Reading material for those who love the camping life

By: Tone Hasle and Finn Bjurvoll Hansen
Motorhome and Caravan magazine, December 6

With Motorhome in Europe for a whole year - part 2

Tone and Finn Bjurvoll Hansen will spend the next year in a motorhome. The trip goes all over Europe, and in each issue of the Motorhome and Caravan Magazine they will tell about their experiences.

On the way to the Mediterranean

Then we were finally up and running. After a few days of work for Finn on Superspeed between Kristiansand and Hirtshals, we took the first boat to Hirtshals Sunday 14 October. There we were supposed to meet our travel companion we were going to drive along down to the Mediterranean before continuing on to Spain, and we continued further east towards Nice. We had several stops along the way for pleasant experiences.

Hirtshals is the arrival port for most people. Maybe not the most exciting destination, but we had an overnight stay at Hirtshals Camping. This campsite is situated right by the sea just below Hirtshals lighthouse. Since we had taken the morning ferry from Kristiansand there was a little sightseeing along the Danish dunes, and a little trip up the lighthouse. Here we intended to climb to the top to enjoy the view, but unfortunately there was no card machine for payment. Here you can only pay with cash. Good to know another time.

First stop Aabenraa

After the overnight stay in Hirtshals we broke up after a good breakfast to drive on to Aabenraa. We had heard a great deal about this motorhome parking. There is no long whip through Denmark, but we thought it was nice to start a little cautiously. Not too long day trips. After a few hours on the road through Denmark we rolled into the motorhome parking in Aabenraa. Since we arrived relatively early in the day, there were few cars there, and we were placed the car on one of the places that are facing the sea. An amazing location, and here it was just to bring up tables and chairs, sit down to enjoy the view and the delicious afternoon sun. In the afternoon, there was also time for a small round on the Segway with the camera over the shoulder to explore the harbor area and the magnificent promenade along the beach.

Provinces in Flensburg

After a quiet and quiet evening in Aabenraa and a good night's sleep, we continued on to Flensburg. A little provisioning at Scandinavian Park is important to get along with. Scandinavian Park is, by the way, only one of several large centers for border trade in Flensburg. Here you can make good purchases on both food and drink. After filling the fridge and our large freezer with good food and drink, the purchase of the German eco-label was the next in the list. In Flensburg you get this in several places, including at DEKRA, or in the Volkswagen store inside the Scandinavian Park area. The eco-label is necessary to have in the windshield if we were to end up in one of Germany's many

Further towards Neumünster

Part of the day went to Flensburg, and we chose to drive a relatively short distance to Hamburg. From experience, we know that Hamburg can be a bit of a bottleneck and that it can often pay to pass the city quite early in the morning. We chose a campsite near Neumünster, Forellensee Family campsite was just a mile away from Flensburg. Again we were super happy with the choice of camping. The square was situated in scenic and tranquil surroundings, which invited for a little walk in the afternoon. We walked the short walk into the city center where we took a little refreshment at the local water hole. Since we were going to start early the next morning it was an early evening before we crept into the queue.

Through Hamburg to the Moselle Valley

We were going before it brightened in the morning. We wanted to get through Hamburg before the worst morning rush. It paid off, because we quickly passed Hamburg without a single queue anywhere. This day we had decided on a slightly longer day trip to get us a little further down towards the Mediterranean which was the first sub-destination. The goal of the day was to reach the Moselle valley where we had aimed at the Mosel Islands campsite. This was a drive of just over 10 miles. Since we have relatively good time we would stay a few days in the Moselle valley before we drove further south. Well in the afternoon we arrived at the Mosel Islands, a great campsite on a small island out in the Mosel.

Mosel Islands

The Mosel Island is located right by the small town of Treis Karten, a tiny town, or perhaps more of a village. It is beautiful but not very much to see. The place was also relatively quiet, which has to do with the season. There is probably much more life and touch when it is high season. Our travel companion had had some problems with a water hose in the car, and wanted to get this fixed before we drove on. In Germany, motorhome dealers and workshops are interrupted, so they got time for repair right away. We therefore split teams with an agreement to meet again in France a little later in the evening.

Castle Eltz

We wanted to see a little more of the Moselle valley, and started with a visit to Burg Eltz. If you first have to visit a castle in the Moselle valley, then the Burg Eltz castle you should visit. Here it is easy to arrive with a motorhome, also large motorhomes. The car park is spacious, and there are great paths from the parking lot and down to the castle. It is quite steep and can be a bit tiring to go up again, but it is also possible to take a bus that runs up and down all the time. After a few hours at Burg Eltz we drove back down to the Moselle valley, and drove further south along the Moselle, where we could experience these valley sides with rows of grapes as long as the eye can reach. On this stretch you also pass through many cozy small towns where you can take a small stop to hike or eat a little. Well in the afternoon we crossed the border with France and again met our travel companion. We spent the night on a simple motorhome parking in Amneville Les Termes.

Saint-Vallier and further towards the Mediterranean

We mainly choose places for accommodation via the app from CamperContact. We had to have an overnight stay before we reached the Mediterranean. The choice fell on Camping Municipal Les Iles de Silon, a campsite located on the banks of the Rhone. A cozy place within walking distance to the town of Saint-Vallier. We took a little trip on our two wheels to explore a little before it was an early evening again.

the Mediterranean

The next morning we continued towards the south of France, the goal this day was to reach the Mediterranean, something we were looking forward to. Getting down to the south coast of France was our first sub-goal, and we ended up at camping Palavas Les-Flots. The camping was perfectly fine, but it was cramped. Here there were no rules for how long the distance should be between the cars, and it was a bit looted to maneuver the car inside this cramped campsite. Eventually we got to position ourselves fairly well. Palavas Les-Flots is a cozy town with a canal where it is crowded with fishing boats. Along the canal there are many nice bars and restaurants. At the end of the canal, it is a small cable car that can take you over to the other side, and this of course had to be tested. This was the place where we were to separate teams with our travel companion. They were going on to Spain, and we continued on to Nice to take the ferry over to Corsica.

Nice

We continued on to Nice where we had booked a ferry with Corsica Ferries over to Corsica. A ferry ride of approx. 8 hours. When we arrived in Nice, the GPS made some strange choices and we ended up in the middle of the city center. Nice is after all France's fifth largest city, so this gave us some real challenges. It should be pretty much before Finn gets stressed, but here he got pretty red at the top. Maneuvering the 9 meter car in the center of Nice requires that the concentration be on high gear, but it went well this time too. We eventually found the harbor, but here we got new challenges.

Parking fees

Parking the motor home in Nice is not that easy. We thought we should be smart and meet well in advance of the ferry. This turned out not to be a good idea anyway, because it was not possible to get into the harbor area so early, the gates opened three hours before departure. We were there seven hours before, so there we were, outside the boom. It was not appropriate to reverse because of the dense traffic, so here we were just a little bit rotten. Fortunately, the bomber understood the problem, he obviously felt a little sorry for us and opened the boom. Against a small fee of 20 euro we were allowed to stand inside until we could check in on the ferry area itself.

Ferry to Corsica

The ferry was to leave at 23:00, and the drive-in started at 20:00. The check-in itself went very well, but it is a slightly different arrangement than we are used to on ferries in Norway. There is a driveway where the tickets are checked. The guards must also get into the car to check that there are no more people than what is on the tickets. From here it is on to a waiting area where the tickets are checked again. Some stickers are put on the car, then carry it on to the actual collision field. Finally we got on board the ferry, and the trip over to Corsica could start.

Promotion in Corsica

The crossing was quiet and early in the morning we arrived at the port of Bastia. It was dark when we drove ashore, but the GPS was ready for a campsite just north of Bastia. Here we were going to stand a few days to "acclimatize" us a little and get some laundry. It is also good to be able to plan a little further progress. Camping La Pietra turned out to be just so great. It was quite obvious that the season was over, when we parked there was only another motorhome on the whole campsite that accommodated 170 cars / wagons. That means we had some pretty peaceful days at this campsite, which was really okay considering that we were going to relax. The area around La Pietra is really beautiful, some of Corsica's high mountains encircling the campsite on the one side, and one looks straight over the sea on the other side.

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