zurich
 

2020

Countries/territories visited: .gr, .it, .sm, .ch, .de, .fr, .lx, .be, england, wales, scotland, .ch, .es, .pt

The year begins with a drive (not recognised by Garmin) from the fertile valley on the south coast to Heraklikon.

Heraklikon Parking No services, but a shopping center close by. 035.34080 024.11809

We walk around, avoid the rain and park in the carpark near the shopping center. During the night both the rain and the wind appear. A bit annoying.

2-JAN and back to park outside Camping Elizabeth (closed for January and February) as the rain arrives in sheets.

On to Kalyves for a few nights where there are visits to Xania and a walks in the hills

above the village

We go back to Rethymno for shopping, including this for the 31-JAN...

And the White Mountains are at it again..

We then visit an Olive Oil Mill with the traditional technology, all cold press and sweet (expensive) product to sell.

And a visit to Crete would be incomplete if we didn't swing by Stavros - the home of "Zorba the Greek".

Stavros Bay Parking No services, great view. 035.59263 024.09502

 

15-JAN Today I visited the German Military Cemetery on Crete. (Zoa isn't taken to cemeteries.) The invasion by German paratroopers took place in three places but all the bodies they could find were re-buried on one site. Just down the hill is an RAF cemetery.



Germany uses a lot volunteers to look after their war graves, young people who then better comprehend the consequences of war.
On one of the posters there is this quote from a certain Mr. Junkers in 2005:


"Anyone who has doubts about or even despairs of Europe, should visit war cemeteries."


I know from German friends that all youngsters have to visit a Concentration Camp, it's mandatory.
I wonder to what extent the UK understands war other than the Churchillian, Dad's Army variety and if we have done ourselves a disservice by not facing what we did as a colonial power and the debt we should be showing to allies?
As a European I often use the pronoun "We" which I find is often not splashed around by Brexiters...

Many of my UK friends and acquaintences are feeling very negatively affected by the whole Brexit mess, especially given the way the broken electoral system has been manipulated both during the 2016 referendum and the more recent election and neither the media nor the courts have been successful in having all the corruption held front and center.

I am hoping for a significant backlash both from those in the voting majority who do not support leaving the EU and hopefully the young who have been denied their rightful future in the continent closest to our shores.

We drive past what is supposed to be a 4'000 yera-old Olive Tree

And a night beside the sea.

Kolymvari Port Parking No services, but cafés open for coffee. 035.54613 023.77822

Before heading back to Kalyves and then onto Georgioupoli for 2 nights, including an English Breakfast at the Cotton Club.

Georgioupoli Port Parking No services, cafés and shops. Access to the long, long walking beach. 035.36370 024.26114

 

We return then to Kalyves for a few coffees at Fresh & Cool, the owner is an erudite man who acts as the local Oracle. Need some Olive Oil? Want a tip for a cracking place to eat?

Kissamos Stadium Parking Water from the stadium and not too far from the town. 035.49780 023.66167

When then leave the island by Trinton Ferry which for the first few hours is a bit Rock & Roll.

This take us to two islands before heading on to Glyfio.

First Antikythera

Then Kythera itself...

And then Glyfio

The night is spent beside the Med.

Glyfio Beach Parking Water on the beach, very quiet and calm. 036.73094 022.56047

 

Ad from my window I can see Mt. Olympus

After 3 lovely, quiet nights we head north to Monemvasia

Monemvasia Port Parking A fresh water tap is at the port as is free Wifi. 036.68238 023.03831

27-Jan and we are off up and over the hills. Some cloud at the top of the pass, must be amazing in sunshine.

Semeli Campsite All facilities, nice people and directly on the Green Pebble beach. 037.14941 022.89298

Never seen so many green pebbles on a beach before. Wonder why these rocks are green?

Lovely morning sunrise

29-Jan and a beautiful drive up along the coast, taking our time, stopping for lunch beside the Med and ending up in Napflio for a quiet night at the port.

Napflio Port Parking No facilities, but lots of cafés. Camping is not allowed, just parking, so no chairs outside, no dog bed, not even the step should be out. 037.57132 022.80126

Into town for coffee and then up 913 steps to the fortress for a view from the top, and then another view from the very top, remembering Dougie Bell's comment in 1969 on the 360 degree turn. Smile!

Then it's off to Hydra. On the way we drive up a hill for this view.

Metochi Port Parking Just a carpark, with toilets. Very quiet. 037.40736 022.89056

 

Later the ferry takes us to the island for a look at the old pharmacy

lunch and a walk around.

1-FEB we head off around the coast for a night at Koliada

Koliada Port Parking No facilities, but quiet in January. 037.41743 023.12666

It is the first day after the Brexit disaster. A move to Scotland could change that is a few years. I hope so for their sake. Ireland should also make a change.

It is a very, very sad day in which the UK (mostly England) has lost its way and allowed itself to do what the rich and the ultry right-wing want. My hope is that the young will soon take the lead as so many old people, for whom there will be no consequences of this mega mistake, die off. (I remember many years ago hearing about the change that saw the population finally accept the Earth is round, not flat - in spite of only seeing round objects in the sky - caused not by education, though that helped, but because all the idiots died.)

Another lovely drive helps to ease the bereavement.

Vivari Port Parking No facilities, but a couple of Tavernas for Sunday Lunch. Nostimos! 037.53518 022.91611

Sunday Lunch goes down a treat.

Then back to Napflio to have my teeth seen to and do some shopping.

We then head back along the coast to stay in Drapano for 2 nights so we can "clean up" a bit.

Drapano Triton II Campsite No services, but a shopping center close by. 037.53173 022.89056

We also walk ti Vivari along the Drepano Lake which is basically a very shallow lagoon.

Another night back in the other village along the coast

Vivari Port Parking No facilities, but a couple of Tavernas for Sunday Lunch. Nostimos! 037.53518 022.91611

Another night back at Napflio for some shopping, but we do discover "processional catapillars" on the walk around the point. The weather has improved again.

As we really begin the drive back North a night by the lagoon beyond

 

Lake Vouliagmeni Parking No services, but a shopping center close by. 038.03260 022.87369

We walk up the hill to the lighthouse and the ruins.

When we leave we also take a swift walk beside the Corinth Canal.

Akrata Beach Parking Quiet, next to a café 038.17075 022.33941

Vonita Port Parking Quiet, next to a small port and a park for dog walks. 038.92060 020.89477

The view from my window

Lafkata Parking Quiet, next to a museum almost in the town 038.83557 020.70309

We spend a pleasant afternoon chatting with the guy in the "Casa Azul" about this and that, eat a delicious bean dish and watch the birds on the water which includes Cormoran, Heron, Egrets and even Flamingoes.

Pidima Kiras Beach Parking On the beach with a couple of cafés and Taverna 039.09558 020.64792

Time for Sunday lunch - Greek Fish & Chips

We leave and head to Igoumenitsa where the ferry whisks us away to

Italy

Ascona is grey when we arrive and it is rushing to become dark to we head to the Auchon parking for supplies and I get Japanese food.

AuchonParking Right next to the shopping Center 043.55141 013.51463

19-FEB The following morning we head up the coast and take in lunch at one of the samll, now deserted holiday places along the Adriatic before a swift visit to

San Marino

Where we have coffee, take a few photos and Zoa gets admired.

We return to

Italy

And drive all the way to Classe which I now know quite well.

Classe Parking On the school carpark next to the basilica, Grey water and Cafés in the village. 044.37834 012.23481

We take in the Basilica (again)..

And the buffalo which Zoa now seems to accept, even if they are very cold in the morning.

We also take in the museum which has been built in the old sugar factory - what a lovely building...
Sugar started to be a local product in the late 1800s, from sugar beet.

Then along the coast for a night at Mesola

Mesola Parking On the beach with a couple of cafés and Taverna 044.92389 012.23263

A lovely little village beside a high dam holding back an offshoot of the Po river.

Then, because of the Convid-19, we head along the Po to Castelmassa

Castelmassa Parking On top the dyke, ovelooking the Po. Water dump, local cafés. 045.01394 011.31073

Varese Parking Services cloased, but a good walk in the park and a local café opened at 09:00 045.80348 008.78353

We take the ferry across Lake Maggiore to Verbania for the night.

Verbania Parking At the back of the town, quiet. 045.94130 008.57336

25-FEB - and then we leave and enter

Switzerland

With a stop in Locarno, the motorway services in Thusis and then a night in Glarus.

Glarus Parking

Close to the sports center. Water dump and fresh, electricity too. SFr. 5,- per 24 hours. Water SFr. 1,- for 30 liters.

047.05123 009.0612

We visit friends, have lunch with one of my sons - Barney and his lady and get pictures of my first grandson from Dustin and Jolanda. Rick Buster Oswald - welcome!

Ruth gets some attention at the Hymer dealer in Bad Krozingen and Zoa and I then head to

Germany

and then more or less directly to

France

Where we spend a couple of nights in Fessenheim - where a local Nuclear Powerstation was recently turned off.

Fessenheim Parking

A free aire in the village. Services (paid) and a supermarket just around the corner.

047.91827 007.53163

We walk around the village. The days are sunny, but a cold wind. Back to

Germany

Then shopping and down the river for two nights at the Rheinblick - quiet and would be perfect if the weather wasn't so "British"...

Rhineblick Parking

Quiet beside the river/canal

048.21581 007.66196

And then more victuals and back to

France

Rheinau Parking

Between the river and the canal

048.68394 007.91700

A few walks as the water pours over the barrier - it must have rained upstream.

Germany

We visit the Vet in Zweibrücken to have Zoa's documents in order for the crossing to the island.

Then into

Luxembourg

Well for diesel - at less than €1 a liter.

Belgium

A quiet night at a place we now know. They are expanding with a Gallileo Control Center - something which the Brits seem keen to not be included in.

Euro Space Center Parking

No services just parking.

50.00711 05.21989

It is damp and cold, but we head back to a pleasant spot for a couple of nights.

Bellum Canal Parking

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

51.09887 03.49448

Then on to

France

for a night in Bay Dunes

Bray Dunes Parking

Public carpark

51.077301 02.515620

 

We replenish the store, do some washing. A few long walks on the beach with Zoa running the whole time. A bit breezy.

The last night on the Continent for a while is spent in

Sangatte Parking

Public carpark

50.941571 01.741741

Then we take the chunnel to

England

We head for Beachy Head for a walk and then back inland to a quiet overnight stay.

Glyne Parking

Public Toilets

50.86023 05.07344

We drive to Stokes Bay and have Fish & Chips with my cousin then the night is spent at

Southampton Water

No services beside the water. Dog walk

50.88667 02.02098

onto Bournemouth for several great walks on the sandy beach (with flint - surprise)

Southbourne Beach Road

No services

50.719351 -01.788225

 

Abbotsbury Parking

Water in the Church Yard and public toilets not far away in the back Street.

50.66524 02.59736

And to ease self-isolation:

Then we drive home to Totnes

Isolation with my sister and walks, talks and food. And because to the lockdown there isn't much traffic so we can hear nature again.

Totnes is relaxing and we see and enjoy a full moon and sunrise without the polution and noise associated with the daily traffic - what a joy!

A walk above the town. With Red Campions

We go to The Moor far a walk, and also spend time with Ruth the van - she has a battery problem. The road calls and we wonder when we will be able to safely head northwards.

A walk on Thurlstone Beach.

And I plant a few beans...

Ruth has a few problems dealt with including a broken fridge controller, three dead batteries, solar panels not connected and repair to the back wall.

1-JUL and off we go! Shopping and then into Cornwall where several of the main roads are closed, so trundled through an number of back lanes with jungle on either side. Ouch! Arrived in Crantock, but nowhere to park, so on to perrenporth for one night.

Perrenporth Parking Next to a Rugby Club, and the local Police Station. Arrived late and left early. Quiet. 50.344866 -5.145111

2-Jul back to Crantock for a romp on the beach both at low tide and high tide.

Then on down the coast road for the night.

Coastal Parking Quiet. Magnifiscent view and coastal walk. 50.239337 -5.334823

Up early for a walk on the sand at Gwithian

before a last visit to the supermarket in penzance for 5 nights supplies. On the B road to a small village parking for the night.

Trethewey Parking Small village picinic area. 50.056178 -5.662165

After a rainy night we leave and queue to enter the campsite. We get a warm welcome by the same couple who greeted us in 2019.

Sennen Cove Campsite Well-kept site with friendly site managers. Not too far from the coastal path. 50.09003 -5.67027

We settle down and go fo a damp, windy walk to the local beach

5-JUL and we wake up to see the planes landing at the local airport before we do a nice walk to the Cran Brea

Then to Sennen Cove itself.

The weather reverts to cloudy and windy with the ocassional drizzle, so we head back up country.

Lakeside Parking A carpark used by local dog walkers beside a lake/reservoir. 50.52027 -4.59259

Then a night at Jennycliff overlooking Plymouth Sound.

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

11-JUL - we drive back to Totnes for a "home" visit before heading off to Somerset for a quiet night.

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

12-JUL - Onwards into

Wales

And quite a long drive (busy traffic) to the beach.

Newgale Campsite All facilities (currently closed) and a large grassy area with direct access to the dog-friendly beach - All year! 51.052951 -2.892033

Two nights with variable weather near St. David's.

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

With two walks, one in the drizzle and another without.

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

The mine is still as it was - since last year.

Then a long walk which put me in bed for the afternoon, even Zoa seemed to enjoy a good rest afterwards.

The river is simply beautiful, restful, tinkling on it's way down the valley.

The campsite has direct access to a short walk.

We also spend a night beside the dam where we are very lucky to see the Neowise Comet as the sun sets.

Llyn Brianne Dam Parking Public toilets currently closed, but still the same beautiful, quiet place for an overnight. 52.12161 -03.76323

A jaunt across the dam.

21-JUL Off around the reserviour and down to Aberystwyth on mostly single-track roads.

Aberystwyth Seafront Parking Right on the promenade, free parking including overnight. 52.41067 -04.08870

Bala Campsite Well-presented site, though not actually in Bala - so no lakeside. 52.93838 -03.54529

meagre walking and poor weather, so not again. We drive on to Chester for supplies, then avoid Liverpool to try out Southport. First we hit Ainsdale Beach which is fabulous, sand which does no for a long time. Zoa loves it.

Southport Parking Scruffy, beside Southport Pleasurepark, basic facilities, Electric possible. 53.64827 03.02085

A quiet night and an early morning walk alonside the grass of the beach.

Later we head to Rivington and the reservoirs. A lovely walk before it is again on the road for a remote park up.

Sabden Roadside   Just a layby, but a great view. 53.84856 02.34806

 

We drive down into Clitheroe, but it's too early to go to the campsite, so I get a coffee and we visit the castle.

Clitheroe Campsite Beside the river Ribble. Nice 53.86478 02.41665

26-JUL - 3 nights beside the Ribble which, due to the rain, becomes quite swollen. Still, there are rabbits to chase in the park and a local Laundrette - Snow White - I am not joking.

29-JUL - and off we go first for a walk around the park at Weatherby Racecourse.

Then on to Helmsley for a quiet night

Helmsley Parking Quiet, no services. An attractive market town. 54.24659 01.06547

Over some hills and we spend the night in an industrial area of Northallerton with a discussion about Lambrettas with a local mechanic.

Northallerton Rest Area This is just a place to park at the weekend in a quiet industrial area. (Apart that is from the frequent trains dashing by.) N 54.35021 W 1.45166

We stop for a walk in Nosterfield.

Leybourn Parking Just a few steps from the active market town. 54.31234 01.82795

With a view to die for.

1-AUG - and we leave Leybourn after coffee and trail along a fairly narrow road, realising it's Saturday - reinforced by the shear number of motorbikers tearing up the tarmac and causing ear-piercing noises.

Bainbridge Ings Caravan & Campsite Just a short walk across a field to the active market town. 54.30063 02.18500

And the very next morning, we are up early and ready to go - in the rain above the town and later with the wind almost horizontal to the back of the knees, but later a grand view.

Hawes from the hills.

And another "Hawes Walk"..

4-AUG - and off we go to see a bit of Hadrian's Wall..

Bleatarn Farm Campsite Close to Hadrian's Wall. 54.94188 02.83244

While there aren't any ruins to see (apart from my broken body after a fall with a very colourful bum and a couple of broken fingers)

On leaving we take a look at the parts of Hadrian's Wall at The Banks.

Then we take the west route along the B6318, the road towards carlisle - the old military road built by the english to defeat the jacobites. Welcome to

Scotland

Then we hit the A7, also a pretty road.

Hawick Parking The town's main parking area. Noisy boy racers - well actually pissy little cars with enhanced exhaust systems, all rather pathetic. 55.42240 02.79110

What a lovely small town except it seems there aren't too many profitable businesses.

In the morning we walk in the Wilton Lodge Park

At lunchtime we stop in Peddles, another lovely town - made even better in the sunshine.

Later we head for Broxburn and walk on top of the "hills" left by the mines.

Broxburn Industrial Area Quiet for the night. 055.93970 003.45379

We leave and head to Dunblane to take a look at what the locals did when Andy Murray won Wimbeldon. I owed this visit to Fiona+.

Then on to Kinross for a walk beside the loch and a quiet night.

Loch Leven Parking Beside the lake (Loch) and quiet. 056.20029 003.41806

In the morning it is great to see the birds having their breakfast on the local midgies...

Then up to Perth for a few days R&R with friends.

Scone Campsite A very good site next to Perth Racing Course. 056.43005 003.44704

A walk around the race course. Then is begins...

Exceptionally desireable property with lake..

Reflecting on life...

Several walks around the race Course and three great meals with good friends. I feel very lucky. Then on to Kirriemuir. The most famous son was J.M. Barrie.

Kirriemuir Parking A quiet overnight stay, no charge right now. 056.67202 003.00536

It also appears one of the members of AC/DC was from here too, but it wasn't his fortune which built The Camera Obscura. Another delightful little Scottish community.

Then we head off on the B951 and the A93 towards the Cairngorms. There is a lot of mist until we head over the pass and then the Glen opens up.

We go to Breamar for coffee, then the Balmoral carpark, but it's not special, so onwards to Ballater.

Ballater Parking Busy during the day, but quiet at nighttime. 057.05167 003.03860

We originally wanted to park beside the Highland Games Park, but ended up in the center of the town. Another lovely Scottish town with lots of local shops. It is filled with walkers and bikers.

Tarland Campsite Well-situated site in a wide valley. Lots of walks. 057.12842 002.86950

So many walks to choose from.

18-AUG - off up towards the north, with a few minutes in Pennan, obviously if we are in the area. Just love Local Hero.

before heading to the campsite for a couple of nights.

Wester Bonnyton Campsite Good site, lots of statics, friendly. Unfortunately too far from the coastal path for dog walks. 057.66151 002.43842

We leave and head into Inverness for re-supply and a walk in the park.

Then on to friends for a couple of nights in Muir of Ord.

22-AUG - Off we go to Golspie where we park and walk up the hill

to see this:

An evil man...

with a very evil legacy...

Then a drive around the firth for a night near the lighthouse

Wilkhaven Parking At the point near the lighthouse, with views up to John O'Groats and down to Fraserburgh 057.86250 003.77899

Then we take a look at the new wind turbine bases at Nigg

A break in Aviemore with coffee and shopping before we head off again for a walk and overnight in Ballater.

Ballater Parking Busy during the day, but quiet at nighttime. 057.05167 003.03860

What a lovely morning walk

followed by a drive along the Dee till we get to Stonehaven for a walk,

Montrose for coffee and finally Arbroath for Fish&Chips, a pair of smokies and a quiet night.

Arbroath Parking No services, right on the beach by the port. 056.55270 002.58752

A grand place, well beach... And the Signal Tower

Then around the coast and for a night beside the 3 bridges.

Three Bridges Parking Nice view, busy until late 055.99006 003.38761

Many, many years ago we took a car by ferry under the railways bridge, there wasn't a road bridge back then.

Two damp nights at Dunbar

Dunbar Campsite A large site on the coast. 055.99371 002.48399

Lovely walks and some wind and rain. Still, the coast is stunning..

We have the washing done and visit the town too. Then to

England

28-AUG - On to Berwick-upon-Tweed for a walk on the ramparts and a quiet night

Marchall Meadows A large site on the coast. 055.80302 002.03444

and then via Coldstream before lovely countryside across the N. Yorkshire Moors to Whitby for Fish & Chips followed by Treacle and Orange Tart.

Whitby Port Parking Not inexpensive (£35 parking ticket) but in the middle of it all. 055.99371 002.48399

After the masses arrive, off to Scarborough for a walk on the beach, more masses a BLT and coffee. After the Humber Bridge it's time to find a place for Zoa to play jumping and a spot for the night.

Weedly ParkParking A beautiful park with lots of dogs and quiet apart from a few early morning cars. 053.55204 000.06416

And the moon behind the clouds. Then further southwards to Boston, what used to be a really pleasant market town I assume.

From there it's to Cambridge for a walk around the town in sunshine. It brings back memories of what I had planned many, many years ago. The punts, the buildings and even the cows in the field seemed to be unchanged.

As darkness falls we drive out of the city to Ely for a very relaxing, quiet night.

Ely Parking So quiet and lots of space. 052.39714 000.26695

We are greeted by a warm day and enjoy a stop in King's Lyn for coffee an haircut and a walk beside the river Ouse. More walking when we arrive at the Sandringham campsite, a play with some mad dogs even.

Sandringham Campsite A lot of trees and walks, rabbits too. 052.81800 000.49367

The forest walks are just grand and luckily for Zoa, we keep meeting up with dogs.

4-SEP - Off to Norwick and then a stroll along the beach at Great Yarmouth before we head to see a friend for a chat and food

Haw Wood Farm Campsite An excellent campsite in almost all respects. 052.28995 001.15359

A walk near the water follows and a quiet time too.

Abberton Church Parking Quiet, near a reservoir, dog walks.No services 051.83688 000.89879

6-SEP - Time to see old friends in Essex - Hockley. They are isolating, so we park up on their front yard.

I'm given a workover. We chat, eat, laugh and havea generally grand time.

Then we are off to meet a cousin for a meal and more laughter.

We have problems looking for LPG. It seems quite a lot of service stations are ripping out their tanks and using the space to sell more petrol and diesel. We don't find LPG at 3 places which used to have it on their forecourts.

We drive down the A303 and spend the night in Blandford Forum, not far from where the train staion used to be before it was blown up.

Blandford Parking

Beside the Coop and the river

050.85564 002.15996

We drive to Dorchester (Casterbridge) for coffee and a new book before Abbotsbury, but they have changed to parking charges and there are cameras. We have a coffee and then go to West Bay for a walk on the beach and the cliff top.

Scone, cream and jam - yummy. The rules about staying overnight in the carpark there have also changed. Local councils are squeezing motorhome owners even further. When one compares the attitude in the UK with that in France or Germany we are loosing out in spades.

Just to prove a point the council in Exmouth have done a turn around and provided a large area for us behind the beach. Lovely!

Exmouth Parking Behind the beach, huge marked out slots especially for motorhomes. 050.61267 003.39927

We walk on the beach a lot

and visit an old family friend, have coffee and chat with some locals.

Then it is time to return to Totnes for a few service issues for Ruth the van and me.

Berry Head is a good place

Walk to the old railway tracks at Loddiswell.

29-SEP After all the repairs to both me and Ruth the van it's time to leave for the winter. We fill up with victuals and head off towards Southbourne for the night.

Southbourne Beach Road

No services

50.719351 -01.788225

All quiet except for the wind which picks up overnight. We are up early and there are several ships, all lit uo which adds to the morning walk along the beach and in the sand.

We have coffee with a cousin and then head to Farnham to see friends for a chat and supper.

Coxbridge Farm Site

A small CL site, shame about the weather.

50.719351 -01.788225

Then the rain comes so another night at

Glyne Parking

Public Toilets

50.86023 05.07344

More shopping at New Romney and a couple of hours near Lydd airport before we take the chunnel. On board we see this beauty, off to Romania for some work.

Garmin is a little sick when we reach

France

but I find the parking.

Sangatte Parking

Public carpark

50.94081 01.74156

We decide on taking the back roads and get to St Omar where a new railways station awaits for coffee. I am struck how not only the French roads are just so much better than comparable ones in the UK - a smooth ride - but also how infrastructure projects get the funding they need to bring them up to scratch, especially public transport. It seems to me the consequences of not properly taxing the wealthy and underfunding public services and infrastructure, something which has been going on in the UK for 30+ years, has dire consequences.

Before....

after...

with a new bus station, drop-off parking and a renewed inside too. Oh and attached is a new building for SMEs.

We end up parking in Arras, a nice small town with an old part and a number of new buildings for students - oh, and a brand new swimming pool. See, infrastructure...

Arras Parking

Public carpark beside the canal. Quiet.

50.29861 02.77793

Onwards on an almost straight, smooth A road to St. Quentin where there is a very tidy parking for Camping Cars.

St Quentin Aire

Public carpark with services, water, dump and electricity. €8

49.83863 03.28637

and the renovated railway station

We on to Reims

Mareuil Sur Ay Aire

Public carpark with services, water, dump and electricity. €8

49.04515 04.03444

A quiet night spent beside a canal, well apart form the pitter-patter of the rain.

The following day it's on to see the memorial at Verdun

and a quiet parking, also beside a canal in a local village

Bras Sue Meuse Parking

Public carpark, no services. Beside a canal and another French cemetry.

49.20784 05.37474

7-OCT and we have done 100'000 klicks in Ruth

We follow the river Meuse for another quiet night in Neufchateau.

Neufchateau Parking

Public carpark, no services. Good dog walks.

48.35217 05.69816

8-OCT we leave and head off to see friends on a farm.

We then leave to

Switzerland

To see sons and new grandson and other family and friends.

We spend 6 nights (and a fair wad of cash) at:

Zurich Campsite

All services, beside the lake and just within the city bounderies (Single ticket for public transport).

48.35217 05.69816

 

What a pleasure. then to

France

A long drive through Pontarlier and a quiet night.

D471 Parking

Public carpark, beside the road, but sheltered.

46.67756 05.62880

After a quiet night we drive on to

Digion Parking

Public carpark, no services. Right on the Loire.

46.48070 03.97108

 

Then a drive along much of the N79. Some of it is getting surgery.

Jarnages Parking

Camping Car parking with a service point.

46.18415 02.08102

There is a wonderful old washing place on the river.

Nieul Parking

Camping Car parking, rubbish containers. No Water.

45.92607 01.17075

Lembas Parking

Camping Car parking, service point €6 for 12 hours electricity (token didn't work)

44.88319 -00.52527

Soft rain falling most of the night.

Eymet Parking

Camping Car parking, no service point.

44.66521 -00.39556

We spend a day or so here looking around and meeting a friend. The area has been set asside by the mayor. Better than nothing. The offie was closed so couldn't pay.

We leave and then head to Dax, but hear Spain is in the process of closing so we head towards Pau and take the mountain route, the N134 to the Somport Tunnel and into

Spain

It has been a long drive, so we find a place to park just the other side of the border.

Golf Course Parking  

Nothing here, just off road.

42.25542 -00.44864

From there we take the A23 and the N340 southwards, leaving Aragon and driving towards Extramadura. From the A5 we see a few windmills on a hill, which we drive to and also spend the night.

Windmill Parking

Parking allowed, overnight not forbidden. No services, but a great view

39.37070 -03.19197

We walk an enjoy the view.

Then it's onwards

Portugal

Evoramonte Campsite

All services (well pool closed in Winter). An isolated campsite.

38.79178 -07.68832

30-OCT - we go to Estremoz for provisions and then just settle down - in the sunshine.

We walk

We look towards Estremoz

and watch the cliffhanger US election. It turns out to be very very tight, not because of the voting, but because the election process is broken. Nearly 4m votes more for one candidate and yet there is a process by which the "winner" isn't automatically given the win?

To calm my nerves I do a puzzle

5-NOV - we do the recommended site walk which takes almost exactly 3 x DIDs (desert Island Discs) and fills me full of perspiration.

If this turns out to be a thing, I will be beyond relieved.

Well, it goes the way I had hoped. This means we could have a chance of turning things around, though in the UK the morons are still in charge and managing to do the wrong thing most of the time.

7-NOV - we go shopping in Estremoz and take the opportunity to both visit the Museum of tiles

and also the open market in the main square.

Then onwards to visit an old friend in Évora.

Évora Parking

Water services and relatively quiet next to the swimming pool.

38.56336 -07.91635

Just one night and the on to Portal where the castle is impressive and the sun greets us.

Portal Parking

Water services, close to the adminstration offices.

38.30606 -07.70776

After a viewing of the castle

and a few gems in one of the buildings

and a local homage to the women of the village

we head on to a Barragem.

Amieira Parking

Waste bins. Quiet - well in winter.

38.292989 -07.55990

Then on to a new Barragem, this time Odivelas

Odivelas Barragem Parking

No services, a beautiful spot.

38.19020 -08.11656

Quiet days beside a Baragem.

17-OCT and we drive by Beja for victuals and head to another Barragem - this time Roxo

Roxo Barragem Parking

No services, a beautiful spot.

37.93710 -08.08049

Then it's shopping in Beja and back to Évora for a couple of nights.

Évora Parking

Water services and relatively quiet next to the swimming pool.

38.56336 -07.91635

A few things to sort out and then

27-NOV back to Portel for a quiet night and washing at the local Intermarché

Portal Parking

Water services, close to the adminstration offices.

38.30606 -07.70776

The following day we decide to go to the Barragem at Alqueva, a place I've been before, but never stayed the night. ANd the moon is out... not quite full, but getting there.

Alqueva Dam Parking

No services, but a great view and a few cats for Zoa to annoy.

38.20154 -07.48783

Sao Marcos da Serra

Brand new, great services, level gravel and lavendar bushes in an isolated village in the hills. In the Algarve.

37.36267 -08.37654

This place cost €350'000 with the EU contributing €240'000. At €6 a day for 21 places I have no idea if will ever satify even the most entry-level accountant. But, it pleases me to see an investment in a local, agricultural community.

 

And then a second walk with a stunning view

with final touches applied to a work by the "Talented Mr. McCrorie"

another walk

where we see the turret

and another puzzle

and another walk

Then it's on to the usual "over-winter" site at Albufiera. But first washing, shopping and more shopping.

Imortal Football Club Aire

Large ex-field populated with about 90 European motorhomes. All services, though an upgrade would make a lot of sense.

37.09877 -08.24270

Not what we bargained for...

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