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East from Hoek van Holland : long



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old September 10th 03, 09:54 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Bob Douglas
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Posts: 275
Default East from Hoek van Holland : long

Having solicited some advice on sites in Prague from the newsgroups, I
thought it might be of interest to post a bit of info about our three-week
break. It might provide useful research info for others, or even inspire a
bit of an adventure (or reminiscences?).

If anyone wants more info on sites, just ask.

To get across onto the continent we used the Stena HSS Harwich Hook mid-
morning sailing (first time on this vessel, though not the first time on the
route). Found it reasonably attractive, though the eating/drinking
facilities are a
little restricted (fast food or a la carte, with nothing between - I prefer
good
coffee in a real cup, rather than ersatz coffee in a paper cup). Main
downside is very little scope to get out into the open air, main advantage
is the much shorter crossing time. Loading is also relatively quick.

The ferry was booked at significant discount through C&CC, who also, for
convenience booked our first night at Delft (Delftse Hout). This site has
been reviewed by various other posters so I won't go into detail, but it is
convenient for the ferry (allowing an evening in Delft if you cross in the
morning), is an easy walk into the (attractive) town centre, and is well
equipped. At the time of our visit (school holidays) it was also very busy,
which made it less attractive than it might be. When using a motorhome, the
low bridge on the recommended approach (3.2m) leads to a bit of breathing
in!

Wishing to visit Amsterdam, we moved on next morning to Gaasper Camping, and
queued at 11:00 am to get a pitch. Not too onerous, given this was peak
holiday season, and when we were allowed in we got a very good pitch (there
appeared to be a significant amount of 'doubling up' in some areas of the
site, and the tent pitches were overrun). The facilities were always busy,
but the site was quiet at night). This site is most convenient for
Amsterdam,
since it is a short walk away from a metro station, with a ten-minute
interval service (which runs to the early hours) to the centre. Visited
Amsterdam mainly to take the kids (since we'd been before without them).
Re-inforced my opinion that it isn't somewhere I would rush back to, having
seen the main sights (though nothing specific to criticise).

We then headed East, with a view to visiting the old eastern bloc areas for
the first time.

Our next target was Berlin, but we broke our journey in the Harz mountains
at Clausthal-Zellerfeld (Camping Prahljust). A quiet site in a rural
location, a bit of a drive outside the (twin) towns, but a much shorter walk
across the fields. The facilities were good, there is a lake to swim in, and
also an indoor swimming pool as an alternative. A good few statics, and a
medium sized site, but not unattractive.

We then moved on towards Berlin, and having seen varying advice about the
accessibility of the sites in the city, targeted Potsdam for our stay. Used
Park Sanssouci-Gaisberg, which again was busy, but with good facilities. The
ground was very sandy, which led to the odd dust-storm, and there wasn't
much sign of grass (but the whole of Europe was very dry and throughout our
travels). The Potsdam public transport system is integrated with Berlin's,
(as an additional zone). This means that for a very small supplement over
the Berlin day-pass (for all trams, trains buses, and which in itself is
cheap) you can include Potsdam and travel in on the train. This actually
means 15 mins walking from the site to the tram terminus (or catching the
free courtesy bus!) two separate trams to the Hauptbahnhof, and then train
to Berlin (less than an hour in total, and all on the same ticket). The
ticket was bought on the first tram, and we found a 'small party' ticket
covering up to five people to be the best bargain. Berlin itself was
intriguing, unlike any other capital city I've visited, still lots of
evidence of the eastern bloc past, and a variety of sights. We shall go
back.

Our next target was Prague, but again with a break of journey, this time SE
of Dresden at Konigstein (Camping Konigstein). Good facilities, good
position between railway (busy but not over-noisy) and River Elbe, and short
walk to town. The staff were a bit off-hand, however (not unfriendly, but
definitely not 'warm', even though I speak enough German to get by). We had
no pre-conceptions of the area, but this was a great choice. Konigstein
itself suffered in the floods last year, a fact that dawned on us slowly, as
we tried to decide whether it was an attractive place going slowly derelict,
or a derelict place slowly being attractively restored! It is in fact an
attractive place which is being slowly recovered from flood damage.
Konigstein is surrounded by outstanding rock-formations (easily climbable -
and aren't the continentals civilised -placing drinking establishments on
the top of the most inaccessible of rocks!). One of these next to he town is
topped by a gigantic fortress in an outstanding state of repair, and with
entrance prices that would drive British owners to despair. Good area to
explore, and
the railway gives the possibility of cheap regular access to Dresden (which
looked interesting on the drive through).

So, on to Prague. Here we stayed at the Yacht Club Caravan Park, recommended
by a number of posters, and definitely a very good choice. (Just a tip,
here - it is the second site you hit as you drive up the island to it, not
the first - no-one
passed on that advice).Plenty of space while we were there (despite rumours
it gets busy)
and 4 metro stops (20p) from the city centre.Being on an undeveloped island,
it is
relatively quiet for a city-centre location (we walked out to it on one
occasion) and the owners
run a ferry (25p) across to the metro station to avoid a longer walk to the
trams. The
facilities are adequate, if not outstanding and the staff (only some of whom
speak English)
were friendly. Prague itself lives up to the stories every visitor brings
back, and appears
to have recovered well from last year's floods. It is spectacularly scenic,
and also very
cheap. (Day travel pass around UKP1.50, half litre of bear in a bar from
50p) For a large city it
was surprisingly clean, and also non-threatening. We shall visit again, but
soon, as there are signs
of 'creeping McDonald syndrome', and entry into the EU is bound to change
both costs and
other things. (interesting shopping in Tescos!)

Having done a few cities, we wanted to chill out, and the Czech language was
a bit daunting (Prague was very anglicised - presumably for the Americans,
but the rest of
the country less so) so we headed south for Austria, and the Salzkammergut.

Drove past a number of sites, heading up past Gmund and Halstatt (where
we've stayed before years ago), and finally found a gem of a site at
Obertraun, at the head of
the Halstatter See. I've mislaid the name, but there is only one. It's
position means it holds the
sun later than most sites around there, it is on the lakeside, and next to
the Badestrand (complete
with FKK section!). It was a bit like camping in someone's large garden, the
facilities are good,
and the owners were very friendly. Easy walk to Obertraun (shops, Gasthofs,
train and boats),
and also access to the Dachstein cable car, which we used to get a
magnificent day's walking on the
Dachstein Plateau. Stayed here one more night than we intended, it was so
nice.

We then headed East again, with a view to stopping of in the Zillertal
(again, chasing memories from long-lost visits). When we got there, we were
disappointed to find the new
road up the valley had changed the character (in our opinion) so diverted
instead to one of our
favourite sites (Camping Krismer) at Umhausen in the Oetztal. Great setting,
good facilities, quiet village
with access to all services - what more could you ask. Walking of all grades
is available direct from the site.
Since last visit, the village's open air swimming pool has been replaced by
a swimming lake, virtually next
to the site. Again, we stayed here one more night than intended.

So, we had to head back. targeted the A7 up across Germany (and had one of
the least congested runs back we have ever had). Did an overnight stop at
Bad Kissingen (just off the
A7, and an easy dog-leg detour). Good quality site for a one-night stopover.
Easy walk through a park to the
town centre, which, being a real 'cure' and rehab centre takes a bit of
getting used to. Attractive town and
gardens, and lots of eating houses.

Final stop was at Doesburg, in the Netherlands on a huge site with lots of
statics.chalets, but separate area for touring. Doesburg was attractive
(found we were eating in the oldest bar
in Holland with a Guinness BoR entry) but the site itself was only adequate.
(probably a jaundiced view given our
neighbours were very noisy, very late)

Then back on the Stena HSS late afternoon sailing, with similar views as the
outward journey - though it was a bit choppier on the return. Parking on the
run up to Hoek van Holland is limited for miles, but there is plenty of free
opportunity just sea side of the ferry port, overlooking the shipping going
in and out.

Bob

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old September 10th 03, 11:04 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
klyne
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 214
Default East from Hoek van Holland : long



--
"Bob Douglas" wrote in message
...
Having solicited some advice on sites in Prague from the newsgroups, I
thought it might be of interest to post a bit of info about our three-week
break. It might provide useful research info for others, or even inspire a
bit of an adventure (or reminiscences?).


Bob

Thanks for sharing your trip with us, I found it both interesting and useful
and have filed the details away for possible future use.


David - Milton Keynes
www.klyne.btinternet.co.uk
Details of our Caravan Travels in the UK and Europe with help and advice and
site reports


  #3 (permalink)  
Old September 11th 03, 03:31 AM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Lex M
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 18
Default East from Hoek van Holland : long

"Bob Douglas" wrote in
:

The ferry was booked at significant discount through C&CC, who also,
for convenience booked our first night at Delft (Delftse Hout). This
site has been reviewed by various other posters so I won't go into
detail, but it is convenient for the ferry (allowing an evening in
Delft if you cross in the morning), is an easy walk into the
(attractive) town centre, and is well equipped. At the time of our
visit (school holidays) it was also very busy, which made it less
attractive than it might be. When using a motorhome, the low bridge on
the recommended approach (3.2m) leads to a bit of breathing in!


For your convenience: there is a (in my opinion) nice, small site in
Vlaardingen, about 20 km from HoH almost along the A20. It is not
signposted on the A20, it is signposted off the A20 after taking exit
'Vlaardingen-west'. Url (sorry in Dutch)
http://www.pz.nl/nivon/accommodaties...er_terrein/ind
ex.htm

--
Regards, Lex
http://biod.net
http://www.caravanhandboek.nl
Posted by news://news.nb.nu
  #4 (permalink)  
Old September 11th 03, 11:00 PM posted to uk.rec.motorcaravans,uk.rec.caravanning
Helgina Koosmaen
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 39
Default East from Hoek van Holland : long

[posted and mailed]

"Bob Douglas" wrote in
:

To get across onto the continent we used the Stena HSS Harwich Hook
mid- morning sailing


Sounded a good trip.

How much were the ferry crossings Bob?

Helly.
 



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