Amersfoort and the Pannenkoekenhuis

From Utrecht we went to explore the town of Amersfoort, just a short drive to the north-east, before we explored the Rhijnauwen near Utrecht and visited a lovely Pannenkoekenhuis directly at the river Kromme Rijn.


Canoeing Utrecht & the Botanical Garden

Today felt like mothers day to me. First Monty took me on his bike to the botanical garden and in the afternoon we went kayaking at the Kromme Rijn.


@ URK and SCHOKLAND

On our second day in Flevoland we visited two former islands in the Ijseelmeer: Urk and Schokland. Both are now part of the new province. Urk still has its harbour, Schokland was already abandoned in 1859 and is now surrounded by meadows instead of rough sea.

Parking for the night @ Lelystad

Lelystad @ Flevoland

We went to explore Flevoland, the twelfth and youngest province in the Netherlands. It consists almost entirely of land that was only won from the IJsselmeer in the 20th century.

Lelystad

The American Motorcycle Museum


Time to visit the museum of classic mobility on wheels "AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM @ Raalte, NL"


Very fine Collection of American bikes!

Kasteel de Haar

Together with our son we went to explore some parts of The Netherlands, starting with an interesting castle close to Utrecht: Kasteel de Haar.

Fairy tail castle ....

2 Years on the road, time to celebrate!

We had reached Utrecht, where our son studies Global Sustainability Science. We were very happy to see him again and will travel together the next days. But we had also an anniversary: since 2 years we are now living in our caravan, travelling through Europa. A good reason to celebrate a little.

Utrecht

@ Aachen

We were on our way to the Netherlands now, but had to stop at Aachen and visit the cathedral which played such an important role in our history.

Guided tour Corona version

Geierlay Suspension Bridge

Today's destination was one of the Top 100 in Germany, the Geierlay suspension bridge, once the longest in Germany, nowadays titled to be the most beautiful one.


Eltz Castle!

Today we visited the Castle of Eltz - one of the most spectacular medieval castles in Germany, very well known and a favourite with photographers too.


Roman Porta Nigra @ Trier and along the Mosel

Today we went for a stroll through Trier before we drove along the river Mosel northwards, enjoying the scenery before we decided on one of the endless number of places for caravans along the river.


Devils Gorge

Narrow gorges and crevices, overgrown with moss and lichen, huge rock towers, mighty stone blocks with bizarre weathering forms - a wild, original landscape we went to explore near Ernzen, close to the border of Luxembourg.


@ Luxembourg

We were so close to the border, we couldn't resist a short visit to the capital of Luxembourg.


@ Völklingen Ironworks

Today our program was not about nature or historic towns, but to explore the industrial monument of the Völklingen Ironworks - an historic landmark of German engineering and an Unesco World Heritage Site.


Historic city of Speyer & fancy rock hike

We stopped at Speyer to admire the Imperial Cathedral and explore the city a little bit, before we drove on to Dahn, where nature left fancy rocks scattered in the hilly landscape to be discovered by hikers.

Speyer

@ Heidelberg

Heidelberg lies at the river Neckar shortly before it flows into the Rhein. The town is very well known for its university and dominated by the ruins of the castle.


Hike along the Neckar river

In the morning the weather looked promising so we went on a hike along the Nekar, on the way back thunder and lightning together with heavy rain made it a little bit uncomfortable, but in total it was a nice tour.

River Nekar and the village of Dilsberg in the distance

"Münster zu Ulm" - impressive gothic architecture

The weather was still a pain, but we managed to use a dry spell to visit Ulm and its impressive churches.

Gargoyle overlooking Ulm

Bronze age & Celtic Heuneburg

Today we went on a journey into the past of Southern Germany, visiting the Celtic Heuneburg and afterwards the Federsee, an area of prehistoric settlement.

HEUNEBURG @ sunset // Foto: LAD. M. Friemelt

Hike along the Danube

We followed the Danube upstream to a region where the river has formed a magnificent valley over the centuries. Our hike took us up onto the cliff and to one of the many castles which flank the river.

Schloß Werenwag - dates back to 11th century 

First summer days ...

After what had felt like a never ending period of bad weather, 2 sunny days were predicted before clouds and rain would be back, therefore we wanted to make the most of it. The first day was spent at a lake with some cycling and swimming, the second day hiking at the Danube valley.



Meteorite impacts in West Africa and Central Europe!

Inspired by the expedition to Mauretania of "Pistenkuh.de" where they took this extraordinary shot of the Tenoumer crater, we started to search for meteorite craters in our area ...

Tenoumer crater Mauretania // Photographer & Copyright by PISTENKUH.de

A rainy day in the park

The continuous bad weather was a challenge for my mood, but we tried to make the best out of it. After exploring cities in the rain, today we went to explore the Palace Gardens of Dennenlohe, even during drizzling rain it was a delight!


Veste Coburg & City of Bamberg

We had reached the most Northern part of Bavaria with Coburg, famous for its magnificent castle. After wondering through the expansive exhibition we turned South again, which sadly didn't lead to a better weather, so we gave up and explored Bamberg in the rain.


Bayreuth

We reached Bayreuth, where we explored the city a little bit including the beautiful opera house and the Hermitage on the outskirts of town.

Margravial Opera House Bayreuth

The Flossenbürg Granite & the Parkstein volcano

The castle of Flossenbürg lies on a granite rock which was quarried for centuries as this formidable stone was used in many constructions all over Germany. We went to explore the castle and its surroundings. Afterwards we discovered the remains of a volcano!


@ Kelheim

Positioned on the confluence of the Danube and the Altmühl, already the Celts had an important town here. Later King Ludwig I of Bavaria crowned the town with the Hall of Liberation.

Parking for the Night at the Danube 

Looking for better off road ability ....


Given that all overland travellers are looking for the best and most capable vehicle for their adventures, I decided some years ago to invest in a TATRA VVN 815 8x8 which is for sure one of the best concepts for extreme off road terrain. Our 8x8 is currently at a workshop near Munich to get it street legal.

Is this the base for our next camper?

Bockerl train ride

After spending the night at a beautiful spot at the Danube we first visited our Tatra at Aigner trucks (more in a separate post) and then started from Arnstorf with our bikes along an old train route called Bockerl until we reached the Bockerl Bridge over the river Isar near Landau.

Chapel for cyclists in need of a rest

We hike at the National Park "Bayerischer Wald"

Exploring the Bavarian Forest, we hiked up to the Great Rachel, with 1.453 metres the second highest peak of the Bavarian Forest by only 3 metres after the Great Arbel. The weather was perfect and we had great views in all directions.

Rachel chapel overlooking the Rachel lake

We start to explore Bavaria

We are finally on the road again and our plan to explore Germany is now in action. Coming from Austria we arrived at Bavaria, where we found a lovely lake for our first stop.

Crossing the border on a minor road

BBQ @ the campfire


There is no real camper life without a campfire! A come together with friends and their brand new camper built on an Unimog was the perfect occasion to gather some wood and to light a fire on which we roasted some sausages and potatoes.


Breitenbrunn and the red poppies

Still at the Neusiedlersee, we went on another hike before we returned to Lower Austria, where we explored the Wiener Neustädter Kanal - more in the post.


Around the Neusiedlersee


We spent a couple of days at the Neusiedlersee south of Vienna, which is a great area for cycling and hiking. On one of our tours this beautiful grass snake crossed our path.




On the road again


We decided the time of growing roots has to be over and we will be on the road again, at first only in Austria, but that's not a bad thing, we have a beautiful country to explore.

Our Corona diary, Week 8, updating the camper with recovery points


Week 8, after the possible CORONA infection of last week, Edi is up and running again! It took  about a week to recover. We will make a CORONA ANTIBODY check within the next weeks. Meanwhile it is time for an update on the camper.


Massive recovery point to be installed @ the front end of the camper.

Our Corona diary, infected?? Week 7

The "New York Times" Headline:

Trump Suggested ‘Injecting’ Disinfectant to Cure Coronavirus? 



Trump gives Americans and the world a deep insight in his intellectual brightness and the level of professional crisis management ....

Our Corona diary, week 6, crazy world ...



World in times of CORONA virus is changing: The price of a barrel oil is now MINUS 37,63 US$ and we eat Stinging-nettle ...


The reason for the negative Price is: The demand of oil shrinks and all storage capacity world wide is at its limits, so no place to put the oil which is gushing from the earth ...

Our Corona diary, week 5, planning ahead ...

As CORONA shuts down all life to a minimum of movement, we too are at the same location now since 5 weeks! No fun for us, and we are eager planning our most likely options for possible travel destinations in the near future.

Looking for the next possible travel route ...


Our Corona diary, week 4

Week 4 starts with the announcement of the Austrian government how to open up the shops step by step to reboot the economy. We went for a hike while listening to the news on our tiny radio communication device ...

Pocket radio for news update ...

Changing the supply battery pack

If you want to stay self-sufficient it is crucial to ensure good battery power to supply all necessary electrical units in the camper with proper voltage and energy. Our camper was equipped with 3x120Ah of AGM power units (about 90 Kg), which is a well calculated dimension for our style of traveling. But if you face a period of no sunshine (rain, snow, clouds) over days and no movement (no driving and charging from the engine), even no external power line, you are lucky if you have modern battery technology with good capacity on board. So we decided to update our battery.

New battery pack in place, but first ....

Improving the door opening mechanism

As we plan to change our supply battery unit, we first needed to update the opening mechanism of the outside door to enable the easy access to the loading space of the raised floor ...

Tools needed for the update

Our Corona diary, week 3


Week 3 of self isolation is over and we are facing positive numbers this sunday! The number of newly  infected Austrians dropped to 4% compared to abt. 40% 3 weeks ago. 
Under 7% the corona world is on its way to the light at the end of the tunnel, running under 7% means that we do not increase the total number of infected, because de recovered patients drop the total number.

Masks obligatory from next week on (our 1st home made version)



Our Corona diary, week 2


The 2nd week of self isolation starts with our birthday celebration for Monty who turns twenty. We celebrate on March 21st, a week in advance because he is leaving our current location to start his new "crisis job" supporting critical infrastructure for the Austrian broadcast company ORF.


Happy birthday!

Our Corona diary, week 1


March 14, 2020

We arrived from Hungary with our caravan and our son came from Utrecht with the last possible flight just before the lockdown for all public life was enforced. Lucky to be together, but curious what will come:


Meeting first time again after three months

Updating the spring @ the rear axle

The last scheduled stop on our way to Vienna was the update of the rear compound spring of our camper. We hope to improve handling on road and gaining ground clearance of the cabin for better off road ability. A traditional black smith specialised in repair and enforcement of leaf suspensions made a perfect job!

Last miles home

Our route home through Hungary led us past Lake Balaton and Budapest to the northern border along the Danube and back to Austria.

Catching a treat in mid air!

Rescue equipment made in Budapest

If you ever got really stuck with your 4x4 in difficult sandy or muddy terrain, maybe you wished for sand ladders like these .....

Lazlo and Cordy discussing the usage of the new toys

The Fortress & homo neanderthalensis

After our visit to Zagreb we drove north-west to a hilly area dotted with little houses and vineyards, where we went to explore a castle at the border to Slovenia and an important discovery of Neanderthal men.

Veliki Tabor

City walk @ Zagreb

A sunny day to visit Zagreb, the biggest town and capital of Croatia. We took a walk from the train station to the most important places and sights, enjoying the market and lively streets of the centre.

Ban Jelačić Square with his statue in the middle

Nine Alpha One Alpha

In Zagreb we met Emil (9A9A) to visit one of the world leading Ham Radio Contest stations. To see this station is like visiting a Formula One racing team, or the opportunity to sail a Americas Cup yacht!

The short wave radio communication antenna farm @ sunset