The picturesque port of Geiranger, Norway!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Hornindal, Norway!

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Exploring southwestern Norway until July 26th.

Friday, July 1, 2022

Behind the waterfall

Another gorgeous day in Norway. 

So to take advantage of it, we planned a hike up to a waterfall. But this waterfall is somewhat special because you can actually walk behind the falls. It's really quite something!

The hike was not that far in distance... but it's quite a bit of altitude gain. Only 4 kms (2.4 miles) from where Max was parked, but it gains 553 meters (1,800') so it's a bit of a climb. 

4 Reasons Why You Should Visit Australia at Least Once in Your Life

 A trip begins when we consider our options and try to decide where we are going to go. This is not as fun or easy as it might sound because the amount of destinations available can be overwhelming. 

As you might have already guessed from the title, we passionately believe that a trip to Australia is a safe and awesome choice. We have to be clear and say that most of the time it is pretty expensive and tiring to fly there, but it is totally worth it. Australia should be on every self-respecting tourist’s travel bucket list. Why? 

Thursday, June 30, 2022

June Expenses

Norway is well known to be one of the most expensive countries in the world. 

And we are normally known to be "budget" travelers. But there is nothing saying that you can't do an expensive country on a budget! And by bringing our house with us, at least we don't have to pay for accommodation, which is a category that can really add up in an expensive country.

We were in Norway the entire month of June, so let's see how we did on the expenses...

This is as far north as we go

We got up at 6:30am Wednesday morning and started driving right away. It's so much nicer without as many vehicles on the road. 

We didn't have far to go... only 79 kms (49 miles) from Stryn to Geranger. But it's a varied route with a lot to see!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Every drive is a scenic drive

There isn't a road we've been on in Norway that wouldn't be considered a scenic drive in any other country. 

And of course, that's what we came here for. We didn't come to Norway for the local cuisine, or the culture, or the people. We came for the scenery and the hiking. And the scenery impresses us... every single day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

To go, or not to go...

We woke up to rain and fog Monday morning. And the forecast for the rest of the day was calling for 90% chance of precipitation. We contemplated simply moving on, but we really wanted to do the bike ride along the fjord.

For the balance of the morning, we tossed around the idea of leaving. To go, or not to go?

Monday, June 27, 2022

Just enough for a change of scenery

We're finding it hard to get anywhere fast here in Norway. Not that it matters really! Yesterday, we managed to do 56 kms (35 miles)! Just enough for a change of scenery.

But we ended up at the prettiest little village, with the prettiest view from our overnight spot.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

There is so much to see and do

Saturday was a bit of a rest day. We liked our spot at the ski hill. There were very few people coming and going, and even overnight we only had one other motorhome and they were parked quite far away. 

So we decided to just hang out for the day. 

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The amazing 900 year old wooden stave church of Urnes, Norway

A stave church is a type of medieval wooden church that used to be widespread throughout Europe. Most of them were built between the years 800 to 1400. But due to a variety of reasons including poor original building techniques very few remain in existence today.

And the vast majority of the remaining stave churches are located in Norway. In fact, they think there used to be as many as 1,000 of them spread across the country, but now only 28 remain.

Friday, June 24, 2022

The pretty little town of Laerdal, Norway

We used to think that Iceland was the most photogenic country we had ever been to. But Norway has now taken over first place in that category! The gorgeous scenery just never stops. It's just simply beautiful here. In fact, someone mentioned the other day that I'm running out of descriptive terms to express what we're experiencing.

So we found ourselves in the town of Laerdal, and decided to take a relax day and just hang out. But of course for us that means we only did a short 6 km (3.7 mile) hike on a trail above the town!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Cruise ships in the fjord

We were parked at the trailhead and the weather turned out better than expected. We weren't originally planning to do the Prest Mountain trail, but I did some reading on the internet and even though it's a fairly short hike, it sounded like it was a good one just for the views of the fjord.

So we set off at 10:00am, headed uphill.

Tips for Selling Your Home and Prepare for RV Living

You’ve lived in a comfortable home your entire life. Whether that be a cozy apartment or a full-sized house, you’re well-acquainted with a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and living room set up. Up until recently, this has felt just fine, but perhaps the need for some sort of adventure has captured your mind. You wouldn't be the first person to feel like this, and you most certainly won’t be the last. In an era where everyone is ditching their conventional living spaces for time exploring, trading your house for a life in an RV isn’t that far out of an idea. If this has been buzzing in your mind, we have some tips for selling your house and preparing to live in an RV!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Finally had to put some fuel in Max

We had arrived in Norway with a full tank, knowing that Norway is probably the most expensive place in the world to buy fuel. But we knew that full tank wouldn't last us for our entire time here, and yesterday was the day to pay up.

Like most other places in the world, the price at the pump tends to fluctuate with the world price of oil. I've noticed here in Norway there is a bit of a delay in implementing that fluctuation, and the oil price is now off its peak. But the price at the pump here hasn't dropped.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

We had a beautiful blue sky day!

Based on the past three weeks, a blue sky day doesn't happen very often in Norway! We woke up and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. And it lasted like that pretty much all day. Wonderful.

We went and did some more grocery shopping before doing the short drive to the tiny fjord port of Gudvangen. 

Discover America’s Secrets on Your Next Holiday

Why a holiday to America is a must

America is a wonderful country that never ceases to amaze. It has something for any kind of travelling or holiday experience. Whether you want a lazy beach holiday or hike across mountains, it has it all.

The country is often in the news for the wrong reasons, making it is easy to believe the American people are at each other’s throats all the time. However, this is largely media driven with most Americans being level headed, friendly people who are very happy to see you, especially after the two year lockdown. You’ll find this out for yourself when you discover the United States.

Monday, June 20, 2022

Max's one year anniversary, and a beautiful bike ride

First off, we celebrated our one year anniversary with Max. Yes, it was one year ago yesterday that we introduced you to our new European motorhome. Hard to believe it's been a year already isn't it? And even harder to believe is the fact that Max has already been to 17 different countries!

Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Turkiye, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, Denmark, and Norway.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

We made our way to the popular tourist town of Voss, Norway.

We arrived here in Norway June 1st, and we depart July 26th. So we have a total of 56 days here. You'd think that's a lot of time, but for us it's not. We travel slowly. The half way point for this visit is June 28th.

Our plan was (and still is) to travel as far north as we can until the half way date, and then turn around and start heading south on the coastal route.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Too many motorhomes!

Now that we are in the fjord areas of Norway, we notice just how many motorhomes and campervans there are up here. Too many, and almost not enough places to park them all! I would expect that it is normally busy with motorhomes in June, July, and August in Norway, however I figure that this year is worse due to pent up demand caused by the Covid shutdowns the last two summers.

So we've had to adapt how we do things a little bit.

Friday, June 17, 2022

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

We were due for a day of rest, so we got up and drove down to the town of Kinsarvik and found a good free internet connection. We had some future travel planning to take care of!

We've had our flights back to Canada booked for quite a while. We leave from Amsterdam on August 5th. 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

The four huge waterfalls of the Husadalen Valley near Kinsarvik, Norway

We said goodbye to Marti and Ryan yesterday morning. They are heading to Bergen for a few days, and then flying back to Texas. It was fun seeing them again and doing some more mountain adventures. Pretty sure we'll meet up again somewhere else in the world!

Ruth and I headed a little further north to the town of Kinsarvik. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The spectacular Trolltunga via ferrata!

Trolltunga is a famous granite rock cliff hovering over a fjord in Norway. It's one of the most popular hikes in Norway, despite the fact that it's also one of the most gruelling and difficult, even for experienced hikers. But there are several ways to get up there.

The most common way is to simply hike up from the lower parking lot. It's a 28 km (17.4 mile) hike round trip!

Water everywhere!

Norway is all about the water. It is everywhere... lakes, streams, fjords, waterfalls, rivers. 

And rain. Lots of rain. On average, Norway "enjoys" 239 days of precipitation per year. But all of that water makes for some beautiful scenery, especially at this time of year when snow is melting.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Do you know what a via ferrata is?

Saturday was pretty much a day to relax. We were parked in a quiet, beautiful spot and we didn't have anywhere we needed to be, so we decided to just stay there and enjoy the day. Besides, it was a Saturday and to move just for the sake of moving and then have to find another spot didn't make any sense.

Of course we didn't just do nothing all day... we did get out for a 6 km (3.7 mile) walk.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Motorhome dump stations in Norway

Well we can't just show you pretty pictures all the time, we have to give you some practical information too! (Don't worry... there are pretty pictures further down!). One of our readers asked the other day how we empty and refill holding tanks if we're not staying at any campgrounds. So here you are...

Fortunately, like Germany, Norway is a very motorhome friendly country and some municipalities and some gas stations have free RV dump and fill facilities. In fact, some of them are really nice!

Friday, June 10, 2022

New boots for Ruth, and hike to a waterfall...

It was such a beautiful day when we woke up... mostly blue sky and sunshine. So we decided to go for a short hike right away. After all, we were already parked at the trailhead so we might as well use the trail!

It was only a short one though... 2 kms up a ridge to have a bit of a view of the town below.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Norway is a hiking and free camping paradise

While we are seeing a lot of motorhomes on the road here in Norway, there are also a lot of places for those motorhomes to overnight. There are quite a few campgrounds, although they seem pretty busy already and it's not even busy season yet!

But there are also a lot of free camping places. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Bucket list hike... almost accomplished!

Norway has a lot of world class hiking trails, and some of them are very tough. Our son has been to Norway, and he told us several years ago that we had better get there soon because we're not getting any younger! 

Some of them are also very popular... not only because of the generally spectacular scenery, but because they might offer attractions that aren't available anywhere else in the world.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Another warm up hike, and grocery prices in Norway

Our friends Marti and Ryan flew from Texas to Sweden, then rented a car and had a five hour drive to meet us at their Airbnb near the village of Sinnes.

But we were already fairly close to Sinnes, so while they were driving, we decided to go for another hike.

Monday, June 6, 2022

It doesn't matter how expensive a country is if you don't buy anything!

We got up at 6:30am (sunrise is at 4:30am!) and decided to do some driving right away. As I've said before, we're trying to conserve our cellular data, and so far it's been pretty easy to find free WiFi in just about any town. Every town has a library, although the hours vary a lot, and not all of them have unsecured WiFi. And, most grocery stores, even the small ones seem to have an unsecured connection.

Speaking of grocery stores, we haven't been in one yet. We arrived on June 1st, and today is the 6th and we haven't spent any money in Norway yet! 

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Yes, Norway is stunning!

Yesterday we did our first longer hike in Norway. Not really that long though. In fact, at just under four hours it was more of a training hike for some of our upcoming Norway adventures!

We had slept close by so that we could get an early start on the trail, and we managed to get going by 9:15am.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

And we're not even in the good parts of Norway yet!

It's so nice not to have much of a plan, and simply be able wander and explore at our leisure. And especially when there is so much to see... and we're not even in the good parts of Norway yet!

Yesterday we drove a little further north. But only a little... 40 kms (25 miles) to be exact!

Friday, June 3, 2022

Staying in shape for what's to come!

It was such a nice campsite that we had for our first night in Norway that we decided to stay a second night. We were located right beside a nice bike trail, so Ruth packed us a lunch while I got the bikes ready to go.

We had no idea what route we were going to follow, or how long we were going to be gone.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Welcome to Norway! Country number 52...

Norway is a new country for us and it has been on our "to do" list for a long time. But it's a country that is best explored by motorhome, so we needed to get a European motorhome to do it. And the original plan was to do it last summer, but then Covid threw a wrench into things and we weren't able to pick up Max until mid June of last year. By then, we decided it was best to put it off another year.

But we are here now, and we're really excited. It's going to be a great two months!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Very frustrating!

We posted our May expense report yesterday evening. You can read it here if you missed it.

It was only a 35 km (22 mile) drive to the port town of Hirtshals at the northern tip of Denmark. We had a few things to do there, so we arrived fairly early.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

May Expenses

Well, May was an interesting month from an expenses perspective. We drove a lot of miles, having started the month in southern Romania and ending it at the northern tip of Denmark!

Our planned budget was about $1,700 CAD, and we spent a total of $1,817 CAD ($1,437 USD, €1,338). Not bad, considering we drove about 2,600 kms (1,615 miles) and visited 6 different European countries.

Now very close to our ferry departure to Norway

We had been parked overnight at an area that is very popular with hikers and bikers so it only made sense to go for a bike ride before we left. Ruth had read that there is a 12 km (7.5 mile) bike route around the lake, so I got the bikes off and we went for a ride.

Temperature never got much above 13C (55F), and there was not much sunshine, but there was also no wind to speak of.

Monday, May 30, 2022

Denmark is one of the safest countries in the world

Denmark is one of the safest countries in the world, especially outside of Copenhagen. There is an extremely low crime rate, and the risk of natural disaster is virtually zero. There is hardly any graffiti, which is often an indicator of the level of crime. Interestingly, housing prices are quite low. You can buy a nice liveable house and property for about $100,000. But vehicles and fuel are expensive. Overall, I would suggest that Denmark is simply a nice country. It's unfortunate that they get winter here!

The official language is Danish, however they are taught English at a very young age, and 86% of the people speak English as a second language.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Welcome to Denmark!

Denmark is not a new country for us.

In fact, Denmark was country #7 on our list of visited countries. We were in Copenhagen way back in 1999. We flew here from Canada for a long weekend!

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Well, that was a miserable day!

We had to drive right through the middle of the city of Hamburg, but we waited until almost 10:00am, and really, the traffic wasn't very bad. Certainly better than I expected, so that was good.

There's one direct route north and it's all on the freeway. We normally try and avoid the freeway, but the weather wasn't great and there wasn't anything we wanted to see along the way.

Friday, May 27, 2022

Matching more of my father's photos in Hamburg, Germany

Some of you will remember that my father did two trips to Europe in the 1950's and took quite a lot of slide photos. Ruth has digitized them, and when we are in some of the same areas, we try to stand in the same spot he might have stood in order to match up those 1950's photos and see what it looks like today.

You can see previous examples of our efforts herehere, and here.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Made it to the big city of Hamburg

Lots of driving the last few days. Max's odometer crossed the 14,000 km (8,700 mile) mark yesterday. We picked him up on June 18th of last year. It's hard to believe we have had him for almost a year already! 

That's quite a few miles in the first year, but I think the second year will be much less.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The pretty town of Schöningen , Germany

Although we had no problem finding decent overnight spots during the past seven months, it is refreshing to be back in Germany where it's downright easy. Many towns and villages have dedicated motorhome parking, and many of those have facilities for emptying and refilling holding tanks.

We did a longer drive yesterday... got up at 6:30am and drove non stop for an hour and a half before we stopped for breakfast.

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Heading for Hamburg

We crossed from Czechia into Germany yesterday. Welcome home Max! Germany is Max's home country because he has German licence plates. 

We're on a bit of a mission now, so we're doing a fair bit of driving. We want to spend a day or two in the city of Hamburg. Some of you will remember that we sometimes try to match up some of my father's photographs from his European travels in the 1950's, and he spent quite a lot of time in Hamburg, so we have several photos we would like to try to recreate.

Monday, May 23, 2022

Well that was a fun reunion!

Between 2010 and 2017 we used the couchsurfing website a lot to find shared accommodation with local people in the countries we were visiting. We met a lot of wonderful people, many of whom we are still in touch with today. In fact, we stayed with over 50 hosts during those years.

One of those hosts was a young lady in the village of Istebne, Slovakia. Jana was only 20 years old at the time and still living with her parents, but she said she would be happy to show us around the area, and even arranged for us to stay at a nearby student residence that was vacant for the summer.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

We are happy taking the back roads...

We did a fair drive yesterday, again on the backroads. One thing about Czechia is that there are lots of paved backroads that are easily passable by all vehicles. No need at all to get on the freeways if you're not in a rush to get anywhere.

And, the freeways in Czechia are all toll roads. You need to buy what they call a "vignette" in advance. It's essentially an e-pass that registers your vehicle's licence plate. Many European countries have this system in one form or another, but sometimes it's just for heavy trucks, and sometimes it's for all vehicles. You need to check each country in advance to see what the rules are.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Sometimes we meet a vehicle larger than us...

Other than driving, we didn't really do much yesterday. We're staying off the main highways, which makes for some interesting scenery and sometimes interesting driving conditions!

And it's pretty slow going, but we'd rather do this than be on the main highways. I actually timed some of our drive this morning and we drove for a full hour non stop and put on 62 kms (39 miles).

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Las Vegas is one of the most visited and popular destinations for some people. Millions of tourists want to visit this place every year. It has all the key points to make itself a well-visited destination. The nightlife is so excellent and full of options. 

Friday, May 20, 2022

We've never done a cave tour by boat!

We were originally planning on visiting the city of Brno, but it was such a nice day and there are so many hiking and biking opportunities that we decided to visit Vývěry Punkvy National Park instead. 

I had also read there are a lot of caves and sinkholes in the park, but we didn't know until we arrived that there is one popular cave tour that you normally have to book weeks in advance. And they just happened to have two openings for the 2:00pm tour!

Thursday, May 19, 2022

It didn't take long to remember why we love Czechia

Up early and driving right away Wednesday morning. The cloud and rain from Tuesday was a one day anomaly, and we woke up to clear blue skies and sunshine!

The original plan was to head for the city of Brno. But when we pulled over for a breakfast break I was looking at the maps and noticed all of the cycling routes at the large town of Uherské Hradiště located on the Bata Canal.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Now this is a castle!

We love visiting castles, and there are a lot of castles in Europe. And they range from castle ruins that are free to visit to spectacular opulent fully furnished castles that are very expensive to visit. You can even overnight in some castles that have been turned into hotels.

Yesterday was a rain day, so we took the opportunity to visit Bojnice Castle, located in the village of Bojnice, Slovakia near the Czechia border.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Welcome to Slovakia, and a traveler mistake!

Once again, Slovakia is not a new country for us. We were here for almost three weeks in August 2012. This will be a much faster visit, although we are in a different part of the country than we were then so we are seeing some new scenery.

There are a couple of things we need to do when we enter a new country. The first is to make sure we have cellular data access, and the second is to make sure we have local cash!

Monday, May 16, 2022

Somebody's idea of modern art? Who knows??

Taking the backroads through eastern Hungary. There's not really a lot to see in this area. It's flat, with mostly farmlands. We were headed to the hills though. I had read about a great hiking area near Hungary's Bükki National Park which is closer to the Slovakia border.

Another gorgeous day though... we've been really enjoying the weather lately.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Welcome to Hungary

Hungary is not a new country for us. We were in Budapest for a few days in September of 2012. But at that time, we were only in Budapest and didn't really see much of the countryside. Unfortunately we're not spending much time in Hungary this trip either... just two nights as we cut across into Slovakia.

We got up early Saturday morning so that we could go for another wander around the town of Oradea, Romania. 

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Back on the road

We have to drive almost 2,000 kms (1,240 miles) to get to the top of Denmark for our ferry crossing to Norway June 1st. And we have 18 days to do it in, so that's an average of 110 kms (68 miles) per day.

Easily doable, but of course we want some rest days in there as well. And we try to keep our driving days under 200 kms (124 miles). We're trying to avoid the motorways and toll highways as much as possible.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Yet another adventure!

When Ruth and I were married 38 years ago yesterday, I promised her that our life together would never be boring. So in keeping with that promise, we did an adventurous canyon hike on our anniversary!

Our friend Gabi had told us about Ramet Gorge (Cheile Râmețului), a fairly short but tough hike through a canyon where you are aided by chains and steel rods to get through some of the more difficult sections. Sounds like an adventure to us!

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Vietnamese breakfast in Romania

We are heading out today. We were actually planning on tomorrow, but Gabi told us about a canyon we need to visit that it sort of along our route and he was going to take us, but something else came up. So we will head out today in Max, see the canyon, and perhaps spend the night up there before heading up to the Hungary border tomorrow.

We've had a great time here though! I wanted to tell you more about Gabi and Ha. Gabi is an avid budget traveler like ourselves, so we have a lot in common in that regard. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A civilized way to buy wine!

They were calling for an afternoon storm, so we had a good breakfast and then headed out for a late morning hike. Gabi drove us up to a trailhead about 30 kms (18 miles) from Alba Iulia.

Only a short hike of about 4.5 kms (2.8 miles), but it was still some decent hills and another nice day.

Take a Scenic Tour of the Australian Outback in Style

Air tours are inarguably the most stylish way of travelling across the Australian Outback. As technology advanced, speed, convenience, and comfort features became more accessible to discerning travellers.

Travelling in a private jet adds another layer of pleasure exclusive only to a select few. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Stuck in the mud!

We got up early and drove Max down from his beautiful spot and parked lower down so that we had a better cell signal. 

We're sitting there having our morning tea and hot chocolate when I hear some bells. You know, the type that sheep wear. Sure enough, I see a couple of sheep out the side window. Then I see more, and more... and before you know it Max was completely surrounded by sheep!

Monday, May 9, 2022

One of the most beautiful places in Romania

Our friend Gabi had told us about a place here in Romania that is very beautiful, but a bit of a hike to get to. It's called Fundătura Ponorului. 

From where we were parked, we mapped out a route that said it should be around 14 kms (8.7 miles). There are a lot of different trails in the area though, and it's difficult to know exactly which one to take. 

Sunday, May 8, 2022

We haven't seen another motorhome or campervan in probably two weeks.

We said goodbye to Valentina and her mother and headed out at around 10:30am. Made a quick grocery stop in town, and then on to Gradistea Muncelului - Cioclovina Natural Park. It was only about 60 kms, but it took over an hour.

I had read about a great overnight spot that had room for only one vehicle, so we had our fingers crossed that there was nobody already there. 

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Why do they make it so complicated...

One of the many reasons we want to get resident status in Europe is so that we aren't having to play "the Schengen shuffle". The Schengen visa area in Europe encompasses most European Union (EU) countries as well as some non EU countries. It means that we can only spend 90 days out of any rolling 180 day period in those Schengen countries.

So it takes some advance planning.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Well that turned into an adventure!

I think I've used that title before. We always seem to get into some kind of unplanned adventurous situation! 

This time, we went on a bike ride to a couple of waterfalls, and then parked the bikes and hiked in the rest of the way. It turned into quite the hike!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Out for lunch and a nice hike

They kept saying it was going to rain, and it looked like it was going to rain, but we got lucky and it never did. 

We took Valentina out for lunch and even sat outside on the patio. Afterwards, we went for a hike in the hills in behind Valentina's house. Some great photos!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Such a beautiful area

Valentina's place is located on the border of Retezat National Park and it's such a beautiful area. We could live here... except that they get winter! Lots of snow, and she said they were down to -25C (-13F) a couple of times this past winter. She goes to Egypt or Israel quite often to escape the cold!

Anyhow, yesterday morning she drove us in her car up into the park to have a look around.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Into the Carpathian mountains

We had a beautiful drive yesterday into the mountains. Our route took us through Defileul Jiului National Park and we stopped at the Lainici Monastery which is located inside the park. 

From there, we did a big grocery shop and had lunch in the town of Lupeni, and then drove to our friend Valentina's house where we are going to stay for a couple of days.

Monday, May 2, 2022

The interesting town of Targu Jiu, Romania

Sunday morning we drove to the town of Targu Jiu (pop 82,000). More of a city I guess, considering the population. But it has a large town feel to it.

Not much to see along the way. Southern Romania between Bucharest and the Serbia border is largely farmland. But Targu Jiu is located at the foot of the sub Carpathian mountain range so our scenery will be improving over the next few days as we are headed into the mountains next.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Big Roma houses

Saturday morning we puttered around and got Max ready to go. Did all the various chores like emptying and filling tanks, and cleaned the front windshield one more time. Max probably hadn't been this clean since the day we picked him up!

But that didn't last long.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

April Expenses

Not a bad month. Considering we started the month in Turkiye near the Syria border, and ended up in Craiova, Romania I think we did okay. 

Plus, we splurged a couple of times!

Time to move on

We've been here three nights now, and although it's a nice spot and it would be easy to stay another night, we're thinking we'll move on today. We want to be up in the mountains to visit with friends on Monday, and it's still 350 kms (217 miles) or so away. 

Friday, April 29, 2022

Just one family's story

There is a refugee family from Ukraine staying in the guesthouse here where Max is parked. The guesthouse does meals as well, and we decided to have dinner yesterday. We were asked if we wanted to sit at the same table together, and we did.

So yesterday afternoon our host Gabriel grilled a whole bunch of meat over an open fire... sausage, chicken, and beef... and we had a feast!

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Welcome to Romania!

Romania is not a new country for us. We were in Romania for the month of November, 2016. We liked it so much at the time, we knew we would return some day. It's unfortunate that we're only going to be here for about two weeks, but that's the way it goes.

We got on the road just before 10:00am and headed for the border crossing bridge. But as we got close to the traffic circle before the bridge, things slowed down and there were police blocking traffic. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Can't ask for much better than that!

Just an all around nice day! Sunshine and blue sky with a high around 25C (77F). Can't ask for much better than that!

So we got the bikes off in the morning and went for a ride. For a small city, Ruse has some nice bike routes.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

At the Danube River on the Romania border

Our quick trip through Bulgaria is almost over. We're on a deadline now to get to the northern tip of Denmark in time for our ferry booking to Norway on June 1st. So we're not doing many detours... we are sightseeing when appropriate along our chosen route.

But, there are quite a few things we want to see and do along the way. And, people to see!

Monday, April 25, 2022

Max went on an adventure! And the city of Veliko Tarnovo

When we had driven up into the mountains behind the city of Slevin, we were surprised at the good condition of the road. In Bulgaria, the roads are in overall poor shape. Lots of potholes, even on major highways. But this road had been not bad.

So when we left and headed towards Veliko Tarnovo, we carried on, on the same road.

Not a good idea!

Sunday, April 24, 2022

12 km hike on a beautiful day

One of the nicest days we've had in a while, so we decided to stay put. We were overdue for a good hike, so we set off on one of the many trails here at the Blue Rocks Nature Park near Sliven, Bulgaria.

Because we were parked up at the antenna tower, we were already at the top of the mountain! So it was a little different to be doing the downhill section first and having to climb back up at the end.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Blue Rocks Nature Park near Sliven, Bulgaria

They had been calling for a decent day on Friday, but we woke up to raindrops and they continued on and off until after lunch. At least it's warming up though, with an afternoon high near 20C (68F). And today it's supposed to be sunny and 24C (75F). That's almost shorts and t-shirt weather!

We decided to drive up into the mountains in behind the city of Sliven. 

Friday, April 22, 2022

First impressions of Bulgaria

We've only been in Bulgaria for a day and a half, but there are some things we've noticed already. One of the first things is that the roads are not in very good condition! We missed a pothole yesterday that would have done some serious damage. It was a crater! And this is on a major two lane road that is part of the vignette toll system with a lot of truck traffic.

Also, the roads we've been on so far have no shoulder. But there are pulloffs every few kilometers.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Welcome to Bulgaria. Country #51 for us!

It was chilly on our last night in Turkiye. The temperature was 1C (34F) when we woke up and there was frost on the windshield. So we got up and drove right away to warm things up.

It was only about 100 kms (62 miles) or so to the border, but we needed to stop and top up the fuel tank one last time, as well as fill one propane tank.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Through Istanbul and our last night in Turkiye

I had our route all planned out to get through Istanbul. We would take the tunnel, the entrance to which was only a couple of kms from where Max had been parked. And we set off at about 10:10am, when we figured "rush hour" (if there is a such a thing in Istanbul) might be over.

We got to the turn off to the tunnel and I saw the height restriction sign that said maximum 2.8 meters. Well, Max is 2.8 meters! I hadn't even thought there might be a height restriction, but apparently this tunnel isn't used by heavy trucks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Speeding ticket!

Turkiye has both toll roads and free roads, and so far we've managed to spend our entire time here on the free roads. The toll roads have a tag system only, so if we wanted to use them we would have had to register Max at the post office and have an account with some credit on it. 

But here in Istanbul, we are going to have to cross the Bosporus Straight either by bridge or tunnel and they also operate on a toll system that would normally be charged to the same highway pass that we don't have. 

Monday, April 18, 2022

A dreary day in Istanbul

Unfortunately the weather isn't cooperating for our visit to Istanbul. Cool, wet, and windy seems to be the narrative for the balance of our time here. We're still getting out and seeing things, although it will give us a reason to return when we can explore under better conditions.

Oh... we got some good news today!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Day one in Istanbul. It never hurts to splurge once in a while.

In the morning, Cheryl took us for a walk around the neighborhood and she showed us how the Istanbul transit cards work so that we could use the metro and ferry services.

The day started off really hazy... or maybe smoggy. We could hardly see across the bay.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Arrived in Istanbul

I had myself well prepared for yesterday's busy drive into Istanbul traffic. Expecting the worst. Fortunately, although it was congested at times, it wasn't overly crazy. Definitely not what you would call a scenic drive though!

It took us just over two and a half hours to do 138 kms (86 miles).

Friday, April 15, 2022

Max is in the shop

We had overnighted at the Cehennemağzı Caves parking lot, so just after they opened, we went for a visit. It was only 12.50 lira ($1.10 CAD, $0.85 USD) entrance fee, so we didn't have high expectations. 

There are actually three separate caves, all very small, but all very different. None of them very exciting though!

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Good thing Max is small!

It was definitely a good move to come down to the coast. It's not warm by any means, but it's comfortable. At least we haven't had to put the furnace on! We had spent Tuesday night in Kozlu, which is a western suburb of Zonguldak.

We felt comfortable leaving Max alone, so we went for a walk back towards Zonguldak before leaving the area and heading further west towards Istanbul.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Slight detour!

It was chilly when we woke up Tuesday morning. Glad to have had the electric heat on overnight! But outside, it was only about 2C (35F) and windy. Not nice.

We got all of our chores done and filled Max's water tank and hit the road. We weren't planning on a long drive... only about 80 kms (50 miles) to another campground with electricity. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Our time in Turkiye is almost up

We have to be out of Turkiye by April 21st at the latest, however we will likely make a run for the Bulgaria border either the 19th or 20th.  So, just over a week to go. 

That will give us about five and a half weeks to make our way from the Turkiye/Bulgaria border to the northern tip of Denmark where we get on the ferry June 1st for the trip to Norway. A distance of about 3,100 kms (1,900 miles).

Monday, April 11, 2022

The big city of Ankara, Turkiye

We got up at 6:00am and did the 25 km drive into the center of Ankara. 

Ankara is a big busy city with a population of about 5 million people. That's exactly why we got up at 6:00am on a Sunday morning. And still, there was a fair bit of bus traffic. But once we got onto the side streets it was actually fairly quiet. 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Morning hike and afternoon drive

We wanted to do one more hike in the Ihlara Valley before doing the fairly long drive to the big city of Ankara (pop 5 million).

So after breakfast we left Max at his spot overlooking the valley and hiked into the northern part of the valley.

Saturday, April 9, 2022

The cave churches of Ihlara Valley

Ihlara Valley is more of a canyon than a valley. The Melendi River runs about 14 kms (9 miles) through the gorge. The valley was a significant religious center from the 4th to the 11th century and contains 105 different churches carved into the stone walls. 

There are three different paid entrances to the gorge, with walking paths running the entire length, often on both sides of the river.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Cappadocia to Ihlara Valley

But before we left Cappadocia there was one last thing we wanted to do. Go for a bike ride! I had seen that there is a bike path running between Goreme and Avanos.

It turned out to be just a marked off section of the main road, not really a bike path. But it was still a good ride and we got some more photos of an area we hadn't been to yet.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Our last hike at Cappadocia

There are a lot of hikes around Cappadocia and we will return to the region someday to compete the ones that we missed. This is the second post of today... if you missed it, you might want to check out The Balloons of Cappadocia.

On Wednesday, we did the Sword Valley and Rose Valley hikes. We walked from where Max was parked, so we ended up doing a total of about 15 kms (9.3 miles).

The Balloons of Cappadocia, Turkiye

It had been four or five days that the balloons hadn't been allowed to fly due to weather conditions, but yesterday morning we could hear the burners while lying in bed. So we got up right away to find several flying overhead. It wasn't the nicest morning with a lot of haze in the sky, but we went out to take some photos anyhow.

Then this morning, we heard them again. We got up right away, and it was a much nicer morning with a clear blue sky and no wind to speak of at all.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

More weird rock formations around Cappadocia, Turkiye

Yesterday we hiked Love Valley and White Valley. They kind of run into each other, and it was about a 10 km (6.2 mile) circuit from where Max was parked. Lots of ups and downs, so it was a good workout. 

The temperature was a pleasant 22C (72F), but there was no sun at all. There was just a drab haze, which doesn't really make for the best photos, but I took lots of them anyhow! The scenery is so odd, but I finally got them whittled down to a reasonable number.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

It's a big money business!

But some news to tell you before we get to that. 

Yesterday, I booked our ferry tickets from Denmark to Norway. I booked us return tickets for €192 ($263 CAD, $211 USD) each way. The further in advance you book, the cheaper the tickets are so I wanted to get that done as soon as we were comfortable with the dates.

We depart June 1st, so now we are on another time schedule! 

Monday, April 4, 2022

The ghost town of Karain, and arrived in Cappadocia

We had stayed overnight at the parking lot of the ski resort, but we didn't sleep well. It was really windy, and so we got up at 6:30am and started driving right away. By the time we got down to lower elevations, it wasn't windy at all!

We stopped for breakfast at a pretty little roadside park with a pond and picnic sites. The Turkish people love their picnics!

Sunday, April 3, 2022

We had a blast skiing at Erciyes Mountain Resort, Turkiye

The last time we went skiing was almost exactly nine years ago at Colorado's Winter Park Resort. We had a great time then, with almost perfect powder conditions.

And the time before that was eleven years prior. So this was only our third time skiing in the last twenty years or so! 

But, it's just like riding a bicycle.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

We're going skiing!

We're actually headed to our next stop which is the popular Turkish tourist area of Cappadocia. But along our route is the big ski resort at Ercİyes Mountain. 

Turkiye is one of the cheapest places in the world to go skiing. And the mountain has spring conditions available right up until the end of April. So we figured, let's go skiing!

Friday, April 1, 2022

More beautiful views, and a nice lunch out

A perfect day to go hiking in the mountains. We set our sights on a nearby antenna tower that was about 4.5 kms (2.8 miles) one way with a 477 meters (1,565') altitude gain.

Blue sky and sunshine and no wind to speak of. Just a nice spring day. You can almost watch the snow melt!

Thursday, March 31, 2022

March Expenses... that was a cheap month!

How much does it cost to RV in Turkiye for a month? Well using our March expenses as an example, it costs about $950 CAD ($760 USD)!

Yes, that is our total expenses for the month of March. $950 CAD. And that is for everything, including our travel medical insurance.

Spring hiking in the snow in Turkiye!

I know, many of you will think "what are they doing in the snow??" and it's a good question since we often talk about not liking the cold and the snow. And now that shorts and t-shirt weather has returned to Turkiye's southern coast, you would think that's where we would be!

But for a week or two, we really don't mind the snow. It's when you have to put up with cold and snow for seven months in a row that we really don't enjoy it. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

And so we begin the drive northwest

While we've enjoyed exploring Turkiye's south coast, we've really been missing the mountains, and of course there is so much more to see inland. The weather has finally turned, so yesterday we did a fairly long drive into the mountains.

We woke up to a strong wind yesterday morning, so we decided to get on the road right away at 7:00am in order to get through the congestion at the city of Samandag. We did hit some traffic on the bypass around Antakya, and didn't stop for breakfast until almost 9:00am.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Moses Tree, the Titus Tunnel and another great overnight spot

We finally said goodbye to our hosts at the little campground by the river. We had a really good time there. When we had arrived, we figured it might be good for a two night stay, and we ended up there for four nights.

There were two things we wanted to see in the area. The Moses Tree, and the Titus Tunnel. The maps all said that the Moses Tree was in a little village on a mountain road, but we figured that if tour buses can make it there, then we can make it there.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Traditional Turkish Bread

We arrived with a plan to stay here two nights and ended up staying four nights. And are we ever glad we hung around. Yesterday, spring arrived in this part of Turkey. In fact, the whole country seems to have jumped into spring this past weekend as sunny skies and increasing temperatures have taken over the area.

In the morning, we went for an 11 km (7 mile) walk around the villages near where we are staying. And in the afternoon, the campground became quite busy with picnickers and our hosts showed us how they make traditional Turkish bread.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Max got a bath

Lots of comments yesterday regarding replacing our computers. The "Mac vs PC" arguments are still alive and well I see! We will stick with the more frugal choice. We have spent less money in ten years on PC laptops for the both of us than what it would have cost for one Mac laptop ten years ago. Hopefully they will last another few months until we get back to Canada in August.

Anyhow... Ford vs Chevy... who really cares, provided they both do the same job. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Planning our travels around the weather

Sunshine one minute and showers the next. That's been the story the last two days, and it looks like it's continuing today. It kind of makes it hard to do anything, and of course it makes it difficult for the laundry to dry!

It seems like we've been dealing with on and off weather issues since we arrived back in Europe last October 1st. Sure, there have been some nice days mixed in there as well, but we sure do miss the perfect weather that we would get every winter we spent in Mexico.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Kamp Alani near Antakya, Turkiye

Laundry needed done, and holding tanks needed emptying, so we decided to go to a campground for a couple of nights. I found one on iOverlander that was surprisingly not listed on park4night. It also got great reviews on Google Maps, so we headed over there Thursday morning.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Museum Hotel and St. Pierre Church

I know I said yesterday that we are done with museums for a while, but when we were at the Antakya Archeological Museum we had bought the combined ticket which included access to the Museum Hotel and St. Pierre Church along with the Archeological Museum.

Max is parked right behind the Museum Hotel, so that was the first place we headed Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

I am a little bit in awe of where we are right now...

Yesterday's drive took us from north of the big port city of Iskenderun to the valley city of Antakya.

Antakya is located in Hatay province, which until 1938 was part of Syria, and the area still feels more like Syria than Turkiye. Not that I know what Syria is like, but the area definitely has more of a middle eastern feel to it than what we have experienced elsewhere in Turkiye.

And in fact, we are now only 20 kms (12 miles) from the Syria border. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Not every day is a good day

And yesterday was certainly not one of the better ones, but in the end we are fine and it's just another adventure.

We packed up from our beautiful free campsite and set off at about 10:30am. I decided on a backroads route so that we would avoid having to return to the big city of Adana. The road wasn't in great condition, but I would rather go slowly that way than have to deal with the traffic through the city.

Monday, March 21, 2022

We had a beautiful first day of Spring!

What a gorgeous day we had yesterday. Blue sky and sunshine! It could have still been a little warmer, with a high of only 10C (50F), but there was no wind at all and with the sun shining it was really quite nice.

So we left Max behind and set off on a 10 km (6.2 mile) hike to try to get to the nearest high point.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Booked the rest of our flights, and found the perfect free camping spot!

It's a really tough call booking flights this far in advance. Especially for summer travel which is expensive to begin with. Then add in constantly changing Covid restrictions that are wildly different in each country, and increasing fuel prices, and it's hard to know what to do. But, I'm overall happy with what me managed to book.

So, we fly back to Canada August 5th from Amsterdam. We arrive in Montreal with an 18 hour layover before our flight to Calgary. 

Saturday, March 19, 2022

We are sticking with our original plan

We didn't really do very much yesterday, except we spent a lot of time with Duygu  and Timmy talking about the many things to see and do in this area, as well as talking about their road trip to India and looking at some photos and telling stories. 

Although, Ruth did go with them to the fabric guy to buy the material for the covers for Max's dinette seats. I was feeling the need for an afternoon nap, so I stayed behind and did just that!

Friday, March 18, 2022

Well, that was an interesting day!

We were up and on the road at 6:30am Thursday morning. We were headed just across the city, but wanted to beat any rush hour traffic, and we did a pretty good job of it.

I had been looking at other listings on the park4night app for the city of Adana and came across one from fellow motorhome travelers who live in Adana. They like to welcome others to park at their home and visit with them. We contacted them, and they invited us over.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Adana Museum, and a great day for a bike ride

We left Max parked up by the river and walked the 3 kms (1.8 miles) over to the Adana Museum. Other than the riverside, this was the first we had seen of the city itself. Adana is a modern city, very clean, and with lots of green park space. For a big city, we were pretty impressed.

We arrived at the museum and there were a few school buses with groups of kids, which is not surprising. We paid our 15 lira ($1.30 CAD, $1.00 USD) each entrance fee and went in with a large group of them.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Into the big city of Adana

We packed things up at the free campground in Tarsus. It had become quite busy there as three Turkish rigs traveling together showed up around 9:30pm Monday night. I think all the spots were full so we're glad we parked well out of the way.

Thanks to the municipality of Tarsus for providing this free campground. Always good to be able to get back on the road with full batteries and water, and an empty toilet tank!

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

More wandering around Tarsus

Three nights in Tarsus is almost one too many, but we still managed to keep ourselves busy yesterday with a few more interesting sights to see in the central area.

Fortunately, we had blue sky and sunshine, with a high of about 13C (55F).

Monday, March 14, 2022

The city of Tarsus has been inhabited uninterrupted for 9,000 years!

Sunday was an abnormally chilly day. Only an overcast high of 7C (45F), and down to the freezing mark at night. Next winter we are going somewhere warmer, even if it's only for a month or two!

We bundled up as much as we could and set off to explore the old central part of the city of Tarsus. 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Inverter gone bad!

The other morning, I turned on our inverter and immediately heard sparks. Uh oh. That's not good. I shut it down right away, and tried it again. This time, I left it on despite the sparking, and within about five seconds it shut down automatically and went into fault mode.

The night before, it had been working perfectly. What happened between then, and the time I turned it on the next morning? Who knows. Electronics don't last forever. But it should last more than 9 months!

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts

We left our quiet overnight spot at the Men of Rock parking area and drove back down to the main coastal highway heading east towards the big city of Mersin (pop 1 million). 

Not many cars on the road, and we think that might have something to do with the price of fuel. When we arrived in Turkiye January 22, we paid 13.5 lira per liter. Today, it is now 23 lira per liter. Yes, I know that is happening all over the world, but fuel was already expensive for the Turkish people at 13.5 lira per liter.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Well, that was an adventure!

What a day we had! Keep reading to the bottom for the best part!

We had a totally silent night parked at the ruins of the ancient city of Olba. But it was chilly... -1C (30F) when we woke up. A good reminder of why we've been staying on the coast! Fortunately, things are starting to warm up and the next month will make a big difference. They are calling for sunny highs around 20C (68F) by the end of next week.

We left Max in his spot and went out exploring. Nobody around but us and some goats and sheep!

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Fantastic Gilindire Cave, and up into the mountains

First thing we did was to go for a short walk around the park at the beach where we had overnighted. It's a really pretty bay, and I'm sure the place is packed with tent campers and picnickers on a summer weekend. 

But yesterday morning, there was just us, one couple in a tent, and a guy picking up trash.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

We have decided we are not going to Cyprus on this trip

We are now only 60 kms (37 miles) from the ferry port that would have taken us to North Cyprus. So we needed to make a decision.

We weighed the pros and cons. If we went to North Cyprus, the only real benefit would be that we would be able to extend the spring season so that our remaining time in Turkiye would be warmer.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

The fantastic mosaics at the ancient city of Anamurium, Turkiye

The ancient city of Anamurium dates to between the 1st and the 7th centuries. I always have to think about that a little bit. Of course in Canada, anything old is maybe 300 or 400 years, at most. So when you come across structures that are still standing after 1,500 or 2,000 years, it's difficult to comprehend.

We had no plans to visit Anamurium until Ruth did a little bit of research to find out what there was to see along our route. And it turns out there is a lot to see! In fact, it was one of the better ruins sites.

Monday, March 7, 2022

Summer plans... booked another flight!

Sunday was a rain day. They had called for showers on and off, but it rained pretty steady most of the day. We didn't get out of the motorhome for a walk until around 5:00pm!

So we played some backgammon and yahtzee, and did some computer time. We want to get back to Canada this summer, so I did some searching looking at flight possibilities.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Another busy day, and a feast for lunch!

Lots of exploring to do in this area, and it was another nice day. Plus, it's an easy bike riding area with a good network of bike paths. 

So I got the bikes off and we went for a ride. First destination was the ancient fortress of Selinus.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Yep, this will do for a couple of nights!

We got up at 7:00am and hit the road right away Friday morning. Two reasons for this... first, it's a good way to warm up Max's interior without using propane, and second, we wanted to get out of the big city of Alanya before the traffic got heavy.

And we did... there was hardly any traffic on the road. 

Friday, March 4, 2022

That was a busy day!

And a much better one than the last few, because the sun was shining and we were able to get out do stuff! 

We needed to find a laundry. There were a few listings in the big touristy city of Alanya (pop 300,000), so we packed up early and drove the half hour or so into the city.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Life goes on

We are fine, thanks. We've received a few messages of concern because we are geographically fairly close to the action, so to speak. And yes, we are following the headlines and are aware of what's going on in the world. 

But we don't worry so much about "what if", so we continue with our plans, for now. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Not much point in moving on

Another wet overcast day on Tuesday, but at least we managed to find a two hour window where we got out for decent walk.

Today is supposed to be worse, with pretty much non stop rain, and a total accumulation of more than two inches. We were going to move on just for the sake of moving on, but I think we've decided to just wait it out. We have electricity and a good strong cellular internet connection.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Train trip and Cyprus update

Yesterday evening, we published our February expense report. If you missed it, you can read it here

A few weeks ago, we told you about an overnight scenic train ride that we wanted to do between Ankara and Kars, or the reverse. Tickets are really hard to get, but we put in our request hoping that we might get some around the end of February when we were in Antalya area and we could have flown from Antalya to either Ankara or Kars to meet the train.

Monday, February 28, 2022

February Expenses

Had we not done those medical checkups and bought me a new pair of hiking boots, February would have been an all time record low month. Of course keeping in mind that February only has 28 days, but still!

We spent a total of $1,884 CAD ($1,487 USD, €1,322), but our actual living expenses were less than half of that!

Staying at our first official Turkish campground!

We got on the road around 8:00am so that we could take advantage of the early Sunday morning lack of traffic in order to get ourselves out of the city. We took the coastal route, which is a little slower going but we had done the faster route in the car when we were here in December 2020 and it was not a scenic drive through a lot of industrial areas.

The coastal route in this area between Antalya and Alanya is loaded with big resort hotels... one after the other. 

Sunday, February 27, 2022

Another Senior Nomads lunch, and my new hiking boots arrived!

We drove over to Vera and Bob's apartment and found a parking spot really close by. They offered to let us use their washing machine and so we did some laundry and had nice hot showers!

Then when we the laundry was hung up to dry, we walked over to the same restaurant where we had lunch with the other Senior Nomads group last Tuesday.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Maybe we'll give it up in twenty years or so

We took a rare day off from writing the blog. We didn't have anything to write about! Thursday was a wet, rainy day, and we had done a lot of walking the previous three days so we simply took a day off from that as well!

We're still waiting here in Antalya for the hiking boots that I ordered to show up. We didn't really want to drive anywhere, and there were a lot of puddles on the nearby bike trail. We ended up contacting Bob and Vera, the Australian couple who we had met the other day.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

It's an odd feeling to have no plans, but we have some ideas

Normally when we travel, we have some sort of deadline. Even if that deadline might be four or five months out, which of course gives us quite a bit of flexibility. But right now, we feel like we don't really have to be anywhere, and it's a bit of an odd feeling.

We do want to go back to Canada this summer for maybe a month or so, but we aren't counting on that happening in the current travel environment. If it happens, then it will be a fairly last minute decision. If it doesn't happen, we have lots of other options.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

New hiking boots!

We had always been fans of Merrell hiking boots until the last couple of pairs we bought that didn't last as long as we thought they should have. So on October 10, 2019 we each bought a new pair of Oboz hiking boots.

Well they are now due to be replaced. In fact, they've been due for a month or two now and we've been actively looking for new ones. But, we're pretty happy with how long the Oboz boots lasted, and in fact we would be happy to buy that brand again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Medical test results

We don't often talk about our medical issues because 1) we really don't have any, and 2) when we do talk about things medical, everyone becomes an arm chair doctor.

But, we spent much of the day yesterday with the doctor, and we don't have anything else to talk about so we might as well tell you the whole story!

Monday, February 21, 2022

A nice lunch, gluten free treats, and a funny story!

We figured on a forty minute walk to get to the restaurant where we were meeting some of the "Senior Nomads" facebook group, and timed it perfectly, arriving right at 11:30pm.

There was Bob and Vera from Australia, Thomas and Georganna from California, and Matt and Avic from Colorado. 

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Eye doctor results

It was a little chilly yesterday morning, and we didn't know what the route would be like for cycling, so we decided to walk to our 10:00am eye doctor appointment. It turns out that it would have been no problem to ride our bikes... there wasn't much traffic on a Saturday morning, and there were quite a few sections that had bicycle only lanes.

But it was only 6.5 kms (4 miles) each way, so we had no problem walking it in an hour.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Hiking in Göynük Canyon, and into the big city of Antalya

We slept Thursday night at the Göynük Canyon parking lot. Total peace and quiet... it actually would have been good for a two night stop except that we had to get to Antalya for our eye doctor appointment on Saturday morning.

This whole area has a lot of trails, and the famous Lycian Way trail goes through this area as well. I had seen a cave marked on the map, so we decided to hike up there first. 

Friday, February 18, 2022

The abandoned Eco Dream Club Resort

One of the stops we wanted to make yesterday was at the very strange Eco Dream Club Resort. There are a lot of all inclusive style resorts along this part of Turkiye's coastline. They're very quiet at this time of year, and in fact many of them totally close up during the winter and re-open in March. 

But there is one big resort here that closed up in 2014, and never re-opened. The abandoned Naturland Holiday Area Eco Dream Club Resort.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Made another doctor appointment

We have our ophthalmologist appointment on Saturday morning. That is why we are heading to Antalya fairly quickly.

Regular readers will remember that we had refractive lens exchange surgery done here in Turkey back in late December of 2020. You can read all the details here. We are going to see our ophthalmologist just for a checkup since we are in the area. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Views above Kas, Turkiye

When we had been in Kas in the fall of 2020, we had done a hike up the mountain behind the town. It is part of the Lycian Way hiking trail which runs about 500 kms (300 miles) along the southern coast. We wanted to continue further along that trail to see what there was to see, so we headed up the same mountain again yesterday.

The weather has continued to be perfect! Sunshine, blue skies, and temperature about 18C (66F).

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Beautiful southern coastline

This week is going to go by quickly, as we have to be in Antalya by Saturday morning for our eye doctor appointment. We did that on purpose though, otherwise we wouldn't get through this area fast enough!

Part of our goal on this Turkish trip is to see some of the area east of Antalya towards the Syrian border and if we're going to do that we have to get a move on. So booking the eye doctor for Saturday gives us the push we need.

Monday, February 14, 2022

The ancient city of Pinara, Turkiye

Sunday is market day in Calis Beach, so we walked over with Aly and Martin at about 10:00am and did our weekly fruits and vegetables shopping. When things are so cheap, it's actually fun to go out and do the shopping!

After that, we needed to get going, so we said our goodbyes. Much thanks to Aly and Martin for looking after us, and Max feels great too with a full fresh water tank, and empty toilet tank!

Sunday, February 13, 2022

It was another beautiful day!

We hopped back on the bikes Saturday morning, and Martin came along with us. 

This time, we headed north up along the bay to an area where they have built a huge five star resort complex. There's still a lot of construction going on in the area, and there are rumors of a cruise ship port that is going to be built up there as well.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

It's days like this that we're so glad we have the bikes with us

I am reminded why we liked Fethiye. And I don't blame the 10,000 or so British expats for living here. It's a really nice city.

Yesterday, we got the bikes off and went for a ride. We knew that there is a 6 km cycle path that runs the length of the coastline here at Fethiye. It is lined with park space, and a running/walking track, and cafes. It's really pretty, especially on a beautiful blue sky day. 

Friday, February 11, 2022

Made it to Fethiye

Woke up to a gorgeous blue sky and sunshine and the forecast says it's going to be the same thing for the next week or more. Finally. It seems like ever since we left Germany at the beginning of October we've been constantly searching for nice weather. 

It's still not tropical by any means, but with highs of 17C to 19C over the next week, it's not bad when the sun is beating down on you.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

One of the best things about living on the road

Tuesday was quite the change from the beautiful day we had on Monday. Tuesday was a stormy day. Overcast, showers, and a really strong wind. We just stayed put in the parking lot of the municipal beach at Sarıgerme. 

Fortunately, it was only a one day event and we were back to sunshine and blue skies on Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

How did it all begin?

Yesterday, we heard from Beth, a long time reader who says she never comments. But she sent us a very nice email instead. She had some questions about our history and how we got into this abnormal lifestyle and how we can afford to travel full time. She apologized for being nosy, but we don't mind telling the story! I did write about it once about ten years ago, but there are more details I should have included. And of course we've got a lot of readers who would have never read that particular post from so long ago.

So here is the whole story...

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Finally got out for a bike ride!

I had a great birthday, thank you all for the birthday love!

This area is really fantastic for bike riding. And yesterday was perfect weather for doing exactly that! So I got the bikes off, and we went for a bike ride. I had a route planned that led to a cave, but I wasn't exactly sure what we would find there.

Monday, February 7, 2022

Today is a special day

Late Sunday morning, we drove from Marmaris to Sarıgerme Beach. About 100 kms (60 miles). Not a very exciting drive, mostly on a four lane highway. But the road was in great condition. Max really enjoyed it!

We arrived at a large paved beach parking lot. It was about 1/3 full, and we parked at the back away from everybody else. But by mid afternoon, the lot was packed and Max was no longer on his own!

Sunday, February 6, 2022

A question for the boaters out there...

Woke up to another beautiful day. This is the kind of weather we came here for! 

In the morning, we hiked up to the antenna towers on the hill in behind where we are parked. We figured it would give us a great view of Marmaris, and it did...

Saturday, February 5, 2022

A beautiful day in Marmaris, Turkiye

We woke up to blue sky and sunshine, and it stayed with us all day. Even better, it looks like it's going to be a beautiful weekend as well, and right through into Monday.

We drove into Marmaris for a few reasons. We needed to do laundry, and there is one here that gets great reviews, and it has a big grocery store that is likely to have our gluten free bread. Also, because we had been here in November of 2020,  we knew that it has a nice waterfront walkway that goes for 5 kms (3 miles) in each direction. Great for people watching, and enjoying the nice weather.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Lots of water!

Wednesday night we had a lot of rain, together with a lot of thunder and lightning. We even had some hail. Surprisingly, we felt like we slept okay! Good thing we were parked on high ground though, as you'll see in the photos. 

The weather turned out worse than forecast and we ended up sitting right where we were until just before the noon hour. Katja and Yves had taken off a little earlier than us, but not by a whole lot. They were taking a different route, but we will see them again down the road at some point.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

We might do one of the world's great train rides

We didn't do very much yesterday because the weather wasn't the best. We did do a short drive just for a change of scenery though. We ended up parked at a playground/park just outside the village of Kargicak. They even have a couple of electric outlets, and it's free. So, a good spot to spend the night when the solar panels aren't getting much charge during the day.

I wasn't going to tell you about our plan just yet, because it might not actually happen. But we don't have much else to talk about today, so here it is...

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

A tough hike to start off February!

We were itching to get out for a hike yesterday, and they were calling for afternoon rain starting around 12:30pm, so we tried to get out as soon as it warmed up a little bit. We got dressed for the weather, put our boots on, stepped outside.... and it started raining!

Fortunately it was just a quick shower, and we were soon on our way.

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

January Expenses

Well, it wasn't as cheap of a month as we originally planned, but we're still happy with the way it turned out.

We spent a total of $1,921 CAD ($1,515 USD, €1,347) during the month of January. We always set our budget goals low to start off with, and adjust as the month progresses. Most categories turned out higher than we expected, however we were under budget in Meals Out, and Entertainment.

Now this is the kind of area we love!

Monday morning, Yves and Katja took off to visit the Temple of Apollo. We had been there in November of 2020, so didn't need to return, but we thought it was worthwhile enough to recommend that they visit.

We headed around the south shore of Lake Bafa, and then inland to the north shore of the lake. We had read that it was a worthwhile overnight spot, and that there was a lot of hiking opportunities in the area.

Monday, January 31, 2022

We had a fantastic day at the ancient city of Miletus

Ruth and I had driven by this area back in November of 2020, and we had seen the massive theater of Miletus from a distance. At the time, we already had a full day planned, and I had read that it takes about three hours to see the whole site so we said "we'll have to return another time".

Well, yesterday was that time. 

Sunday, January 30, 2022

It's been a long time since we wasted half a day at a shopping mall

It was almost 11:00am by the time we got going from our nice beach site. We filled our water tank and said a temporary goodbye (more like a "see you later") to Katja and Yves. They were headed into Kuşadası to do laundry, and we were headed to a big outlet store mall to do some shopping.

The plan was to meet later at the Miletus ruins, but we never made it that far!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Just an all round nice day!

Or I suppose that's an all around nice day. (I looked it up, and either is correct). The morning was overcast, but around noon hour that blossomed into an all round nice day with blue skies and sunshine. And a high temperature around 10C (50F), and with little wind, it was very pleasant!

We relaxed for the morning, but went out for a couple of hours walk in the afternoon. The small ruins site of Claros is walking distance from where we are parked, so we headed that way.

Friday, January 28, 2022

Driving through the big city, and camped at a nice beach site

We waited for the morning rush hour to end, and then took on the challenge of driving right through the center of the big city of Izmir, Turkiye (pop 3 million). 

The problem is that there is no easy way to avoid Izmir without going far inland. Friends Glen and Steve had taken the wider route going around and had said that it was terrible. Katja and Yves had taken the coastal route through the city and said that it was busy, but moved along quite nicely. 

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Incredibly cheap groceries, and into the city of Izmir

We had learned that the big weekly market for this area took place on a Wednesday, and the location is only a five minute walk from where we are parked. So the first thing we did yesterday morning was to head over to the market to buy a weeks worth of fruits and vegetables.

Because we had been in Tukiye just over a year ago, we knew that the weekly market was the best place to buy fresh produce. Also the cheapest place. But we were still shocked by just how cheap it has become.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

We didn't plan on visiting Izmir

Our original driving plan for Tuesday was to get through and past the city of Izmir, but I had seen a nice looking park on the north shore of the city so we figured we would stop there and take a break.

I hadn't done any research on the city itself because we didn't plan on stopping here. Izmir is a big city of 3 million people, and we had just wanted to get past it all. But once we got to the park, it looked really nice. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

We dodged a bullet

We knew that doing this northern drive around from Greece into Turkey was a bit risky from a weather perspective. But we dodged a bit of a bullet the last couple of days as both Istanbul and Athens got walloped by a blast of winter and we managed to somehow avoid that!

Have a look at these photos from both cities...  

Monday, January 24, 2022

Visit to the ancient city of Troy

We suggested to friends Katja and Yves that we make a quick stop at the ancient city of Troy, and they agreed that was a good idea. It was only about 5 kms (3 miles) off our route. We set off at about 10:00am and arrived there at lunchtime. We had to take the ferry across the Dardanelles Straight, which meant that we would be crossing from the continent of Europe to the continent of Asia. 

We have now RV'd in five different continents!

Sunday, January 23, 2022

"We have a problem".

It was below freezing again when we woke up Saturday morning, so we headed for the border as soon as we got up. Didn't even have a coffee or breakfast. We were on a mission to find out if we could get into Turkiye!

If you missed the post the other day, I'll give you some background. Canadians need a visa to get into Turkiye, but you can apply online in advance. I had done that, and mine was approved but Ruth's wasn't. I cancelled the process, so we arrived at the border without visas, which is okay because Canadians are eligible for visa on arrival.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Ready for the Turkiye border!

Kind of a grey day on Friday, and they were calling for afternoon rain. Sure enough, we got dumped on for about two hours. It kind of made the clean up I did on Max a little bit of a waste of time! Oh well, I needed the exercise!

Got Max ready to go, and Glen and I went to pay our bill at the campground. Nice enough lady, and the property itself was okay, but it's not maintained at all during the off season, and we both thought it was a bit overpriced to begin with at €22 a night even though that was already the off season discounted price. 

Friday, January 21, 2022

A good visit with friends, and a possible glitch in our travel plans

First off, Ruth is getting better very quickly. Still not 100%, but boy that Cipro stuff sure kicks in right away. So, that's good.

Yesterday was a bit of a chores day, so really there's not that much to talk about. Max was in dire need of a bath, so I gave him an exterior wash. Again, it was nice and sunny, but chilly. Ruth went for a walk with Glen and Steve while I did some computer work in the morning.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Fastest doctor visit ever!

Ruth had been complaining of some back pain the last couple of days, and Tuesday night she had a fever and didn't sleep well. So, obviously something was not right, and it was getting worse instead of better.

We aren't the type to go running to the doctor with every ache or pain, however she has experienced these types of symptoms before, so we were pretty confident it was time to see a professional.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

A couple of odd things we saw

Heading east once again, this time to get around Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city. Apparently it's worth a visit to the central part of the city, but as with Athens we have no ambition to do that at this time. In fact, the only reason we are this far north is to get around to Turkiye so that we can get to the southern coast of Turkiye as soon as reasonably possible.

But that's doesn't mean there aren't some things to see along the way.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Amazing history lesson at the Museum of the Royal Tombs

The small town of Vergina, Macedonia, Greece is not very old. Maybe 100 years or so. However, it was built in an area that has been inhabited for many centuries. In the center of town was a known archeological site that contained ancient tombs, but the tombs that were visible had been looted in antiquity. 

In 1977, a Greek archeologist working at the tombs discovered two more tombs, but these ones had been left undisturbed since 336 BC... almost 2,400 years!

Monday, January 17, 2022

Acrocorinth Fortress, and another shipwreck

We slept fine at the Acrocorinth parking area high above everything else. Only one other van spent the night as well. A police car came up to check on things just as we were getting ready to go explore the fortress. He gave us a friendly wave.

The fortress opens at 8:30am, and surprisingly is free of charge. We were the first ones in, and had the place to ourselves until we saw a single man on the grounds as well. Wouldn't have mattered if there were a hundred other people... the place is huge. 

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Climbing 1,000 steps to Nafplio Castle

We find it a constant problem that there are simply not enough hours in the day to get done the things we want to get done!

We've been getting up at 6:30am and it doesn't even get light until 7:30 or so. Yesterday morning, we wanted to climb the many steps up to Nafplio Castle for the view. It didn't seem like it would take a lot of time, but it was still after 11:30am by the time we got on the road and left town.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

A beautiful coastal drive to Nafplio, Greece

It's still a little cool out, but with the blue sky and sunshine, it really doesn't matter. We don't mind having to wear a sweater, and we're well equipped to deal with the cooler nights... it's the rain that really bothers us.

Hardly a cloud in the sky yesterday, so we had hot morning showers, emptied our holding tanks, filled our fresh water tank, paid for our four nights of holiday camping, and set off on a gorgeous coastline drive heading north to the small port city of Nafplio.

Australian Road Trip Guide For Horseracing Lovers

We all know that Australia is a big country and there’s no denying it, but for the horseracing fan who loves to road trip here are a few suggestions for where you can go to enjoy your favourite sport at multiple venues on the same trip. The key is obviously to pick a few places that aren’t across the country from each other, so here we have picked Queensland and New South Wales. You can go from Brisbane to Melbourne in around 19 hours in light traffic, but why rush? Here are some suggestions for stops on the way!

Friday, January 14, 2022

Bike and hike to a monastery

Thursday late morning we set off on a bike ride. It was only 10 kms (6 miles) to the monastery we wanted to visit, but it was a steady incline that gets steeper the higher we go. It was pretty chilly out, but since we were going uphill it didn't take long to warm up. Still, we were glad to have our hat and mitts on. 

We got past the town of Leonidio and the incline got a little steeper.

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Great views above Leonidio, Greece

Sorry to go on about the weather, but that's kind of what is affecting our travels right now. Wednesday was about what they said it would be... chilly and windy and not much in the way of sun. Fortunately the rain was finished and we managed to get out for a couple of hours and do some hiking.

The area around the town of Leonidio isn't really a big tourist area, except for the fact that it's popular with rock climbers. The town is surrounded by some sheer cliff faces, and apparently there are something like 1,400 different climbing routes mapped out if you're into that kind of thing.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Glad to have electric heat!

We're enjoying our mini holiday at the campground. Although, we didn't get outside much yesterday. The temperature peaked at about 10C (50F) and it was raining most of the time. Yuck.

Of course we're paying for the privilege, but it sure makes us glad to have our little electric heater. We see some of the vanlife people camped out at the free spot down the road and we don't know what kind of heating system they have, if any, but I can't imagine they are too comfortable when the weather turns bad like this.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

We're on holiday! Staying at our first official campground in Greece...

It was a bit chilly when we woke up Monday morning! The temperature outside was only 5C (43F) and it wasn't much more inside! We've been following the coast for the past couple of weeks and kind of forgot that it might be a few degrees cooler inland.

So we decided to get up and drive right away to warm things up. We were only going 45 kms (28 miles), yet the GPS suggested it might take an hour and ten minutes to get there!

Monday, January 10, 2022

Shipwreck of the Dimitrios

We were out for a walk before 8:00am Sunday morning! We still wanted to go over to the lighthouse in Gythio, and it wasn't raining at the time so we decided to go for it while the going was good.

After that, we drove to the very cool (and a bit spooky) shipwreck of the Dimitrios just north of Gythio, then we headed inland to a little village that doesn't get many tourists.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

No sunshine, but we still managed to get out for a bit

We woke up to rain Saturday morning, and it really poured down for a couple of hours. Eventually, the rain stopped and we got on the road. 

We're only doing short distances each day because we like the area. If we have to do a few longer driving days as we approach our Turkiye border crossing around the 20th, then hopefully we'll be in an area where we don't like it so much! And if we do happen to miss some things along the way, it will give us reason to return some day.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

This should be listed as one of the world's great scenic coastal drives

Before we left our parking spot on the basketball court, we had to wander down to the historic village of Vathia to have a look around. 

The village of Vathia dates back to the 16th century. It's such a remote area that it has never had a large population, however the population has fluctuated wildly. They say that at one point in the 1800's there may have been as many as 400 people living in the area, and even as recently as 2001 there were almost 200. 

However now, there might be 20 living in the area full time, if that. And even fewer in the actual village itself.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Unfortunately, we got there and someone else had beat us to it.

We're supposed to be getting some rain through the weekend, so we wanted to take advantage of our last really nice day to stay outside as much as possible. 

So we drove to the seaside village of Mezzapos, found somewhere amongst the narrow streets where we figured Max would be safe, and set off to do some exploring.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

We are liking the scenery in this area!

So much so that we're not getting very far each day! Not that we're in a rush... although we've got a loose goal of reaching the Turkey border by the 20th, which is now only two weeks away. 

And the border crossing is 1,400 kms (868 miles) away. I know, that's only 100 kms (67 miles) per day so we've still got quite a bit of time. And as I've said before, if we have to hop on the motorway towards the end to make up some time, then that's what we'll do.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Beautiful drive south of Kalamata

We slept fine parked on the street in front of the cycling path. When we woke up, there were four other vans that had parked there, as well as three more on the other side of the small river separating the two beachfront areas.

Almost all other vans and motorhomes that we see are from Germany. We've seen a couple from France, and one from Slovenia and one from Austria. But nobody from the UK. We think that because of Brexit and the fact that the British now have to deal with Schengen visa rules, the British are staying closer to home, like Spain and Portugal.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

It's illegal, but I'll go ahead and do it for you anyhow!

It's been really nice during the day, but it still gets a bit chilly most nights. So normally, we have to put the heat on for twenty minutes or half an hour when we get up just to take the chill off. 

But Monday morning we were heading into the city of Kalamata (pop 70,000) to do some chores, so we got up at sunrise and drove in right away. Might as well warm up with engine heat.

Monday, January 3, 2022

The ancient city of Messene

On the first Sunday of every month, the ancient sites of Greece are open to the public at no charge. So we took advantage of that by going to the ancient city of Messene. 

We had been parked only a few kms away, and they open at 8:30am. We didn't figure we would need to be there that early though, so first we explored a couple of nearby sites that were not part of the old city itself.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Well that was a great way to start the new year!

We had spent a quiet New Years Eve in the parking lot of the Polylimnio Waterfalls. There was one other van there, also with a Germany licence plate.

On the first day of 2022, we were on the trail by 10:00am to the waterfalls. I hadn't actually done a lot of research, other than knowing that the trail was about 3 kms (1.9 miles) long, and that there were a series of different waterfalls.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

December Expenses, and 2021 Expenses Review

Well, 2021 was our most expensive year since we set out with this abnormal lifestyle in 2007. In fact, it may well have been our most expensive year ever. We spent a total of $38,665 CAD  ($30,595 USD, more or less).

But before we get into more details on the full year expenses, let's talk about December. We spent a total of $2,494 ($1,973 USD). Overall, it was a decent enough month considering we paid for Ruth's Invisalign dental treatment in full during that month.

Great meal at a rural taverna, then to Voidokilia Beach

When we left the camping spot on Thursday, the rains had pretty much gone. Looks like we are ending the old year and starting the new year with beautiful blue skies and sunshine!

The people there had told us about a taverna in a small village at the base of the mountains. Apparently it's well known to the locals, and the best place for miles around to have great traditional local food in a homelike setting at cheap prices. They said the roads were good enough for Max to get up there, the only thing we weren't sure about was finding an overnight spot. But we always figure something out!