We have now been travelling in the “Bunyip” our motorhome for two years. Not in one stretch but over the last 6 trips. From an idea in 2008 and then our first trip in 2009 and every year since we have notched up 2 years travelling in Europe [including Morocco and Turkey].
In that time we have –
> Travelled over 71,000 kilometres on some of the smoothest motorways to jarring potholed roads and everything in between. No roads scare me anymore as I’ve driven through the middle of Istanbul , in southern Italy and through the narrow roads of the Peloponnese Greece.
> Driven through over 30 countries, returning to many several times.
> Had a remarkable run of luck with the “Bunyip” having only one major mechanical repair and several small ones, 2 flat batteries and 5 flat tyres. With constant maintenance and improvements it is holding up remarkably well for its age. It’s about 18 years old and has taken us wherever we have wanted to go, slowly at times but we have always reached our destination.
> Written over 200 blog posts about our adventures. About 1 every 4 days while travelling, not as prolific as some but as much as we can be bothered.
> Taken over 26.000 photos filling up over 80 Gigs in the harddrive. It’s a good thing that we don’t have slide nights anymore. If you don’t know what they are ask your parents.
> Drunk way too much beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks.
> Tried ice-cream in every country. The dearest in Zermatt Switzerland and the cheapest in Beysehir Turkey. This is how we gauge the cost of living in each county with a two scoop cone.
> Celebrated Jenny’s birthday in St Petersburg, near Paris, Lucerne Switzerland and in Ljubljana, Slovenia twice.
> Seen some amazing sights that most people can only dream of.
> Met some amazing people and made some lifelong friendships.
We sometimes have to pinch ourselves at how lucky we have been during the 2 years wandering through Europe. And amazingly enough we are still happily married even though we have been traveling in a motorhome only 7 metes by 2 metres. This is not the end of the story just a milestone along the way, we are already talking about our next year’s trip.
A special thanks go to Martin our cousin, without whose help our travels could not be possible. He looks after our motorhome when we are back in Australia and does the registration and insurance for us. We are forever grateful a big Thank You Martin.
The Prettiest Town in the Czech Republic – Telc – Tuesday 26th August
After a nice mild day with sunshine the rain returned overnight and so we packed up and left a great campsite near the town of Opatov, a Dutch run campsite called camping Vidac. We headed to the town of Telc only 20 kilometres away. It has been said to be the prettiest town in the Czech Republic and after a visit we would tend to agree although not having seen all the towns in the country. We parked in a car park just on the outskirts of town costing us 3 euros for 24 hours and where we ended up staying overnight along with a Dutch and a German motorhome. We set off well prepared for rain as the skies were very overcast and it had been raining off and on during the morning.
The tourist information office had some suggested walking tours and we walked the 4 kilometres around the old part of the town and the fish ponds. After a couple of hours the sky looked very dark and we went back to the van for lunch and were lucky to get back in time as the rain poured down. When it cleared we returned to the town and had look through the castle area and also booked a table at a restaurant for dinner that night. It was our wedding anniversary the next day but thought we could have it early as it was already the 27th in Australia. When we returned that night we had a pleasant evening with a good meal accompanied with a bottle of sparkling wine. How romantic!!
Our next town we had planned to visit was Jindrichuv Hradrec. The town boast an elegant Chateau and Renaissance buildings so we thought it would be a nice idea to visit. This area is in the Bohemian area of the Czech Republic and the drive through the villages and towns are picturesque and a real pleasure. Parking close to the centre of town it was a short walk to the centre of the old part of town. The main town square was a bit of a letdown as there were many cars parked and traffic constantly driving through.
We visited the Castle and had a tour of the Gothic parts which were very interesting, finishing in the old kitchen which was call the Black kitchen for obvious reason. It must have rained pretty heavily while we were on the tour as when we returned to the courtyard it was awash with water and flowing quickly down into the lower courtyards. We spent a small amount of time looking in a courtyard garden and then decided we should move on. Overall we had a pleasant day and topped it off by having a large ice-cream sundae. This was our desert from the meal the night before, or so we told ourselves to relieve the guilt. It was midday when we returned to the car park and drove to our spot for the night another car park near the town of Tabor.
Our overnight carpark was very quiet, near to a stadium and aquapark, very close to the old part of town and after having our breakfast we walked to the centre of town and found the tourist Information Office. The tourist office people were very helpful and we decided to take advantage of the free audio guide (deposit 500 kc.) of the town that helped us explore the sights. We were delighted with audio guide tour which took us on an interesting route with a pleasant narrative and we heard about much of the history of the town.
We took our time wandering the streets, stopped for a coffee in a lovely little bakery and even got the opportunity to hear some music played by a man sitting outside with a piano next to the town theatre. The time went quickly and before we knew it we were back at the town centre and so returned the audio guides, collected our money and went to find some lunch. As it happens we returned back to one of the small eateries we passed on our tour and for a very reasonable price $13 AUS, we had a 3 course meal including drinks. One was Rabbit which was delicious and the other a very tender Schnitzel. You have to love these small places, they certainly give good value. We then returned to town hall to visit the underground tunnels which are like a maze under the old establishments and were important part of their survival in times of siege, for food storage, beer production and a place of refuge when the town burnt down.
The afternoon was moving on and we had already planned our next nights stop, so after walking back to the camper we quickly set our GPS to the next town. We have not yet got sick of visiting these small towns and find each one different, with a lot of interesting architecture and charm. So off we set again, following the roads that wind in and out of small villages and towns, past the fields of ripe wheat, others that have been reaped and waiting for baling, seeing apples trees lining the road, full of nearly ripe fruit and watching the ever changing scenery of rural life.