Our Journey to Austria: Skiing in a Motorhome
So after a fleeting visit to the UK spent catching up with our families and, in particular Juno (our 2 year old working cocker spaniel).
Our Ginger Ninja Juno
Juno has been staying with Greg’s parents, who also have her sister, Nora. She is being well looked after and is clearly enjoying her time with Greg’s parents and Nora.
We turned up at Greg’s parents’ house and Juno was exceptionally excited to see …….Greg! I hardly got a look in. So quite perturbed I went into the house, acting like I didn’t care. Luckily for me, Juno then seemed to decide that she had missed me after all and was like my shadow for the next few days. Queue mushy, sentimental music!
We were really surprised at how Juno reacted to us over this time, she clearly knew that we were her pack and remembered all the games that we played with her (hide the hairband being her particular favourite). Both Greg and I were comforted by the fact that she is happy at his parents but that she is also happy to be with us again. We do think the hardest thing for Nora and Juno will be missing each other, so maybe the Fuller households need two more dogs………
Good Ole British Fayre
We managed to have all our favourite foods whilst home, which for me in particular was lovely after 3 months of egg or salad and chips. So clearly this included; Indian curry, Chinese curry (well it was Chinese New Year), but also vegetarian shepherd’s pie and a vegetarian Sunday roast (thanks to my mother-in-law!). Greg gorged on bacon and pork (poor pigs). We also managed to eat a fair amount of Walker’s crisps, so not sure we are in prime skiing physique at the moment.
Our Motorhome Knigel
It was lovely to see Knigel (a Knaus Sun Ti) again, feels like home! He has also been on a bit of a holiday getting some repairs done at Lowdhams. I would love to report that he is all fixed and Lowdhams were brilliant, but unfortunately this isn’t true. We have had terrible customer service from Lowdhams and would not recommend anyone purchasing a motorhome from them.
We took Knigel, the motorhome, down to Birmingham to get winter tyres fitted at Longbridge Tyres, thanks Phil. Snow chains are a legal requirement in much of Europe and we luckily got a pair of as a Christmas present from the in-laws so bring on the snow.
We managed to get a few bits and bobs for inside (thanks to my Mom) and repacked with a winter flavour in mind. I noticed that due to the amount of bulky clothes and equipment that you need for skiing in a motorhome that Knigel filled up pretty quickly, although weighs less than it did in the Summer.
After purchasing some food necessities (curry paste obviously), we were ship shape and ready to head off.
The Journey to the Continent
We left Greg’s parents and Juno with tears again (ours not theirs), I so hate leaving her. Our destination for tonight is New Dover Street Park & Ride, Canterbury ready for an early start on the Eurotunnel tomorrow morning. This facility allows you to park your motorhome overnight for the tiny sum of £3.
On arrival, we noticed that the motorhome section of the Park & Ride was much quieter than in the Summer when we were last here, but there were still around 10 vans parked up. We got everything ready, popped the heating on and settled down to watch our last bit of British tele (actually The Monuments Men so technically American).
Two minutes later and warning signs were going off everywhere…….no gas! Oh no!! It appears that our friends at Lowdhams managed to empty a full gas canister and didn’t tell us – thanks guys! Greg got back out into the freezing cold dark to switch over the French canister with the British one, separate fittings so this was a bit of a task. The British one isn’t full so Greg set about finding a nearby garage that’s open early on a Sunday morning.
We had a lovely sleep in our amazingly comfortable bed (we definitely recommend a Duvalay mattress topper) but were up at 5.30am to find more gas. Esso in Canterbury helped us out and Greg swapped the bottles. In doing so, he trapped his finger and now has a very swollen black finger to show for it.
A smooth Eurotunnel journey (excepting the toilets, which were minging) with an entire train full of white vans, and we arrived in France. It felt great to be back in the motorhome, but there is a dog shaped hole.
European Road Trip
The journey took us through France, stopping at Lille for essential supplies (read cheap, good, French wine and a new French gas canister), through Belgium, stopping for petrol, into Luxembourg and down into Germany.
After our Antarctica trip Greg and I have got competitive on the amount of countries that we have visited. I hadn’t been to Luxembourg, but Greg had so I manged to add another one. Perhaps you could settle an argument, is the Vatican a country or not?
We stayed overnight in a stellplatz in Neunbrüken, ate left over Chinese from the UK (yum) and got another great night’s sleep. But still, an early start, we had to get up at 5.30am again to make tracks.
Stopping for a rest near Stuttgart I noticed a big crack at the bottom of our windscreen. Booooo! Something for us to sort out rather quickly. Luckily for us, our insurance through the Caravan Club put us in contact with Autoglass in the UK, who then put us in touch with their Austrian equivalents. All very smooth.
Motorhome Camp Site
Our camping home is Camping Arlberg in the village of Pettneu, near to St Anton. We have a pitch with a heated bathroom shed next to it. The ski bus stops right outside and we also have a heated personal boot room. It’s a great set up.
Let’s see if the next couple of weeks skiing get a thumbs up or thumbs down over all.
Please leave us any questions or comments below. Particularly if you can settle our Vatican City argument!