venerdì 21 giugno 2013

Camper around Alsace - Last Part - The nord

(Continued from Second Part)

The road to Wissemburg, for the most part within the park of the North Vosges, is very pleasant and we can see the change in the landscape and vegetation, vineyards are now gone, and in addition to the cultivated fields often the road through the forest.

A few miles away from the goal we make a stop in Hunspach, a village of white houses on the edge of the forest (1km from the main road). The hamlet, OCME reported one of the most beautiful villages of France, is very quaint and charming tourist then what is absolutely not an easy walk of a few minutes is enough to admire the white houses and the characteristic convex glasses on the windows.



We leave for Wissemburg and parked the camper in the parking area in front of the swimming pools signaled totally free (we are alone, but in the night there will come a German campers to keep us company). This typical village in the north of Alsace is a pleasant visit, even here the canal that runs through the center makes his game and beautiful are the facades of the houses of 1600 still well maintained (and inhabited). Dinner at "La Vignette" makes us taste the local cuisine (mix between Germany and France, we are 3 km from the border), to advise the Choucroute employed mainly for the excellent pork that accompanies it and the duck leg , all strictly accompanied with a beer or local wine.
Going back to the camper we can see that from here there are various walking trails or bike that branch off along the region of 2-3 hours (surely one thing to take advantage of if you pass here in the summer season)

Volsgi Parc
The next day we set off for Bitche (Lorraine) and cross several kilometers of forest. The first stop is the Castle of Fleckenstein, well maintained ruin from which it is possible to observe the vastness of the park. Here is also a fun path in the woods that we, because of rain, we had to avoid.

We have lunch in the relaxation of the forest (in the car park of the castle) and again towards Bitche encountering quite a storm and so cold.

Fort of Simserhoff
Once we go to the est area just below the Citadel (free, very well maintained with 4 pitches style camping, loading and unloading charge 2 € a good stop if you're in the area)
The rain does not stop, then decided to move to go to the fort Simserhoff, the signs are not visible and reach the place thanks to a very kind gentleman who escorted us in practice to the parking lot. Located a few kilometers from Bitche the fort was built on the Maginot Line to defend against the Germans and suffered several bombing but remained intact. The visit consists of a video historical images and a path with a train inside the fort to 29 meters below ground (the visit is highly recommended for adults and children).
When we go out it is still raining so we change plans and go directly to Saverne (we return to Alsace) where we park in the camper is not well reported in the harbor parking lot on the canal ... and miraculously faces the sun ... we hope to be able to use the bike tomorrow ...
The good weather also remains in the morning so we take the bike and take a ride in the country. Characterized by the canal and harbor from the castle (villa) real country is famous for the rose garden in which there are over 8000 types of roses (no shame in bloom) and chocolate. For the street in the center many tearooms serving nice quality chocolate or chocolate and coffee.
Our trip is winding down and before returning to Strasbourg and Riquewirh (the stages of approach to the border of) we stop to Grafthal. Here are the houses in stones (maison troglodyte). The attraction from the outside is a bit sad (they are only 3-4 houses dug into the tuff) but the visit (2 €) is cute. The rooms are still furnished with the furniture of the time (1800-1900) and there are also many farm tools. The girls having fun.

Maison troglodyte

We have lunch in the parking lot of the country and take the road to Strasbourg, lard the sun spend a few hours on the bike for the city (easy to reach from the campsite Montagne Verte).

The last day of approach at home included a stop in Ribeauville, another beautiful country of the wine trail, but with a little more traffic and overnight stay in Riquewihr where we take the road to home.

(from 1 to 5 star quality/price):
***       Colmar, Camping dell'ill , allèe du Camping 1 - 21€
*****   Kaysersberg, (N 48.135686 - E 7.262948), Place de l'Erlenbad - 7€ 24h
****     Riquewihr, (N 48.16608 - E 7.30175) Parcheggio comunale - 4€ (18:00-9:00)
**         Strasburgo, Camping Montagne Verte (N 48°34'31"  E 7°42'52) 2 rue Robert Forrer-23€
***       Wissemburg, boulevard Clemenceau (parcheggio piscine) - Free
*****   Bitche, (N 49.05414 - E 7.43436 ) seguire indicazioni cittadella - Free
**         Saverne, (N 48.74222 - E 7.36583 ), rue des Emouleurs - Free
 (price for  3 person + electricity)

The Alsace is a beautiful journey, easy for the distances between the various destination and parking areas in each country (even the smallest). The walkable villages and parks in the area make it an attractive destination for children and the local cuisine is worth the taste as you need a few glasses of good wine Alsatian (sin a little too expensive, especially in the blank). The locals are friendly and in no situation I found myself in trouble with my little Francesce, however if you have difficulty many speak English. The total cost remains low thanks to the many free or rest areas that allow overnight stay a few euro. We were not able to use a lot of bikes but everywhere there were bike lanes and bicycle parking.
Definitely a trip to recommend.

Beauty of place : 9
Distance : 10
Catering : 7
Accessibility children : 9
Ease of parking : 10
Total cost : 9
Overall assessment : 9,0 (54 su 60)

giovedì 20 giugno 2013

Camper around Alsace - Second Parte - Strasbourg

(follows from First part)
Montagne Verte ... the camping  is on the outskirts of Strasbourg, from here you can reach the center by a convenient bike path (along the river) or with bus+tram (2 bus stops and tram 5) in both cases about 20/25 minutes (we recommend daily ticket)
Strasbourg Cathedral
Given the time we leave for the center by means, inter alia, the girls are having fun during the trip. We arrive at the station "Homme de ferre", the center and in walking distance to the cathedral we (the tourist office is in this square). One of the biggest in France, the church is in Gothic style with 3 aisles and over the splendor of times and rosettes, is to enjoy the great astronomical clock housed on the right of the altar. Every 15 minutes the characters move lower and every hour the main part (definitely worth seeing). We go out and we realize that Strasbourg is not only the seat of the European Parliament, but it is still a beautiful city on a human scale in which the channels and the Petite France are the tip of diamanate.

La Petite France, once the district where they were treating the sexual diseases for which they were attributed to France, is a gem. The houses are held very well  and the small alleys alternating bridges over the canals make the area a pleasure to discover step by step.

an incident for my baby obliges us to go to the hosplital, but we are lucky and it is only a great fear

Back at the center, we take the trip to the boat tour. The river route around the center is worth the ticket. We walk in a clockwise direction the canals that surround the old city and, using two locks, we reach the barrier that gives life to the channels. From the boat you appreciate the defensive structures of the city in addition to the magnificent facades of the houses. There is no area that you can say bad. The tour lasts 70 minutes and arrives at the palace of the European Parliament, a small taste of what we're going to see tomorrow. At  18pm, after 10 hours around the city we are tired and we return to the camper.


For the baby in trasbourg there is a beautiful old-style carousel with two floors, located in the square next to the cathedral is worth the ticket price (2 € per turn). You will find other rides here and there in the same style but with one floor and smaller

The next morning the symptoms of the fall of Martina slowly disappear and we we settle the bill at the campsite (22 € 3 persons + light per day) and we go in the direction of the European Institutions.
EU Building
The main buildings of the European Parliament are 2 one of which, more recently, built of iron and glass is really nice. We park in the bus area, a sporting event has blocked the parking space provided, and one at the time we go to visit the interior of the structure. The visit is exciting, before the European Parliament waving the flags of the 27 states and members here on a face you will see in every language, the phrase "your peace, our award" for the Nobel  received by the EU in 2012.

The main building is around a big courtyard that can be accessed. All around you can observe the work of the various offices and a series of panels are positioned on the radius of the court to remember the history of Europe, we saw one for the depth of
Auschwitz (vedi anche Foto di Viaggi - Per non dimenticare)

EU Building
We spend about an hour and a half to observe the two buildings and then we continue our visit to the city going to look for the establishment of Kronenburg (I'm thirsty and it seems to me an excellent destination). Assuming that we can find is in the neighborhood Cronenburg, but upon arrival we are gripped by the disapointment of an older facility and where it is not possible to make any visit (but then why is it written in the map tourist office "visit our factories and Kronenburg Heineken "?, some days after we will discover that not even Fisher, now owned by Heineken, can be visited).
Disappointed and thirsty abandon interim basis Strasbrugo and head in the northern region in the direction Wissemburg ... continua

giovedì 6 giugno 2013

Camper around Alsace - First Parte - Wine Route

After 8 hours driving we arrive in Colmar at night and we stopped to the camping near the center.
The morning after there's a lovely sun and we decided to take our bikes to go to the center (good choise as this will be one of the few
days without rain and clouds.)

Colmar is a small village easy to visit mostly beacause cars are not allowed.
We walk trough the center between thetypical houses up to the wonderful Petit Venice; here we can admire the most beautiful
Colmar's houses.

We keep on visiting the Cathedral and the local market with its benches, all of them are very beautiful and well organized to show,
cheese, vegetables, different types of bread and flowers.
This nice walk matches well with a good beer before coming back to the camper to have lunch.
During the afternoon we walk again through the center visiting shops and tasting brezels.
The camping where we stay is very comfortable and easy to reach espacially as your first stop; there are even 5-6 places and 23.00euro (3
person and light included) in case you arrive when the reception is closed.

The day after we towards Strasbourg driving through the Wine-Street taking the D415 Kaysersberg direction, 20 minutes aro.
The big area where we park the camper is very well indicated and reachable; few thousands mts from the center, we arrive there crossing a
small bridge.
Kaysersberg will be the most beautiful place visited during our vacation.

Going along the main street, walking along a small river that goes up to the Castle, we see timbered roofs, nice houses in pastel colours
and peculiar sign-boards. (just a note about the castle.. that's only a ruin that we do not even visited)
The atmosphere is very relaxing and a part from the walk we also enjoy a good crepes and a Kronenbourg which, I didn't know, is one of
the beer producted in this area.
The area where we stay for the night costs 7.00 euro per day, services and bathrooms outiside.

As the weather is still good we move in the afternoon and we go to Hunawihr, to visit the "Storks Park" (reachable with the camper and
well indicated).
In this oasis you can see the storks very near to you and you can also climb the trees using stairs to see their nests while puppies are
in a "reproduction center".

Storks are not the only animals you can see in the park. walking around you can see otters and there's also a Sea show with penguins and
at the end of the visit it starts to rain again so we come ack to the camper and start checking a park for the night in Riquewihr (you
can stay in the city park, 4.00 euro from 6.00pm to 9.00am. few places and not even large enough... camper as our, 7mt aro, may have some

Monday morning fully dedicated to visit Riquewihr.
Beautiful houses but too touristic for us; the main street is typical local shops, and souveniers shops. (by the way.. we buy a piece of
a local cheese.. 30.00euro ... at least it was very good!)

We have some more time and we decide to go to the Monkey's Park, but not without having lunch...!.. we are ready to tastaste the
Choucroute: a typical dish made with sauerkrauts (cooked with beer), wurstel and pork.
We stopped in a VinStube in Saint-Hyppolite where we eat the Choucroute drinking a cold Pinot Noir, the typical red wine with a fruits
taste ... personally I din't like it too much.

After this goods lunch we drive to the park that is over Kintzheim and very near to the Houte- koenigsbourg Castle (we did not visited
The Monkeys' Park (Montagne de Singes) is very fascinating, about 200 Macachi living freedom and staying around you along the path.
Babies look with satisfaction at the monkeys eating pop corns taking them direclty form visitors.

To whom is travelling with the family we suggest to visit both the parks (storks and monkeys) and the villages, taking in consideration 2
hours for each stop.

We are tired but satisfied, we go to the camper and drive in Strasbourg direction trough the Wine Street until Obernai.
Driving in this area is really pleasant, beautiful landscape..vineyards and small villages with coloured houses. We should stop
everywhere taking some pictures!

In about one hour we arrive in Strasbourg and we go directly to "Montagne Verte" camping.


mercoledì 15 maggio 2013

Week in Alsace - France

Here we are! Ready to plan our next trip with you: only one camper, 4 persons and 900km to reach our destination: Alsatia and probably

I'm thinking about the journey plan starting from the organization of each day so that we will be able to see what we are interested in
not being in hurry.
Hoping in a good weather we will use our bikes daily to have a relaxing visit through the Wine Road villages and Strasbourg.

We will visit for sure the colmar (small venice), the tipical Alsatia's villages, Road markets (probably on wednesday in
Strasbourg) and good (even excellent) gastronimies as you can find there cheese and wine of a very good quality.

we also hope to learn somthing more about Storks as we only sow the nest while we were visiting Slovenja.

In the next few days you will find the complete intinerary.

follow us!

martedì 2 aprile 2013

Bomarzo - Montefiascone - Viterbo

After a long break, thanks to a friend who has decided to rent a Camper, we take the outputs. After all these preparations, due to bad weather, we are forced to improvise the route. Our half is the Tuscia Viterbese.

22/03/2013 Bomarzo
We leave after dinner, with the children already asleep for our first stop: Bomarzo. As soon as we arrived with an unwelcome surprise, the parking area is reported in renovation and, after a brief trip, given the late hour we settle in a parking lot above the village.

23/03/2013 Bomarzo e Montefiascone
Wake up bright and early start the visit of the town. The old town is not really close, and for reaching the summit, we take advantage of a small lift (not much reported to truth). The country is nice but really undervalued, only a small plate of FAI reminds us of the importance of these villages.
Striking the narrow streets where the predominant color of green moss that seems to cover everything, but it all ends in a short time, a little 'disappointed, we decide that it's time to give satisfaction to children with a visit to the Park of Monsters.
With the camper we reach the park, ample parking facilitates the parking of vehicles. The path between the giants of rock is interesting and the kids are fascinated by these grotesque figures that emerge from the ground, but even here some disappointment catches us. Given the not insignificant price of the ticket (10 Euros) we would expect greater care and acceptance, by the difficulty of moving with strollers, to imperfect maintenance of the park, we can not tell us fully satisfied.
Lunch on the spot and after we move to Montefiascone, placing the vehicles in the parking of the winery of the same name (loading / unloading, electricity, free) where we make time for children to rest. The wine cellar offers a chance to buy local products and, of course, the famous EST EST EST
The town center is about 2 km and the road very busy. When we reach it is already late afternoon and probably could not take the time to visit the place it deserves. The road does not facilitate the tour in fact there are virtually no sidewalks and there are areas closed to traffic, we spend more time to dodge the cars with strollers who appreciate the great outdoors. Worth noting definitely the belvedere overlooking Lake Bolsena and the Rocca dei Papi.
More and more despondent and cold back to our vehicles and after a hearty dinner we are going to our last night in camper

24/03/2013 Viterbo
After enjoying the discharge in about half an hour we reach Viterbo. After a little 'speed (it's time to update our GPS!) We find parking just outside the walls. The visit is nice but the problem recurs car remains a mystery as city tourism propensity do not involve large areas with no traffic in your plan.
In our wanderings we can also enjoy a ride in the basement of Viterbo, nothing special but the path is very short and driving, maybe German (?) Says it all with soporific rhythms. Also in this case the haste does not help, sadly little time to organize the trip has displaced more than once. However, we recommend the purchase of like Nutella hazelnut-based, truly spectacular.
We decide to give a boost to this mini vacation giving us a lunch in a nearby farmhouse, the Antica Sosta. Delicious meal of meat grilled in a beautiful environment, to recommend.
On the way back there is only room for a stop-shopping at the outlet valdichiana fast, but that's another story.

Surely he decided at the last minute did not help, but it was certainly not our best output. We have already visited the Tuscia and we know how much beauty has to offer, but on this trip we had the feeling of being in front of a large potential advantage really bad, they lack the information and infrastructure, the places are not maintained and enhanced at all. We found big trouble moving with strollers, limiting greatly the use of children. In a country like ours, afflicted by a severe crisis, which tourism can become the real driving force of the recovery, some flaws are not justified.
Sorry for Leo who was on his first experience in a motorhome and we are confident of being able to convince the purchase in an upcoming trip. But above all we hope to see our negative judgments, returning to talk about what we saw and not the problems we encountered.

Beauty of place : 5
Distance : 6
Catering : 6,5
Accessibility children : 4
Ease of parking : 5
Total cost :5,5
Overall assessment : 5,5 (32 su 60)

Est! Est!! Est!!! 
Le foto di Stefano