Posts for June, 2014


A few days in Rome (Rome, Italy)

Journal entry for Wednesday 4th Jun, 2014 (day 324, miles 0)

At Rome airport we found our taxi (organized by our AirBnB hostess) with no trouble, had a comfortable but fast ride to the city and our apartment. We were happy with the apartment as it seemed to have all the facilities promised.

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A day trip to Pompeii (Rome, Italy)

Journal entry for Thursday 5th Jun, 2014 (day 325, miles 93,000)

One of the must see items on Nina's list was Pompeii. So to accommodate this necessity this morning we were up early and waiting at the Piazza del Popolo at 7:30am to meet our guides and group.

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Croatia (Dubrovnik, Croatia)

Journal entry for Saturday 7th Jun, 2014 (day 327, miles 0)

This morning we made another effort to visit St Peter's Bascilica at the Vatican and things were going smoothly. The place was open, the lineup was short but as I approached the security screening just before the entrance I realized that I had a small pocket knife in my shoulder bag. Nina and I quickly discussed that if the knife was discovered I would step out of line, but the bag passed through the x-ray machine with no objection from the securty staff.

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Croatia (Dubrovnik, Croatia)

Journal entry for Monday 9th Jun, 2014 (day 329, miles 0)

Yesterday and today we have spent our time exploring Dubrovnik's old city. It is truely a picturesque, story book, place. Located on a rock outcropping and surrounded by a huge stone wall it looks like a picture from a Tolkien story.

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An excursion to Montenegro (Dubrovnik, Croatia)

Journal entry for Tuesday 10th Jun, 2014 (day 330, miles 0)

Today we took a bus tour south along the coast into the nearby country of Montenegro and in particular visited the towns of Kotor and Budva. Both of these towns are also walled towns like Dubrovnik. Though in neither case are the walls in quite as good a condition.

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Moving on (Split, Croatia)

Journal entry for Thursday 12th Jun, 2014 (day 332, miles 0)

Yesterday we rounded off our time in Dubrovnik with a trip on the towns cable car to the fort atop the mountains behind the city. The fort was built during the Napoleonic era and offered good views of the town. Today the fort houses a museum dedicated to the 1991-95 war between Croatia and Serbia. The exhibits in the museum really brought home how fierce the fighting was and how recent the events are.

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A bit of exploring and the world cup (Split, Croatia)

Journal entry for Friday 13th Jun, 2014 (day 332, miles 0)

Here are just a few images of Split. We spent a pleasant, though sweaty day, exploring the port and old-town area. The World Cup was the big news today with Croatian the colors of red and white displayed everywhere. Last night was pretty noises as the locals got worked up over the "cups" first match between Brazil and Croatia.

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Last stop in Croatia (Zagreb, Croatia)

Journal entry for Monday 16th Jun, 2014 (day 336, miles 0)

Our short visit to the Balkans is just about over. Tomorrow we will fly to Berlin for a few days with our eldest son before moving on to Antwerp to get the truck. Yesterday we spent most of the day on the bus traveling from Split to Zagreb. It was an interesting drive. Good motorway and pretty countryside, with lots of European campers/motorhomes heading towards the coast.

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Nina's birthday (Antwerp, Belgium)

Journal entry for Sunday 22nd Jun, 2014 (day 342, miles 0)

Today we celebated Nina's birthday in a very low-key manner. From our penthouse apartment we took a long walk to find the shipping broker we have to visit tomorrow morning to get the truck. We did a lot of people watching during the walk as the area of Antwerp around our apartment has a large population of orthodox Jews. We were very keen to get some photos of the Jewish men with their long locks, funny hats, and black suits and overcoats.

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Collecting the truck (E313 (near Beringen), Belgium)

Journal entry for Monday 23rd Jun, 2014 (day 343, miles 0)

Today was the big day, we were reunited with the truck. We hung out at the apartment until about 11:00 am and then headed to the office of the freight forwarding agent that was going to help us with the port formalities. At the office we did some more waiting, had some documents copied, and did some more waiting. Eventually Karl (the driver) turned up and there after things moved at a brisk pace. A drive to the port, a lightning quick visit to the customs office, a signature on some papers at the entry to the holding yard and we were at the truck all cleared for departure. From the time we got into Karl's car the whole process took less than an hour; and most of that was driving time.

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Friends (Thilhove, Germany)

Journal entry for Tuesday 24th Jun, 2014 (day 344, miles 94)

Today we were headed for the home of some travelers we met back in 2010 in South America. According to the instructions we had, their house was in a small village called Thilhove east of Cologne. We feared that it would require some squeezing through tight streets and a bit of careful navigation. So after waking up to a nice sunny day, getting some fuel (Euro 1.47/liter) we headed east along the A313/A4/E40 (all the same road, A313 is the Belgium designation, A4 the German and E40 the European - and I forgot what its called in the Netherlands. But we only spent 20 minutes in that country today.)

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A visit to Koln (A3 (near Krauthauser), Germany)

Journal entry for Wednesday 25th Jun, 2014 (day 345, miles 293)

Wolfgang had offered to drive us into Koln this morning so that we could at least get a taste of the city and see its famous cathedral. So after a pleasant breakfast outside in the morning sun we piled into his Landrover 110 and got going.

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A nice visit in Konigsbruke (Konigsbruke, Germany)

Journal entry for Thursday 26th Jun, 2014 (day 346, miles 391)

Much of today was occupied simply driving west along the A4(E40) motorway and hence there is not much to say about that part of the day; except perhaps how pretty the German countryside is. However towards mid afternoon as we passed by the city of Dresden we exited into the town of Radeburg and negotiated our way to the village of Konigsbruk in order to visit Romy's (our hostess in Thilhove) father and step mother.

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An introduction to Poland (Piotrowice, Poland)

Journal entry for Friday 27th Jun, 2014 (day 347, miles 360)

We said an early thanks and goodbye to our hosts and then negotiated our way back onto the A4 via a Lidl supermarket and a BP gas station. There after most of the day was pretty uneventful, just purring along a European motorway.

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Camping in Warsaw, or not (Warsaw, Poland)

Journal entry for Saturday 28th Jun, 2014 (day 348, miles 424)

Our overnight spot might have been relatively empty yesterday afternoon, but this morning it was a hive of activity. Trucks pulling in and out and families stopping to snack. We got an early start hoping to make it all the way to Warsaw.

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Warsaw, an early morning visit (BiaƂystok, A Country)

Journal entry for Sunday 29th Jun, 2014 (day 349, miles 1068)

After yesterdays unsuccessful effort to find a campground in Warsaw, this morning we were determiend to give the city another go. At least to the extent of finding some place to park so that we could spend a little time exploring the old city.

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Finally, some luck with camping grounds (Vilnius, Lithuania)

Journal entry for Monday 30th Jun, 2014 (day 350, miles 1273)

More trucks, forest and farm land today; and it rained most of the day. Crossing into Lithuania we noticed that the villages seem a little more run down, the cars and trucks seem a little more beaten up and we see more incidents of people parked on the side of the road fixing their vehicles. All together more "ex-soviet" in nature. Also the driving styles have become more "eastern". All roads now have three lanes, mine, the one coming towards me, and the one that someone is trying to make between those two. Something that is totally unheard of in Germany. Maybe the driving style explains the many small shrines we noticed on the road side.

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