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Archive for the ‘campsites’ Category

France 2011: Day 7-8 (Bordeaux)

Very, very wet.  It was feeling a bit like the caravan episode of Fr. Ted.  There was a swimming pool in the campsite but this wasn’t open.  In the afternoon it cleared a bit and we headed off on the bikes.  We found a big Auchan store and did some shopping.

The following day before leaving we did the usual water and waste emptying procedures.  It was 12:20 when I went to check out.  They charged for an extra night.  We won’t be going back to Le Village Du Lac, Bordeaux.

Le Village Du Lac, Bordeaux

Le Village Du Lac, Bordeaux

We headed South to Mont de Marsan.  Using the coordinates in the Aires book, we found a small aire about 2km outside the town.  I took the bikes down and we headed into town.

Aire, Mont de Marsan.

Aire, Mont de Marsan.

France 2011: Day 5-6 (L’Houmeau)

Au Petit Port

Au Petit Port

In the morning we decided that we would spend another night in the campsite.  When I went to book I was told that the slot we were in had been booked for a week so we had to move to a slot at the far end of the campsite – no more wifi in the van.

In the afternoon we got the bikes down and headed into La Rochelle.

The next day we were on a mission – to get to an Irish Pub in Bordeaux to watch a couple of hurling matches:  Dublin v Limerick and Waterford v Galway.  We rang ahead to the campsite (Bordeaux Lac) and confirmed that we could just turn up after the matches. We set the sat nav to find the Connemara Pub.

We were cutting it fine to see the start of the first match.  We ended up doing a few circuits of Bordeaux before finding a place to park.  We found the pub and settled in to watch the matches just at the end of the first half of the Dublin v Limerick match. The staff obligingly put the match up on the big screen. We were seated next to a family supporting Limerick.  Dublin won.

Having been in Tullamore for the Dublin v Galway match and seen Galway’s revival against Clare and Cork I was looking forward to seeing this continued.  It was not to be and I exited the Connemara Pub an unhappy man.

At the end of the Waterford v Galway match, Connemara Bar Bordeaux

At the end of the Waterford v Galway match, Connemara Bar Bordeaux

We found a route through the streets of Bordeaux back to the campervan and made our way to the campsite.

France 2011: Day 4 (Nozay)

Nozay Aire

Nozay Aire

We continued South to La Rochelle.

So far we had stayed in aires.  The aires book gave sat-nav coordinates so finding an aire was straightforward (most of the time).  Today we were looking for a campsite.  The French campsite book (in French) was not so simple.  After a few circuits of La Rochelle we found a campsite in L’Houmeau – Au Petit Port.

We got a pitch close to the entrance, beside the ping pong tables and close enough to access the free WIFI.

France 2011: Day 3 (Mont St. Michel)

We went for a wander through Mont St. Michel.  It was very busy – quite a contrast to the night before.

Mont St. Michel Street

Mont St. Michel Street

In the afternoon we headed South and ended up that evening in an aire in Nozay.  To overnight should have been 5 euro.   There was an issue with electricity so they decided not to charge.

France 2011: Day 2 (Cherbourg)

Breakfast is served from 8-10am in the ferry restaurant.  We headed down at 9:30. At 15:30 we arrived in Cherbourg. We had to reverse off the ferry.

Cherbourg Port

Cherbourg Port

Cherbourg Port

Cherbourg Port

We headed off to Le Mont St. Michel.  We arrived at about 8pm.  There’s a big car park area for campervans.  It’s 12 euro for the day but  it’s free to stay overnight.  The Mont looks quite spectacular at night.  It’s only about a 5 minute walk from the campervan park.

Le Mont St. Michel Campervan park

Le Mont St. Michel Campervan park

Le Mont St. Michel is France’s second most popular attraction but at night time it is really pleasant.

Caravan & Motorhome Show at Holiday World Show, RDS

We went into the Caravan & Motorhome Show in the RDS this morning.

Aoife and John from Cara Motorhomes

Aoife and John from Cara Motorhomes

We joined the ICCC (Irish Caravan and Camping Club).  There’s a special offer for the duration of the show: 60 euro for a family.  This is a reduction of 13 euro.

Mick Donnelly and John Kennedy of the ICCC

Mick Donnelly and John Kennedy of the ICCC

Pat Horan with his daughter at the RDS

Pat Horan with his daughter at the RDS

Norway 2010: Day 10 – 11 (Hafsten)

Day 10:

Liseberg – Camping Askim Strand

Liseberg – Camping Askim Strand

We left Gothenburg and continued Northwards.  We had an idea of trying kayaking in Munkedal and started to look for campsites in that area.  We found Hafsten SweCamp Resort.  There was a bit of a queue of camper vans at check in. We hadn’t phoned ahead. We thought we might not get in.  The main resort was full.  However there was an overflow.  This was a field we’d passed on the way in.  They had availability in the main resort the following day so we decided to stay one night in “The Field” and one night in the resort.

Hafsten Field

Hafsten Field

We settled into “The Field”.  There was a water tap up at the road as well as a bin and a non flushing toilet.  There was a path up into the resort proper and the facilities but this was across the road, up a hill and down a path.

Day 11:

The following day we left “The Field” and moved into the resort proper.  We found our allocated slot and settled in.  Our new neighbour came over and told us that her parents were arriving in two hours to occupy our slot.  She phoned the resort.

There had been a mix up with the other booking.  One of the staff arrived up and asked us would we move into an adjoining slot.  This suited us as the new slot was better.  We moved and settled in again.

Hafsten Swecamp Resort

Hafsten Swecamp Resort

Hafsten Swecamp Resort is a 4 star resort with a range of facilities.  We hired some kayaks and headed out into the bay.  This worked out at only 6 euro an hour each.  None of us would be regarded as accomplished canoeists but we enjoyed it.  There were lots of jellyfish in the water so we didn’t fancy going into the water.

Later on we tried the crazy golf and had a meal (pizzas and steak) in the onsite restaurant.

Hafsten Crazy Golf

Hafsten Crazy Golf

Hafsten Reception

Hafsten Reception

There were two facility blocks.  Our pitch was equidistant from them.  We were at a point where we needed to avail of laundry facilities so when we found an empty machine we went for it.  We eventually finished the laundry at 23:30.

Norway 2010: Day 8 – 9 (Gothenburg)

Day 8:

Our original plan was to go over the Øresund Bridge into Malmo.  Change of plan.  We decided instead to cross into Sweden on the Helsingör – Helsingborg ferry. Pricewise the two options were similar.  The ferry landed us further up the coast towards Norway.  We had to wait about 30 minutes for the ferry.  For such a short crossing (about 25 minutes) there were a surprising amount of facilities aboard.

We were now in Sweden with no Swedish Kroner.  Betty (our sat nav) reckoned there was a bank machine in Båstad so we headed in there to get some money.  We then continued on up the E6/E20.

Our next campsite was Liseberg – Camping Askim Strand close to Gothenburg or Göteborg as the locals call it. (This name is pronounced Yurteburry which could have provided the inspiration for the Swedish Chef from The Muppet Show. ) Nice campsite but the pitches could have been a bit bigger!

Day 9:

We cycled into Gothenburg (about 12 km).  It’s certainly a cycle friendly city. After some relaxing ice creams we went for a wander.

Gothenburg

Gothenburg

Gothenburg

Gothenburg

We got a bit lost on the way back.  We’d missed a turn off the cycle path.  Even though Betty was programmed for bicycle she kept trying to get us onto the main road.   It didn’t help that she was a bit low on battery.  After cycling unnecessarily up some hills and going around in circles, we eventually found our way back to the campsite.

Norway 2010: Day 5 – 7 (Copenhagen)

Day 5:

Left Saksild campsite at noon and headed off in the direction of Copenhagen.  Booked into Hundige Strand Familiecamping – Denmark’s oldest campsite. Put up the safari room for the first time in a campsite.

Safari Room up in Copenhagen

Safari Room up in Copenhagen

Day 6:

Got a train into Copenhagen.  Ripley’s Believe it or not.  The world of Hans Christian Anderson.

Ripley's Believe it or not

Ripley's Believe it or not

Hans Christian Anderson

Hans Christian Anderson

Discovered in train station that visa card was missing.  Rang AIB in Dublin to block card.  Luckily card had no extra entries.

Got train back to Hundige and walked back to campsite.  Ordered pizza & chips from takeaway at entrance to site.

Day 7:

Train into Copenhagen. Tivoli.

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen

We got a late train back to Hundige.  To reach the campsite we had a walk through a quiet apartment complex and then along a dark, unlit path through a wooded area.

Norway 2010: Day 3,4 (Esbjerg & Saksild)

Day 3:

The ferry docked in Esbjerg at 13:00.  We headed off towards Arhus.  Found a campsite south of Arhus – Saksild Strand.

Saksild Strand Campsite - south of Arhus

Saksild Strand Campsite - south of Arhus

Campsite has swimming pool on site and a beach just across the road.

Day 4:

We cycled into Odder, 7km away – we needed some Danish Kroner.  Found bank.  Enjoyed the sunshine in the town square.  Cycled back.

We met a Norwegian couple with Irish connections.   They warned us of tick explosion in Norway.   Cue check for DEET, vaseline and tweezers.