Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Haselünne, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Dulmen, Germany.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

We are always on the lookout for a great free campsite!

We don't mind traveling the way we are. Renting a car and staying in various Airbnb accommodation works okay for us. But we would rather be in a motorhome! And so we are always in the "motorhome" frame of mind even when we aren't traveling in one!

And because of that, we're always on the lookout for great free campsites. 

On Friday, we went exploring up the coast a few miles north of the city of Vlorë, Albania. We had seen pictures of an old monastery and church that is located on an island in a lagoon, and they've built a long wooden walkway across the water in order to get to it.

It didn't take long to get out of the city.

That is where we are headed.

They have a very small parking area with not much room to even turn around. I would hate to see it when it's really busy, but maybe it never gets really busy. There is sufficient parking right at the side of the road though.

Hmm. Okay.

Ruth, on the wooded walkway to the monastery.
Entrance is free.

Ruth, at the Monastery and Church of St. Mary of Divinity.

There are several outbuildings that look like they are used for maintenance and security. I think the maintenance guy must live there full time. Then the main church building, and several ruins.

From the design and construction techniques, it is thought that the main church was built around 1350.

An ghoulish carving on a grave set in the floor.

Unfortunately they had all the walkways and paths gated, locked, and fenced so that you couldn't explore the rest of the small island.

We left the car parked where it was and took off on a walk. I had seen some pathways and viewpoints marked on the map a few kilometers up, so we headed off to explore.

Scenery along the way.

Looking back at the island.

Big mountain way off in the distance.

We are headed towards this shepherd and his sheep.

Lots of little ones.

Cute lamb.

We are out for a walk with the sheep!

Me, with a beautiful beach.

A couple of campers.

We made our way down the hill towards the campers, but before we got to them we came across another campervan. We asked if he spoke English, and yes, he spoke very good English! Timmy is originally from the island of Rügen in northeastern Germany, but like us he doesn't spend much time at home anymore.

We stood and talked for a half an hour or so. 

He had spent much of the winter in his van on the Greek island of Corfu. But he has spent a lot of time with his van in Ukraine! I think we would like Ukraine in a motorhome! From the way he talks, it's just free camping in the whole country, and nobody cares where you park. 

And of course we told him about our new motorhome that is waiting for us in Germany. He said that when we get into it we can come visit him in Rügen because he is actually headed back there for a couple of months.

Timmy and Ruth with his campervan.

And what a great spot he had here...

GPS 40.520927, 19.388179

A perfect free campsite. We would come back and spend a couple of days here.

We said goodbye and carried on walking.

We sat and had our lunch up here.

Overlooking this beautiful bay.

Great blue heron.

We ended up walking about 6 kms (3.8 miles). Did I mention it was another beautiful day? Of course you could tell that from the blue sky in the pictures!

Sunset from our balcony.

Record low deal on the popular and highly rated JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

And in Canada...


  1. Ukrainian here. If you get to go to Ukraine, one thing I would be wary about is things like dump stations. We left Ukraine 10 years ago... perhaps things changed, but back then I don't recall RV-related infrastructure being there.

    For ATM, if you have an account in Scotiabank or in Tangerine, getting cash in BNP Paribas Ukraine is cost effective - they are in "alliance" with Scotiabank, thus no ATM fees.

    Overall, depends what you like - mountains in the West are beautiful, Kyiv is very nice. In the South there's Odessa... My cousin spends summers in Kinburn peninsula - conditions there are quite rustic, but could be nice summer time spent on the beach, depending on the person, and parking rules are likely quite relaxed there.

    Food ranges from cheap to dirt-cheap, depending on the season. 2 years ago gas prices were on-par with Canada; not sure how it is now.

    1. Thank you for all this information, it is definitely very helpful to us. First things first though is that we need to pick up our motorhome before we can think of going anywhere with it. Secondly it will probably be a year or two before we even make it to Ukraine once we do get the motorhome.

      Timmy had mentioned about the lack of RV parks or basically that they are non existent there but European motorhomes don't have the same type of black tanks as North American units so really it isn't an issue. European units have cassette toilets so it is very easy to just use a regular toilet to empty it's contents when needed. And like when we were with our borrowed motorhome in Spain and Portugal or our truck camper in Australia, we try to use public facilities as much as possible and use the onboard toilet only at night when we know that proper dumping facilities aren't available.

      We love the mountains so our visit there would definitely be during nice weather although we do enjoy the beach every so often. We both think that we would love Ukraine. :-)

  2. Beautiful Scenery along with the weather.
    A great way of finding places to camp is by talking to other RVers.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your move.

    It's about time.

    1. Yes, it was very reassuring to talk to Timmy about being able to visit Ukraine with a motorhome and not having any issues. We definitely look forward to going to some of these countries where you wouldn't normally think of traveling to in an RV/motorhome, it really makes it an adventure then. :-)

  3. Ah, love the sheep and the scenery! What a cool camper van too and place to park. Any word on how much longer before you can get your motorhome?

    1. It all depends on the Covid situation in Germany. The next update is scheduled for April 18th, but I doubt things will change. We are thinking maybe June.

  4. I’m curious about your plans for the camper van. Do you plan to keep it in Europe or will you bring it back home to Canada at some point? We’re interested in getting a trailer or van so would love to hear your thoughts. Did you do a post on the thought process of buying one in Germany? We’ve only been following g you for a shirt time so I apologize if this is something you’ve written about in the past. Happy travelling!

    1. We plan to keep the motorhome home in Europe. When we feel that we have traveled as much of Europe as we want then we will turn around and sell it.

      There really isn't any one post that we can direct you to about our thought process of traveling in Europe in a motorhome but ever since we did a motorhome swap back in January 2017 and traveled around southern Spain and Portugal, we knew that we wanted to buy a unit and come back and spend time exploring more of the continent. As for wanting to buy one in Germany, we have talked to a few people and from looking online at pricing and availability Germany had some of the best pricing for what we were looking for. Also it was a country where it is fairly easy to get a temporary resident permit, if we choose to go that route rather than have to worry about the Schengen Visa rules of three months in, three months out.

  5. Oh my my! What gorgeous scenery and camping spots near the ocean and beach! Thanks for the enviable photos! Albanians don't seem to be too concerned with Covid as I still don't see too many people wearing masks. The number of cases there must be quite low. Whereas, the third wave is terrorizing Canada! Stay safe!

    1. Those boondocking spots were fantastic, we are looking forward to getting our little motorhome and finding spots just like this. In fact we will make a point of coming back here one day to just these spots!

      The Albanians are pretty good about COVID, when they are in stores they are wearing masks but outside it is about 50/50 as to wearing masks. It is definitely more of the older people that are wearing them outside. The numbers were high in February but now they are down quite low, hopefully things will stay that way. When we are around a crowded areas outside we wear our masks but if there are only a few people around we have them with us but we don't wear them and we keep our distance. If we are in stores we always have them on.

      Yep, now is not the time for us to return to Canada!

  6. You two are very good at finding beautiful areas, including the Monk place! You two have lots of credibility with myself. Take care, Rawn

    1. We think we are pretty good at finding beautiful and off the beaten path places too! We make a point of trying to find places like that and we aren't afraid to go out and explore different areas on our own. :-)

  7. Do you mind sharing the name of the place you are staying in Vlore? Thanks

    1. We are renting through Airbnb but this place does actually have a management company, here is their website. https://en.rezidencapanoramajimi.com/

  8. Unless the roads have been improved a lot in Ukraine in the past few years I'd either steer well clear or try and get some good local intel on which routes are badly potholed. We had a great experience in Ukraine, fantastic people, but we only crossed a small corner of it and some sections of the roads were very painful in a 2WD motorhome (I can still sense that 'have we just snapped a wheel off?' fear now, years later). 👍 Cheers from quarantine! Jay

    1. It will be a while yet before we make our way to Ukraine but like any country we are aware that some have better road conditions than others. When we are on bad roads we will just take our time and when we are in the motorhome, we will have lots of time. Thanks for the warning though. :-)

      Hope your quarantine time goes quickly!

  9. Thanks Ruth! We're finally out, feels great, no plans to go through that headache any time soon.

    Yep, you guys are very well travelled I know. Everyone's perception of a 'bad road' is different too. For anyone else reading this: I found some sections of Ukraine's roads to be almost impassable at any speed due to the potholes. Long sections of road would be in good condition and then suddenly deteriorate, so we'd be lulled into building speed then hitting holes, ouch. Some were obvious from a distance and they'd a black streak of oil, presumably from some poor soul's cracked sump. I felt so sorry for the locals having to try and cross these areas regularly, weaving around the road and onto the pavements trying to avoid them. I've seen nothing like it across Europe and North Africa (apart from the time we drove down a few miles of river bed in Morocco). With any luck Ukraine will have sorted this by now, but having endured a war, I'm not hopeful.

    1. Thank you Jason, it is always good to be well advised of what may lie ahead.

      When we were talking to Timmy he never mentioned the conditions of the roads so maybe they have been fixed, who knows. As I said it will most likely be a while before we actually make our way to Ukraine but we will certainly keep everything you have mentioned in mind. :-)

      Glad you are out of quarantine. We have done it once and if we head back to Canada anytime soon we will have to go through it again. We have lots to keep us busy at my Dad's house if we make it back for the house goes up for sale.


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