Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Welcome back to France!

Yesterday was leg two of our journey back to Ottawa. We had to make our way from Dusseldorf, Germany to Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) near Paris, France.

I had researched all the ways to make this happen, and decided on a BlaBlaCars private shared ride.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Leg number one of our trip back to Ottawa

Pretty hectic morning yesterday as we felt a bit rushed trying to make the 12:20pm train from Dulmen.

And we did actually make it to the train station in time, but only because our motorhome dealer offered to drive us. Normally we walk because it's only about twenty minutes away.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Our last evening with Max

We were up at 6:00am yesterday morning to make our way to the nearby laundromat that opened at that hour. A nice laundromat, with decent enough prices, however they didn't take credit cards. The last few laundries we've used in Germany were all fully automated with credit card paying.

We were lucky we had enough cash! We've purposely been using up our euros knowing that we're going back to Canada for six weeks.

Monday, August 28, 2023

On the way back, the skies really opened up.

Not a very exciting day yesterday, other than when the skies opened up on us! 

We did the drive north to Dortmund area. Lots of construction zones where lanes were closed and they were rebuilding bridges. Because it was a Sunday there was hardly any truck traffic, so it didn't really slow us down too much.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

A pretty hectic end of the month!

We will be flying direct from Paris, France to Ottawa, Canada  on August 31st, only four days from now.

Our home town of Ottawa kind of gets left out when it comes to international flights. Despite the fact that it is the capital of Canada, and home to over a million people, almost all international flights depart from either Toronto or Montreal. So you normally have to connect in either one of those cities.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

One of the most beautiful castles in Germany

When I originally started researching some of the things we wanted to see during our European travels, I came across the fairytale setting of the magnificent Eltz Castle.

And besides the architecture, the actual story is fascinating. Eltz Castle is privately owned, and has been in the same family for over 900 years. The castle and surrounding estate is currently in the hands of the 34th generation of uninterrupted lineage since the mid 12th century.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Welcome to Germany!

Of course Germany is not a new country for us, but it is country number 9 for grandson Cameron.

Cameron is now tied with his 37 year old mother for number of countries visited. And he's well ahead of his father. And they have a family trip planned to Dominican Republic this coming winter, so he will then surpass his mother because she has already been there.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Welcome to Netherlands!

Once again, Netherlands is not a new country for us. However for grandson Cameron, Netherlands is country number 8!

And while Ruth and I spent six weeks here in June/July of 2021, we never made it to the big city of Rotterdam. So that's where we headed yesterday morning.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Fresh strawberries. From a vending machine!

Just a relaxing day yesterday, which I think we were all in need of. Both Bjorn and Freya had to go to work, so we were on our own at the house. We got some laundry done and Cameron was quite happy playing some games on his tablet most of the morning. 

We did make it out for a walk in the afternoon, just in this area by one of the canals.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

A beautiful day in Bruges, Belgium

It was about a 45 minute walk from where we had been parked to get to the center of Bruges, so we drove in to try and find a closer spot. If it was only Ruth and I, we probably would have walked it. But we figured with Cameron, we should probably try to get closer. 

And we got lucky, managing to find free on street parking that saved us a half an hour walk each way.

Monday, August 21, 2023

Welcome to Belgium!

Belgium is not a new country for us, but it is country number 7 for Cameron.

3 countries in 3 days. Kind of reminds us of that old 1969 movie "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium" where a group of American tourists do a 9 country European tour in 18 days.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

We had to get up at silly o'clock!

Welcome to France! Of course France is not a new country for us, but it is country number 6 for Cameron.

He has already been to Canada, US, Mexico, Morocco, and England. And he'll be adding three more countries during this trip. Belgium today, then Netherlands and Germany.

We had to get up yesterday morning at 3:30am. Silly o'clock!

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Max is sold!

Yesterday, we got up at 5:30am, and less than half an hour later we were on the maze of highways around London's Heathrow Airport to make our way on the southern ring road avoiding most of the city.

But we were all amazed by the amount of traffic at that hour. What are all these people doing already on the highway at 6:00am? We purposely did that to avoid the heavy traffic. I suppose we did though, because it would have been much worse later on.

Friday, August 18, 2023

So much to see in London

The big cities of the world require much more than two days to properly see the sights. In fact, we've often said that you need to spend a full month in places like New York City and Mexico City. And of course London.

But, when all you've got is two days, then you just make the best of it!

Thursday, August 17, 2023

We did a quick tour, then got the heck out of there!

Ruth and I have been to London many times, but of course this is the first time for our grandson Cameron (age 12). So it made sense to take in some of the more popular tourist attractions and sights even though Ruth and I have seen them before. 

We left Max at the pub parking lot near Heathrow airport and walked the 20 minutes or so to the Elizabeth line tube station that should have taken us to Tottenham Court Road. But there was some kind of problem on the line.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Grandson Cameron has arrived!

We had overnighted in a small village near Stonehenge so we had about a two hour drive from there to London's Heathrow Airport where we were picking up grandson Cameron.

We took our time though, and didn't leave until after 10:00am. Then we stopped at a highway rest stop for lunch, then again at a grocery store.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Our visit to Stonehenge

We said goodbye to Julie and the pups at around 10:00am. First stop was at a computer service and repair shop just as we were leaving the town of Wellington.

Last year when we bought new laptops in Norway, we kept our old ones. Mine was still working fine, except that the battery was done. And the casing on Ruth's was falling apart, although it still worked as well.

Monday, August 14, 2023

We're headed for Stonehenge

Another mostly cloudy day with a few raindrops but nothing too wet. We took the dogs out for a good run before lunch.

It's amazing how much a dog can run. We did almost 5 kms, but I'm sure they did 50 kms or more, and most of it at full speed. Their little hearts must just be beating like crazy!

Sunday, August 13, 2023

We have a plan...

I spent several hours yesterday working on our plan to get to Paris. 

Travel during July and August is expensive no matter how you do it, but I was surprised that the train was going to cost so much. From Dulmen, Germany to Paris was almost €200 ($295 CAD, $220 USD) per person for the one way trip, and with two connections and not very suitable running times.

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Meet our companions for the weekend...

First up though, a travel planning update.

Our life is a logistical nightmare sometimes. But, it's part of the life we chose, so we simply deal with it. And ultimately, this most recent issue will work itself out, although always at a cost!

Friday, August 11, 2023

We finally had a day of summer!

Well, a few hours really, but we'll take it! 

With a forecast high of 21C (70F) and sunny breaks, we took the short ferry ride across the bay at Dartmouth and made our way to the popular Goodrington Beach tourist area.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

A good day in Dartmouth, Devon

Again, we drove first thing in the morning, and good thing. While Dartmouth itself has more modern roads, the roads getting to Dartmouth are narrow, and big trucks use them as well.

There aren't a lot of decent motorhome options in Dartmouth. But someone told us about a popular parking app here in the UK called "Your Parking Space". It lists a variety of paid parking spots ranging from private driveways to grocery stores... at a variety of prices, some really cheap. We ended up choosing a 24 hour one in a Sainsbury grocery store parking lot for £4.60 ($7.85 CAD, $5.85 USD).

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Devon and Cornwall are not very easy for a motorhome

Yesterday morning, we once again departed as soon as we woke up. It was about a one hour drive to Restormel Castle, just outside the village of Lostwithiel.

The castle is fairly remote, even though it's only a mile or so outside the village. We got there, and the gate was closed!

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

So many sea caves to explore!

Once again we were on the road before 7:00am making our way through the narrow country roads to the coastal village of Tintagel. We arrived at a large, totally empty parking lot with a "pay by app" sign listing prices. I had already done the research in advance and so I knew that motorhomes are allowed to stay overnight and that the cost was £8 ($13.75 CAD, $10.25 USD). 

There are several other places in the village where motorhomes can park overnight, but they all work out to approximately the same cost. This one is furthest away from the attractions, and while it was busy during the day, it was empty and very quiet overnight.

Monday, August 7, 2023

Seems everybody in this area does their grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon!

We've learned that you don't get anywhere fast in this part of England. There are no motorways, not that we would normally use them anyhow, but even the main roads in this area are narrow and curvy, and at this time of year there is a lot of traffic.

We've taken to getting up and doing our driving very early, as soon as we wake up, because it's just easier with less vehicles on the road.

Sunday, August 6, 2023

I took a video for you, but it's a little rough...

Yesterday morning was downright miserable. There was a wind warning in effect, with a steady "breeze" of 30 mph (50 km/h) and gusting higher than that. Add in some drizzle and a temperature of about 13C (55F) and it was pretty easy to just stay inside all morning.

But after lunch, things cleared up a little. The wind didn't die down, but at least the precipitation stopped.

Saturday, August 5, 2023

There's one more walk we want to do!

Our things have finally pretty much dried out from getting soaked during our wet hike on Wednesday. Almost. We haven't had any rain the past two days, but we haven't had any sunshine either. Still, the weather has been good enough to get out and get some exercise.

It's a great spot where we're staying. We have a nice view of the sea, and many different trails start from here. And it's only £3 a night, payable by donation in an honesty box.

Friday, August 4, 2023

More of England's Southwest Coastal Path

I was thinking last night that it was almost a year ago that we last flew back to Canada. This year, we arrive in Ottawa  at the end of this month on August 31st. This will be the longest that we have been away since we began this lifestyle in the fall of 2007.

Yesterday, we drove right away and arrived early into the village of Lynmouth and found a parking spot. It was free until 10:00am, but paid by the hour after that. I paid for three hours for a total of £3.90 ($6.60 CAD, $4.95 USD) and we had some breakfast and set off exploring.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

A couple of drowned rats

The weather isn't cooperating, but it's only water and we have raincoats. 

We left Max in his spot up on the moors, and set off towards the South West Coastal Path, the longest marked trail in England.

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Back on the road!

We had another good weekend with Helen and Tony, and on Monday afternoon our friends Mirsie and David showed up in their van. We had met Mirsie and David in Kosovo last fall and they are on their way back to their home in Scotland after having taken a one year sabbatical to travel in their van.

So it was fun getting caught up with them. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

July expenses, not a bad month...

At the end of last month, I had said that our planned budget for the month of July was $2,045 CAD ($1,545 USD). While we came in at $2,823 CAD ($2,134 USD), the extra was all related to my laser eye surgery treatment.

So without the cost of the treatment, we were pretty much on budget, although some of the categories were a bit out of whack . Here's how it all broke down...