Friday afternoon saw us leave for our road trip from London to Italy. Finally, *finally* we were free to hit the road.
This is us having a wee break at the half way point, the Baden Baden services in Germany. It only took us 24 hours to get this far, which was pretty good going. Originally we estimated that we would arrive on the monday; the same journey in Barp would have been at least 3 days, yet despite only driving 10 mph faster but with a total lack of night driving (myself & Aran can't sleep in the caravan as it's being towed in the same way we could sleep in the bus!) we were making better progress.
We spent that night at the last services before the Gotthard tunnel, in the Swiss Alps. We spent the previous night in Belgium, then drove through Luxembourg, Germany and then into Switzerland before stopping. It's unusual in a big or slow vehicle to drive through Germany in a whole day - it's a long country!
On the European mainland everyone sleeps in their vehicles at the services - it's free to park, and they all have showers and good facilities. Sometimes the facilities aren't free, but the charge is pretty minimal. It's totally different in the UK, where parking over 2 hours is extortionate and the facilities are pretty poor in comparison. It certainly works out a lot, lot cheaper than using campsites, and is an ideal solution when it's only a few nights.
Tom cleaned the caravan before we left, although it wasn't in dire need. It is now! A clean white surface attracts the bugs and kills them instantly upon impact at speed. The caravan is covered...
We arrived safely, 48 hours after leaving, on sunday afternoon. She's now parked in her spot, behind the double decker, which dwarfs her. She's not a big caravan by any means, nor is she the smallest either, but the bus really makes her look tiny.
I'm now slowly moving into the space, which feels good. It won't be a full office, as many things will stay in the office we built this winter in the double decker. The plan is to only bring in the things I use regularly, so that I don't have to move anything out when we go on our travels next. Anything that is used infrequently or just needs to be stored remains in the other office. Which works for me, really. In here I can lock myself in, put the kettle on and sit back and knit whilst watching a True Blood marathon. It's all good.