Id just qualified as a teacher and there was the question of what to do with the summer! Lilly was 3 nearly 4. I had 6 weeks until i started my new job.i decided on camping..i got out my cool camping books and a map and started to research…
I then found myself in a book shop browsing the cool camping in Europe book..Europe it was! But where to go…i started to research…i decided that i would drive towards Austria and Slovenia…and hopefully Croatia!! I’d always wanted to go and camp near lake Bodene and visit Lindau ever since i’d passsed through threre with my sister on the way back from a ski trip two years prior.
I looked up the cheapest way to get across the channel, it seemed it was the DFDS seaways…it was about £50 for a return crossing although you can get reasonable tickets in advance with P&O and TESCO club card do good deals on the Euro Tunnel..
So, with the help of my friend Charlotte, we packed up the car and myself and Lilly set off on our adventure.
I’d booked our first night camping in Luxembourg, i worked out that our ferry would arrive by 11.30am and i wanted somewhere that wasnt too far away but was well on our way and well, i’d never been to Luxembourg! We arrived at the campsite at around 4pm..shattered. This was a lovely campsite with a lovely owner and a very calm atmosphere, there were lots of children running around. This was only the second time i’d put up my new tunnel tent…and a few people did rush to help, others looked on curiously, i hadnt realised at this point that this was only the very start of a journey where many people would offer their help, want to talk to us, give us things they no longer wanted!
The next day we set off and headed towards lake Bodense. I drove down through Germany. We arrived in the campiste around 6pm http://www.kirnermartes.de/. This was another lovely campiste and a great area to spend a couple of days, the coutryside consisted of green hills and mountains, and was near Friedburg, this was a lovely city to visit, we also took a cable car up a closeby mountain. http://www.schauinslandbahn.de/ once at the top there were some fantasic walks to be had. Very accessible for children.
We then drove on down to , ‘Camping Überlingenit’ on Lake Bodensee it was recommended by cool camping..on paper it looked lovely, you could camp on the lake..in reality, the campiste had big metal gates which created a hositlity..the owners informed me that as i was on my own i couldnt camp near the lake..we stayed for a day and moved on, it wasnt all bad though, there was a lovely lake walk from the campiste and a lovely Island you could take a boat out to with a great playground for kids, it just didnt feel quite right!
As you drive along the lake towards Lindau the scenery changes, the mountains started to rise up out of the mist…We camped in the most fantastic place, ‘park camping, Lindau am See’ http://park-camping.com/ on a lake, a large campiste but with a lovely small camping field..when you go in, ask to camp in the field to the right of the entrance at the far side of the campsite. This campsite has a beach with great swimming to be had in the lake. The campsite has a KIDS ClUB! it was fantastic. We ended up here for five days and Lilly went every morning, they spoke to her in German and she loved it, every day she returned with a new piece of art work! The campsite is close to Lindau which is a lovely german town right on the lake. The view from the top of the lighthouse is just stunning. As the campsite is on the border with Austria, Bregenz is very close and anther great city on the lake, from here you can take a cable car up the mountain, the views from up here are stunning. There are also many boat trips that you can take on the lake. This campsite was a real treasure. Highly recommended. One thing that i found about this trip was making the right decision of where to camp. I did often call ahead to see if i could book or if there was space. i would recommend this, especially in high season. I also would sometimes turn up to a campsite and if i didnt like it would move on or change the site. Its the same as travelling, if you feel happy, move on.
By this time in my trip i had worked out that it was best for us to leave a campsite at around 3/4pm on the days i was travelling. This meant that by the time Lilly got in the car she would fall asleep after an hour or so and i would have ‘my driving’ time listening to my music..on the open road, fabulous! Having the sat nav as well, meant that i knew pretty much exactly how long the journey would take. Definately a TOP TIP!
After a great swim in the lake we set off to the next campsite in Austria….this was an unforgettably stunning drive..one i will never ever forget. Huge towering mountains and sky so clear it looked like glass. We were heading towards http://www.fernsteinsee-camping-tirol.at/index0.php this was a hidden campsite near a lake but the best thing about the campsite was the location…close to the border of germany..this was home to one of the most stunning mountaiin ranges ‘Zugpitze’ the driving around here was just incredible, we took a cable car http://www.ehrwalderalmbahn.at/ehrwalderalmbahn/de/start_sommer.html up from Erhwald, this is the best for kids, at the top you suddenly found yourself in a picture postcard place, with a gorgeous walk up to a restuarant which served ice cold beer, the scenery was just stunning, you really felt as though you had found a little bit of heaven. There were times whilst driving around this area that i had to lterally pull off and stop the car to take it all in. Austria is a hidden gem, just beautiful. This area was also host to King Ludwigs famous castles just over the border in Germany in Fussen, another great and magical day out.
TO BE CONTINUED>>>>>>>
(Camping gives you this sense of being at one with the earth, it sort of puts things in perspective, i was soon to learn that this isnt always the case with European campsites..an adjustment i had to make).
We went to Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy and Switzerland.