zurich
 

2019

Countries/territories visited: .pt, .es, .fr, .ch, .de, .lu, .be, england, wales, .nl, .dk, .se, .ax, .fi, .at, .sl, .hr, .rs, .ro, .bg, .gr

 

The New Year begins with a cold and walks on some wonderful portugese beaches. Mind you the nights are a bit chilly with even some frost. But, there is technology to keep us cosy.

Cosy

From time to time we go and have breakfast in town. We both get eggs - yummy.

Breakfast

on the 1-FEB we leave the park in Albufeira and head west.
First to Lagos where we have a run on a very windy beach before viddying the cat home.

Lagos Cats

Then around to the fort at Sagres where we spend a windy night.

Sagres looking West

The following day we head up the coast, walk on the beach at Almagrove but don't stay.

Almagrove

But we head up the coast to Funes, opposite Vila Nova de Milflores for lunch and a quiet night, well after the GNR had us all park in a different way.

Funes

Funes carpark

Funes Carpark A lovely beach and a good restaurant. No services. 37.71950 08.78197

Sunday and we head into town, but it isn't very awake, so we head up north to Alcŕcer on a winding, undulating road with eucalyptus and cork either side. Lunch is pork and clams, a speciality of the region.

Yumm

Alcacer Do Sal Carpark A carpark next to the river and a childrens' play area. Quiet with toilets 38.36949 08.51101

Monsaraz

Hymers

Monsaraz Parking

Great view, but no services. We also discover that the only coffee place doesn't allow dogs, even outside. Woof!

38.44238 07.38015

Then on to Évora to meet an old friend for supper.

Évora Parking

Water services and relatively quiet next to the swimming pool.

38.56336 07.91635

Evora

7-FEB - we leave and head down to the dam where we meet a Dutch couple and have a chat before heading to Serpa where we haven't been for 8 years.

Serpa

Then onto....

Spain

And we head back to Rota. Where Zoa really enjoys chasing the sandpipers on the beach.

Rota Parking

Free parking beside the beach with water and grey water dump.

36.63733 06.39203

Walks on the beach.

Before driving past Cadiz to Trafalgar where we walk to the lighthouse

Trafalgar Lighthouse

Sea Pools

and then back on the beach before more walks and a night on carpark beside the beach at Barbate

Barbate Carpark A lovely beach for dog walks, no services. 36.18430 05.91273

Barbate

This is followed by a few days on the beach at Tarifa

Traifa Nature Park Beach No services. Great beach. 36.04761 05.64084

to see son Barney and his friend with their dogs, Asi and Biggy...

Barney and me

And a very windy night under the Rock.

La Linea Carpark A very simple place, usually windy. 36.15904 05.33901

 

Gibraltar

Estapone Carpark At the Port, no services 36.41380 05.17117

Then on to Cabopino campsite for a few days to wash, clean, dump, etc. Some of the people I am acqainted with have changed their accomodation, some have left - after arguements. People!

Cabopino Campsite

A full service site next to the dunes.

36.50490 04.68375

Then onto Cala de Mijas for a couple of nights and have lunch with a friend. Zoa really does enjoy the walks at the back of the town.

Cala de Mijas Parking

Free parking beside the main road with fresh water.

36.50454 04.68451

Then up to Ronda again to collect the promised olive oil - lots of it. Such nice people and a magical location.

La Cazalla de Ronda

Lovely up-market holiday lodge, with lovely owners, family and staff.

36.71526 05.18970

Then we really commence the trip back to the island - with Brexit awaiting - what a bunch of crap. Thank you so much Mr. Cameron!

And, the milestones just keep on coming.

Next stop is Motril for a couple of nights - this time on the beach. We walk around the block where the park named after Sevi Balesteros has been cleaned up.

Motril Beach

Free parking beside the main road with fresh water.

36.71578 03.55314

4-MAR and further north we go on the fabulous motorway - the A7, past Almeria and Carboneras

to the beach at Villaricos where Zoa gets to play with a couple of dogs - makes me tired just watching.

Villaricos Beach Parking

Right on the beach.

37.24265 01.77748

The following day we end up climbing a very high hill and end up in

La Azohia Parking

Sloping, no services, but a couple of local cafés.

37.56370 01.17367

A welcome coffee in the nearby café and then a walk up behind the carpark.

We then drive on for a night by the sea at

Pilar Parking

Free parking no services, great beach.

37.87975 00.75488

There are remains of a Roman quarry at the beach.

Then visit and old colleague from the days at Honeywell for lunch and a chat.

From there it is up towards Valencia and into the Pyrenees mountains for a cold night at a Spanish ski resort - Puigcerda.

Puigcerda Parking

Free parking between the houses. Quiet.

42.439938 1.933580

Then it's into France to visit some friends in Molitg-les-Bains and their dog Gina.

I fancy the Camargue, forgetting how exposed it really is....

Saint Marie de la Mer Parking

Free parking. Toilets and water dump.

37.56370 01.17367

A short walk on the promenade and a crepe for me. The wind is up and people are warmly dressed.

Pont Du Gard  Parking

Beside the bridge, for a walk to the Roman bridge. No services

43.93774 04.55839

Of course we walk to the bridge to take some photos.

Sarras Parking

No services but beside the Rhone for a grand dog walk.

45.03774 04.89014

Then a drive eastwards towards Grenoble and into Annecy where, as we drive over a hill to

Switzerland

Geneva as the snow begins. We are definitely going north too early.

This begins a series of visits to friends, some of whom I have known for many years.

My old boss and his partner in Coppet. A co-worker near Neuchatel, fellow campers near Wohlen and a good friend on the lake of Zurich.

I get to see my boys in Zurich

and then head off to

Germany

for some work on Ruth the van. We spend a night in the grounds of the dealership with a nearly full moon.

With a few new items and a fully automatic satelitte system we head off to the river for a quiet night beside the rushing water and the occassional barge on it's way to and from Basel.

Neuburgweier Parking

No services beside the Rhine river with a small car ferry over into France.

48.97777 08.25799

We then head into

Luxembourg

for a tankfull of diesel, before

Belgium

where we spend the night at the Euro Space Center.

Euro Space Center Parking

No services just parking.

50.00711 05.21989

 

In the morning it is misty, haven't seen that for a while. Then onto Waterloo to climb the Butte de Lion - nice view,

before driving towards the West and settling down for a night beside a canal.

Bellum Canal Parking

No services beside a canal. Very quiet with walks beside the water.

51.09887 03.49448

With the moon on one side in the morning and the sun rising on the other. I wonder where these two planes are going to - and then remember the Internet has an App. Etihad Abu Dhabi to Manchester and Quantas from Singapore to London.

I also spot a pair of Cloughs.

Then into

France

and we spend a night at Gravelines

Gravelines Parking

No services €6

50.98779 02.12229

26-MAR and off to the ferry in Dunkirk before we board to:

England

With a few views of the White Cliffs

I want to go to Ealing and a place near Brent Cross where family used to live but I am unsure about the rules of the Green Zone, so we end up back in Windsor

Windsor Parking

No services £2 after 19:00

51.28557 04.75§60

The following day we drive down to Halyling Island for a walk and lunch at the Ferry Pub. What a grand beach when the tide is out. So many dogs and Zoa has a great time.

In the evening it's on to Salsey for a quiet night

Selsey Parking

No services beside the sea.

50.19080

04.19929

Then onto Stokes Bay

Stokes Bay Parking

No services just back from the beach. Overnighting not actually allowed.

50.782859 01.155336

For a couple of walks and supper with a cousin. Fish & Chips. A bit of a cold morning with frost on the ground.

After breakfast with cousin we head off to Abbotsbury

Abbotsbury Parking

No services, just a carpark in the village. £3.50 for the day. Overnighting allowed

50.66524 02.59736

Then a short stay at West bay and then home to Totnes.

Back at the Green Table before a walk along the river Dart

and a toasted teacake

We also go to my cousin's area at Hailing Island and Stokes Bay again

Hailing Island, St. Mary's Parking

No services behind the main street. Quiet.

50.792735 0.977920

Stokes Bay Parking

No services just back from the beach. Overnighting not actually allowed.

50.782859 01.155336

before going to the campsite near Devises for another look at the Cean Locks

Devizes Campsite All facilities, friendly staff and river adjacent to the Kennet and Avon Canal. 51.35555 -2.07275

Then it's to Somerset, the Levels and a few nights

Burrowbridge Parking Just a carpark beside some water. Quiet 51.052951 -2.892033

And a stop at Haytor

on the way back to Brexit Totnes

We have a few more things serviced and fixed. Ruth is "flashed" and Zoa Vaxed. The it`s off via Bristol to

Wales

Rhandirmwyn Site Lovely quiet, lush site with plenty of walks. 52.07555 -03.78151

On the way we do see a few sheep and a place called "Halfway", which wasn't.

29-APR - and off we go up the hill and into the woods. After a some puffing we get to the old slate quarry, all still, but in my ears is the ringing of a lot of hard work and a huge steam engine.

Later we walk along the river. What an absolute joy this brings. Quietly lapping dark water of the river, oxygen ozing from the pale yellow/green leaves, multiple carpets of bluebells and one happy dog. About 11 klicks today.

Then we walk up to the reservoir...

And on the way down a video of the river.

We leave after 3 nights and head back up to the reservoir and into Tywi Forest. What a joy this place is.

Then we head to Aberystwith, but the wild camping location now has a barrier - Grrr, why don't they understand that in the UK we use these rare parking places, but also spend money in local businesses?

Dinas Site Farm site, surrounded by sheep with their lambs. On a hill, primitive services but electric. Plenty of walks. 52.02490 -04.90162

And the first one is to Parrog.

Another good day - 16 klicks.

Then things go south somewhat after we arrive at LLeithyr Farm, we stay for 5 days, most of which are cold and windy.

Lleithyr Farm Site Farm site, with a lot of rabbits! Exposed if windy, but must be glorious in the summer. Plenty of walks. Very friendly. 51.89732 -05.27609

We walk up behind the site and I have to sit down. Then the horses come along, so we leave.

I am quite sick and the Welsh NHS sorts me out. Zoa comes up a bit short on walks for a couple of days. There is a local bus to St. David's and back which we use instead. Nice people

Still, as I begin to feel better I decide we should escape the rain and wind by driving back towards the Wye valley.

On the way we visit a great dog walking place - the old RAF airfield near Solva.

It takes a day and it is pretty wet before we drive up the valley to a site I find online.

Marthas Meadow Site On arrival noticed no toilets or shower, must have missed that when I looked at the description. Farmland, so muddy and the walk by the Wye was very limited. 51.95359 -02.58469

We only stay one night because I really would prefer to have facilities if we are on a site.

Then back into

England

Off we go to Hereford for supplies and then try and get into a site near Malvern. But, it is RHS Malvern festival, no room.

Upton Parking Next to the local Rugby Club, good dog walks. Also a pretty village. 52.05959 -02.21996

We leave the following morning and the roads towards the motorway os completely blocked for many klicks due to the festival, poor buggers, they will be waiting a long time.

A break at Cheltenham Racecourse is welcome. There's even a camping and motorhome show taking place, so we take a look at any number of new vans and come to the conclusion we have a lovely van. Zoa agrees.

Winchcombe Parking Very quiet and a typical Cotsworld village - old buildings. Public toilets (20p) 51.95440 -01.96671

After a quiet night (at no cost, the machine is broken) we leave and drive through some back lanes to Stratford-on-Avon and park up beside the cricket ground.

Stratford Parking No services but right next to the river and a short walk from the town. 51.18633 -01.69458

As it turns out, the parking 30m away is £2 for the night 16:00 to 08:00. I paid £12 for 24 hours in the Sports Carpark. Overnight stay is allowed in both carparks.

Early morning and we walk along the river

and of course we go to the birthplace of the poet.

Next stop towards Birmingham

Clent Site Full-service site set in a hollow, so absolutely no road noise which is most unusual. 52.41096 -02.06792

and even on the first day a most pleasant walk in the sun to Walton Hill

with a view to die for.

and the following day another walk

the water tower is blue...

and, finally we go and see the stones..

what a lovely day! Time to go and see Ironbridge again.

Before we take a look at the Boat Lift in Anderton, but dogs not allowed.

Then onto the beach opposite Liverpool in Wallasey

Wallasey Parking Just across the road from the supermarket. Nice beach, dogs allowed. Quiet at night. 53.43923 -03.05036

16-May and we go to a favorite project of mine - Port Sunlight. I first read about this type of project supported by Frederich Engels - co-writer of "The Communist Manifesto" which I read when 18. There are many similar projects all over Europe. (Even in Zurich, Switzerland.)

I used to sell this stuff in a little hardware shop in Lympstone aged 9.

Then it's back to

Wales

To the aqueduct for canal boats over the Dee river.

Llangollen Parking Toilets during the day. Free. 52.97266 -03.08553

The following day it's to the Llyn Clywedog reservoir.

6 klicks, many sheep.

The old Tin Mine

The view from my sitting room

Llyn Cowedog Parking Parking with a view of the reservoir - to control the waters of the Severn river. No services, but what a view! 52.48587 -03.59946

The following day we go down to the Elan Valley project for a couple of walks. This is one of the main reservoirs for Birmingham.

but there are too many people, so on we go to

Builth Wells Parking Beside the river Wye - again. A very pleasant little village, lot of shops. Free overnight parking. 52.14996 -03.40315

Back then again to

England

for a walk around Leominster with a good discussion with the owner of the corner café and a quiet overnight stay.

Leominster Parking Next to the church - so bells every 0.25 hours, but good dog walking. 52.23024 -02.73810

Back to Winchcombe for a quiet night

Winchcombe Parking Very quiet and a typical Cotsworld village - old buildings. Public toilets (20p) 51.95440 -01.96671

before spending time with a friend in Bristol and a couple of lovely walks in Clivedon and Sand Point

before heading home to Totnes

We also get to visit Haytor again, a little windy, but a great place to spend time. The weather is up and down.

Then we're off, first to Plymouth Sound.

Jennycliff Parking Another great spot. With toilets and overnight parking too. 50.351898 -4.119710

Before heading into Cornwall and a few days just south of Newquay

Trevella Campsite Very friendly staff, all facilities and not far from the river Gannel and the coastal path 50.39643 -5.09339

on the 2nd day we takle the main beach with any number of dogs. There are 5 dog-friendly beaches on this part of the coast.

on the 3rd day we walk down the estuary as the waves roll in.

When the rain and wind arrives we take the bus into Newquay and nearly get blown over on the beach.

The rain is still around, so we try and avoid it by driving towards Sennen Cove, with a stop on the fabulous Gwithian Beach.... run, run, run..

I hope we can avoid the rain here.

Camping Sennen Cove All facilities quite a way from the beaches. Very friendly staff. 50.09005 05.67026

And we do, this is what we see on the following morning...

Coffee and cake in the town before we walk back along the shore...

and the colour of the pools, such a delight...

The following day it's up to Cape Cornwall.

On day 3 here we again walk down to the port for coffee and cake.

Then we head back to Penzance for a splendid time on the dog beach...

before driving on to Poldhu

Poldhu Parking A place to park between two beaches. Ok for dogs from 19:00 to 07:00 50.03622 05.26555

and a quiet night and early morning beach walk...

Falmouth Parking Above a field used by dog walkers and not far from a small beach with a great café 50.14184 05.07344

Then on to Fowey for the night. A pretty little fishing village and the carpark says nothing about not staying overnight.

Fowey Parking A bit sloping, but very quiet at night. Public toilets and a bus into the village if you don't fancy the steep walk. 50.33550 04.64025

and then back to Jennycliff for a couple of nights

Jennycliff Parking Another great spot. With toilets and overnight parking too. 50.351898 -4.119710

before going home.

I get involved with "Devon in Europe", including a bit of EU flag waving

and also working on the street stands promoting the EU. First in Exeter..

Then in Totnes, my home town.

And before we leave for the continent I take in a couple of presentations at Dartington as part of the "Way with Words" event. First Stiglitz who is much to the point about what has happened in the past 40 years and the results of Neoliberalism.

and I buy his latest book too

Then Michale Berners-Lee, brother of the more famous one on what can be done about the Climate Crisis.

Then it is high time to leave. Ruth the van gets a clean, the fridge gets filled, so do the LPG tanks, and Ruth also gets weighted in Exeter and is just below the limit. Phew! Then it's on to Abbotsbury for the night, well tea and Dorset Apple Cake too.

Abbotsbury Parking

No services, just a carpark in the village. £3.50 for the day. Overnighting allowed

50.66524 02.59736

 

Then Fish & Chips with one of my cousins and a night at Stokes Bay

Stokes Bay Parking

Quiet with great diog walks. Overnighting not actually allowed.

50.782859 01.155336

I loose my phone and have to spent hours getting a new one and a replacement SIM card.

This is then followed by a long drive to Beachy Head. What a beautiful spot this is. No more parking on the cliffs since a man drove his Land Rover off the top in fog. A Bristol film crew is at work, so a Spitfire flies overhead a couple of times and there are two MGBs as part of the action.

Beachy Head Parking Quiet during the night. 50.741798 00.253521

The next day, a short drive to Bodiam castle for a walk. Before heading to Dover and a long wait to board the ferry to

France
Belgium
The Netherlands

After a short rest, well two actually, on route we wnd up in

Germany

(in part because of the less expensive diesel) for the night.

Bad Bentheim Parking Quiet, with fresh water too €1 for 80 liters 52.304199 07.155420

The next day it's slogging up the motorways (just as well it's Sunday and practically all the goods vehicles are "resting". And into

Denmark

for a night at Römö

Römö Parking In thr carperk, not actually allowed to overnight. 55.14587 08.49730

Then onto Billund and what a mess it is, so much bigger than when I took the boys there nearly 20 years back.

I promised myself we would go to Silkeborg to see the Tollund man, oh and a lady who was also hanged. He is about 2400 years old.

And one of the local businessmen also built homes for his workers, not too shabby.

The roads are almost empty which makes driving a pleasure and we end up in Rönbjerg for the night, what a place. I am tempted to try a very early morning swim.. well, maybe just a quick dip. Not spanner water, but also not The Med, Haha.

Rönbjerg Parking Quiet, beside the water and a local fish shop open from 10:00 to 19:00. 56.89304 09.16618

There is .dk food too....

Then we spend a night close to Aalborg, in Vardem, including a visit to the city...

before heading to see the doomed lighthouse at Rubjerg Knude.

Rubjerg Knude Parking Great view and quiet too. 56.89304 09.16618

One night at the coast with a couple of walks. What a cute village, but full of tourists and houses waiting to fall into the sea.

Apparently the lighthouse is now going to be saved by a local man who thinks he can move it some way off the cliffs. Otherwise the sea is getting closer by about 2m a year.

And a few months later it is moved 70m and the story is published in the Guardian.

Then it's soon midnight and time to leave to

Sweden

Good morning!

We spend several days with family chatting, laughing, eating and walking the dogs. Splendid!

Then off up towards Upsalla for a quiet night (no TV reception, so no news on British politics) beside a lake.

Orsundsbro Parking Just parking next to a lake. 59.745201 17.273300

Then we go to the "Thing" near Upsalla where gatherings used to take place. World Heritage..

The next morning it's on towards the ferry in Grisselhamn for a short wait for the short trip to Eckerö.

The Swedes sure know how to enjoy a ferry ride.

Åland Islands

We do a drive around Marienhamn to get some Euros and diesel then head off to the first ferry, but it is too late and we park in the carpark for the night.

Hummelvik Parking All the facilities, but needs updating. A swim in the lake is good. 60.22529 020.41218

Is was quiet with a gorgeous sunrise

before the ferry leaves at 05:00 which we take all the way to Brändö island and park up.

Brändö Campsite Simple, needs updating. Very friendly owners though 60.42532 021.04580

We go shopping and I take a quick dip in the Baltic.

25-JUL and at 08:00 off we go towards the mainland. We arrive 5 minutes before the "Viggen" leaves, take the last place and are the 4th vehicle off at the other end and we get on the next, short ferry to Kustavi before many of the other travellers too - what luck!

Finland

We drive towards Turku and then head for a campsite for the night

Hirsjärvi Campsite All the facilities, but needs updating. A swim in the lake is good. 60.59444 023.62872

Not the best site, but nicely isolated. The toilet/shower facilities need a serious update.

Onward to a camping dealer to get some supplies and then we head to Heinola lakeside. There are noisy boy racers. (At least they think the're great!)

Heinola Railway Station A better place for the night rather than parking beside the lake. 61.20358 026.04657

On a sunday we head to a campsite in order to do a bit of clearing up. Boy it's hot.

Sysmä Campsite All good facilities and very friendly people. On the lake - cool water to reduce the effect of the heat. 61.49789 025.69452

A lovely place, restful.

And, there's always great finnish design...

Then a few days in Heinola where Zoa spends much of the day looking for fish, sometimes in the water. Ruth also gets a wash and polish.

Still one sticker missing. And one morning the fish trap has - a Pike!

Followed by a visit to one of 44 Finnish National Parks -Lapinsalmi for a delightful walk through the woods and rocks covered in blue moss.

Then onto a night at the local, family-run campsite

Olilampi Campsite Very quiet, a it's own lake and OK facilities if a bit outdated. 61.20831 026.77977

and the following day, a trip by boat to the park

and the local cemetry, the use of which dates back many hundreds of years, with it's own chapel.

On the return route there is a visit to the photo exhibition of the best photos for 2019. Wonderful!

And I get another Pike - well, the trap does. This time a big one, 23 kilos.

And then it's off to the races where the pony race is won by the pony with the pink hooves.

It is then time to leave for Turku

Turku river Parking Very quiet, a it's own lake and OK facilities if a bit outdated. 61.20831 026.77977

where the locals are parading their US automobiles.

Dawn breaks

before the ferry becons.

We pass by Mariehamn on the way to

Sweden

Where we again meet with my cousin and his family and animals. Before a very long drive down towards Helsingborg for a night beside the water.

Beach near Helsingborg Rydebäck Quiet by the beach with a view of .dk 55.966202 012.758600

Denmark

Beach near the Bridge Parking Swimming allowed and some .dk vans overnight 55.37160 011.16372

What a sweet spot this is, not far from the bridge and I get to swimm as I was born - very nice.

And then on to the farm and B&B run by a very good friend and his wife. So many animals and they all get along. Not just that but organic - wow!

We leave and take the lovely bridge between Sjaeland and Fyn.

Germany

Nothing special, but we do get "reasonably-priced" fuel just south of Hamburg.

Hannover lakeside Parking Very quiet, even on a Saturday night. 52.35925 009.74261

Surprisingly quiet for a Saturday night and the following morning there were a few older folk walking, riding bikes or simply just shuffling.

Then a stop in the old cit of Göttingen and then on to Fulda for the night as the sun burns and a summer shower gives Ruth a quick wash.

Fulda Parking In a park, close to the public swimming pool. 50.54241 009.66619

Never been here before. This was the town the Russians had planned to drive through had the tensions in the 1970s really become out of control.

Stelzingen Parking Next to a Lidl, with water services (fresh water not working) and the castle. How the nobles lived! 50.54241 009.66619

We visit the castle - so a decent walk for "The Lad",

before we head to the Rhine and find a public swimming place in an old stone quarry. Because the temperature during the day is 30+, this is most welcome. (Erlänersee Hügelsheim.) In the evening we head to the dealer to have a few things fixed on Ruth. The work is done and we head off back to the river for a swim. The night is very quiet.

Grissheim Rhein Parking On the "old Rhine" with a ford - shallow water 047.880798 007.56006

Then another night, this time not far from the Fessenheim hydro power station. Also very quiet during the night.

Fessenheim Parking Next to a SuperU and a place to dump water 47.91550 007.56951

Switzerland

A few days back in "the old country" to see my sons and meet friends. The prices are frightening. One night is spent in Bremgarten, beside the river.

Bremgarten Parking Quiet, beside the river Reuss... 47.342622 8.347464

We also visit friends in Kanton Aargau before heading off west, where we decide to try and meet an old boss in Appenzell. We stay overnight

Wasseraun Parking A magical valley. Chf. 3,- per day. 47.28403 009.42671

Liechtenstein

Vaduz Stadium Next to the river. Quiet at night. 16 hours cost CHF -.50 47.13790 009.51101

The following day it's into

Austria

The Arlberg tunnel is open this time. Not a lot of traffic until the Innsbruk region. We then take the same route as we did 2 years back - Kitzbühel and Zoll am See towards the Tauern tunnel and Villach. The night is spent at the camper van stop in Ferlach.

Ferlach Parking Also next to the river. Quiet at night. 46.52479 014.29721

After two nights we slog up the Loiblpass and swiftly descend down the other side into

Slovenia

Then a short drive to Ljubljana for a look around the city before the rain truly sets in.

Ferlach Parking Also next to the river. Quiet at night. 046.03490 014.50910

The walk back from the city beside the water under the willows was grand.

The following day 9-SEP we head off in the rain eastwards. Not a comfortable road, far too many bumps. I guess the builders did one section (about 10m) at a time. Another thing I noticed was the maize. has Kellogs done a deal with the farmers in this region. Flat and almost no other crops. Maybe some is used to feed the burping cattle?

We cross into

Croatia

For some shopping near Zagreb (first time) and then continue on to

Serbia

another first for me, and then take another bumpy road into the city for the night.

Belgrade City Parking In a park in the center of the city. Quiet. €3 for 24 hours. 044.78998 020.41040

We leave quite early to avoid the morning traffic and head north of the river through any number of small villages and face the border to

Romenia

These villages are strip developments, usually with a water channel on either side and individual access over a little bridge for every house. I've seen this before in Slovakia. There are swifts most places and the occassional stork as well as heron.

Cetate, Plaja Cetate Parking Next to the Danube with a very nice restaurant. 044.08706 023.03579

Then to

Bulgaria

Where we park in a scruffy overnight stay

Sofia Van Parking Scruffy, but as all the services. Next to the Metro for a visit to the city. 042.74319 023.28570

and take the metro into the city for some old Roman ruins

some from the muslim period

and the communists left their mark too..

the italians join in with a modern icon, all done up...

Then ...

Greece

with a lovelky quiet night beside the Kerkini Lake

Kerkini Lake Parking Water available. Quiet except for the buffalo, sheep, wild dogs and bird watchers 041.25719 023.14022

The next day it's down the motorway, past Thessalonika to Olympic Beach

Olympic Beach Parking   A bit like Skegness, dry, just a carpark. Sandy beach. 040.23658 022.58533

Then a drive to the south where we park up where the ferry from Eritrea arrives. (Where we stayed overnight 6 years before.)

Paralia Beach Parking   Dry and dusty 039.20951 022.82168

and another night just south of the town.

Agean Beach Parking Big, dry carpark, nice beach, showers 038.33678 023.76354

Swimming and hiding from the searing sun. before heading towards Piraeos. A night beside the shore

Beach Parking   Scruffy and noisy at night 038.04507 023.57537

then we take the Minoan Lines ferry to Chania and drive around to Marathi for the night

Marathi Parking Water available. A great restaurant and cats for Zoa to admire among the rocks. 035.50428 024.17418

We have also been here before. What a heavenly spot this is. And great food too.

then we settle down here for a while

Camping Elizabeth A great location, right next to the warm Med, with all the facilities, in a lot of dust, (haha) and a very ecologically sustainable environment. 035.36890 024.51538

The beach is a turle nesting area, circa 170 nests looked after by an NGO - Archelon.

These screens are so that when the young turtles hatch during the night, they are shielded from the lights of the hotel and head, as they should, to the sea because of the reflection of the moon and stars on the water.

25-SEP and a good day to be 70! And Ruth is 5, Miloš would have been 16, so not really and Zoa is 3.5 years going on 6 months judging by his level of energy.

Moussaka for lunch.

And a full moon over Chania

21-OCT We decide to take the little red train up the hill to the Miri Gorge and walk down.

And Sunday lunch at the square below the fort.

And I do what I usually do this time of the year...

Ad another Sunday goes by..

The rain comes, so an ideal time to wash Ruth the van and finally have a full complement of stickers... (I won't have either an England or UK flag because of what that now means.)

Life moves on with walks on the beach, shopping, Sunday Lunches and the UK sinks lower and lower into the mess of the Tory Brexit. With the election the foolery and outright lying attains new heights. With the BBC doctoring some of it's own programmes to remove booing of the lying PM - I cannot imagine any justification for this. A whole news cycle emerging from a Rabbi publishing an article in The Times, pointing the finger at Corbyn for being anti-semetic. All the parties pushing their own agenda. The remain alliance struggling to actually make a united case. The Brexit Party (TM) "stepping aside" to allow the Tories an easier path. An, once again, no real truth about how being in the EU helps citizens, while on the other side the mantra of "Get Brexit Done" which is a huge falsehood because it will take years to negotiate any agreement while the actual treat of a "No Deal" Brexit is very much still on the cards as of June 2020 and then December 2020. The only positive as far as I can see is the number of younger people signing up to vote. What has to be done under the broken FPTP election system (First Past The Post) is for people to vote tactically, but even here there are several websites offering to help with this. I hope that this will cause a massive shift in voting patterns. The Brits have, for many years, been voting in right-wing governments which has done them no good.

If the country is finally waking up and realising reform is an absolute priority this should include: A written, people-focused constitution, a strictly proportional voting system, a Republic which dumps the Windsors, a new, elected second house, a massive devolution of power and income to the regions, a re-introduction of significant taxes for the rich and corporations, a removal of all tax havens snd the mis-use of trusts, a change to pharmacutucal and tax practices so that the fox is not overseeing the henhouse, a re-nationalisation of monopoly industries, the education system and the NHS, reform of the military to de-focus nuclear weapons and engage with current threats such as cyberwarfare, I could go on...

27-NOV We had an earthquake this morning around 09:00, 6.1 on the Richter Scale. I seem to be loosing my sensitivity with advancing years.

I go for a pedicure.

1-DEC and after some rain (again) we go for Sunday lunch (again). The wind is up and the beach is a bit more dramatic.

5-DEC We are off and the first stop is up into the hills for a peaceful night beside the Potamon Dam - water for the towns along the coast.

Portamon Dam Very quiet, no services, just a couple of trash containers. 035.28389 024.56980

Then it's down through some (big) hills to the Med for a coffee at Plakias. The coastal road towads Hora Sfakion is a real delight.

Vouvas Beach Quietly lapping waves, no services. 035.20006 024.19039

7-DEC And we walked down the Imbros Gorge with lifts from camper friends

after which we go to Hora Skafioa for coffee and some munchies. All grand!

And a last look at sunup on the beach before we leave for Kalyves

Kalyves Beach Parking Water and a port-a-loo 035.45145 024.17573

And we can just see Marathi across the bay. Most days we have several coffees in "Fresh&Cool" where the people are friendly and the coffee good.

In the UK we oldies have stuck it to future generations.

The political divide between generations is honestly staggering. (Source: ElectionsMapsUK 2017 Election)

Top Left: 18-24 - LAB 600, CON 0.
Top Right: 25-49 - LA B 407, CON 171.
Bottom Left: 50-64 - CON 354, LAB 215.
Bottom Right: 65+ - CON 575, LAB 32.

Putting a lying, misogynist bombast into No 10 is going to have consequences.

16-DEC - and off we go to Xania and Elafonisi. What a lovely drive through the mountains.

Elafinissi Beach Parking Nothing here in terms of service, but a lovely spot with pink sand. 035.27178 023.54395

An all-around view of the beach.

Zoa takes a pose in the morning

Then on via the costal road to Sfinari.

Sfinari Beach Parking Beside the lapping Med. No services 035.42297 023.56706

Then it's on to Falassana Bbeach, but we don't stay, the wind is up.

However, I do get a lift from good friends to Balos

and then walk back to the beginning of the track

without support from the wind - on the contary...

Then it's two nights on the beach at Kissamos where the thunder and lightening is intense as the van is rocked. Not too much sleep.

Kissamos Beach Parking Beside the stadium and directly on the beach water at the stadium and a toilet too. 035.49805 023.65721

24-DEC and onwards for a night at Xania Beach

Xania Beach Parking At the point, not far from the campsite. 035.51239 023.97831

On Xmas day the route is back to Kalyves beach and up the hill to Drapanos - Elanora's Taverna for some good eats with friends. The night is spent in a the grounds of a local house.

26-DEC And up early to drive down to Kampia and a walk to the coast.

Back to Kalyves beach for the night

Kalyves Beach Parking Water and a port-a-loo 035.45145 024.17573

The following day it is into Rethymno for a few chores and then a drive through Spilli to Kokkinos for a quite night

Kikkinos Port Parking Only water 035.08310 024.73759

Onto Matala the following day for a walk and a night

Matala Beach Parking Water and toilets 034.99390 024.75021

The sun is still shinning and we make our way up the valley and over the pass to Lentas.

Lentas Parking No services, one café open 034.93143 024.92515

In the morning in Lentas:

As we come down from the pass there is this view:

So the year ends with us parked up, in sunshine on the south coast of Crete.

Kikkinos Port Parking Only water 035.08310 024.73759

 

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