We are Mark and Gerdineke from the Netherlands. After many different types of holidays (by plane to all-inclusive resorts, from hotel to hotel by car and travelling around with a motorhome) we thought it is time to discover travelling with a caravan.
Every nice holiday starts with a good preparation. Mark already planned our trip more or less and made reservations for the first couple of nights. In the meantime I was collecting our stuff that absolutely needed to come with us: dishes, camping chairs, BBQ, toiletry, clothing etc. The caravan really has a lot of cupboards and storage places so I could pack whatever I wanted. Once I was convinced I had everything, I still had empty cupboards!
Our first destination is campsite Wolfsmühle in Germany. After a comfortable drive of about 4 hours we arrived around 21.00. Such a nice place to be. It is located at the river Lahn, a side river of the Rhine, and we were given a wonderful spot at the riverside. Eventhough the train was close by, it did not disturb us in any way. We had a very comfortable sleep in our “french” bed.
The next morning we continued our journey for Lago Maggiore. We drove steady and made 4 stops. After 11 hours we arrived at campsite Rose in Dormelleto. A small kind campsite with friendly staff. Our spot was next to other people from Holland who were so kind to help us place the caravan on the spot. As we started to set up the awning, it started raining cats and dogs. The awning was not a good idea. So we decided to find the lodgetent of my parents first. They were so surprised when we unexpectedly “dropped by”. We all enjoyed a very nice evening together
When we woke up the next morning, the sun was already smiling at us. Time to really settle down. Awning, table and chairs, dishes, ready for breakfast! Baked eggs, fresh orange juice, some nice buns from the electric oven … nothing beats that! We gathered the family and drove to Stresa for some wandering at the local market, have some coffee and enjoy the nice weather. From this campsite we enjoyed the ferry to Verbania which was an absolutely beautiful trip. Went shopping in Milan and gazed through the windows of Luis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci and Ralph Lauren.
And on our last day we enjoyed some aquatics, visited a market in Arona, enjoyed a lovely diner in the village and were treated to a fantastic show of fireworks. The perfect closure of our days in Dormeletto.
Venice was our next destination. Before we could leave Mark made his “exterior round” (cleaning the toilet, rolling up the electric cable, placing chairs and table under the bed, cleaning up the carpet, closing the awning) while I was responsible for the interior: the dishes, cleaning up, locking small items inside the cupboards etc. All done in hardly any time at all. Hooking up to the car and we were ready to go. It was a drive of only 300 km this time. We arrived at campsite Fusina, located across Venice on the mainland.
This campsite allows you to choose your own spot. We prefer the shade during the Italian summer so we found a nice spot under the trees. We set up the caravan, took out some magazines and relaxed the entire afternoon in front of it.
We took the so-called Vaporetto (the waterbus) to Venice at 10 am the next morning. Embarking was just 100 m. from the campsite, very convenient. WOW, Venice! All the little bridges, the gondola’s, thousands of people, nice little shops, so much to see. So many impressions.
We took the waterbus back to the campsite and I started to prepare our meal for the day. Some rice with vegetables, easy and nutricious. Again I realised how practical this caravan is. Everything is close at hand. Refridgerator with freezer, the cooker with integrated sink and also our supplies were right there. Only the dishwasher was missing but of course we had Mark 😊.
The next day we took the Vaporetto to the beach in Alberoni. A nice relaxing day of sun and sand where we enjoyed quality moments together on a very clean beach. Late afternoon we went back to Venice to visit San Marco square with the Dogepalace and the San Marco cathedral. We strawled along little shops with impressive prices. Dutch as we are, we did not have a cappuccino on one of the terraces .. € 18,--. No thank you. Instead we enjoyed the crowd waiting for a gondola at Bacino Orseolo, the busy streets and bridges, a true world on its own. Our feet needed a rest and our stomachs could use some food so we decided to have dinner. Venice is absolutely wonderful. We had 2 fantastic days there and around but those were also enough for us. It was time to head off to the next stop, Slovenia.
We arrived at campsite Sobec on Saturday afternoon and were amazed by its size and beauty. We found a nice spot for both caravan and car.
To find more peace and quiet we decided to go tot he Vitgar gorge. Strawling along the water on the wooden paths and bridges is really relaxing. The water is so clear, you can easily see the fish. It felt so great to be “in nature” like that. That feeling, that is what for us a camping holiday is about. Being close to nature and creating new memories. Radovljica was our next destination. Such a lovely town with museums and restaurants. We visited Gostilna Lectar. A restaurant with a Plus; they still make the traditional gingerbread cookies here, which they decorate by hand. A true taste of Slovenian culture if you ask us! After lunch (which is really something) we went back to the campsite where we enjoyed the tranquility of the afternoon. We cooked outside and enjoyed a beautiful summer evening.
One cannot visit Slovenia and skip Ljubljana, one of the most charming capitals in Europe with the famous “Dragon Bridge”. We walked across when we visit the Central Market. Unfortunately for us, many stands were empty so we could not really taste the good atmosphere. We walked through the car free town center but were drawn to Slovenia’s natural treasures so we took the car and drove to Bohinj. Great views, cool crystal clear water … absolutely gorgeous.
Our stay in Slovenia, home of our caravan, came to an end as we packed everything to go to Austria. Next stop: campsite Hubebauer. To leave the caravan at the campsite and take your own car to a city or other sight to see, gave us a real feeling of freedom. Different to what we are used to when travelling with a motorhome. Salzburg, birthtown of Mozart, was next on our list.
So many things to see, to experience, we just did not have enough time. It was time to start thinking about going home. We decided to leave the next day and drive well into Germany so we could be home before the busy weekend traffic of Saturday. We managed to drive the distance and arrived at campsite Heidewald. Again we were allowed to find our own spot (something we experienced a lot this trip, but did not really expect. Why not? We don’t really know. But it gave us a sense of freedom to be able to do so.) The campsite looked really clean and well maintained and such friendly people. It is true what they say, at a campsite you make new friends every day.
Sassenberg and the city of Warendorf were located close so we enjoyed some time there. But the peace and quiet of the campsite had our preference. We spent our last evening of the holiday under the awning with a nice glass, reliving the wonderful moments of the past two weeks.
Our caravaning adventure came to an end when we drove back into our street. We have enjoyed this holiday so much. We had many new impressions, did fun things, had loving moments, made new friends and got back in touch with nature. For us travelling with a caravan is absolutely TOP! We are already thinking of our next trip.
Mark en Gerdineke Nijkamp