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?



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

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  • Jen aka The Mad House 28 May, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    You need to catch up with @vwallop and read http://itsasmallworldafterallfamily.wordpress.com/ she did 7 months, but not without the internet!

    • Lucy 28 May, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      I very much had her in mind when I wrote this- what a wealth of expertise she will be. I suspect I will be tweeting her everyday too!

  • Alexandra 28 May, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    Get ready for an amazing adventure!! My brother, his girlfriend and her son went for a 3 month trip to Argentina, travelling around in their Westy.
    Pack light and smart!
    And although the goal is to stay away from big cities, if you happen to pass by Lyon (France) I would love to share a hot meal with you guys.

    • Lucy 28 May, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Oh wow, ours is a Westy too!
      I suspect we will go through Lyon- I am so going to look you up! x

  • Mary Keynko 28 May, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    I have shared your link on FB, we have friends who live in Europe who may have suggestions and family who have holiday homes there who may be able to make suggestions. I hope you have fun, I’m very jealous!

    • Lucy 28 May, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      Ooh thank you Mary, that’s well helpful!

  • Louise 28 May, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    On the theme of upcycling there is an amazing artists workshop in Nantes that’s very Jules Verne. It has a huge mechanical elephant that you can ride in amongst lots of other amazing creations.

    • Lucy 28 May, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you! That sounds perfect! Will definitely mark that on the map: )

  • Jade 28 May, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    I’d hugely recommend a day or two in Bad Wildbad in the Black Forest, it’s stunning! Plus there’s a nudey rudey spa which is a great experience (think there’s creche facilities but not 100% sure). And the cable car to Sommerberg is ace, in the summer it’s busy but not rammed, and there’s a lovely family friendly pub at the top! Hope you have an amazing time, am very envious of your adventure!

    • Lucy 28 May, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      NUDEY RUDEY SPA WAHEEY! Those spots sound delicious, and the Black Forest is on our agenda big time. THANK YOU!

  • Sarah Fecher 28 May, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    How great! We spend the winters between NZ and France (Chamonix) so I’d love to know about the organic farm outside Annecy, that sounds like a place for us to visit! I’d say take lots of teabags, (we are big fans of Clipper, but really you can’t get any decent tea bags anywhere unless you want to pay a heap in the English section). You’ll have a great time, how exciting!

    • Lucy 28 May, 2013 at 8:43 pm

      Oh brilliant tip! We are embarrassingly particular about our favourite tea too: ) Your NZ/ France life sounds lovely!

  • Pippa 28 May, 2013 at 8:08 pm

    We always campervanned it around Eastern Europe as kids – I love Budapest, and Lake Balaton is definitely worth a swim in Hungary, we spent a lot of time there as it’s where our Hungarian friends had a ‘weekend house’ (strangely common…).

    My mum always made a fruit cake the size and texture of a brick that lasted 6 weeks & came out whenever it rained. Always cheered us up.

    We campervanned in Australia when son was nearly 4 and littlest just 1 (not walking yet) and it was heaven – there were none of the evenings with my hubs that I envisaged at the end of the long day as we were all up late and far too shattered to stay up and drink wine. Yes, it was hard with kids but no harder than being at home, as there was so much amazing stuff to do every day to entertain us all. And those memories and family time are worth everything – so excited for you. Have an amazing time!

    • Lucy 28 May, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Hey we did the same as kids! Haven’t met anyone else who did! Although my mum didn’t bake an everlasting cake. I do remember staying by a beautiful Hungarian lake, and having camp fires.
      Will look this little delight up, and will get to work on my own delicious brick!

  • Molly 28 May, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    AMAZING! I have no advice to offer, having never been on such an incredible adventure with young kids, but I have no doubt you’ll have a life-changing trip. And I’ll look forward to reading all about it when you get back!

    • Lucy 30 May, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you! I am sure I will find a way to update the blog… I think I might go crackerjacks otherwise….

  • andrew 28 May, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    It is kinda dependent on the internet…but do you know about geocaching? There are boxes hidden all over the world, and the GPS coordinates are published at http://www.geocaching.com. You use the clues and coordinates to find the box, then sign the logbook. Many of them you can take a piece of”treasure” so long as you replace it with another bit of treasure. When we did a road trip in New Mexico, the caches helped us find some amazing places that we wouldn’t have otherwise known . They also made a good way to break up an otherwise boring journey. You can do it with a smartphone…though a handheld GPS is often more accurate.

    • Lucy 30 May, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      AH, brilliant! Such a good idea, I like the sense of purpose playing this would bring. I might have a look for some South London ones now and leave all the things in our house there… (What too big for treasure????)

  • Bettina @ Books, Bikes, and Food 28 May, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    If you’re passing through Hamburg, well, you know, send a message. Other than that, looky here for activities in the area: http://english.metropolregion.hamburg.de/pure-nature/ For Northern Germany I would recommend going on a “Wattwanderung” – a walk around the marshes. You can go walking around them at low tide with guided tours, which is a muddy experience that kids tend to love. Water, mud, and worms, what’s not to love?

    As for the South (where I’m from), the Black Forest won’t disappoint you. You should go to Freiburg, which is a super eco friendly student town that’s absolutely lovely.

    • Lucy 30 May, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      Ah, how wonderful, thank you! If we get near Hamburg we will so look you up!

      Ramona does loooove mud too 🙂

  • Justin 28 May, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Have you thought about Taize? It’s in the middle of nowhere, very idealic ( rivers, waterfalls and beautiful forest etc) and there’s bound to be loads of wee french children to play with there as it seems to have a steady stream of families etc visiting it when I was there. Any village along Lake Thun has to be the closest thing to heaven on earth. And we found loads of charity shops in Rome, Paris and Bern ( which i’m sure you know) but not so much in Prague or Florence. We almost had to ditch Emma because she couldn’t drag herself away from all of them…

    • Lucy 30 May, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      OH MY WORd IT SOUNDS LUSH! Thanks, I suspect we will be hitting that spot up too. Keep thinking, okay? And what do the chazza shops look like? I don’t remember any in gay Paree?

  • Keren Cornelius 29 May, 2013 at 10:38 am

    A good long piece of strong rope. With a blanket over the top u have a tent, with a tree u have a swing with two adults u have a skipping rope….. The list is endless as long as the days r sunny! All the best, I’d just love to go. X

    • Lucy 30 May, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      EXCELLENT! This is a superb suggestion, thank you!

  • Vicki 25 June, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Plitvice national park in Croatia is fabulous. We discovered in on honeymoon and felt we’d walled into paradise. Unique geological formation which has created a series of turquoise pools and waterfalls. Loads of walks around the lakes too.

  • Fiona Lynne 10 July, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I’m late to this conversation (just found your blog through Jenny) but wanted to vote for a wee stop of in Luxembourg – hey, it’s between France and Germany so it might not be to off the planned path! There’s lots of lovely places to walk and visit, rivers to swim in (we know a great spot), and even the capital has a deep green valley gorge running right through this middle 🙂