From Lietchenstein we drove to Koblenz to visit Bocklet, where the truck was “born”. They spent the day sorting a few minor issues out on the truck and tidying up some things from the UK registration. We spent the day looking around a very cold Koblenz.
The following morning we set off back to Prague stopping overnight at a convenient campsite which was near a massive camping store where we bought a few bits and bobs for the truck. I managed to reverse the truck into our drive on the second attempt, definitely getting better, as is Gilly with the guiding.
So having returned home from our practice trip we can reflect on how ready we are for the big trip. The truck was fantastic. As the weather was not very good we had to spend a lot of time in it. It is definitively spacious enough for the trip and we managed to get along well inside it although some nights it took a while for the kids to get off to sleep. The truck is big to drive and you need to plan in advance where you are driving it once off the main roads. However my confidence in its growing. The truck was also extremely well insulated and equipped just right for our needs so we definitely think we have the right vehicle.
So just 15 weeks until we set off. A lot to get done before then with work, packing up house and preparing for our trip.
We left Lake Como to drive to Litchenstein. Why Litchenstein? Well mainly because it was a country none of us had been to and as we’re in the area we though we should add it to the country count. We had a choice of 2 routes to get there. The substantially longer route on the motorways or the more direct route going over 2 mountain passes. As we will not be driving on motorways all around the world we decided Steve should have some practice on normal roads.
The choice turned out to be a good one as the scenery was magnificent with the snow on the mountains.
However the driving was a bit hairy going over the passes as the hairpins were sometimes quite tight. This was made worse by the kids been car sick right at the wrong moment. The picture below gives you an idea but these were the easy ones. Gilly could not take pictures on the harder ones as she needed to help me round. Anyway good practice and a lovely drive.
Litchenstein is a tiny principality of 36,000 people all in 160 square kilometres covered mostly by mountains. So what would we do on our day here. Well we awoke to a cold and misty morning and decided to walk to the capital city Vaduz.
The capital was small but quite pretty but it did not take long to walk around.
On returning to the truck we found out that we had run out of gas. No problem we thought as they sold gas canisters at the campsite. However we had a German canister and they only sold Swiss ones so we could not exchange them. Dinner was going to be difficult but we managed with pasta cooked by boiling the kettle and warming a sauce in hot water.
Off to Germany tomorrow so should be no problem exchanging the gas bottle.
We awoke on Easter Sunday to glorious sunshine, after the the previous days torrential rain, it looked wonderful. A quick distribution of eggs and bunnies on the outside of the truck to avoid the mud, started the day with a madcap run around in pyjamas.
Not wishing to try driving the truck through the tiny winding streets on the western side of the lake we walked to the next village and grabbed a bus to Menaggio and then jumped onto a ferry to the village of Bellagio.
We’d heard Lake Como was beautiful but we were blown away by the snow covered peaks surrounding the azure waters of the lake. The villages we passed though, balanced on the shores of the lake extending upwards to the foothills were picturesque with small farms laid out on terraces. As we got further south we got glimpses of historic villas with gardens laid out formally but spring flowering trees already in full bloom.
We spent a very happy afternoon wandering around Bellagio. It was teeming with people both local and tourists enjoying the sunshine on Easter Sunday afternoon.
There was a frantic rush back back to catch one of the two buses a day on a bank holiday. But the view of the mountains in the evening light made up for the dash from the ferry that was running late.
Easter Monday dawned cold but clear and we decided a rest day was in order. The girls tried out the tent we bought for hiking excursions on the big trip and a game of cricket confused the passing locals. Tomorrow we are hoping go over the mountain pass through Switzerland for two nights in Liechtenstein (I can’t help thinking is it the scenery and hiking that attached Steve to this route, or is it his county count;).