The village of Ducaj near Boge, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Tirana Airport, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Porto, Portugal on June 25th!

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November Expenses

We had a budget of $2,200 CAD for the month and we spent $2,287 CAD ($1,635 USD). So we're pretty happy with that.

No real surprises from an expenses perspective. We started the month in Prizren, Kosovo and ended the month in the tiny mountainous country of Andorra on the border between France and Spain.

It's finally working!

Last month around this time I told you about the Tiekom SIM card that is a great deal for European travelers.

I had ordered one of these SIM cards while we were in Albania, and had it delivered to the dealership where Max was. But they misplaced the envelope, and so we couldn't pick it up when we arrived there. However a week later they found it, and mailed it to where we were staying in France.

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

We went through a couple of villages where things were a little tight!

Well, we put in a good driving day on Monday. It poured with rain the whole time! We drove right by a few things that we would have normally wanted to stop and see, but there was just no point.

It was a good day to put on some miles. But when it came time to stop, things just didn't go our way.

Monday, November 28, 2022

It's honestly embarrassing...

Ruth thanks everybody for the birthday wishes. She says she had a good day! We started off by going for a hike. The weather was pleasant, calling for a high of 14C (57F), although it didn't reach that until towards the end of the day.

Obviously a busy spot for hiking. Cars started showing up just after breakfast to take advantage of a nice Sunday.

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Heading south through the Rhone River Valley in France

We had a good driving day yesterday as we did about 200 kms (124 miles) through the Rhone River Valley. We are purposely staying away from mountainous areas, although the route we are taking is probably the most direct anyhow. 

There is snow at higher elevations, though it's still a little early in the season to be concerned about it. However, they do warn of needing tire chains starting November 1st, although we do not have any.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

On the road again!

So, yesterday around noon I saw a postal van drive by, and minutes later the doorbell rang. Sure enough, it was the delivery we had been waiting for! A couple of hours after that, the tracking number was updated to say our package had been delivered. Too funny. There had been no updates at all since Tuesday when they said it had arrived in France. Not a great system.

But it was a little too late in the day to get any driving done. Plus, it was Black Friday so we were busy with that. Amazon had a lot of record low prices, which in times of high inflation is actually quite surprising.

Friday, November 25, 2022

I knew this was going to happen

So, we are sitting here in Versonnex, France waiting for an envelope to show up. It's all well and good, because it's a pretty spot, and it's been fun visiting with my cousins daughter and her husband. But we would rather be heading further south!

It brings back memories of when we were waiting for a package in Albania last year around this time.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

It was a great day in Geneva, up until...

A few stories to tell you today!

The letter we are waiting for still hasn't arrived (!!), so we decided to go into the city of Geneva just for something to do. Also, we had one more of my dad's photos to match up there.

My cousin's daughter Tehya's house is in the village of Versonnex, in France but walking distance to the border of Switzerland, and in total about 12 kms (7.5 miles) from the center of Geneva.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

A productive day

We stayed close to the house yesterday, although we did get out for a decent walk without getting very wet. Just a few sprinkles of rain, but it was cool with a high of only about 7C (45F).

Part of our walk was to scout out a route to be able to catch the bus to Geneva. There is a bus stop close by the house, but that one will only take you to the train so you have to connect. But there is another bus on the other side of a big field that will take us directly into Geneva.

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Morges, Switzerland, and south to Geneva

Monday morning, we were happy to take advantage of the nice hot shower at Katja and Yves apartment. We were all laughing about how funny it is when you live in a van for weeks or months on end how much you appreciate things that others take for granted... like a real shower and easy access to laundry! 

Yves had already gone to work, but we said goodbye to Katja and got on the road back on the lakeshore towards Geneva. Thanks again for the invite, it was great seeing you guys again. We wonder where it will be in the world that we meet again!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Gorgeous day in Switzerland

We woke up to a cool overcast morning, but the forecast was for clearing skies so the four of us decided to hop in Yves and Katja's little car and they took us for a tour of the lakeshore.

The north shore of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) belongs to Switzerland, while the south shore belongs to France.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Welcome to Switzerland!

Switzerland is not a new country for us. When we were flying Montreal to Bucharest in November 2016, we had a five hour layover at Zurich airport so we took the train into Zurich for a couple of hours. But while we have officially been to Switzerland before, we haven't really seen much of it.

And we weren't expecting to visit with the motorhome at this time of year, but here we are!

Saturday, November 19, 2022

A dull dreary driving day

Sticking to the backroads, we managed to put on 180 kms (112 miles) yesterday. 

The weather is exactly as we expected it to be... wet, and cool with a high of about 8C (47F).

Friday, November 18, 2022

Change of plans

Not that we really have plans... just a loose idea to continue driving sort of south west to somewhere warmer!

But now, it seems we are taking a little detour into Switzerland!

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Welcome to France!

France is not a new country for us, even though we have spent very little time here. We were in Nice, France (right at the south east corner of the country, near Monaco) back in 2017 for a couple of days.

Yesterday, we left Redange, Luxembourg, and had to drive through Belgium to get to the France border. Along the way, we filled up Max's fuel tank because prices are cheaper in Luxembourg. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

The city of Luxembourg... more photo matching

Yesterday morning, we took the bus from the town of Redange into the city of Luxembourg. And the one hour bus ride bus was totally free. Since 29 February 2020, public transportations has been free for everybody, residents as well as tourists. This is the case for trains, trams and buses!

We were there to match up some more of my dad's photographs.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Welcome to Luxembourg, country number 56

Winter has arrived. Or at least that's the way it feels. Yesterday's high might have been around 6C (43F) although it warmed up in the evening to 10C (50F). This is actually the weather we had been expecting when we arrived back in Europe, and is quite average for this time of year.

Our first stop yesterday was in the town of Bastogne... still in Belgium, but near the Luxembourg border. There, my father had taken one single photo back in 1954, and we wanted to see if we could match it up.

Monday, November 14, 2022

We've been lucky with the weather, but that's about to change

First order of business bright and early on Sunday morning was to vacate the big city of Brussels before there was any traffic. So as soon as it was light enough, we got out of bed and hit the road.

We've been back in Max for nine days now and his tanks are starting to get full. And nine days is about the limit for his fresh water tank as well, so it's getting low. Free motorhome service points are really common in Germany and France, but apparently not so much in Belgium!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

It was a great day in Brussels, up until...

At this time of year, Brussels has an average daytime high of 10C (50F). So we were very lucky that the day we chose to go in and explore the big city, the forecast high was 18C, and it actually ended up hitting a balmy 20C (68F). 

Ruth packed us a lunch, and we rode our bikes the 7 kms (4 miles) or so into the city center.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Such a civilized society!

Surprised there weren't more comments on yesterday's post. That's the way it goes sometimes though. We think it's odd when we post something really interesting (fossilized lightning!?) and it just doesn't get much attention, but when you post a photo of a puppy... well, everybody loves puppies.

And only two people ventured forth to guess what our guide was holding in his hand. And yes, one of them was right.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Interesting day at the Natural Sciences Museum in Brussels

Thursday morning, we drove from Antwerp down to Brussels on the motorway. No point in taking photos because you don't see much except for truck traffic. Definitely not an enjoyable way to drive in our mind, although if you have to get somewhere in a hurry, then I suppose it's the way to go.

And we were in a bit of a hurry because we had arranged to meet our friend Freya who works at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Brussels.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Fantastic architecture in Antwerp, Belgium

Yesterday we hopped on the bikes and rode into the city of Antwerp. (Lots of photos... be warned!)

We haven't been on the bikes in over three months, so it felt good to get back to it. And Antwerp is so bicycle friendly, in fact the entire 7 kms (4 miles) from where Max is parked to the city center is all on dedicated cycle paths.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Booked some more flight tickets!

Bit of a quiet day yesterday. I hadn't had a good night sleep for a while, and I think it finally caught up to me. 

We did drive down to another overnight spot located about 6 kms (4 miles) outside of the city center of Antwerp with the intention of riding our bikes into the central area. Then, we were invited over to Bjorn and Freya's for dinner, but we ended up putting both experiences off until today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Welcome to Belgium, country number 55

We had an interesting day yesterday!

The sun doesn't come up until about 7:45am, but as soon as it was light enough we set off to see a nearby castle. It's used as an event center and restaurant now, and unfortunately it was too early and we couldn't go inside.

Monday, November 7, 2022

Back on the road, and into Netherlands

On the road early, and on a Sunday morning there was no traffic at all. Very pleasant driving through the Germany countryside.

We made a breakfast stop at a forest parking lot for walkers, then we went for a walk ourselves.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Reunited with our motorhome Max!

When we left you on the previous blog post, we were sitting at the boarding gate for our early morning flight from Tirana, Albania to Dortmund, Germany.

They were telling us that our flight would be ten minutes late leaving, and twenty minutes late arriving. Not a big deal, since we had lots of time. Or so I thought!

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Well Albania, it's been great!

What a fantastic time we had here in Albania and Kosovo. The first two weeks touring Albania with Helen and Tony, and the last two and a half weeks on and off with David and Mirsie.

But it's time to move on, and we're excited to be heading back to Germany and picking up our motorhome Max for an extended tour.

Friday, November 4, 2022

This time, we were successful!

We had made a rough plan to hike up the mountain opposite Lake Shkodra. I had a clear view of it out our bedroom window while I was sitting on the bed writing yesterday's blog post. I could see the antenna towers at the top.

Ruth and I had made a half hearted effort to get up there when we were here a year ago, but when we got to the first ridge it was really windy and actually a bit chilly so we had turned around without reaching the top. This time, we were successful.

Thursday, November 3, 2022

The gorgeous village of Theth in the Albanian Alps

Ruth and I had spent a week in the village of Bogë at the end of May last year. At the time, we had driven part of the road towards Theth but parts were still under construction. Plus there was still a lot of snow up there!

Well the road is now finished, so yesterday we took Mirsie and David for a drive up into the mountains.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Back in Albania

We left Prizren at about 10:00am and made our way through the maze of inner city one way streets. What a circus. Finally got out to the main highway where there was very little traffic.

Not long after, we were at the border of Kosovo and Albania. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

High above Prizren

We published out October expense report earlier today. You can read it here.

Yet another gorgeous day yesterday. We've been so lucky with the weather. Ruth was mentioning that when we came through Montenegro last year around this time it was pouring with rain. 

Yesterday we climbed up to the Fortress that overlooks the city of Prizren.

October expenses. We kind of blew the budget!

We started the month in England, and ended it in Kosovo with a bunch of time in Albania in between. It was a great month!

But the expenses came in a fair bit higher than planned. We spent more than expected on both meals out and accommodation. But then after all, we were on holiday for the first two weeks of the month!

We spent a total of $2,872 CAD ($2,115 USD) during October.