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
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!
GUIDES and MAPS
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
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 womo.de 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