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We made it!  Day 731 is upon us and to reward ourselves for this epic journey we made it to Berlin and have the flu!   Yep, both of us! So we’ve been feeling pretty sorry for ourselves….oh….poor us….cough, cough.

To top it all off, we had trouble finding a campsite that was open (many don’t open till 1May) and that wasn’t a million dollars a night (ie under 20euro inc electricity).  Our gas regulator decided to become blocked and therefore gas heating virtually non-existent so wildcamping is out of the question as most nights are around-8c and there is still snow everywhere!  As we are feeling a bit sick and sorry for ourselves we’ve been particularly unmotivated to blog or to go sight-seeing. We’d just been bragging to ourselves (as there was no-one else around anyway) that we hadn’t had a flu, cold or been sick for 2 years with any of those funky viral things that go around the work place every season.  Hahhh, that’ll teach us hey! I’m sure no one one was really holding their breath anyway as we are no where near as pro-fo as some of our fellow travelers.

Its hard to believe that 2 years ago, we said goodbye to our loved ones in Australia & flew off to discover big bad Europa.  When we think back to when we left it only feels like a few months ago but when we look back at how much we’ve done it it seems like ages ago.  Its a weird feeling, we’ve have done soooo much & we are incredibly lucky peeps.

23 countries across 4 continents

Our journey so far has taken us to 23 countries across 4 continents.    We’ve traveled all around the UK (England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland), 2 loops of Europe in a southerly direction, the top of Africa to Morocco, through Eastern Europe and skiing 2 incredible season’s in the AMAZING French & Austrian Alps.  That doesn’t include the side trip to New York & transatlantic crossing on QM2 (well we are in d’hood) plus the bonus of seeing family and loved ones to celebrate Nicky & Tony’s wedding in wonderful Thailand.  We’ve frozen our butts off on our motorbike at minus -20c in the French Alps but made up for it with the summer we shall never forget living in our kini’s and euro-swimshorts on the Italian & Greek coastline…..Yep, its been a tough 2 years.

With great debate between the 2 of us, with jury still out on what should & shouldn’t be included, I thought it only fitting that we make a list of our personal observations & highlights from the past 731 days.

General
  • Italy has the worst drivers closely followed by Morocco & then France
  • Italians ‘make friends’ by offering you food.  We hated this – NOT.  hence they came known to us by whatever food they offered. ie Mr & Mrs Bruschetta from Naples, Mr & Mrs Lemoncino from Catania
  • The birds in France make beautiful bird song all times of the day and night,  summer & winter, it really is beautiful and haven’t found this to be the case anywhere else but France
  • LOVE France, hate their dog shit
  • UK supermarkets are excellent, extensive, high quality, well priced and really fresh
  • England make “THE” best Ales & beer by far!  & yes, brown ale taste best at room temperature
  • We love England and could live there if it wasn’t for the weather
  • In just about every country an excellent bottle of wine is no more than 3euro & 500ml beer only 50cents – were gunna get a shock when we go back to OZ
  • We want to live in Greece
  • Australians are a mixed bag of European cultures and we can now see where (ie what nationality) we get certain traits, attitudes and ethics from……
    • laid back friendly attitude from the Greeks
    • get in there and give it a go work ethic from the Italians
    • our love beer from the Poms
    • German’s for high income tax

Best countries, locations for a road trip

England, in particular Scotland & Wales, France, Switzerland.

Italy’s Great Lakes (Como & Garda), Amalfi Coast, Sicily & the state of Puglia in Southern Italy

The Peloponnese, Greece

Our favorite country so far

  • Greece

Highlights

  • England & Scotland
  • cris-crossing the Pyrenees France, Spain & Andorra
  • Nimes, Bordeaux & Dordogne Region inc. Gouffre de Padirac Cave, France
  • Budapest, Hungary
  • Siena & Puglia, Italy
  • Seville, Spain
  • Peloponnese, Greece
  • Dresden & Berlin, Germany
  • Cascades d’Ouzoud & High Atlas Mountains, Morocco

slightly uninspired by

  • Athens & Olympia, Greece
  • The Romantic Road & Munich, Germany
  • Marrakesh, Morocco
  • Ireland

We’ve mastered the art of international speak whilst on this journey and had the most wonderful conversations with people who don’t speak a word of English and we don’t speak a word of what ever language they speak.  Google translate has become a good friend and of cause a bottle of vino (the top shelf stuff at 3euro) always helps break down barriers in any language.

We’ve not met nearly as many fellow travelers as we had hoped but we now also realize our preferred weather conditions and therefore journey take us in totally different directions.  The British tend to go South in winter and North in summer & backpackers or those on GAP year tend to visit the ‘big sites’ which we did on previous trips.

We’ve had some inspiring moments and met amazing people whom we now call friends, but we’ve also had some lonely times when we’ve had no other English speaking contact for 3 months.   We’ve been known to stalk Dutch motorhomer’s as they are generally really friendly & speak excellent English.  We are pretty sure that we scared one English guy on the chairlift in Alpe d’Huez he was the first person we’d been able to have a conversation with in nearly 6 weeks, but as soon as his ski’s could hit the snow, he was off like lightening.  (we still laugh about this one)

Things from this trip that we wish we could share

There are a few things from this trip that we wish we could share with friends & families just once.

  • wild camping on a beach in Greece & having the whole thing to yourself
  • driving up & down our ‘snow driveway’ in Bischofshofen, Austria
  • waking up to one of the most amazing views of the Alps from our bedroom window on the farm

The old saying is true for us…..we shall never regret that of which we did, but only regret that of which we didn’t do. Thank goodness for Facebook,  blogging & digital photos otherwise we could find ourselves forgetting some of that, which we don’t regret.

From here our journey will take us to Tasmania (aka Denmark – we’ve told Mary to pop the kettle on), Sweden, Netherlands and back to UK for our MOT.  We’ve booked a 7 night cruise ex Southampton for the Norway Fjords which we are super excited about.

Our intention was then to make our way back to Bulgaria & Greece for summer, but now after all this travel through Germany we are in 2 minds as to what we will do for summer.  Maybe it’s the fact that we are missing home and excited to know we will be back later this year but we can’t be bothered doing the big drive across Europe again and are feeling a little less motivated.  We’ve done so many miles in the past 2 years and our main goal for summer is live in our togs on the beach, surf, swim, spearfish & BBQ’s.  So we are now considering just choosing one location, i.e.  northern Spain, Portugal or Italy and stay put for 2-3months.   No sightseeing, just being bums in our swimsuits and working on our tans.

ohhhhh – tough decisions.  where would you choose???

More Travel Blogs:

DAY 724 – road clearing austrian style & naughty french toast
DAY 705 – thai side trip, knots + extra’s
DAY 657 – doin’ winter the Austrian way!
DAY 643 – Konigstour @ Hochkonig Ski fields

 

 

DAY 771 - Deutsch to Dutch via the vikings + Beer
DAY 724 - road clearing austrian style & naughty french toast
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