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Published: April 30th 2019
Where in the world is Gabby the motorhome? Parked up on Camping Bled wondering why the price of this campsite has risen from 15 euros and a few cents to over 34 euros in 6 years. That is inflation taken to a ridiculous degree. My comments written in their welcome book suggested that the campfees were rather over the top for what was just a bog basic campsite. I feel it probably fell on deaf ears.
Haviz some eastern philosopher said " If you are not travelling and on the road how can you call yourself a guide" Well today I shall do my best to be your guide and give you an insight into a day on the road in a motorhome on a journey which took us out of Germany , into Austria and back out again into Slovenia. A day of rain and snow. Of temperatures in the mountain passes dipping down to as low as 2 degrees. We left ploughed fields, hillsides of vines and snow covered hills in the distance as we left Bavaria. We had actually only intended to drive as far as Spittal but for some reason we made good time and managed
to get over the border into Slovenia.
Let's go back a step though. We woke early and breakfasted before attempting to extricate ourselves from the arena car park. There is always a worry the cash machine won't work or the barrier won't lift . All went well. I paid our 15 euros fee and we headed for the barrier which lifted as soon as I put the ticket in. It was not long before we joined Munichs traffic and roadworks. We talked about the stadium. What a shame we only saw it red. It used to alternate colours , red to green and to blue until the police complained about the number of car accidents caused by drivers distracted by the ever changing lights.
First task this morning to fill up with fuel. Our first since leaving the UK. What a shock. Fuel at a German service station was 1 euro 54 cents a litre. That is roughly the price I would pay on a motorway service station in the UK and about 20p more expensive than supermarket stuff, Gabby was running on fumes so the fill cost rather a lot more than we expected. However with such
a big tank she has the capacity to travel 700 miles on the fill.
The motorways were busier today as we expected but we still made progress stopping for croissants in a pull in just off the road. Not the best of spots. Austria don't seem to sign their small stops and we sailed past a few before we spotted one suitable for Gabby. The rain came in as we headed into the mountains. Houses became chalets. Balconies were empty. No-one had planted anything yet and it would be long time until they would be filled with geraniums. The country today seemed colourless under the leaden grey sky. We paid for our Austrian vignette before we left home which meant that we did not have to stop anywhere en route to buy one. The vignette does not cover some of the tunnels and today was very much a tunnel day. We passed through approximately eleven of them . We would travel a few hundred yards in open countryside with views over the valleys and into the mountains before entering a tunnel. This went on for mile after mile after mile. We paid £7.40 to pass through one long one
emerging on the other side to snow. The sky was foreboding and the snow fell covering the trees with white. We couldnt see much in front of us. The valley views obscured by snow and by low cloud.
We ate dinner just before the Slovenian border and the Karawanken Tunnel . We needed a Slovenian vignette. We could have a week one or a month and chose the longer one which should last us for the outward journey and our return. 30 euros paid for the vignette which was duly affixed to the windscreen with the crack that is getting a little longer by the day. The tunnel cost almost 10 euros. We were glad to come out the other end of what is an old tunnel with only two lanes instead of four.
As I write this we are sitting in Camp Bled. A massive campsite , all singing and all dancing. There are hundreds of plots set in green wooded fields. There are two shower blocks and a small shop which closes at 3pm every day. A bread van arrives in the morning. We have free WiFi . There are walks , exercise areas and a restaurant which we intend to frequent tonight. If the meal is as good as last time we were here in 2013 it will be worth the effort to get here. We are within walking distance of the lake and 4 miles from town. Having been around the lake before and up to the castle we will probably not visit this trip. There are glamping pods which I think are new . All are set amongst the cherry trees. We are here on the exactly the same date as in 2013 but oddly the cherries are almost over this time. We heard the cuckoo again so nothing has changed there. A bakery on wheels now visits the site daily. That is new from last time.
It is cold. The heater is blasting away as we are on mains electricity . Saving our gas seems sensible with the weather being inclement. The trip to the restaurant was a bit of a shock. It looked the same from the outside but inside it changed beyond recognition. Gone was the cosy atmosphere, gone the tables with tablecloths and no longer did we feel it was rustic and charming. It was heaving and every table was full. At 6pm we were not Billy No Mates . You couldnt have squeezed another body in if you tried. The service was fast and furious . A cross between a Steakhouse Grill and McDonalds. The attention to detail was long gone and the key was get them in, fed them and get them out again in readiness for the next batch of diners. The interior looked like a wild west ranch and the menu too large for comfort . Pages and pages of starters ,most quickly prepared, pastas, pizzas, steaks , chicken and turkey meals , wine at £22 a bottle regardless of colour or quality and a selection of cakes for dessert. It felt as if it were popty ping food - microwave food quickly prepared. The service was adequate , we ordered a wine and the first Aperol of the trip together with gnocci in four cheeses and turkey with cheese topping. It was edible and we finished with two espressos . We were disappointed that the character of the place had long gone and commercialism had won over. Perhaps that was the story of Lake Bled. It too had given over to over commercialism losing all its charm.
We did sleep well next to our English neighbours. Before we left we headed in to pay and were surprised to find that the site was still in ACSI and we paid just 20 euros for the night . Well it would have been 20 if it had not gone up to 28 euros once you added the two tourist taxes to the bill. Our cheap campsite nights are over for a while . I called in at the mobile bread shop to buy tomorrows breakfast croissants and some bread rolls. Verdict on the bread rolls - some of the best I have tasted for a while . Bread rolls are still good in Slovenia .
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