Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

Circumnavigation completed at Ramsgate Undercliff

11th October 2014 by Helen

Saturday 11 October

Our final route through Europe was sadly quicker than we hoped due to the last minute shipping delays that saw Landy held up in Port Said. From Istanbul we travelled firstly through Bulgaria (where I got to practice reading Cyrillic again) and Croatia where we stayed a couple of nights in Zagreb while Paul did some of that stuff called ‘work’ and I went shopping in Lidl’s (and made sure I bought a Lidl plastic reusable bag because it was written in Croatian). The next day we managed to drive in four separate countries: Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Germany, noticing how the buildings became more Austrian in style and the scenery more mountainous as we approached Austria. From there we went to Brussels to meet up with our friend Marianne who first put up with us, I mean put us up, when she was working in Nicaragua. We’ve been joking that she’d be back out in another country before we managed to get to her but we made it. We’d arrived low on diesel but were quite unable to spot a fuel station as we tried to get out of the city until we went putter putter putter and Landy’s engine turned itself off. Fortunately a woman in a local corner store was hugely generous and took Paul off to the nearest fuel station a couple of kilometres away while I sat guard in Landy illegally parked on a traffic light.

As we get closer to England we have found our route converging with our journey in the opposite direction, passing the campsites where we spent our first two nights on the road. So much has happened since then!

Our last night was spent in Calais, which caters well for the many travellers using the ferries. Next morning we did not see the hordes of asylum seekers apparently running amok in Calais as we boarded the ferry to Dover.

Back in good old Blighty we hot wheeled it off the ferry, through Dover and on to Ramsgate where we met up with family who welcomed us home, right on the very spot where we posed for photos before we left in June 2010. Back on the ground where we began, our starting spot, we had finally completed our goal of a True Circumnavigation Overland!

Visiting Auschwitz

15th June 2010 by Helen
Crystal, Jiri & Yukon

Crystal, Jiri & Yukon

First thing, before we went to the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum and camp we chatted with a couple who have been travelling for three years, working with schools mainly around Eastern Europe encouranging greater understanding of other cultures.  Jaris is from the Czech Republic and Crystal is Canadian (www.crossingborders.eu.com).  They gave us some tips about the tour and we set off. 

It was extremely hot and it was easy to imagine that in this sort of weather the conditions in the camp would have been intolerable.  Even with some quite graphic images in the pre-tour video and seeing the bunks where prisoners slept four or five to a bunk it is hard to imagine the enormity of what went on here.  For me (Helen) the most telling part of ther tour was the evidence of the number of prisoners who were selected to work because they were fit and healthy and yet who died from the effects of disease, starvation and hard labour within just a few months of their arrival.  It seems that would have been death by slow torture, making the mass gas chambers seem almost humane by comparison.

Tonight we moved on and found ourselves sleeping in another lorry park!!

Us in the lorry park

Us in the lorry park

Poland Day 2

12th June 2010 by Helen

Productive morning at Artur’s this morning with Paul working on the car and getting our shower and water filtration system working properly.  Helen managed some re-organising of the on-board office and to get some washing done.  Headed off towards Auschwitz with Paul still driving. Hideously hot and humid and loads of mozzies.  Think we might have been scammed today, time will tell.  Eventually found Auschwitz and looked for somewhere to park nearby.  After wasting an hour or so in this latter pursuit we found someone who told us there is camping at the museum!!  Therefore writing this in a car park with the roof tent up surrounded by camper vans.