A new chapter in our travel story has begun: we have hit the road of freedom in a campervan!
My parents bought a 15 year old Volkswagen T4 with pop-top roof and we are the first to properly test it. They have done a good job kitting it out so only had to get a few more little things to suit us. The biggest amendment was the fitting and alteration of an Ikea hanging storage shelf to make the most of our wardrobe. The van has got a little three way fridge (it runs on gas, external power or the car battery during driving) so we can store some meat, vegetables, milk/yoghurt and a few beers. After three weeks of eating out and picnics being able to cook what ever we fancy is something we were really looking forward to. We just need to shop more often and plan our meals. Two gas rings are available for cooking and there’s a sink for washing up. For us who are used to camping with a tent out the back of a Corsa and cooking on a trangia this is definitely luxurious.
After sorting everything out and going shopping there was only time for 1.5h of driving but it still counts. Our first stop was a little camper parking area without any facilities but we didn’t mind since it was nice and free.
Since we were in no hurry we decided to do a detour and visit the beautiful city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. The old center is lovely and very relaxed to wander around and still has got all of its walls and towers. We spent about 2.5 hours there before we hit the road again. This night we decided on a nice campsite next to an outdoor swimming pool but due to bad navigating ended up in a very similar sounding place some 40km away and decided to pull over into the Märchenwald (fairytale woods). That night we cooked our first dinner and can testify the camping kitchen works very well (you just need to be very organised due to its size).
The next day we got up bright and early for a long day on the road to get to our first destination country: Poland. As we approached the border town of Görlitz we realised that there was a bit of a black hole in terms of campsites on the other side of the border. Therefore we decided to spend one more night in Germany. Our first actual campsite was at the back of a horse farm come children activity and play center. We paid €20 for the three of us (luckily teddies go free on campsites!) including full use of facilities and our first showers in two days. One very welcome perk was the Brötchendienst (bread roll service) with two rolls per person for breakfast.
We got woken up even earlier today and had showers before the rolls arrived at 8am and were the first to campers to leave to site. After looking at the road and camping maps we decided to give Warsaw a miss (for now) and focus on southern Poland. The sights are much closer together, it works better for our overall route plan and there are plenty of campsites.
We will cover the next part in Poland in the next posts. For now we are finally settled into the van and can’t stress enough how important it is to plan and pack any camper properly. Be critical about what and how much of the things you need as space (especially in a VW campervan) is definitely at a premium. Get at least one organiser for the back of your driver/passenger seat for every day items and make a good plan where to store what based on how often you need it. Don’t worry: more likely than not you will move things around but the more time you invest in planning the less moving you end up doing.
This is it for the time being. We hope to update you again soon about our polnish escapades.
Maybe you have lived in campers before and have some tips for us? Let us know in the comment. We would appreciate it.