Tag Archives: Phase 2

Europe Phase 2 Update

We’ve reached the point in our journey where we are about as distant as we’re going to get from London, our starting place for Phase 2.

The blue lines on the map below show our route for Phase 2 so far.  Phase 1 is in Red.

Colour map of Europe with a blue line showing our route from London through France, Germany, and South through Easter Europe to Greece

Our European Journey. Blue = Phase 2. Red = Phase 1.

This may look like the random walk of a drunken sailor, but there is considerable planning behind it.  The only places we’ve re-visited so far are in eastern Germany, but we expect that we’ll cross our tracks several times before we’re done.  Despite my best efforts to proceed in an orderly and efficient manner, there are a lot of factors that have influenced our route including desirable locations, weather, meetings with other people, special events/festivals, etc.  We’ll be heading through Italy next then continuing West.

So far, Phase 2 of our European journey is going well.  The S&M Motel is running great, and we’ve gotten back into the swing of free camping after a lot of campgrounds in Eastern Europe.  The weather has finally improved after raining almost every day in April and May. We’ve learned how much nicer it is to be traveling by motorhome when it’s warm and dry.  We sit outside to eat and read.  We can shower without heating the water first.  Now we’re wishing we had air-conditioning!

Europe Phase 2 – The Gear Upgrades

We’ve invested in some new and upgraded items for this trip.  Based on the experience gained in Phase 1, we thought that the following would make traveling even better.

1)    A new GPS (known in Europe as a ‘satnav’) with a larger screen, the latest European maps, and warnings of the locations of ‘traffic safety cameras’ (otherwise known as photo radar – at least the fixed ones)

2)    Additional camping guide books and discount cards to make finding places to stay easier and more affordable

3)    A better power inverter to charge electrical appliances while driving (or use them while parked)

4)    A 2nd laptop battery for more blogging time when not connected to external power

5)    Stronger reading glasses for print that seems to get smaller every year

6)    A magnifying glass (see #5)

7)    A tiny video camera with a variety of accessories and mounts

8)    More clothes and shoes, allowing us to do laundry less frequently

9)    Rock climbing / mountaineering gear for Patrick

All of this gear required an extra duffle bag on the plane on the trip over.  We think that the extra charge for this bag (both ways) will be worth it.  Traveling by motorhome allows us to bring way more stuff than when adventure traveling with a backpack (one of it’s many advantages!)

Additionally, the S&M Motel has received a major upgrade to the propane system (known in Europe as ‘LPG’, or ‘Liquid Propane Gas’).  It is now outfitted with an integrated system that can be re-filled at regular gas stations (like cars that run on LPG), rather than trying to find a propane-bottle filling station.  This was a challenge last trip, requiring us to ration gas carefully.  This time we’re being much more liberal with the heat.  Thanks Sue and Martin!

Europe Part Deux

And so we begin again.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” – Seneca, Roman Philosopher, Mid-1st Century CE

After a whirlwind of last minute preparations, seeing friends and family, and attending the wedding of our niece, we flew from Vancouver to London on April 9th.  The airline we chose (American Airlines) is currently in bankruptcy, but that didn’t seem to affect the service (still bad).

Packing was as daunting as it has been in the past.  I’d assumed that it would get easier each time, but no such luck.  This time I’m bringing mountaineering gear, so we needed to pay for an extra bag on the plane.

I’m full of anticipation for the journey ahead.  Although we’ve been to Europe before, there is still so much to see.  How do we find the right balance between seeing and being, between racing and pacing?  I do look forward to being here in the spring and summer, and to the sunshine and warmth we longed for on our last trip.

Because we’ve traveled by motorhome in Europe before, I’m not as nervous about the challenges we’ll face.  We’re more experienced and better prepared.  Diane seems to be equally tense, but the prospect of seeing Paris soon seems to steady her.

I look forward to sharing our journey with you.  By doing so, I hope that we can learn, grow, and be inspired together.