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A Broad Abroad 2011 PDF Printable Version E-mail


A BROAD ABROAD 2011

Ann Speirs
March 2012

Introduction

Ann's website begins: 'Journey undertaken by myself in Chausson motorhome from 2nd May to 20th September 2011, with various comments about the journey. Had a great time, a few traumatic events - nothing serious, apart from a few overly attentive elderly gentleman who just couldn't work out why I was on my own!'

Ann covered 9,325 miles (14,920 km) in just under 5 months, much of it in Turkey. She travelled out from the UK through Belgium, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria; returning to the UK through Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Germany and France.

Below is an abridged overview of her journey but you can find the full version on the internet at:

An-old-broad-abroad: Ann Speirs' Motorhome Travel Trips.

And see many fine images at:

A Picasaweb photo album/slideshow

In Ann's Travel Log below, each entry has the following information:

Date, Place Name, (Daily Miles), Name of place stayed, (Latitude, Longitude), Comments

1st week

UK

02/05/11 Sandy, Beds (1) Overnight in layby.

03/05/11 Dover (158) Port. Main route through Belgium via Brussels to Eupen.

BELGIUM

03/05/11 Eupen (217) Reservoir (N50.62180 E6.09148) Free.

GERMANY

04/05/11 Hymerring Eurocamp Stellplatz (N49.77368 E9.58034) Free.

05/05/11 Altotting (582) Town Car Park (N48.22953 E12.67449) Free for 3 nights. Beginning of the religious ceremonies in the town, many pilgrims, torchlight procession on the Saturday night.

AUSTRIA

08/05/11 Orth/Donau (135 )Town Car Park (N48.14523 E16.70383) Free. Wonderful trip along Danube, cycle path along this B road.

2nd week

09/05/11 Deutsch Jahrndorf  (33) Town Camping (CL) (N48.00777 E17.11073) Donation €6. Lovely spot looked after by villagers.

HUNGARY

10/05/11 Pannonhalma Monastery 1800 florints.

10/05/11 Gyor – Bought diesel £52.80 and motorway Vignette £6.22 for 1 week.

10/05/11 Budapest Haller Camping (N47-28-33 E19-4-59) €15 per night. Good site. Tram/buses free for over 60's (take passport). Wonderful city, lots to see.

ROMANIA

13/05/11 Carie Thermal Camping (N47-40-27? E22-26-42?). Not open from 5/5/11. GPS not correct. Travelled northeast towards Ukranian border, bad road, eventually found parking space.

13/05/11 Coluic Popas Touristica (476) Parking space outside Hotel. Got there late 8.30pm, slept very quickly. Woke early to sound of pack of dogs barking. Clock went forward another hour. Beautiful alpine scenery.

14/05/11 North VLADIMIR Suczawa (N47.49632 E25.26106) French/English spoken. Motorhome dump point sign. Not sure if open, didn't stay.

14/05/11 Suczawa (129) Cristiana Camping (N47.60257 E25.85236) Eng/Fr/Ger –on my GPS, not in book!

3rd week

18/05/11 Touring Monasteries from Cristiana Camping. Many monasteries easily found, chose main ones. Fees charged in order to take photos at various sites.

19/05/11 Sighisoara (340) Aquarius Camping (N46-13-24 E24-47-45) 2 nights for 80 Lei (Ron!). Very interesting city.

21/05/11 Bucharest (206) Banesa Camping city (N44-31-01 E26-05-34). 80 Lei per night, expensive, only site available, stayed 2 nights. Bus Tickets obtained from reception. Walk up to main road, turn left onto main road for bus stop. Little adventure! Got on wrong bus from city - however, one driver deposited me in front of another bus, whose driver promptly took me to spot near correct bus back to camp. Thank you to those Bus Drivers, no English spoken!!!!!

4th week

BULGARIA

23/05/11 Nr Veliko Tarnovo (143) Camping Veliko Tarnovo (N43.04.01 E25.45.11) €104 for week, including 1 meal, 2 drinks per day! Went into VT for Son et Lumiere, taxi to town. Good site to chill out, or warm up as weather very summery!

5th week

31/05/11 Road 55 Lakeside freecamp (N42-35-15 E25-52-13). Looked good but not sure where the entrance was!

31/05/11 Biser, Nr Harmanli (174) Sakar Hills Camping (N41 52.247 E25 59.497) 4 nights. Had great time with owners of site and their son who ran it.

02/06/11 S of Haskovo (138) Perperikon ancient site (N41-43-01 E25-28-09) entrance and parking 3 Lei, wonderful scenery. Should have explored more but was impatient to get on road to Turkey.

TURKEY

04/06/11 Visa £10 or 30TL or €15 at Border. Motorway Toll 20TL on card.

04/06/11 (210) Mistic Camping (N41-14-59.30 E29-2-15) €12. Disco/bad bus service (3 Buses to Istanbul). Was day of political meetings, bus service disrupted.

6th week

07/06/11 Istanbul (34) Fisherman's Wharf  (N41-00-05 E28-58-38) 30TL per night. My GPS!

09/06/11 Istanbul Turkey Touring Org Insurance for 2 months – vehicle docs needed - Oto Sanayi Sitesi Yani 1, Seyrantepe Yolu, IV Levent, Istanbul. Tel: 0090 212 282 8140 Fee 120TL . Motorway Toll 50TL (another company!)

10/06/11 Ankara (310) Esenboga Airport Hotel (N40-04-26 E32-56-24) on my GPS €19 per night with swim/sauna. Got stuck in mud at front of hotel, tiredness sent me the wrong route! Was pulled out of the hotel! Great stop. Bus to city down road. Museum of Anatolian Civilization - was in there for four hours!

12/06/11 Bozakale (138) Bashkent Camping (N40-01-42 E34-37-09) 20TL. Site good, wonderful scenery. Didn't eat in restaurant. Had good look round the Hattusha archaeological site. You can drive round. Beware guys trying to sell merchandise at beginning of tour.

7th week

13/06/11
Urgup (179) Kaya Camping (N38-38-12 E34-51-15) 24TL per night. Wonderful sites and scenery. Good walking, but too warm for me! Great company: English, New Zealanders and Dutch.

19/06/11 Sultanhani (120) Kevan Camping (N38-14-55 E33-33-28) 50TL 1 night, dinner, 1 wine, breakfast 50TL, on my GPS. Wonderful Caravanserai in town 3 TL. Went south next day to Meke Crater Volcano N37-41-34 E33-38-17 Crater with lake, 2 km off highway.

8th week

20/06/11 Konya Cultural Centre (N37-52-06 E32-30-54). Whirling Dervishes 9 pm Saturday night, parking free, entrance fee. The Mevlana Institute is in town, parked at Cultural Centre and walked.

20/06/11 Konya (132) Free Camp Site (N37-52-11 E32-33-01) TC Karatay Belediyesi, Hobi, Bahceleri, Karavan Park, Konya. On roundabout, bit noisy but free, water, electricity, toilets. Very generous. Guard at gate and industrial centre next door. Tents allowed too!

22/06/11 Catalhoyuk Archaeological site SE of Konya. Amazing dig 20thC BC. Great site and museum. Only person there. Went south and then west to Beysihir, encountered 2 km of newly tarmaced road - what a state the van was in, extra resealing to base of vehicle!

22/06/11 Beysihir Lake (156) Free Camp Site (N37-40-09 E31-42-48). Quiet night no disturbances, near town.

23/06/11 Beysihir Esrefoglu. Wooden mosque, smelt very good!

23/06/11 Around the Lake (73) Eflatunpinar (N37-49-30 E31-40-28) Spring/shrine – frogs very loud! Lady comes out of house to sell you craft goods, very quickly!

23/06/11 Around the lake. Stopped to start cleaning tar from the van! OK spot, except for bird scarer gun from10 pm until early morning – not good! Had to retrace steps as didn't like sound of the condition of the southern road around the lake back to Konya.

24/06/11 Konya (130) Campsite above (N37-52-11 E32-33-01) and parked. For Whirling Dervishes met Belgian couple, took van down to Cultural Centre. Wonderful experience.

26/06/11 Civlic (366) Parked for night, bit noisy not disturbed though. Sunday night festivities. Place a bit grubby, decided not to hang around. Lots of stray dogs.

9th week

27/06/11 Karatepe (156) Archaeological site (N37-15-00(06)! E36-13-10) Amazing Hittite site with museum, road from Kadirli awful, TomTom took me that way! Missed signs when on initial road out of Osmaniye.

28/06/11 Kastabala Archaeological site. Personal guide. Small site, wonderful scenery.

27/06/11 Adana (83) roadside parking (N37-01-36 E34-19-27) Parked for night, not
disturbed. Walked across road from parking spot outside Museum, to look at Roman bridge. Went into largest mosque in Turkey. Museum was shut for decoration.

27/06/11 Adana Museum – shut for upgrade.

27/06/11 Tarsus St Paul's Well. Small site, didn't stay long. Got in pickle with parking wardens!

28/06/11 Kanlidivane Archaeological site. Big hole in ground, religious site.

28/06/11 Diocaesarea Archaeological site. Obtained guidance sheets from guardian.

28/06/11 Silifke (114) roadside parking (N36-27-31 E34-08-14) Silifke, next to sea and hotel.

29/06/11 Alanya (205) main route (N36-30-30 E32-04-34) On side road, near hotels. Not disturbed.

29/06/11 Manavgat/Side (36) Archaeological site (N36-46-17 E31-23-47) Large free car park heading off to turtle site.

30/06/11 Degirmenozu, Koprulu Kanyon Milli Parki, Roman Bridge, Selge (not actually seen, couldn't park in order to go on foot) Archaeological site. Don't know how I got on wrong road but landed in Degirmenozu, advised to go back. Turned right to gorge - wrong! Had to negotiate narrow Roman bridge with right-angled entrance and exit. Helpful young Turkish lad helped me, but not a good way to proceed. (Missed left turn quite early on journey.) Hill out from bridge, smooth stones, bad if wet! I went back to say thank you, whereupon he tried to sell me a trip down the gorge on a strange boat! Bad enough driving through! Needed better map!

30/06/11 Aspendos (126) Archaeological site (N36-56-22 E31-10-25) Car park 10TL, Entry 15TL, 16TL for magnificent site map/guide/postcards. A good night

01/07/11 Sillyon Archaeological site (N36-59-35 E30-58-37) Didn't get to site, parking very restricted for motorhome. Bit hot, decided to travel on.

01/07/11 Perge (38) Archaeological site (N36-57-34 E30-51-12) Fantastic site, long time discovering everything.

01/07/11 Antalya (13) Museum (N36-53-03.9 E30-41-00.6) Car park next to area of restaurants with live entertainment. Bit noisy at night! 3TL cheap. Museum15TL Not a lot of English! Tram to old town, small fee, good just for sightseeing.

03/07/11 Termessos Archaeological site (N37-01-06 E30-30-29) History of site led me there. Entrance (GPS) long road up single track. Long walk up, not a lot of renovation, however wanted to see the tomb of its hero Alteacea, one of Alexander's Generals.

03/07/11 Kemer, Onno Tunc Caddesi (68) Bus Car park (N36-35-49 E30-34-08) Large free car park away from tourist centre. Not disturbed at all.

10th week

04/07/11 Phaselis (11) Archaeological site south of Kemer, signposted. Beautiful setting, parking close to sea, 3 bays, tourist boats, good swimming, reasonable ruins. 8TL entrance.

04/07/11 Cirali-Kumkuca (26) Town (N36-24-13 E30-28-22) I think there may have been a campsite but I couldn't get on! Found this GPS space right by a parked mobile bank, stayed 2 nights, not moved on.

05/07/11 Olympos Archaeological site. Walked along beach to site, quite pleasant, went early morning. Tried to walk to Chimera, followed map near bridge, signposted, but quite a long walk from town, narrow road. Decided to drive that evening. Big car park at end with hospitable guide! Long hard walk up and down, torch needed at night and better to go then to see flames at their best.

05/07/11 Chimera flames from rocks. Could have parked here for night, decided against it!

06/07/11 Myra (51) Archaeological site (N36-15-27 E29-59-12) Arrived just before site closed, found free car park, could have stayed night but didn't. Visited the Church of St Nicholas until closing time, then decided to go on to Kas.

06/07/11 Kas (N36-11-57 E29-37-58) Kas Kamping, recuperated. 30TL a night with ACSI. Arrived 8 pm. Set up near entrance, good places near sea had gone! Quite steep hill. Not well, heat finally got to me, rested my GPS!

10/07/11 Kas Olympus Mo Camp (N36-12-26 E29-37-03) Flat, on beach, wished I'd been here! Bike ride to Kas, 2/3 km (could go back there, liked it).

10/07/11 Dalyan/Ortaca (191) parking space (N36-50-28 E28-39-03) Next to Municipal Building, being Sunday there was no-one to object.

11th week

11/07/11 Aphrodisias (52) Archaeological site car park 10TL, Adm 8TL, Guide 5TL, Food 8.5TL. Enjoyed site and museum, bumpy trip from car park to site (compulsory - or walk)!

11/07/11 Pamukkale (118) Baydil Camping (N37-55-05 E29-07-16) Waved down by site owner at entrance, 25TL a night for single person negotiated. Unwanted attention by his brother! Cafe and souvenirs adjoining site. Main entrance to Pamukkale site opposite, 20TL entrance, other charges inside. Hieropolis cafe/restaurant/swimming pool quite high. Take off shoes to go through travertines, need good pair for walking through archaeological site.

12/11/11 Pamukkale North Entrance Hieropolis (N37-56-27 E29-07-00) If you park here, then it's a very long walk through the ruins to the travertine. Don't know whether you can actually stay here the night!

14/07/11 Bodrum/Didim Temple of Apollo (N37-23-06 E27-15-14) Large car park outside restaurant, very full, music till 12. Everybody obviously enjoying themselves.

15/07/11 Didyma Miletus (268) Archaeological site (N37-31-49 E27-16-25) Large shaded car park. Large site, lots of walking, pack of dogs. Museum about 1 km from car park very informative. Air conditioning – wonderful.

15/07/11 Priene (33) Archaeological site (N37-39-36 E27-18-03) Long walk up, very hot still. Wonderful views from top, especially with mountain behind the Temple of Athena. Enjoyed it.

15/07/11 Kusadasi (25) Yat Camping (N37-52-05 E27-15-59) 14TL per night. Very unwell, recuperating again. Finally advised to get rehydration tablets by my marathon-running son. Worked a treat, ankles had begun to swell up. Shops close by. Didn't do a lot really! Spent time pondering on where to go next. Getting close to driving through Greece, to go home. Discovered when back in UK that thyroid/kidney problems needed attention!

12th week

21/07/11 Ephesus (4) Archaeological site car park 7.50TL, site 20L, very crowded. Magnificent site, well worth coming. Left late, went to cafe and then travelled on.

21/07/11 Sirine - Uninhabited Greek Village. Bad move, went through village up very bad road, just had to keep going, couldn't reverse or turn round. Finally found somewhere. What trauma.

21/07/11 Red Basilica, Bergama (137) Wide parking space at side of road (N39-7-18.03 E27-11-3.81) Not disturbed. Saw camping site down road, but late so didn't go in.

22/07/11 Bergama/Asclepion Acropolis/Pergamon Archaeological site. Drove to top of Acropolis, parking 14TL, entry 20TL, magnificent view, grand theatre, good ruins.

22/07/11 Behramkale/Assos (115) Car parking on hill (N39-29-08 E26-20-01) 10TL. Man waved me down, said “no downhill” and he actually stayed the night to guard me/the car park. Overlooked Lesbos. Lovely meal in town with free wi-fi.

24/07/11 Troia (64) Troia Pension & Camping, Tevfikiye (N39-57-21 E26-15-01) Got here very early from Assos, entrance and guide tomorrow morning. Stayed 2 nights only, had meals, drinks and souvenirs: 175TL all in. Met Dutch and Greek taxi drivers.

13th week

25/07/11 Troia (26) to next town. Trip to get cash at ATM.

26/07/11 Canakkale Museum/Ferry to Eceabat, Gallipoli. Museum 5TL, Ferry 35TL.

26/07/11 Gallipoli (109) French Cemetery (N40-03-14 E26-12-28) Road in front of cemetery. Didn't get moved on. Signs saying no camping when near the historic cemeteries. Fridge not working at all. Karatepe Campsite just would not let me in at 8.30pm.

27/07/11 Gallipoli Free Camp Site (N40-03-07 E26-13-28) Did actually park near the French Cemetery, where guard came to lock up and didn't move me on!

GREECE

27/07/11 Alexandroupoli car park at beach (N40.84342 E25.86477) Arrived late, completely missed Campsite.

28/07/11 Alexandroupoli Campsite. Big site, some wifi, €10.89 for single person. Couldn't find anyone to fix fridge.

29/07/11 Thessaloniki (N40-30-10 E22-58-13) Zampetas Caravans. On road after airport, Greek flag flying on forecourt. Fitted new fridge for good price. Very helpful, very busy business. Was offered weekend in Halkidiki, but needed a rest.

29/07/11 Angelohori Beach car park (N40-29-37 E12.67449) Free parking. Storm flooded car park. Bit noisy during Greek matrimonial row! Albanians camping on beach. Was OK and kept everything locked, obviously.

29/07/11 Thessaloniki Mechanic (N40-35-15.37 E22-58-01.63) Recommended but not used, didn't need to.

14th week

02/08/11 Thessaloniki (N40-35-38 E22-56-54) The town, Fiat, etc. Emergency Service Car Park.

02/08/11 Thessaloniki Navainou (N40-35-20 E22-56-36) Free parking space. Not used.

02/08/11 Thessaloniki Euoom (N40-34-22 E22-57-07) Free parking space. Not used.

03/08/11 Thessaloniki (435) Fiat/on airport road going south. Fiat looked at the motorhome fan, said it couldn't be done till end of August and would cost €200. Didn't know where I would be end August. Was taken around Saloniki by George, the Greek Taxi Driver who I met in Troia. He wined and dined me very lavishly, had a really great day. He suggested I go to the Halkidiki Peninsula and wild camp, but I really needed to use a washing machine!

03/08/11 Thessaloniki (N40-35-38 E22-56-54) stayed one more night.

04/08/11 Halkidiki (129) (N40-03-05 E25-59-28) Katerina Camping, Sikia. Tried one other place but it was very crowded and I just couldn't contemplate trying to park there, so left and found this one. Owner very helpful. Took dashboard apart and found fan part, emailed Soul Garages through Fiat Forum and he sent new part to cousin on Andros. Look forward to it!

15th , 16th, 17th week

14/08/11 Halkidiki free camping (N39-57-47 E23-55-37) between 2 beaches.

14/08/11 East Coast Greece (468) Volou Argalastris (N39-18-56 E23-04-17) Sign saying Parking - so I did. There were 2 other motorhomes there.

15/08/11 East Coast Greece (N38-20-07 E23-42-58) Eikostis Pemptis Martiou. Stopped on road for a swim.

15/08/11 East Coast Greece (31) Leoforas Athion (N38-19-21 E23-46-59) Atlantis Disco. Bit noisy, camping on beach.

16/08/11 East Coast Greece (N38-17-52 E23-54-10) Kalamos village market, bought some fruit.

16/08/11 Rafina Docks (78) Rafina (N38-01-21 E24-00-36) Met Sara, travelled up to their home in Ramatta, on island of Andros. Had a couple of really great weeks with Sara, John and their zoo of animals, as well as all the Brit ex-pats. Greek hospitality was wonderful. Do hope they manage to sort out their financial difficulties. Fan part arrived, replaced by John and myself very easily.

19th week

08/09/11 Rafina (12) Kokkino Limanaki campsite (N38-1-52 E24-0-0) Very cramped site, stayed 2 nights. €28.60 for 2 nights. Went to Athens, couldn't park, just drove north, had had enough.

10/09/11 Meteora (247) Meteora Garden Camp Site (N39-42-31 E21-36-35) Got to Meteora to do the monasteries. Still 36ΊC+. Lovely area, majestic scenery. Arrived at Greek/Albanian border to find that they were on strike. Met some Austrians who accompanied me to free beach camping; met others who said Albanian roads were not good! Decided to go by ferry to Venice. Left early next morning.

20th week

14/09/11 Igoumenitsa Nea Selefkeia (N39-30-53 E20-12-46) Free Camping area, with lots of signs saying No Camping but nobody took any notice and we were not moved on. Gentleman from Linos Travel told me how to get there.

15/09/11 Igoumenitsa (171) Ferry. Just followed signs to Port by 8 am.

ITALY

16/09/11 Venice Port then Treviso (N45.66769 E12.26361) Rd to Treviso for Camperstop. Empty toilet, didn't fancy doing it on the ferry! Various toll charges along route: €2.50 Venice, €2.80 Belina, €3.10 Bullana.

AUSTRIA

€6.10/€8 Austrian toll, vignette. €7.90 Brenner Pass

GERMANY

16/09/11 Jachenau (261) Stellplatz (N47-34-08 E11-18-09) €5 per night (max 3 nights). No WC emptying, although portaloos on sight. Didn't use them. Followed toll road to cousin's house - she had helped to set up this parking space.

17/09/11
Jachenau Visited Kate's cousins, although they were going off elsewhere.

17/08/11 Hymerring (256) Eurocamp Stellplatz (N49.77368 E9.58034) Another good resting spot. Free.

BELGIUM

18/09/11 Eupen Reservoir (N50.62180 E6.09148) Free.

FRANCE

21st week

19/09/11 Dunkirk (443) (N51-01-14 E2-11-37) Ferry ticket office car park. Bit noisy but OK for early start.

19/09/11 Dunkirk McDonalds (N51-01-23 E02-18-45) free wifi over lunch. Managed to park.

19/09/11 Dunkirk (N51-00-23 E2-16-35) Auchan Supermarket, good shopping, good parking.

UK

20/09/11 Dover

20/09/11 (21) Somewhere along road (N51-16-14 E01-03-48) Morrison's Supermarket with space for parking - had a nap!

20/09/11 Harpenden (92) Saw granddaughters, son and daughter-in-law.

21/09/11 Sandy, Beds (33) Sandy CL. Saw Daughter.

Original mileage                      30,391 miles
Finishing mileage                     39,716 miles
Journey Distance:                     9,325 miles
Ferry Igoumenitsa to Venice:       850 miles
Ferry Rafina/Andros return:          80 miles
Ferry English Channel return:        44 miles