top of page
  • Bob and Wendy

July Newsletter

Welcome to the July edition of the newsletter, which is packed full of tour reports. We had four tours that returned in June, which were Budapest, Prague & Vienna, Lake Garda & Rome, The Swiss & French Alps and Tuscany & Rome. We have full tour reports on the first two in this month's edition with the other tour reports coming next month.


As usual we have another “cut out and keep” one-pot recipe and this month’s motorhoming tips are all about trackers.


But first, a quick update on 2024 and 2025 bookings...

 

2024 Update – one cancellation space available



The space is available of a first-come, first-served basis. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

 

2025 Tour Update


Just a reminder that we are now taking bookings for the 2025 season.


The full tour schedules are available on the website and you can also view or download the brand new brochure too.


Click the links for more information:



 

Lake Garda & Venice Tour Report


Thanks to Gwyn and Debbie (Tour Leaders) for the following report:


The tour started with a smooth crossing to France bound for the Champagne region and our first overnight stay on French soil with an early evening get together in the restaurant on site where everyone was able to get to know one another.

 

The next day’s drive to the once busy port of Chalon sur Saone went without incident and many of our guests spent an afternoon in the ancient city. It was here we had our group meal in the evening and another chance for everyone to enjoy each other’s company.

 

Another day, another journey. This time leaving France behind, we crossed into Italy via the (French-named) Mont Blanc Tunnel and its network of minor tunnels and high viaducts with spectacular Alps scenery into the Aosta valley for our next destination for two nights. We were blessed with sunny weather with everyone taking the opportunity to visit Aosta by bus and sample the atmosphere of this beautiful town.


Suitably refreshed after two full days in the Aosta valley we left the snow-capped Alps behind us as we headed off to Lake Garda. The sun shone down on us as we arrived for five nights in the southern region of Lake Garda. On the first full day we took a short walk to the train station with a large number of the group to help them book train tickets to Venice while a few chose to go to Verona and one couple booked to go to Milan.


The group also gathered for our ‘Cheese & Wine’ evening on the second night in Lake Garda at our street which was renamed “Crossings Close” and after the five days of action packed activities many of our guests had cycled, walked, swam, ferried or hired private boats to explore the southern villages of Lake Garda in glorious weather interrupted only by the occasional thunderstorm late in the day.

 

Onwards and upwards, we travelled to the northern shores of Lake Garda for another four nights where this time everyone cycled, walked, or took the ferry or bus around the northern villages of the lake. Some took the cable car to the summit of Monte Baldo, others the funicular ride to the Bastion in Riva, one even walked from the Bastion up to the Chapel Santa Barbara, high in the rocky mountain overlooking Riva del Garda. Others spent time ‘people watching’ from the many bars while eating large Italian gelatos and basking in the sunshine, again interrupted by the odd, swift thunderstorm.

 

Sadly, all too soon and after nine wonderful days around Lake Garda we began our trip back to the UK after another drive through the same but this time Italian named Monte Blanco Tunnel. Stopping in Chamonix where our guests were able to visit the quaint ski resort town, one venturing up the ski lift to Aiguille du Midi at 3842m high to stand in a glass box for a photo opportunity!

 

Next day we travelled for our two-night stay in the ‘capital’ of the Burgundy region where some took wine tasting tours without leaving the city. One cellar in particular (Patriarche Pere Et Fils) has 5 km of underground wine cellars right below the city, housing 3 million bottles of wine. A group of our guests enjoyed that wine tasting tour. Many also enjoyed the restaurants on offer and the walled city of Beaune.

 

Our final destination was a little cooler as we returned to the Champagne region and a comfortable 21C, with a full turnout at the on-site restaurant for a final meal and goodbyes before our concluding drive back to the ferry port at Calais.


Debbie and I want to thank everyone that joined us on tour. Our job was made so much easier with a group of people that fully immersed themselves in their adventures and shared them with each other along the way. It was a pleasure to meet every one of you and we hope to see you on future Crossings Motorhome Tours.


There is a cancellation space available in September on this tour and we are also running it again in September 2025, if you would like to join us. Full details on the website.

 

Budapest, Prague & Vienna (BPV) Tour Report


This was the third run out for this tour, which this year was run by Crossings worst tour leaders. (Wendy is quite good at tour leading actually but I just drive the van and empty the loo). This was a lovely tour for us to run as we already knew most of the guests from previous tours and the 'newbies' that joined us fitted straight into the spirit of things.


As usual we had a get-together in Kent the night before so we all got chance to get acquainted before heading off of the ferry. The main part of this tour is the three big cities but also some less well known parts of Hungary and the Czech Republic. But first you have to get there so we picked an interesting path across Northern France and into Luxembourg where we spent a night in the sprawling metropolis of Luxembourg City. Joking aside, this friendly little capital punches above its weight with its state buildings, urban parks and old town. It has free public transport too!


After that it was off to Germany for a few nights with time spent on the banks of The Rhine in picture-postcard Rudesheim and a stop over in Nuremburg. Rudesheim is the jewel in the crown here really with most guests opting to take the cable car up the vine-clad slopes for some fantastic views over the valley before returning to the town by boat for an evening meal in a half-timbered building in the pretty town.


We then hit the Czech Republic for the first time with stop-overs in its largest and second largest cities. First stop was the stunning capital of Prague lined with beautiful cobbled streets with the world-famous Charles Bridge straddling the river. There is a lot to see and do in what is a relatively compact city centre, with the old square, castle and cathedral as the main highlights.


The smaller city of Brno is a much more sedate kind of place nestled under its grand, intact castle. Our campsite is located around 10km away with access via a very pleasant boat trip on the Svratka River followed by a short tram journey. For many the journey down the river past Veveri Castle was as enjoyable as time spent in the city!


It was now time to change country so it was off to Hungary. We had two stops here. The first was the outstanding capital, Budapest. Personally, this ranks in our top three of favourite European capitals. It's lively, but there is also plenty of space and an excellent (cheap) transport system to get you around. I think for most people the highlight was a night-time river cruise (with meal) that allowed everyone to see all of the magnificent buildings lit up at night. Folks also enjoyed the grand Parliament building, the castle and the more recent big wheel.


The second stop in Hungary was Lake Balaton. In a land-locked country, this 50km lake serves as the seaside for the locals and for lots of Germans too. Thankfully none of these were out during our visit so we literally had the place to ourselves. Highlights included swimming in the lake (direct from the campsite), the boat road across the lake, and the pleasant walk up "the mountain" (pictured left) for part of the group before descending into a little vineyard for a bottle of wine made from the vines we were sitting in amongst. This proved to be one of the most popular places on the tour as the weather was superb and we all needed a bit of a rest after all the city sightseeing.


Next stop was Austria and the distinctive capital, Vienna. Architecturally, this has to be the prettiest city in Europe, not least due to an abundance of extravagant palaces including Schonbrunn and Belvedere. Vienna is another open city and despite it popularity it is easy to get around and find quiet spots to take in the surroundings. Some guests even managed to take in an evening concert featuring classical music from a who's who of Viennese composers including Mozart and Strauss.

Although the group had already done a lot of touristy things there was still time for one last fling in Eastern Europe as we re-entered the Czech Republic with a visit to the historic small city of Cesky Krumlov. Little known outside of the country this unspoilt old town is made up of narrow, cobbled streets lined with artisan shops, cafes and restaurants. Sitting over the town is the imposing 13th Century Castle and the distinctive multi-level Cloak Bridge. Our group day-trip was a great way to finish our time in The Czech Republic.


It was now time for the drive home with an interesting drive dodging the serious flooding in Bavaria followed by a quick stop in Strasbourg where all of the group still had the energy to spend the afternoon and evening in the city, before heading home.


Overall, this was a fantastic tour with a great group of like-minded travellers, who we would like to thank personally for making the tour so enjoyable.


 

Coq au Van (the amusingly titled recipe feature)


Lemon Roast Chicken and Vegetables


Ingredients


  • 4 Chicken thighs with skin on

  • 1 Red onion

  • 2 Peppers

  • 1 Courgette

  • Handful of cherry  tomatoes

  • 1 small  lemon

  • Olive oil

  • Basil, Salt and Pepper


Method


Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees / 180 degree fan / Gas mark 6.


  1. Start by placing the chicken thighs in a large baking dish. Rub lightly with a little of the oil and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Roast for 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, peel the red onion and roughly cut up. Slice the courgette and de-seed and cut up the peppers. Keep the cherry  tomatoes aside for now.

  4. After the chicken’s been in for its 10 minutes, add the  vegetables (minus  tomatoes) to the tray together with a little more oil and give everything a good mix. Season with  basil, salt and pepper.

  5. Continue cooking for a further 20 minutes.

  6. Remove the tray for the penultimate time and add the tomatoes. Cut the  lemon in half and squeeze over the juice.

  7. Cook for a final 10-15 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

  8. Serve and enjoy!


 

Motorhoming Tips


This month's motorhoming tips are all about trackers. We have covered aspects of motorhome security before and one of your main lines of defence is a tracker. This is a small electronic device that is hidden somewhere in the motorhome. It sends out a signal both to a control centre and to a phone app, so that you always know where your motorhome is. If the tracker detects unusual activity, such as the vehicle is moving when it's not supposed to be, then the control centre and you are alerted.


The police can then be alerted and the location of the vehicle identified. According to our son (a policeman), the standard modus operandi of your motorhome thief is to steal it and then park it up somewhere for a few days. If no-one comes for it then they know there is no tracker and your van is gone forever. If there is a tracker, you can then recover the van before they come back for it.


You might choose to put a tracker on or your insurance company may insist on it if your van is over a certain value. It needs to be Thatcham approved (either S5 or S7) to satisfy your insurance company. Cheap DIY trackers can be fitted for under £50. For a Thatham approved one, fitting costs start around £200 and there is an ongoing fee of around £12 per month for the monitoring service and app.


 

Keep in touch



Instagram: CrossingsMotorhome


Please feel free to contact us at any time. When we are away, calls will bounce to our mobiles at no expense to yourself.




0 comments

Comentários


bottom of page