Browsing Tag

bombaround

Family Travel

Jolly japes on our European Bombaround- Croatia bound

14 June, 2013

Sometime in the early nineties, on one of the many European adventures my parents took my sister and I on, we parked our campervan up late on a Parisian street. We rolled out the beds, fell to sleep immediately and woke a few hours later with the sunrise rising over the grandeur of the Palace of Versailles. No jokes. My folks had plopped our friendly little VW camper right on that  royal porch. We rubbed the sleep out of our eyes and patted down our bed hair and walked straight into this majestic scene. (That is what you call glamping.)Versailles
The Palace of Versailles when we took Ramona a couple of years ago

It is partly these kind of memories that have inspired our own trip over to Europe this summer. Tim and I want to embrace all the jolly japes and high jinks that buzzing around Europe in a campervan can offer.  We are leaving on August the 1st in Betty our VW Westfalia with our two girls, returning to the UK 3 months later. We were originally going to try and take in every part of Europe possible but have reined in our plans a little.  We totted up the miles of our original route and found it came to 9000 which is a bit bonkers! Although this is a once in a life time opportunity we wanted to avoid any feeling of being rushed and harried of not being rushed and getting to know places a little bit.

Since becoming a blogger I have hugely enjoyed reading the travel and family blogs of some of my friends-
Alice’s jel-making Holidays in Sri Lanka, Helen and her brill family’s Center Parcs Holiday Review, Lapland Holiday Review, my gorgeous buddy’s Family Holiday, Penny’s Family Holiday North Norfolk, lists of advice such as Tips for Legoland Windsor and Liz’s Mark Warner snorkelling trip.

While I’m not going to be reviewing things on this epic adventure I do hope to delve for the first time into travel writing and blogging.

We are planning on visiting a fair few countries though:

Wild swimming in France (and cheese eating)
Forest walks in the Black Forest
Hot Pooling In Hungary
Exploring little folky villages in the Czech Republic
Ocean swimming in Croatia (this is our main destination and where we want to spend the most time – it was voted most beautiful country in the world by National Geographic – who’d a thought?)
Pizza eating and soaking up the October warmth in Italy on the way home

We don’t know how long we will spend in each spot, we are going to just roll with it and if we don’t get to them all then it isn’t a big deal. We want to see how driving with the little ladies goes- if they struggle we’ll simple strip back our itinerary even more. We are aiming for the idle, agendaless existence not three months of ticking off countries.

swimmingOur first family holiday with Ramona

I can’t wait for the simple living that van life will offer us (I’m just a little bit nervous about having only TWO pairs of shoes available) and the chance to get much better at being “present”; savouring inconsequential moments. We are stoked to be getting this much time together as a family of four and no work to get up for. (Sometimes it is okay to want to be a bit lazy eh?)

Maybe I do have a bit of an agenda though- ‘cos if we don’t get to park our camper on the driveway of at least one regal establishment I’ll be WELL MAD.

 

Whoops didn't tag these puppies

Our European Bombaround: We need you!

28 May, 2013

In about 7 weeks time we are upping sticks and going for a 3 month bombaround Europe in our camper, Betty. We could well emerge as Gandhi like pillars of peace and wisdom; all that forestry and earthy shizzle molding us into mega living-in-the-present sages.  Alternatively,  we will all go cuckoo- living in a 2m x 3 m box with only each other for company and WITHOUT THE INTERNET. *weeps*

Betty and Ramona Ramona making a cuppa in Betty

What with selling the house (it has finally sold, HOORAY!) and getting Betty fixed up (she is all better, WHOOP!) and having a new baby (Juno arrived, WAHEY!) we haven’t had much time to focus on the #bombaround. But this morning I woke up all Action Stations.

This is a pretty epic adventure… for which we are ill prepared. We know when we are leaving – the start of August- and we will aim to be back at the end of October (ish, depending on the weather.) We are thinking of meandering through France, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Germany (all making sense so far)- um, and also Spain.  We are thinking Spain might still be warm at the end of the trip, you see, it’s just quite a drive away from Germany. (GAH, FRANCE! Why you have to be so big, darn you?)

We aren’t primarily going for city sightseeing (hot, sticky crowds make us shudder) but for the wild swimming and walks amongst trees (we are down with the leeches) so will be skipping a few of the obvious stops.
ramona in woods
Ramona on a secret swing in a little slice of the wilderness in South London

We hope to visit some exciting happenings… things like Nature Play project in the Black Forest, a commune on an organic farm outside of Annecy, a revolutionary childcare centre in Budapest.

Perhaps you can help us?!

Have you visited or heard of any lovely happenings or sites or projects or beautiful places in any of these countries?

Do you know any people or families in these countries who are living life a bit differently and wouldn’t mind making new friends? (They wouldn’t have to put us up as we’d be sorted in Betty.)

Also… we have other questions… (novices? us?)

Do you have any tips for travelling around as a family?

How will Ramona cope without a little gang of buddies?

What are some things we MUST TAKE? (So far on my list are; my collection of retro tins, a 3 month supply of pear drops and a few vintage crochet blankets.)

Where do we find the charity shops in Europe? (Er, addict? ME? OUTRAGEOUS)

Any advice for coping, generally?

Also…

WHAT ABOUT THE INTERNET?

Any tips, tricks and advice MOST GRATEFULLY received, we’ll send you a postcard….