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Hello from Switzerland and Italy

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    Hello from Switzerland and Italy

    Left the UK on Monday morning after driving from Devizes to Dover in a monsoon. Then to the Ardennes in similar weather (getting lost round Lille). Next day to near Strasbourg - intermittent downpours, got lost in Metz and nearly "totalled" by an enormous truck, couldn't find a site, roads closed - eventually ended up on a "Deliverance" type site deep in the forest with guess what...? Pouring rain. Today made it to near Lucerne and found a fab site. Expensive but great facilities. Still got heavy showers but in this setting, it's spectacular rather than miserable. Recharging our personal batteries after tiring trip down (avoiding toll roads a mistake...!) and having a glass of Sauvignon in the van...

    Next stop - Lake Como hopefully, then Venice.

    Where's the sun ....?

    Doug

    #2
    Originally posted by snobbyafghan View Post
    Left the UK on Monday morning after driving from Devizes to Dover in a monsoon. Then to the Ardennes in similar weather (getting lost round Lille). Next day to near Strasbourg - intermittent downpours, got lost in Metz and nearly "totalled" by an enormous truck, couldn't find a site, roads closed - eventually ended up on a "Deliverance" type site deep in the forest with guess what...? Pouring rain. Today made it to near Lucerne and found a fab site. Expensive but great facilities. Still got heavy showers but in this setting, it's spectacular rather than miserable. Recharging our personal batteries after tiring trip down (avoiding toll roads a mistake...!) and having a glass of Sauvignon in the van...

    Next stop - Lake Como hopefully, then Venice.

    Where's the sun ....?

    Doug
    Sun last seen in Timbuktoo! Have a lovely time,watch out for puddles on the roads in venice,they can be deep enough to float a boat.
    Young men sow wild oats.Old men grow sage.

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      #3
      Seek out the local wine - our big surprise last year when campervanning down near Lausanne was how good Swizz wine can be. Not always the cheapest but we had some rather good whites.

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        #4
        Have a great time Doug, hope the weather improves.
        Graham
        Did you know you can follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or you can visit us at our Website

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          #5
          THE SUN IS OUT....! And guess what...? There's mountains

          Doug

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            #6
            Hi Doug,
            Please keep us posted as we're off to Switzerland at the end of July & have no itinerary as yet. Any tips or "don't miss" info would be a great help
            Have a great trip.
            Derwen

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              #7
              Today. We cycled to Lucerne - a round trip of about 35k. This quite a long ride for old timers, especially on folding bikes with little wheels, especially when the temperature is 32 degrees and especially when you get a puncture on the way back However Lucerne was worth it.

              Derwen, we intended to stay 1 night on our way to Italy and stayed 4 which must mean something. We love it. We are in a site at Sembach on the Lake. It's not cheap (£22.00 per night with electric) but the facilities are first class. It was recommended to us by the very friendly Swiss border guard. By the way, are you aware of the vignette you have to buy at the border if you want to use the motorway in Switzerland...? It cost us €70.00 for the car and the van but is probably worth it. If you want any more info, feel free to ask. Overall, very impressed by Switzerland.

              Tomorrow, the intention is to head for Italy.

              Doug

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                #8
                I'll take a look at that & thanks for the reminder on the vignette, I must order one soon..
                I'm sure it'll be a little more crowded when we go as it'll be school holidays & I doubt if we can just turn up at campsites but we'll give it a go. I hate pre-booking anywhere & wild camping is not allowed in Switzerland so I hear.

                Enjoy your holiday.
                Derwen

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                  #9
                  When we spent a couple of weeks in Switzerland last year we didn't bother with a vignette. We had intended to get one but somehow didn't find one at the border and so decided we'd try without motorways. It was fun using the smaller roads although one trip (going up to Lucerne I think) was difficult avoiding the motorway and we were really glad for our good Satnav. Traffic was fairly light and it was quite easy driving the non-motorway, except for getting lost in Lucerne (roadworks meant we couldn't follow Satnav).

                  Derwen, don't know if you were around last year when we posted this but I blogged my trip at http://roamingsnail.blogspot.co.uk/ - quite a few details and photos of our experience. You'll have to go back a couple of pages in the blog, the first page and a half focus on the end of the trip and has details of the Amateur Radio Hamfest in Germany. Switzerland starts at the bottom of page 2 (being a blog the latest articles are at the top so the trip is in reverse order) for a couple of pages and then the blog goes back through our trip down there through France.

                  Doug, hope you enjoy Italy - be interested in your experience of Italian roads and driving - on my only trip to Italy, a business trip in central Rome, the driving was very frightening.

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                    #10
                    Thank you for that Brianthesnail, I'll read it today

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                      #11
                      We arrived in Italy on Sunday from Lucerne. We'd intended going only as far as Como but for various reasons, carried on to Lake Iseo. This meant going round Milan on the Autostrada. Hint - travel on Sundays; we saw hardly any trucks in what turned out to be a 5 hour journey. The traffic was fast in Italy and the slip-road signs confused me at first but all-in-all, nothing too bad.

                      Lake Iseo is fab - the weather has been hot (34degs) and sunny since we arrives. We picked our campsite at random from 3 next door to each other and were extremely lucky to get a pitch right on the lake - it's available until Saturday and is unbelievable. We've got our inflatable canoe moored just outside the van door...the swimming is good as well. The local town of Iseo is lovely.

                      Our current plan is to head for Venice on Saturday for 2 or 3 days then back to either the lakes or the Ligurian coast.

                      I'll keep you posted.

                      Doug

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                        #12
                        Hi Doug, enjoying your scriblings, very interesting thanks for sharing your trip with us, looking forward to more, safe journey.
                        Gadgetman......... (Bryan)
                        'Live without regrets'

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                          #13
                          Hello from Switzerland AND now Italy...

                          Hello gadgetman (and anyone else who may be reading this).

                          It's now Friday and on Monday *we arrived back on the same site in Iseo that we had left on Saturday to go to Venice. It was a tiring 3 days but well worth it. As usual, the beginning and the end of the trip had drama and strife. The satnav took us up a narrow-and-getting-narrower lane that looked destined to be a dead end. Celia used words I was surprised she knew then low-and-behold, it became a slip-road*on*to a dual carriageway. With satnav you just never know. This was proved at the other end when we ignored the Autostrada turn-off that streams of mh's and caravans were taking and followed the satnav. Within seconds, all roads disappeared from the screen and the satnav showed us floating over open country whereas we were actually on a new section of Autostrada. HINT - it's probably better to pay the 80 quid that you thought was a ripoff and update the satnav before leaving home.

                          After traveling along the new motorway without any sign of a turn-off, it began to look like we were destined to end up in Trieste. Although one appeared eventually, we were in the middle of nowhere. However, a very helpful Italian lady in a petrol station sent us in the right direction and we were able to join a massive traffic jam of Italian holiday-makers heading for Jesolo. Yet again I cursed our lack of a/c...!

                          The site we went to was, in its way, grim. I suppose I should have realized that somewhere called "Scarpiland" wasn't going to be ideal but it was only for a couple of nights so wasn't that important. But we arrived after a long drive to be told we couldn't enter until 3.00 and had to wait in the road outside which soon became blocked by others doing the same thing. Luckily there was a bar on the other side of the road. Then, as we arrived on our weirdly shaped corner pitch, a cloud-burst turned the site into a quagmire, the jockey- wheel embedded itself and we thought, let's just leave the van where it is, ie parked at an angle with the door up against a hedge, and put up with it. That's quite enough about Scarpiland - we were glad to surrender our car-pass, take off our compulsory ID bracelets and get out of there after 2 nights.*

                          Venice was great of course and getting up early enough to be there by 8.00 o'clock was definitely worth it; we had St Mark's Square almost to ourselves. On the down side, the litter left from what was obviously a riotous previous night was still in evidence! The day was baking hot but an unforgettable experience.*

                          Then, after a final night in unlamented Scarpiland, it was back to the Autostrada for another 3 hours of 38 degrees travel without a/c; the only time I can recall traveling on a motorway with both front windows wound down.

                          Arrived back at site in Iseo to find we'd got a lakeside pitch again.*

                          Due to being quite useless in many ways, I didn't get an ACSI card before coming (I wasn't really aware of what they are), I'm having the privilege of paying a lot more than my card-bearing (and quite justifiably slightly smug) *fellow campers. However, at least I can take satisfaction in the fact that they are all banished to the dark, woody periphery of the site whilst we lounge in sybaritic splendor on the lake shore. And how we appreciated that on arriving back from our Autostrada baking. Within 5 minutes of setting up, we jumped into the lovely cool waters of the lake - bliss.

                          We had intended moving on tomorrow because our pitch is booked but the very (very...!) attractive Italian lady who runs the site has just been to tell us that the people who booked it can't get here so we can have it for as long as we wish. Amongst other things, that means we can watch the footy final in Italy - should be fun.

                          So, although we are both coughing our lungs up due to some Venetian lurgy we picked up, i think its time to sit, watch the lake have*another glass of wine.

                          Cheers

                          Doug

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                            #14
                            It's not a good time to moan about being hot! We are having very heavy rain showers, lights on in the house to do anything even in the afternoon & some poor souls are under water with flash floods... What I'd give to open a window
                            Glad you're enjoying yourselves & thanks for keeping us entertained. I hope it's still hot in 4 weeks time

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                              #15
                              Derwen - good point but it IS unpleasant being in a car at 38 degrees with no a/c...! However, there'll be no more from me about the downside of sunshine...

                              Doug

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