Those of us from 'Western' countries
usually trace our roots back to Europe - thus we wanted to explore all of the
continent, not just the shore's edge. With a motor-home loaded with our
goodies we set out to explore it by road.
Our Approach: We decided to 'Cruise and Drive' Europe:
Cruise the Med during the
Hunker down in a warm spot during
Drive around Europe mainland in
We flew to the UK, bought a
modest motor-home and returned to Turkey, visiting 10 countries as cold weather chased us south.
As the weather warmed we headed north, through
Central Europe to meet friends in Finland and pick up
Judi's niece in London.
A short sailing season with Judi's niece then back to London, France and
We explored Turkey from Marmaris to the Iranian border
Cruised the south Turkish coast, Greece and settled on Italy southern
From the lush New Forest in England to sunny Morocco we toured by land.
Returning to Italy we cruised to Mallorca with Denis and drove thru
France to England with Sharon and Linda.
Unlike Asia, with its very large countries, Europe has been
fragmented over the centuries so a couple of dozen countries vie for space in an
area smaller than North America. Sights include references to Marcus
Aurelius, Herodotus, the Hapsburgs,
Marie Theresa, Troy (not the movie), and many other names
from our school days. We have felt rushed as we only spent a few days in
many very interesting countries. So far we have been able to see:
Western Europe - The origin
of many of the colonized countries of Africa, the Americas and Australia/New
Zealand, we found life very much like at home, although less hectic, cleaner,
and a mite more civilized. Our stops included:
- Austria - just as pretty as 'The Sound of Music' painted
- Belgium - clean, industrialized and wealthy
- France - fabulous Paris and peaceful rolling farmlands,
often covered in vineyards and beautiful Brittany
- Germany - everything seems to work in this country
- Netherlands - from the 'Red Light District' of Amsterdam
to the flat countryside, we enjoyed this quiet country.
- Switzerland - future
- United Kingdom - the most hectic of the countries, London
is vibrant while the villages are still quaint.
- Andorra - a small ski country governed afar by
France and Spain.
- Bulgaria - our first
ex-Communist country, sort of drab but friendly and prospering
- Czech Republic -
we really only saw Prague, but it was one of our favorite cities.
- Hungary - barely skimmed
- Poland - future
- Romania - one of the
limits of the Roman empire, roads were mediocre, towns quaint and people
- Croatia - future
- Greece - great salads, pretty islands and a crumbling
- Italy - Venice is wonderful, the east coast
was smoggy and dirty but lots more to see.
- Spain - modern land of the siesta and many North
Europeans seeking cheap living.
- Turkey - friendly people and surprisingly Westernized
- Morocco -
exotic Middle Eastern atmosphere with a French flair amid
mountains, snow and deserts
- Denmark - future
- Finland - clear lakes everywhere, a sauna in every home,
and very civilized
- Norway - beautiful mountains with perhaps the most
stunning scenery in the world
- Sweden - cold and barren in the north, lots more