James Benn

Jimmy Benn

James Benn

Europe » Italy » Emilia-Romagna » Bologna July 6th 2011

From Bari to Bologna 10th June to 6th July Stranded on the Amalfi Coast Well stranded may be a bit overzealous, but we were definitely stuck longer than planned. The windy mountain roads and long downhill stints over the last month or so took their toll on the brakes meaning all four pads needed replacing. Not an easy task when on the tip of the outcrop of land that the Amalfi Coast sits on. So if the Mountain won’t come to Mohammed, then the mechanic must go to the campervan. He looked more like a farmer who’d spent his life chewing on unlit cigar stubs and drinking red wine, and his car looked like he’d drank red wine before getting in it but to be fair he managed to source the right parts and come and ... read more
Trulli at Alberobello 1
Trulli at Alberobello 2

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Mlini June 9th 2011

From Krka to Mlini 11th May to 9th June Nearly a month has passed since we left Krka National Park. The sun has been almost ever present in that time, disappearing just once or twice as the clouds sweep down off the mountains that run parallel to the beautiful by rocky coastline here. The speed of our travels has slowed down somewhat, especially for the last few weeks where we’ve taken advantage of the weather conditions after finding a quiet campsite in the lovely setting of Mlini, just south of Dubrovnik. We’ve not had too many troubles in the last month. The worst being my sunburn from Paklenica got worse, a lot worse as I hadn’t moisturised it at all, and my whole torso came up in blisters. Not just once, as soon as the blisters ... read more
Sibenik 1
Trogir 1
Makarska Riviera

Europe » Croatia » Dalmatia » Sibenik May 11th 2011

From Vienna to Krka From 25th April to 11th May Is there anything as good as the first gulp of cold beer when the sun is shining? Some would argue that you don’t even need the sun to be shining, and to be honest I do agree, but then that is not ice cold larger I’d be consuming. Today it is, and with good reason. 2 days ago there were storms that swept tents away, today it is roasting hot, and the beautiful blue skies are dotted with the odd high cloud that don’t threaten anything like rain. The west coast of Croatia is beautiful. One of the nicest places I’ve found so far, and very different to where I left off the last time which was Vienna. So going back to the 25th April, I ... read more
Budapest 2
Budapest 4
Budapest 5

Europe » Austria » Vienna » Vienna April 25th 2011

From Dresden to Vienna – From 5th to 25th April Now initially Dresden was only a one night stop over, we'll be coming back to see the sites, but it was just a passing visit on the 5th. The first stop was a small town called Weimar about 150 km west of Dresden. So after a few hours drive on a sunny Wednesday morning we stopped at the lovely town of Weimar. First impressions whilst walking around was that it was that something felt a little odd, as everything was ‘nice’. Certain parts were lovely, the town hall, some of the other buildings such as a concert hall, and the buildings around the market square. But it was everything else that was impressive. It wasn’t that it was all amazing just that everything was nice. It ... read more
Wartburg Castle 1
Dresden - Hofkirche
The Sachsische Schweiz Nationa Park

Europe » Germany » Saxony » Dresden April 5th 2011

From Rhineland to Saxony – March 5th to April 5th It’s been a month since the last update, and that was done from a Mid West Germany. Now we’re in Mid East Germany but the route from A to B has not been as simple as it sounds. From Trier we were heading up to the low counties. Firstly a quick trip through Belgium and then to spend around a week in Holland. I did want to stop in Brussels but that wasn’t really realistic given that there is nowhere specifically designed to park the van and I had unsurprisingly done no research of a suitable place (shock horror). So the first and only stop in Belgium was in Antwerp. Now I know I’ve said this before, but would you ever go to Antwerp for a ... read more
Windmills at Kinderdijk
Amsterdam Canals
Stade Old Town

From Bavaria to Rhineland-Palatinate– February 24th to March 4th It’s always nice when the unexpected occurs, if it’s good of course, and I really did not expect to enjoy driving through parts of Germany as much as I have. From stunning natural sights like the Neckar Valley, to fantastic medieval towns such as Rothenburg ob der Tauber, it has been a pleasant and unexpected surprise. We started on February the 24th in the snowy town of Nesselwang, and have come north and then north west to end in Bingen, on the edge of the Rhine. The ice cold bottle of Becks is keeping me company as I struggle to see the computer screen, the sun is beating down and has been for about the last week. I had been told Germany was like Manchester, it could ... read more
Rothenburg ob der Tauber 5
Rothenburg ob der Tauber 3

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Nesselwang February 24th 2011

From Provence to Bavaria – January 13th to February 24th What is it with the weather? We’re 320 miles away from Le Lavandou, a place we stopped at on the Cote D’Azur and it’s 25° C colder! Not that it’s stopping some barmy people here who are sitting outside on deckchairs, granted not in bikinis, but it is still -6.5°C! The sun is blazing and it’s 9am. We’re 900m up in the Bavarian Alps, which with the plentiful snow decorating the landscape, glimmering in the sunshine makes for a beautiful setting. The snow has been coming down for the last few days which has it’s good points and bad. It’s good for the skiing but bad for almost everything else! We started this leg of the journey on 13th January in Fonataine de Vaucluse, Provence, and ... read more
Les Baux-de-Provence
Le Lavandou
St Tropez Marina 1

From Pas De Le Case to Provence, 22nd December to 13th January The last 23 days seem to have gone rather quickly. First Christmas, then my birthday, then a quick zoom across Southern France to Northern Italy to take in a week skiing, it all just happens without you really noticing. We’re currently in Provence. Somewhere I never really thought I’d ever come to. And somewhere I now want to return to. It’s not that I had anything against it, apart from the French (and I’m even warming to them, weird eh!), it’s just that I thought that there wasn’t all that much here. How wrong you can be. Anyway, back to it, Christmas and my Birthday was spent in Aurignac, near the French Pyrenees. Having family dotted all over the place it’s excellent to be ... read more
Gordes village
Chateau ruins in Fountain de Vaucluse

Europe » Andorra » Pas de la Casa December 21st 2010

Sagres to Pas de le Casa, the Algarve to Andorra – 22nd November to 21th December Two weeks spent swanning around the sunny Algarve and then a few days Skiing in Sierra Nevada in Southern Spain, a weekend in Barcelona, then cruising the slopes again in Andorra. A lovely way to spend four weeks! From popular opinion, hear say, and reading the odd travel brochure, the Algarve is not somewhere I’d have expected to like, other than the sun of course. I didn’t expect the countryside to be so picturesque, and I expected every town and village to be overrun by high rise blocks full of white haired British and German retirees. I was quite wrong, in part anyway. There are a lot of towns which have been monopolised by high-rises. Some of which have been ... read more
Silves fort
Alhambra 3
Alhambra 11

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Sagres November 22nd 2010

The West coast of Portugal - Tui to Sagres – 12 November to 22 November Well, after spending the evening in the first Irish bar of the trip in Tui, I find myself in a place called Ingrina. I’d never heard of either of these places prior to the trip, and whilst I’d return to one, Tui can keep it’s bottled Guinness to itself. From Tui it has been down to Porto, then Coimbra, Batalha, Tomar, Pego, Milfontes, Carrapeteira, and finally Sagres. Porto is the 2nd largest city in Portugal so navigating it was a bit of a nightmare, glad I came across it on the Sunday rather than the Saturday as the town would have been even busier. The ‘old town’ is very nice, not amazing but nice, but oddly within a street or two ... read more
Fatima - Odd crawling people
Tomar Castle 7
Carrapateira Beach

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