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  Europe 2006


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In 2006 we undertook another extended trip in Europe to Slovenia via Germany and Austria returning through Italy and France (Mid May to mid July) 


The route we took is shown on the map. After crossing with Norfolk Lines to Dunkerque, we drove through a very wet Belgium and Luxembourg to Trier and the Mosel. We then spent a leisurely few days in this area and the Rhine before driving east via Rothenburg a.d. Tauber to the Bavarian forest before heading to the Saltzkammergut area of Austria where it was even wetter! We then moved on to southern Austria and the Gailtal valley near Villach for a few days. Heading south to find the sun we drove on motorways through Italy and entered Slovenia at Nova Gorica. As the weather was improving we drove to the mountain area of the Soca river then towards Ljubljana. We then continued to eastern Slovenia then south to the Croatia border before turning north to lakes Bled and Bohinja where at last it was hot and sunny!
Our return journey took us through the Italian Dolomites and Lake Iseo then skirting south of Milan and Turin and across the Alps to Briançon in France. We then meandered through familiar territory visiting the Queyras region and the Haute Alpes-Provence and then headed north through the Massif Central and back to the ferry keeping to the east of Paris.

campsites and aires list

map of European route 2006
 our European trip route 2006

  map of our route and campsites in Slovenia
Slovenia route and campsites


Detailed itineraries:
Germany Austria Slovenia Italy Mountains & Lakes Northern Italy
French Alps Southern Alps Provence Central France Northern France

Having had some bad driving experiences on narrow mountain passes in past years we tended to avoid some of the passes shown on the road maps or listed in the Caravan Club Europe guide as difficult which meant we sometimes drove on longer but more relaxing (relatively!) routes. 

Diesel fuel costs varied from 1.10 to 1.22 E in Germany, Italy and France, 1.07 in Austria and 0.97 in Slovenia where it is a fixed price at all garages which are plentiful and mostly open for long hours including Sundays. We had no problems anywhere paying with our Nationwide debit card even the chip and pin working sometimes 

We had no problems with the van mechanically, but it was extremely hot at times, up to 40°C and had to rest a couple of times on long mountain climbs

We had one incident in France on the last day after driving many uneventful miles through Italy when we had to take evasive action as we met a car overtaking a lorry on a blind bend and also were almost forced into the central barrier on the dual carriageway immediately after leaving the ferry at Dover when a foreign artic thought he would rather drive on the right!

For Slovenia we found the Rough Guide to be very useful, also the Sunflower walking and touring guide. We bought a detailed road map at a "PETROL" filling station, quite expensive at 6E but essential for navigating as detailed Slovenia mapping wasn't  available for our sat nav. It also showed some campsites that weren't listed in the guidebooks

We purchased a useful large scale road map for Germany at a tourist office for 4.95 including maps for the whole of Europe at a smaller scale. We spent longer in France than originally planned and hadn't taken any of our huge range of guide books. We managed to buy English editions of the Michelin Green Guides for the Southern Alps and Provence in a bookshop, the latter has been rewritten and the style has improved in our opinion. They were also a lot cheaper than in the UK.

We have Pocket Navigator 6 installed on a Medion pocket pc PDA which we found useful at times mostly for locating aires from about 10 to 20 miles range. We had downloaded the aires lists from and imported them as pushpins into autoroute 2003 but had to manually enter the latitude and longitude into PN6 as I haven't worked out a way of importing them directlyinto the pda.

Again we stayed at a mixture of campsites and aires with fees ranging from free to €25 a night. There was an excellent choice of stellplatz (aires) in Germany from free to 7€ but none in Austria and we found only one in Slovenia. Using the ACSI low season discount camping card we stayed at a selection of reasonably uncrowded sites in all the countries we visited including the three in Slovenia.
We also had received a useful free campsite guide (in English) from the Slovenian Tourist Office in the UK. Most sites are quite large, many at spa resorts but we found a few smaller basic sites.
Campsites and aires list 

This year we were equipped with our new laptop pc so downloading and backing up photos was a lot easier as we were able to review and edit our pictures daily.

Ferry £74 return on Norfolkline
Fuel  £603 : 204 gallons 5730 miles (about 30mpg)
Campsites £270 minimum 4.46€ max 25€ per night
Gas: refillable Gaslow cylinder topped up three times 28 litres costing 18.2€

 Start the photo tour here >> Our Slovenia tour >>

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