Winter is Coming

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Karlstejn to Calais 2,700km – 46 days
Trip total Dunkirk to Calais 14,800km – 195 days

How often have you thought “Gee I wish I could view some Gaudi” but then realised you were in Vienna instead of Barcelona.  Well fear not because Viennese Gaudi is alive and well in the form of Hundertwasser, an amazing complex of apartments, arcades and shops that the council were brave enough to experiment with.

Vienna – Hundertwasser Haus

After exploring the above folly it was time to move on to the more classical Viennese architecture on offer.

Vienna – Schönbrunn Palace
Vienna – Schönbrunn Palace, rear grounds & folly

Four years on and I’m still drawn to the amazing architecture that sets Europe apart from the rest of the world.

Vienna – Karlskirche (St. Charles’s Church)
Vienna – Rathaus (townhall)

We were fortunate enough to go on a free tour through the Vienna Rathaus (town hall) a breathtaking example of baroque & gothic architecture.

Vienna – Rathaus (townhall)
Vienna – Rathaus (townhall)

For something different the Illusion museum gave me the chance to serve Deb’s head up on a plate…..

Vienna – Illusion Museum

….for me to take a picture of my bald spot.

Vienna – Illusion Museum

Leaving Vienna we were blessed to have bright sunshine for our drive west along the Danube and through the Wachau valley.  Unfortunately it was a long weekend and all the best parks were full so after Melk we turned away from the river and up towards the Alps.

Saint Florian Abbey

As we started into the foothills we stayed at some gorgeous mountain lakes dotted with quaint villages and scenic chairlifts or cog railways.

St. Wolfgang
St. Wolfgang
St. Wolfgang

Arriving back in the Alps reminded me why this was one of my favourite journeys, we even managed to find an alpine road that we had not previously travelled.

Austria
Swarovski – even in the Alps Deb can find a place to shop

We had bypassed Innsbruck 3 times on previous trips but this time we were glad to go 

Innsbruck
Innsbruck
Innsbruck – we even found a rooftop bar that had a 360° balcony with views to match.

Since leaving Vienna we had had glorious weather to witness the amazing show that is Autumn magically transform the countryside before our eyes. 

Austria

The glorious scenes that we city dwellers from the warmer climes don’t normally get to see.

Swiss-Austria border region
Swiss-Austria border region

We quickly clipped the corners of Switzerland and Germany which returned us to the Alsace area in France, another favourite, sprinkled with postcard villages and wine routes.

Eguisheim
Eguisheim – Autumn in full swing
Kayserberg – strolling through a Renoir

With vineyards and idyllic towns as far as the eye could see we set off for the Champagne region hoping for more of the same.

Alsace

Alas it was not to be and whilst again bucolic the weather had now definitely changed……

Winter is Coming

As I write this I am sitting in a caravan park a few hundred meters from the French seaside about 17km south of Calais.  It is our last day in Europe and this time tomorrow we will be back in the UK where we will move out of Normie and get him cleaned up and serviced ready for some prospective buyers to inspect over the next few weeks.

But for now Deb and I will have lunch before rugging up and venturing out onto the white cliffs and stroll along looking out towards Dover much like we did 4 years ago when we first started this adventure.  And no doubt we will, as we have each day since, thank the circumstances that allowed us to enjoy this incredible journey.

While this will be the last post under the “Europe by Motorhome” banner, if there is any interest, I may do a round up post in a few weeks to summarise our thoughts on the highlights for those readers who do not have available the same time frame to travel and wish to know our ‘greatest hits’.  Otherwise we now look forward to 4 months in Asia and I’m sure I’ll be able to find a temple or two to photograph:) , thanks for reading.

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5 Replies to “Winter is Coming”

  1. Your top 10 less well known must-see destinations in Europe would be a great read please. Not too many people we know who can say they travelled Europe for 4 years ! Enjoy Asia. We look forward to hearing more from Asia AND Happy Hours in 2018 when you finally settle down in Oz in your new home. Enjoy.

  2. Have loved reading your blog and especially loved your photos. Good luck selling Normie. And keep enjoying your lives.

  3. We have loved following your adventure since meeting you in Austria. Vastly different from Europe, Asia is a much loved destination of ours and we would love to see and hear of your travels over the next four months. Hope you are planning on publishing, if not an email or two would be greatly appreciated. Good luck with the sale of Normie. Hope his new owners are as nice as Tilly’s. Safe travels.

  4. WE are loving reading and seeing your adventure. Please do a write up as we would love to read it.. Have fun in Asia.

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