Some of the things we’ve seen and done on our trip.
Belgium: My first sighting of a stork. Beautiful mediaeval towns. A citadel. Strange bicycle ‘cars’.
Sweden: Swans in the Baltic sea. Musk oxen in Tannas. We’ve joined some Swedes cruising in their 1950’s American car in a rally. Received cuddles from Swedish festival goers at Sweden Rock because we were English AND were asked our opinion on the authenticity of the ‘British chips’ we’d bought, by a stall owner at Sweden Rock. We’ve seen two hares chasing a rabbit out of a field. A ‘super cool’ mum roller blading whilst pushing a pushchair in Malmo and nursery school teachers with their charges in a cart on the front of their bicycle. Cheerful red and yellow houses (and the occasional radical blue or green houses!). Elk (but not nearly enough of them!). Herds of reindeer. A beaver in the sea in Stockholm. Attended a Rockabilly festival, we were the only English people there, judging by the emptiness of the dance floor and the fullness of the beer tent everyone else was ‘only here for the beer’ and it wasn’t even Double Diamond!
Norway: Midnight sun over the fjord. Huge pink moon shining over the same fjord. Beautiful designs on lorries and lots of American cars. Sailing in a Viking long boat. Lorry ‘parked’ in a ditch at the side of the road. Stave Church. Bicycle lift. Porpoise. Otters mating (awful noise). Rock art. Roundabouts INSIDE a tunnel! Very happy, polite family of 11 (8 children and one on the way) exploring Finland and Norway in a V.W. panel van, they were a joy to behold, an inspiration.
Finland: A reindeer sauntering down the main road with an enormous lorry moving at reindeer pace behind him, superb.
Germany: Opulent schloss’s. In the North: Colourful mediaeval buildings with cobbled streets meandering between them. In the South: Intricate artwork on the buildings and pretty window boxes overflowing with colourful flowers. Eagle’s Nest and the sound of LOTS of bells EVERYWHERE, on churches, clocks and cows. A cavorting cow. Salt mine.
Austria: Snowy mountains and beautiful cows.
Italy: Ancient towns and VERY low bridges. My first ever taste of griddled vegetables, delicious.
France: Bull run in the South and a subterranean church in the West. ‘Sandwich sellers’. Toulouse La Trec’s grave. Beautiful old villages. A fortification. War graves. Walled cities. Darren’s one and only meal of ‘les pieds et paquets Marsailles’ (tiny lambs feet and parcels of fat). A grand chateau. A beaver swimming across a canal.
Spain: A human pyramid. Griffon Vultures. Mini Hollywood! Artwork on the roundabouts. A gold tower block in the shape of an ‘M’. Wind erosion sand ‘sculptures’. Cave dwellings. HUNDREDS of migrating birds of prey and storks flying over head. Hippy beach dwellings. Thousands of cherry trees in blossom backed by snow capped mountains. Tostada y tomate, drool! Superb modern buildings. Receiving a police escort out of a small town. Lots of nesting storks. The ‘mushroom’ in Seville. We spent so long in Spain it has to have two photos.
Gibraltar: Barbary macaques.
Portugal: An extremely long and very high Roman aquaduct. A town with every stone item in the town made out of marble including the zebra crossing. A chapel decorated with human bones (could have done without that experience!). Eating the BEST gazpacho soup EVER at a teeny cafe called Gazpacho, in Castelo de Monsaraz.
Luxembourg: Castles and mediaeval towns. The cheapest fuel on the whole journey. The most roadworks anywhere. Fantastic modern offices.
The Netherlands: Fortified town. Beautiful vibrant fields of flowers. HUGE barges. Lorries with automatic covers to cover their load. A dyke. A hare chasing a bird of prey. Superb cycle paths. Bunker cheese, gorgeous!
Denmark: Viking fortification and Viking museum. Beautiful castles. The Little Mermaid. Superb glass buildings. Church with five towers. Extremely long bridge.
People: We met many lovely people on our journey and the helpful advice that we received from a lot of them enhanced our trip, a HUGE thank you to each and every one of you. It’s wonderful to have discovered that there are so many kind and interesting people in this world.