping of 55 miles. For an alternative you could go right in Kal up to the Italian Border and along the top road back to Kranska Gora but we decided against it as Tom Tom said it was an unpaved road. Incidently Slovenia is now covered on the Tom Tom maps in detail.
On the return journey we stopped to take photo,s of the Golobar Telpher Line built in 1931-35 and used up to 1989 when it was partly dismantled. Then another stop to photo the statue of Botanist Dr. Julius Kugy at Bend No. 46, I believe that was the number. You can understand his interest in this area is there is an abundance of wild flowers of all sorts, sizesand colours. Leaving here we then traced our steps back to Jodl Camping arriving at 5.15 pm with total mileage of 111 miles. It was a wonderful day out and certainly the best of the 4 passes we have taken over the Karawanken over the years. The Scenery was wonderful as was the weather.
Another trip to Slovenia to re-discover the Loiblpass. This takes a little longer to get to from Ossiach as you have to go through part of Klakenfurt via Mooseburg and Krumpendorf, the later being on the Worthersee. Then via the 91 to stop for diesel at 98 pence a litre sterling, wish it was same price in the UK. Onwards towards Ferlach crossing the River Drau and onto the Loibl Tunnel and Slovenian border. Approximately 2 miles further on you come to a large layby where you can stop and visit the Mauthasen memorial and the remains of the Concentration Camp here which was the only one in Slovenia during World War Two 1943-1945 this was a brach of the Mauthausen Nazi Camp in Upper Austria. The internees were French and helped to build this pass. If they became incapable of work from exhaution or bad health they were returned to Mauthausen where majority met their death. About 40 internees were executed and cremated in primitive crematoriums. 29 of them excaped of which 22 were successful.
The Memorial designed by Architect Boris Kobe was inaugarated on 5th August 1954.
After a picnic lunch here we drove onto the Town of Trzic. This looked very run down with many empty factories on the outskirts,and houses in the center of the town. Driving over the river following the signs to Information Office you can park in the Market Place and walk through the old buildings to the main street, where you will find the Information Office. They speak English in there and have info in English free of charge. The main street well there were about 4 diggers just digging up all the road and paths so together with the run down buildings it looked a sorry state. Any way we found a nice coffee house which served amazing cakes to use the Toilets and partake of there selection. We then decided to explore the town. More empty and occupied houses looking very run down some with bullet indendations in the outside walls and woodwork, from which war I have not been able to verify yet. I would say only 10% to 20% of the properties were painted and shipshape. What was so interesting most buildings still had the ornamental metal shutters and doors, manufactured in the towns metal factories , after a fire in 1811 which gutted over 200 houses and workshops an order was made that all buildings had to have metal shutters and main doors fitted.
If you continue up the main road there is a lovely ride up the Douzanov Sosteska Gorge alongside the babling Trziska Bistrica river, this was very pretty and worth the extra trip before continuing on towards Golnik, Kranj and Jezersko along the Kokra River to the border at Seeberg Sattel into Austria and the town of Eisenkappel onto the Motorway and around Klagenfurt back to Ossiach. Total half day trip leaving at 11.45 am and arriving back at the van 6-15 pm. 138 miles. Another very interesting trip some of it where we had been before and a lot of new places too.
Leaving Ossiach at 9.56 am we travelled to Arnoldstein, St. Stephen in Gailtal and to Hermergor for coffee. Leaving here we travelled up the Karniche Dolemitestrasse and onto the Nassfeld.
Over the border at rio Bombasa at noon. The pass was quite spectacular with shale mountains and Ski runs with a small lake at the border. Then on Pontebba quite a nice typical Italian town. Through Santa Cataina, Malbbghetto and Ugovzza to Travison another ski town. Over the border into Slovenia and back to the Wurtzenpass. When we got into Austria we visited the Bunkers as mentiioned in the last Wurtzenpass topic. To read all about this in English you need to got to the web site mention in there.
The climb up the rough road is very steep and you need to be fit and agile. The same when you get up there as the bunckers are narrow and low with quite dangerous steps. The lady in charge does speak English but all the literature is in German only. Built into some of the bunkers are the top turrets of Conquerer Tanks and other small tanks with lots of different types and sizes of guns. It is all very interesting and was manned twice in recent years of the Cold War.
We arrived here June 3rd after sadly our time at Jodl had come to an end 6 whole weeks of sheer enjoyment just like a second home to us.
This site was not in our original itenery but added as is the next one, both in the Upper Tyrol, another wonderful part of this superb country of Austria. It is a 5 star site and we think, it could be the best in this part of the Tyrol, 20 miles or so East of Innsbruck. The toilets etc. in a fairly new block which has 4 floors with apartments on the top two. Showers, Toilets and Laundry on the ground floor and Basement. Private bathrooms can be rented in the block too.
The restaurant is excellent for food, value and service. The pitches are large with grey water, drinking water and Electric very near each pitch.
On arrival you will be shown to a pitch of your choice, ours is number 96 overlooking meadows and mountains with cows in the meadow below with Alpine Bells attached. It is a delightful sound. WiFi is excellent little more than Jodl at 3 euro's for half an hour, 6 euro's for 3 hours and 12 euro's for 8 hours.
Electrics, by the way, are not metered here for ACSI. When you sign in you will be given a Discount Card for Places of Interest and Transport in the area. Bread can be bought amongst other items from the Kiosk next to the Reception and Restaurant. All the staff are kind, pleasant and helpful. Website is http://www.camping-seehof.com/en/
Trip out for Day in the Tyrol through Valleys and over Mountains.. Leaving the site proceed to Vogle, St. Johann in Tyrol, Lofer, Zell am See and views of the Grosglockner, Kitsbuhl, back to Vogl which took about 6 hours with stops for lunch and walk arounds. 139 miles in total but you can shorten the route with leaving out Zell am See.
Other trips are to the Achensee a few kilometres up in the mountains towards Innsbruck. This is the biggest lake in North Tyrol which is 928 metres above sea level, 9 km long and 1 km wide. 133 mts deep. You can catch a boat and cruise the lake from Pertisau, a lovely little town with good parking at 2 euro's for 4 hours. Charge for Runderfahrt on See with discount card 13.50 euros per person.
Nearby the site is the Museum of Tyrolean Farmsteads here in Kramsach. Parking is free and entry free with your discount card. See more on http://www.alpbachal.at This was a wonderful half day walk around there are toilets dotted about the site and a good Restaurant and Shop at the entrance. Really worth a visit.
Other places of interest nearby are the Crystal walled town of Rattenburg, Wattens to visit the Swarovski Crystal Factory, Schloss Tratzberg, and the Schwarzer Silver Mine.
This site was another addition to our trip so that we did not have more than 200 miles a day to travel between sites from Ossiach to Interlaken in Switzerland. On arrival we were a little dissappointed at the pitches slightly terraced but not a wonderful view of the mountains as it is surrounded by houses which do block the view. Another problem for us was that they stopped taking the ACSI CC the day before we arrived till 28th August which is quite early but never mind, after viewing the Toilets, Showers, and Laundry Rooms our opinion of the site soon changed. Website is http://www.camping-sonnenberg.com/ We do not have the music of Cow Bells here but Crickets instead.
WiFi is obtainable at 2 Euro's for 24 hours, not ideal, if you are staying a few days but not too expensive if you can do everything you want in a 24 hour stretch. Later on when I am at home I will add photo's of the site and surroundings.
Places of interest are a ride along the Arlberg Pass to the famous Skiing hub of St. Anton. A nice town, but at this time of year as dead as a Do Do. But this ride is particularly very scenic and a side trip up to Zurs is very pretty and very high up too. You go up steep hills in galleries, part of which is one way so you have to stop at traffic lights which can be for 15 minutes before proceeding on your journey. Make sure you do not take your caravan on this journey and you have plenty of fuel as not many garages on the way open. Travelling from the Innsbruck direction here or towards the East with your caravan use the Motorway and the Arlberg Tunnel.
On the road to the Arlberg Pass from here you go through the nice little town of Bludendz, home of Milka Chocolate, with a nice old town shopping area. Then a few miles further on through Dalaas you come to the lovely village of Braz, we have stopped at the nice Hotel of Traube here on 4 previous occasions and really enjoyed it. Further down the village there is a beautiful caravan site, new to ACSI CC this year. Unfortunately when I emailed them to stop there they did not get the email. We stopped to investigate the site and speaking to the owner, who was very helpful and nice indeed, he invited us to look around. Everything was excellent and on a flat meadow with terrific mountain views and very quiet indeed. Will add photo's later. website http://www.campingplatz-arlberg.at/ ACSI Site No. 684 in the Book. The approach from the motorway is very easy too. Spa supermarket in the village not too far away.
Other places of interest to visit are:-
Rhein-Schauen Museum of Railway at Lustenau.
Rolls Royce Museum in Dornbirn.
Kristbergbahn on the Silbertal Pass.
Nearer to Bodensee is the Pfanderbahn at Bregenz. http://www.pfaenderbahn.at/
This ACSI Camping Card Site is situated high above the Thunersee but is very easy access for all sizes of outfits. The Owners are very friendly and helpful. Unfortunately we cannot see the See from where we are sited but have a very pleasant view of the mountains all around. The grass is all very green as you are not allowed to use awning mats of any description, which actually is nice as there are no worn or brown pitches on site at all. Toilet and Shower facilities are very good. The outside ones at the top of the site are excellent and modern, the ones down at the Office/Restaurant area are excellent but not quite so white.
There is a fresh water swimming pool that can be used free of charge on the site. WiFi was excellent and free of charge too for as long and as much as you like.
Side trips we made were:-
Lake Thunersee and Lake Brienzsee. We started off from the site and made the town of Spiez where we had coffee in the Port then a good walk around. On to Thun which was a much larger town and then drove along the side of thes See to Interlaken. This looked a very nice town but we did not stop but travelled on and along Lake Brienz. Reaching Brienz we had a walk around and then had a light lunch in a nice Restaurant on the See Front. After lunch we decided to retrace our steps along Brienzsee to Interlaken and then along the main road back to Krattigen.
Three Passes of Sustenpass, Furkapass and Grimsselpass . A nice Dutch couple on the site next to us, joined us on this trip and he had the tour mapped out. Firstly we went to Meiringen a very nice little town where the Sherlock Holmes Museum is situated. Having a coffee in a nearby Cafe we found out this is the town that was the home of the birth of the first Meringues ever made.
From here we made for the first of the three passes. The views vere wonderful but when high up we were virtually in thick cloud. On our way home after quite a long day our friends treated us to Fondue in a restaurant in Interlaken.
Another nice trip was to Grindelwald and Murren, being a beautiful day the scenery excellent.
We enjoyed Switzerland very much even though it was expensive. The killer is having to pay over £50 for 2 Vingets one for car one for caravan. Why can't they do a shorter period than a year like Austria. I have heard of some people selling their Vinget when they come back to the UK. This is illegal as you, by law have to affix the vinget to the windscreen by taking the paper backing off. It then cannot be removed intact.
The Swiss are lovely, friendly and helpful and there is no problems with having a Dog on the site we used.
We did not venture on the Jungfrau Trip as it was over £100 per person, and that was if you left on the trip at 6 a.m. You need a pure clear day, no cloud on the mountains at all to get a really good view. It was cloudy up on the mountains all the while we were there even though it was sunny and warm on site or down in the valley's.
Back here for I believe our 4th visit. It is a wonderful site, the owner and his wife are so helpful and kind. Toilets and Showers are excellent. This site sits by a small river in the village of Schapbach, which lies in a most beautiful valley of typical Farm Houses, so pretty. The nearest small town is Wolfach which is very pretty too. The nearest largest town, which is situated in the center of the Black Forest is Freudenstadt and is worth a visit too. If you go back to my last years trip you can read more.
WiFi is obtainable for 1.50 Euro's for 1 hour or 4 Euro's for 24hours.
Another place to visit is the Museum of Old Farm Houses at Gutach near to Wolfach. It is called the Vogtsbauernhof Black Forest Open Air Museum and is wonderful to visit and wander in and out of the houses. Website is http://www.vogtsbauernhof.org/
Well here we are again back at the first stop of this Tour and our ninth visit to this site which we love and is excellent. Just stopping 4 nights on our way to near Essen and Holland before returning home. Visited the Restaurant 3 times traditionl menu twice and last night the Italian menu which was superb and excellent value too.
Well we did not know what to expect from coming to this site but we are very impressed. Thought it would be a built up area as it is opposite side of the River Rhein to Dusseldorf. But no it is very rural. Before you arrive at the entrance to the site there is a 4* Hotel on your left side and the ramp down to Car/Passenger Ferry over to Dusseldorf area.
The pitches are a good size, grassy and marked well with good EHU's. The caravans are in two rows along the River front. It is just 2 euro's extra on 15 euro's a night to park on the front row with a good view of the River with ACSI. Good reception Wlan Internet at 5 euro's per day (will add later the other price brackets.) Plus Toilet, Showers etc when I have been down there.
This is a Family run site and the owners are very friendly and helpful indeed. We are sorry we only have 1 night spare to stop here and will come back again certainly hopefully next year. The reason we came here in the first place was to meet up with some German friends we first met 18 years ago for a couple of hours and though we exchange Christmas Cards every year had not met up with them again. It was lovely after lunch when we arrived here to meet up with them, who travelled by car from Essen and then parked their car on the other side of the River and caught the ferry over here to so near to the site. We had a lovely afternoon, early evening time with them.
We were recommended to this site by our Dutch friends who made a tour of the area earlier on in the year to see which ACSI site was most suitable for us. But on viewing all three in the book, they weren't too impressed, but found this site which is really lovely. Can only find one little problem here and that is only 4 amp Electrics. Having been use to 10 or 16 amps on all the previous sites it did not take me long to trip the fuse putting on two electrical items at once.
It is a very popular site and was completely full up on the Friday and Saturday nights. The cost was 16 euor's per night plus tax and 60 cents for each token for the Showers. All the facilities were excellent and pitches very good, very green with different areas seperated by trees. WiFi was good reception at 3 days for 11 euro's You could buy 1 day or a week. The owners were very pleasant and very helpful. Worth a visit if you are in this area.
There is plenty to see in this area and the first day visited Delft an hour and a half away by car. Very easy parking and a lovely town to walk around and catch a boat on the canal for a tour as we did. Of course we visited the Delft Pottery Factory and had a wonderful tour.
Second day we visited the Airbourne Museum at Oosterbeek, which was the UK headquarters of Maj. Gen. R Urquhart at the time of Operation Market Garden 17th-25th September 1944. Film 'A Bridge to Far' which was the story of the Operation. Excellent Museum and after the visit had coffee at the Hotel next door before visiting a Fish Ladder on the Rhein and lunch at Kastel Doorwerth. This castle was very impressive and the restaurant very good with lots of typical Dutch Food.
Following this we went into Arnhem and over the Rhein new John Frost Bridge named after Lt. Col. John Frost, Commander of the 2nd Battalion during the operation. In the film the Bridge at Deventa was used as the original Bridge at Arnhem was blown up completely. Then we went onto Nijmegan, 10 miles away, and over the original Bridge, spanning the River Maas. This was all very interesting. Lovely restaurants all along the river front.
In the evening we decided not to cook the evening meal but go just down the road to a Pancake House, where we had a lovely meal at a very reasonable price. Great selection of Savoury or Sweet Pancakes, but beware they stop serving at 8.30 pm.
Well here again for another last of the holiday stops. Site is in an excellent situation for catching the Tunnel or Boat home plus Vets nearby for the Dog Owners. The pitches are excellent and very large. Mostly Brits here.
Here we are at the end of a wonderful three months tour of our favourite Countries inc. two new ones. Austria still tops the List with us though and roll on next year, lets hope, God willing, we are able to return.
We have covered 5,050 miles over 3 months, with no problems of illness or damage or problems with car or caravan. In fact both vehicles were marvellous and trouble free. This mileage worked out 2,563 miles with caravan, from Site to Site. 2487 miles with the car, solo, sightseeing. The latter only 76 miles shorter was a surprise but expect it was because we were at one site for 6 weeks.
Weather has been iffy at times but the last 8 weeks it did improve and the last two weeks were very hot and sunny.
Only showed our Passports once and that was at Calais UK Customs though we carry them with us at all times. We have been lucky with the strengthening of the Pound this last few weeks. It makes such a difference. We must have saved hundreds of Pounds using ASCI Camping Card, out of 13 sites, 11 took the card, When I have time I will have to work out the exact figure as well as the cost of Diesel. The latter was cheapest in Luxemburg, then Austria, Belgium, Germay, Switzerland, Holland most expensive being France, where we only stopped one night and did not need to fill up.
It was interesting to visit the two new Countries. Switzerland was very nice but very expensive to use the roads, railways, mountain lifts etc., food was reasonable. Was a bit shocked how boring the road from Austrian border to Thunersee was, very flat and most uninteresting. Holland was very nice too not so expensive. We were very impressed with the quality of their roads and the number of Motorways. I was very surprised how few Windmills there were, we only saw three. Both countries the people all spoke English and were very friendly and helpful indeed. In fact in all Countries we did not have any problems at all everybody welcomed us and on all Caravan Sites the Owners or Managers were so helpful and friendly. All sites were excellent, Services of very high quality and very modern.