Even if you know what’s coming, you’re never prepared for how it feels.
– Natalie Standiford
Wow, time has suddenly moved on. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but it is suddenly February and I realise that I haven’t written a blog post in this entire year!
I think today that I shall finish up the camper van adventures – they finished on November 1st, so it has been a long time coming – and then I can get on to catching up with our current trip, as well as moving on to expanding the type of blog post I write.
The end of Harold Saxon adventures: through Germany, into Luxembourg, Belgium and home.
Switzerland was expensive (see Switzerland: The land of chocolate and cheese) and as such we decided that we would not fill up the van with diesel whilst we were there (it was sitting around €1.50 per litre, and we all know how weak the pound is/was at that time) so we limped over the border into Germany, and stupidly decided to wait for the second feel station before filling up – our theory being that although the first one was cheaper than in Switzerland, it was right on the border, so would be more expensive than further north. And we were correct. But what we didn’t quite realise was how far away fuel station number two would be. We were running on fumes by the time we made it, and I’m still surprised that we actually did! This stop did have the most beautiful sunset though, so mesmerising that Sam, after 3 months of driving on the right side of the road forgot where he was and drove out onto the left! Luckily nothing was coming towards us, but it just goes to show that some things will be eternally ingrained into our brains no matter how much we try to do the opposite.
That night we drove up through Germany and stopped at a castle, Burg Thurant. We probably weren’t meant to, but it was late and the castle was lit up and very pretty, so we stayed. Because that’s what you can do with a self-sufficient camper! We were planning to go inside, but in the light of day, some of the magic wasn’t quite there, so we continued on our way though valleys, past more castles into Trier. Trier was founded by the Romans and has many well preserved Roman ruins including the Porta Nigra (black gate), baths and an amphitheatre.
From here we took a small trip through Luxembourg, although mainly for more diesel (because Luxembourg is one of the cheapest countries in Europe for fuel) and then continued on north into Ypres, Belgium, where we spent the last night of our road trip. This was something that I had really wanted to do, as each night at 8pm at the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, there is a ceremony of remembrance for all those that gave their lives to help secure the freedom of Belgium during WWI. The ceremony is beautiful in its simplicity and was a perfect way for us to end our trip that began with finding the resting place for my Great Uncle who we lost in France in WWI.
So comes to the end of our road trip. Harold Saxon has sadly been sold (we wanted to transport him to New Zealand, but the costs were too much due to the size of van) but all in all, we did manage to make a small profit, so although it was heart wrenching to say goodbye, it was a nice surprise that our hard work helped to pay for our trip!
I can honestly say that the whole trip was insane, it was beautiful and exciting and filled with happiness. I can never recommend travelling enough, and this style of travel really is open to everyone: singles, couples, families, short term, long term, costing a fortune or very little at all. If you want it, go for it!
If you are interested in any of our travels round Europe or want to know more about building our camper, you can always contact me through my blog, email or Facebook!