Simon Rogers


Simon Rogers

Away in The Major

Five years and five weeks ago we wandered wide eyed into the Heathrow arrivals hall in the manner of Hugh Grant in “Love Actually”, direct from Lima and our year out in South America to be met by Simon’s Dad - seee all our previous blogs.

Bitten by the travel bug we had promised ourselves over numerous wine and steak dinners in the Southern Cone that life on the road was so good that we would aim for a “mini sabbatical” every 5 years or so to while away the ever increasing years until our retirements…

Needless to say with work and the arrival of twin boys our 5 year plan went through radical revisions until by happy coincidence both of our companies introduced a sabbatical scheme and we found ourselves discussing the next “Big Trip” with two four year olds in tow.

So join us as we set sail for a trip around Europe… the blog of our last trip has had 66,000 hits - we can’t guarantee anything like the level of attention to detail on this one, small people take up too much of our time and public wifi connections are too scarce in comparison – but we hope family and friends will enjoy it.

Europe » Germany » Bavaria » Munich July 27th 2011

Claire’s life long association with Munich has it’s roots from before she was born - when her parents hosted a Bavarian youth football team and Peter, Reinsche and Wolfgang came to stay – on subsequent visits the sight of “Germans” camping in the backgarden of a Birmingham suburb was not an every day occurance and plenty of 4 and 5 year old friends were ushered in to see them! Our journey to Munich through Austria was slow and tempered by the weather which was raining cats and dogs and dipped to a rather scary 11 degrees - a bit of a shock having left Bled that morning at a balmy 28! On our arrival at Camping platz Thalkirchen in Munich, our initial panic at being squashed in like sardines alongside other caravans and motorhomes for 6 ... read more
legoland model of Luzern
Meeting Mr. Lego
Munchers enjoying a beer

Europe » France » Brittany » Saint-Malo July 20th 2011

The Bourgoune Les Ceriselles in the Yonne on the banks of the Canal Niverais. A lovely setting with the area very reminiscent of home, rolling chalk downs and flint flecked houses. Next day we set off to the local market - it is a wonderful slice of French life. We fill our bag with all the things we didn’t get to sample in the Auberge the night before. I even get brave and try things from a stall ominously called La Tete du Vache…. Whilst I am at this stall, Simon takes Thomas to the boulangerie for a baguette and I am half way through the transaction when I see him sprinting towards the fountain with Thomas in his arms to dunk his foot - It turns out that one of the filthy ubiquitous smoking French ... read more
er...a windmill
Is it a weasel?
Velorail Level Crossing

Europe » Germany » Baden-Württemberg » Munstertal July 12th 2011

From Switzerland its an easy 3 hours drive to Munstertal at the southern end of the Black Forest. Our campsite is famed for its facilities which also means that it is completely full. There are nice big pitches but ours backs on to the railway line with diesel engines thundering no more than 2m from the caravan from 5am onwards – hmmm. The clientele of this campsite is definitely different, most are over 50 with teenage kids (i.e us in ten years!). They all have identical style (if not pattern) awnings and spend a lot of time watching TV. Its not very friendly. Unfortunately, as well as The Major we are towing a large black cloud around Europe with us and even though we arrive in blazing sun and 30 degrees by tea time it is ... read more
giant cuckoo clock
industrious boys occupy themselves
we seemed to always be going here!

Europe » Switzerland » North-West » Lucerne » Kriens July 6th 2011

A quick call to Sempachersee Camping in the morning confirms that they have a place for us and off we go. Simon has been nervous that we will encounter some large mountains with steep gradients, but this is the Swiss and why go up a mountain when you can bore a tunnel through it and save everyone the bother. Claire pulls her commercial skills out and, after 9 weeks coming, we have our first premier pitch – right on the lake, a view to savour, sunset directly infront – so good even the locals come to admire the view and take pictures across the lake from our pitch at sundown. The first night is idyllic; beautiful weather and the boys playing crazy golf around the caravan. The next morning lovely too and we head off to ... read more
a rare moment of entente cordiale
boys get onto car washing in the rain
cable car down through the clouds

Europe » Slovenia » Upper Carniola » Bled June 25th 2011

“I feel sLOVEnia” – that’s the motto and we have to agree with it. Arriving in Lake Bled is like seeing the postcards and pictures come to life. The turquoise Lake with its tiny island and the Julien Alps all around. Camping Bled is right opposite the shore with a public beach. The staff are friendly and energetic and we pitch right next to the playground which suits us fine. A quick scan of the tourist brochures in the camp reception over dinner and we decide to go to a flea market in a local town Radovljica. After a very relaxing breakfast (the boys being happy in the playground opposite the caravan by themselves) we head off and park up. There is some sort of religious procession (Roman Catholic?) going on with a procession and chanting ... read more
Gingerbread museum

Europe » Croatia » Istria » Vrsar June 15th 2011

What were we concerned about? What a lovely country this is. We have been blown away by the coastal scenery, completely unspoilt thanks to considerate development. The roads are great for towing the caravan, it’s not expensive, and everyone wears a smile on their face. Our campsite Porto Sole has first class facilities and it’s all pretty new and shiny too. The boys have been in heaven with a choice of two beaches, two pools and a minigolf! We have a village green type atmosphere going on around the caravan as we are near the euro-camp style tents with the kids and parents venturing on to the green in the evening for cricket, badminton, tennis type activities. We’ve taken the boat (blow up dinghy!) into the sea a couple of times and used the snorkelling gear ... read more
the fabled Trabant
Croatia haystack
Bullet riddled houses

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Verona June 12th 2011

In fair Verona... We took this trip from Lake Garda a week or so ago and so memories are fading… Thomas is having difficulty distinguishing his Villains from Millers resulting in some very funny sentences like “why do the Millers have to go in the dungeons?” Cathy and Tony went off to Venice for the day. It being the city for lovers we decided that the 4 of us coming along would cramp their style somewhat and the fair city of Verona just 30 mins away by train beckoned us as an alternative option. Unfortunately, the rain had settled in for the day when we arrived and bought our Verona Card (admission and bus pass in one). Running through the rain we jump on our bus to the CastelVecchio (built 1355 for the Scala family) – ... read more
Castel Vecchio
The arena
where Claire wanted to eat...

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Chioggia June 11th 2011

Just a quick mention. My last visit here was 33 years ago when I was at Primary school with my parents and their friends! It’s a beach resort about 30km from Venice. We stayed this time at Camping Miramare in Sottomarina where we had a lovely welcome from the owner and chose a pitch on the quiet side of the road (ie the one farthest from the beach and pool) but right opposite the playground. For those who haven’t tried it yet, beach holidays in Italy are quite different as most of the beaches are privately owned (and you have to pay to use them) luckily this campsite had its own beachside plot. The campsites are also a little different as they allow long term semi-static use. The result is that there are parts of the ... read more
Discussing the finer points of the wine
first time in a log flume
Great village in volcanic hills

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Lake Garda June 6th 2011

Before we start - don't forget that not all the photos are alongside the text, most are below it. So don't miss those fab snaps by being hasty and not scrolling down!! S&C ------------------------- Lake Garda - Bella Italia, at last. The mother of all storms came in across Lake Guarda on our first day and we were outside at 10pm pulling in the sun shade as the night crashed and flashed around us and torrential rain came down. Next morning you wouldn’t have known there had been a storm at all, the day dawned bright and clear. Cathy and Tony flew in to Verona and joined us for a week of children and parent spoiling and sight seeing at Lake Garda. We are all staying at Camping Viaggio “Weekend” in Cisano. The campsite is a ... read more
Lake Garda and Salo
These are mountains boys

Europe » Italy » Tuscany » Montecatini Alto June 5th 2011

Burnt orange sunsets fading to the blues and purples of night over the Tuscan hill towns washed down with a glass of Chianti – that’s what we expected when we came to Tuscany. What we have had is a week of rain and thunderstorms, April weather according to the campsite owner… What a pity, here we are in our campsite “Belsito” in Motecatini Therme Alto, we are, as I write in our caravan about 3m from the poolside in the shadow of a typical Tuscan farmstead surrounded by olive trees and bouganvillia. It should be heavenly, but it isn’t because another 3m of mud separate us from our car and our little bathroom hut and the laundry hasn’t dried even though it was done 3 days ago. Given the weather we have relented and sought out ... read more
Ponti Vecchio
Neptunes fountain in Florence
Claire admiring Davids finer features

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