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Corfu long terming


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At the end of July I intend to take my 1999 Neismann & Bischoff Arto69 motorhome to Corfu. I expect to stay 3 months August, September & October.

A friend and Greek resident has a pitch next to his small hotel which I can use as a base for the duration of my stay.

Has anyone a check list and info on routings, ferries & legal requirements etc or a list of publications I can consult?

Can MMM and its readers offer any help from there experiences to plan/organise my trip both outward and return such as en route stopovers, insurance, breakdown recovery of ferry bookings? Also important anything that needs extra care or dire warnings for the novice.

Many thanks in advance

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BernieS - 2007-07-12 9:36 AM


At the end of July I intend to take my 1999 Neismann & Bischoff Arto69 motorhome to Corfu. I expect to stay 3 months August, September & October.

A friend and Greek resident has a pitch next to his small hotel which I can use as a base for the duration of my stay.

Has anyone a check list and info on routings, ferries & legal requirements etc or a list of publications I can consult?

Can MMM and its readers offer any help from there experiences to plan/organise my trip both outward and return such as en route stopovers, insurance, breakdown recovery of ferry bookings? Also important anything that needs extra care or dire warnings for the novice.

Many thanks in advance


Hi Bernie,


If you let have an E mail address I will send you most of the info you will need to get to and from Corfu.





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Guest JudgeMental

while Corfu is OK I dont think there are many campsites. I would visit but push on to the Peloponnese. if you don't fancy that, why not get a cheap flight and stay at your friends Hotel :-D


Don is THE man for advice on Greece etc....

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Motorhome to Corfu. Warts and all.


Never found much on the web regarding a drive

to Corfu, so it may be of interest to someone.


Part 1 Dunkirk to lake Guarda.


Prior to buying our m/h 10 years ago we had spent many holidays on the beautiful island of Corfu. So after many trips to France, Spain, Portugal, etc we decided to do the trip to Corfu.


The three main itineries were the Mosel Valley, Venice, then ferry to Corfu


We set off on Sunday the 27th of august 2006 for Dover for a Norfolk line crossing at 2am.

We set tomtom for Marine Parade Dover, that was recommended on MHF for parking up for a couple of hours, before catching the ferry. After a nice man had backed us up out of a narrow road, (East Cliff), and directed us to the Marine Parade, that we were looking for, we stopped there for a couple of hours, but didn’t manage to get any sleep.


At midnight we drove the short distance to the Norfolk line check in and handed the chap

our computer printout of our details for the crossing, after a few minutes, while we are thinking is this bloke new to the job, he looked up and said, “this booking is for tomorrows crossing.” “Goodness me” I said or something similar, “What can we do about it”, suspecting it was going to be a get you wallet out. “Well we can get you on this crossing, but it will cost you £10.” I grabbed a tenner and offered it to him, “No you have to go to the office and pay” So over to the office, got out in the pouring rain, and let them stiff me for the tenner. (Remember this for the return journey).


I have to confess that I have now reached the age where you forget that you can’t manage

the things, you thought you could, when you were a bit younger.

It is years since we have done a night crossing, big, big, mistake at our age.

We found a seat and slept for the two hours solid. Still being in that twilight world we

disembarked into the most horrendous rain and pitch black night.


This was the first time we sailed to Dunkirk, now most ferry ports I need a map to get out of, but this port seemed to be built on half of France and designed by Stevie Whatsit.

We had set tomtom to an aire just along the coast from the Ferry.


A word about tomtom, because we were going to cross a few borders, I had decided to try

using Major Roads of Europe. ( took us all the way to Venice, and we only incurred 10 euros toll charges in Italy), in the hope that country maps wouldn’t try to be a smart alec, and take us a shortcut down someone’s backyard.


Stupidly in my foggy state I didn’t set the map to France to find the aire, after a hour or so we found a carpark somewhere in Dunkirk, and went to sleep, to be woken by some French road sweeping machine, a couple of hours later.

“Well” I said to the wife, who’s face by this time could have soured milk straight out of the cow, “only another 800 and odd miles to go.”


We gathered ourselves together and set off in the pouring rain for the next stage of the journey.

Diesel Fuel 1.06 a litre. Belgium.

Our destination was the Mosel Valley. I set tomtom for Trier in Germany, knowing we would not reach it in a day, but would find a POI when we felt ready to stop for the night.

After negotiating the Brussels ring road still in heavy rain we skirted Liege onto the A15.

After 25 miles we stopped and changed to the Benelux map, to look for a overnight stop.

We found a campsite at a place called Meefe on the WOMO POI’S about 8 kilometres.


So off we set, Daisy (tomtom) leading us almost to our destination, when at a crossroads

Smart Alec took over and directed us to go straight on down a road that grew slowly narrower and more overgrown, until it became impassable. After a 26 three point turn

We emerged to to see a sign left for the campsite, obviously the sign was put there for tomtom users. On arrival at the entrance of the campsite we noticed a narrow road a few yards away, completely overgrown, which turned out to be Smart Alecs route, so tomtom would have got us here, if we had been prepared to scrub up half of Belgium.


I carry no maps when traveling, relying on tomtom only, I think GPS is the bees knees and so I am prepared to forgive it, even when Alec takes over.


The campsite, to be honest if it wasn’t for the fact that we had had so little sleep, we would have turned round and looked for somewhere else. In this case though it was

any port in a storm. I found the owner cooking in their small restaurant, who said yes he

had a space, and I managed to understand, could I give him a few minutes to finish cooking?. I said ok and walked around the campsite. Most of the free spaces had a small wire pen containing baby pigs, the only space I could see was on a gentle grassy slope, and, as Belgium had had so much rain they were thinking about building Arks I was very uneasy about being led to this particular space for fear of getting stuck.

The campsite consisted mainly of static caravans who looked as if it was there permanent abode, but they turned out to be very nice people, especially when after being led to aforementioned space, they all turned out in the pouring rain to give me a push when I did actually get stuck.

After a cup of tea, and asking a few campers if I could make them a gift of my motorhome I went to the restaurant to fill in the mandatory form along with our passports.

Now not being a regular traveller in Belgium, I have to admit I am not too clear on what language is currently in fashion, is it French, Flemish, Walloon?.

Well I tackled the form and wasn’t doing too bad when, I came across one question on the form I couldn’t figure. I gestured to the site owner to come over and help with the problem, over he came and I pointed to the problem question, and tried to put what I hoped was a puzzled expression on my face. “Ah” he said, and began to sing happy birthday to me, problem solved, date of birth.


Campsite fee 12.50 euros including electric.




Next morning we continued on towards Germany (now back to tomtom MREurope) again in the pouring rain. On crossing the German border we changed to tomtom German map and set it for a poi stellplatz Wintrich.

After a very pleasant drive on superb free Belgium and German motorways, and Daisy behaving perfectly we arrived at the entrance of the stellplatz.


Wintrich stellplatz is a quiet stellplatz for seven motorhomes, superbly laid out in a vineyard, and a very short stroll to the town. The only thing against it, it is quite a way

from the river, and every morning, yes every morning the refuse collectors came along and woke us up, just beating the church bells from doing so.

Apart from Minheim stellplatz we were woken by church bells on every stellplatz

we visited.

We thought that the bells maybe on old tradition going back to the time when they were rung to call the vineyard workers to work.

But all this is only a minor irritation, The Mosel Valley is simply incredibly beautiful,

and even the words incredibly beautiful does not do it justice.


There were two other M/Hs on site with us, both Brits, who surprise surprise. came over

and had a chat, one chap told me seeing my left hand drive, it was is first time abroad and was having uneasy moments driving his big right hand drive Hymer. I told him not to worry I have the same moments with a left hander. Well we are getting on a bit.

We stayed two nights to charge our batteries, so you can see the early morning noise wasn’t that bad.

Two nights 14 euros.


Continued on to stellplatz Trittenheim.


Sun arrived at last, a glorious sunny day.

Trittenheim. A lovely town is right on the river Mosel, quite a popular spot, we managed to get on, even right next to the river. Charges were 7.50 euros a night inc electricity with a water machine costing 50 cents for 60 litres.


100 yards from the s/platz is a boarding stage for the river boat trips. Next morning warm and sunny we waited at the boarding stage for the river boat that would take us to Bernkastel- Kues. We learned that tickets were purchased from a man in a car nearby, not on the boat.


The trip from Trittenheim to Bernkastel-kues took 2 hours, stopping at a few pickup points along the way. The fare was 15 euros each, return, and worth evey penny.

The river twists and turns along the way, opening up to new views as you meander along.

It was the start of the wine festival (this day being 1st sept 2006) and the town was packed. The streets were full of wine, food, novelty stalls, but the entertainment was

at night. We had lunch at a bratwurst stall, first time we had tried it, turns out to be a high quality sausage. I asked if they had any tomatoe ketchup, “no” we only have CURRY ketchup. I tried a spot of it on the bratwurst and tasted it, then drenched it in it, lovely.

All in all a very pleasant day.

During the river boat trip we passed Minheim stellplatz that we thought looked nice

and put it down to stay later on.


Its not only sunny now its getting very hot.

Spent the next day fishing. The Mosel river is a beautiful wide river that looks as if it should be full of fish, it might be, but I couldn’t catch any, I took comfort though. from the fact that the German fishermen couldn’t either.

Note for fishermen, any visitor who does not reside in Germany does not need a fishing license.


Moved along the river to Neumagen Dhron Stellplatz.

Cost per night here is 11 euros. Dearer than any other place we stayed, but here there are showers, and washing machines.

At this platz there is what looks like a big blue aluminium caravan built on top of a boat.

Unlike the other Stellplatz we stayed on where someone collects your nightly fees, you have to go here to pay. It also contains the showers, included in the 11euros, but washing machines you pay extra.


Spent 3 nights here exploring the town and walking along the river. We paid a visit to

the Tourist Office where we were given a pamphlet showing a map where the Roman

remains were located, but theres not much left of them.

There is a decent supermarket at the edge of town.


Next and last stellplatz Minheim.


This platz is very, very popular, and not because it is the cheapest one we stayed at, 6 euros a night. From what I could deduce from the sign in German, it won best

Stellplatz 2006.

We stayed 8 days altogether and saw many give up waiting for a space and moved on.

Not knowing it at the time, we arrived about 10 am in the morning. This was the ideal time when M/homers who were moving on, would start leaving.


The 4 lines of pitches stretched along the the river, I managed to get a space on the second row, which turned out to be great source of amusement to us.

The front row being directly next to the river was highly prized and every morning

about 10am, people from rows 3 and 4 would congregate to see if anyone on the riverside

row was moving. When someone did, the smart ones would signal to their wife to rush over with a folding table or chairs to claim the pitch. Others, till they learned the system,

would rush back and drive their m/ homes over, only to find a folding table or chair

occupying the pitch. Others actually must have asked front rowers when they were moving, and when learning someone was moving next day, they would move their own m/h down alongside the next day at about 9 am, with the resultant traffic jam from other front rowers who might happen to be moving.


The next morning the people next to us moved on and less than a minute later this bloke

from row 4 leapt the 2 foot high fence clutching the obligatory folding chair.

Turned out to be Alan and Di two English full timers, who knew the folding chair system

has they came here regularly for the wine festival in a weeks time. We became good friends with them. They told us if we ever walked along the river to Piersport and fancied a meal out, go to the butchers, its also a restaurant, which we did many times, can highly recommend it.

A new stellplatz is planned for Piersport for next year, another beautiful place.


We had by now been experiencing superb weather, when about 5 o’clock one day it grew quite dark when all of a sudden a great wind blew up, a German close by had is awning blow straight over the top of his van, completely wrecking it. We got ours in pretty quick.


The Minheim wine festival starts on the 15th of Sept, a very enjoyable night, though somewhat spoiled by the fact due to moving next day, I stayed on the wagon, though, I had made up for it the previous evening.


Next stop was an aire de service at Ribberville in France. The journey took us through

Saarbrucken in Germany. We got through ok, but the road runs along and keeps crossing

The tram lines, and is one traffic light after another. Can’t say I would recommend it.


Fuel in Germany 1.10 euros a litre.


The aire at Ribberville turned out to be a carpark with only one m/home there, the rest of

the spaces were all taken up with cars. It turned out it was Ribbervilles wine festival weekend. So the town was heaving.We were lucky enough to find an aire just down the road, with one space left. Even though we had to reverse in over the tree trunks that were used to mark out the designated spaces.

There were no facilities on this aire and had a charge of 1.50 per night obtained from a ticket machine.


So after a pleasant evening meal we settled down with our books, and enjoyed the cooling breeze that wafted in through our two open windows. The weather was still very warm. OPEN WINDOWS! When will I ever learn?.

It was about 4 o’clock in the morning when I was woken by persistent itching on my hands. The cold light of day revealed six mossie bites. (I am not sure whether its because I am a diabetic, but it takes my immune system a long time to deal with them)

I asked my wife if she had been bitten, no, she said, she had put mossie cream on while I was getting the ticket out of the machine.


Next morning we set off in the pouring rain for Lake Lucerne in Switzerland, on the A35 for a campsite at Bekenried.

On arrival at the Swiss border at Basel we were told to where to park and go and obtain

the required vignette. Over I went and presented myself to the military gentleman. I said “hello, I require a vignette”. He stood staring at me for what seemed an age, to the point where I looked down to see if I trodden in anything. “Good morning” he said,

Ah! That’s where I had gone wrong, I had said hello instead of good morning. “Good morning” I said, holding my Credit card up again so he could see it. He stared at me again for a few moments, then with what must have been a great effort on his part, pointed to the credit card pin number thingy, and I inserted my credit card. He didn’t move. I went through the mime of inserting my pin number, looking at him while doing so, He shook his head slowly at this poor English cretin in front of him. Then to my great

relief he did a smart about turn, went over to his desk and returned with my hard won vignette.Welcome to Switzerland.


Vignette 40 swiss francs


Basel, If I didn’t know that Switzerland had been neutral during the war, I would have

swore it had been badly bombed during that conflict. The road reconstruction workings going on make it a nightmare. If you can find another crossing into Switzerland take it.


Stopped 30 kilometers into Switzerland for some fuel

Went in to pay the girl, said “hello” and gave her my c/card. Oh dear! I had used the hello word again, no reply, but instead she went into a thousand yard stare, with the most miserable face I had ever seen. Walked back to the van repeating to myself, must not use the word hello, must not use the word hello.


Diesal litre 1.78 swiss francs = 75pence.


Arived at campsite Sportzentrum, Bekenried. Lake Lucerne.


Went to reception and said “Hi” It worked! A really nice bloke, couldn’t be more helpful.

We parked next to this tiny caravan, (we had been told where to park due to the rain sodden ground, ). The EHP was one I had never seen before, but 20SF deposit you could hire one.

So we sat there with a cup of tea watching the rain bucket down, and looking at the lower slopes of the mountains, everything above was covered in mist. It was pointless venturing out due to the rain, so we sat reading, hoping it would give over, and we could go and have a look at the Lake which was close by.


Sometime later the door of this mini caravan ( It was the size of a mini car) next to us opened and this chap got out, he had to be six feet tall, who came and stood by our window and peered in at us, much to the alarm of my wife. He was followed by another man, this time an elderly gentleman. We waited to see if there were any more residing

in the caravan. We couldn’t figure out how on earth they managed in such a tiny space, but they did.


The rain eventually eased up and we went and had a look at Lake Lucerne. Sad to say this was not the ideal time for our first view of the famous Swiss lake. The rain had started again, plus the mist, everywhere deserted; it was not the best light to see our first Swiss

Lake. We spent ten minutes sheltering in a lake pleasure steamer ticket office counting

the mosquitos on the walls, then deciding to make a run for it back to the van.


We decided to stay another day hoping the weather would improve, It did start brighter

but it soon reverted back to the previous days weather.


Campsite 29.80 swiss francs a night. £12.62


Next stop Lake Guarda.


The A2 motorway to Milan was very busy. I was aware that there were tunnels in Switzerland, but was surprised just how many there were. Quite a few were closed one way, for repairs, so traffic were using the remaining tunnel both ways.

We noticed every so often lorries were made to pull over into a slip road, where they

were then let back on to the motorway at intervals, so as not to create bunching.

Whether this was for tunnels, or just traffic calming we don’t know, but we thought it a great system.

We arrived at the Gottard tunnel still in pouring rain, which I believe is 17 kilometers

long. We emerged into brilliant sunshine and blue skys. Now we could see the mountains

in all their magnificence, we pulled into a rest area and just feasted on the scenery.


The A2 joins the A4 north of Milan, now traffic was very very busy, here they were laying a fourth lane to the motorway, so traffic was down to a crawl for about an hour.

Once through this it was solid traffic all the way down to Lake guarda.


Camping Vo, Dezensano Del Guarda. £21 a night


Lake Guarda was beautiful, to be fair, the weather was glorious, but apart from that

Dezensano Del Guarda was alive with people, and shops were all open, it felt like being on holiday after Lucerne.

Camping Vo was adequate for the three days we were there, its situated 1.8 kilometers

outside the town of Dezensano Del Guarda on the lakeside, a nice walk into town.


Woke up to 9 mossie bites, yes sprayed, candles burnt tablets etc.


Next stop Venice.




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Guest JudgeMental

most def


I am away tomorrow on a similar route as far as lake Garda anyway...


you have a gift - contact "vicarious Books" they may well publish...... :-D

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Motorhome to Corfu. warts and all. Part 2


We set off rejoining the A4 to Venice, once again the traffic was solid 3 lanes.

Toll charges were 7.20 euros app 100 miles, which we thought quite cheap,

Although there were service areas diesel, restaurants etc, the only other stopping places were simple laybys on the side of the motorway. With the volume of traffic, how anyone using them got back into the flow of traffic, I will never know.


We were heading for Camping Fusina situated on the Venice coast, the attraction was there was ferry service into Venice just outside the entrance to the campsite.

Camping Fusina was found by searching the net, and although it was 30 euros a night,we chose it simply for the location.


Although tomtom Italy took us right to the entrance, I have never seen so many signposts

directing you to the campsite it was like being held by the hand all the way there, mind you at 30 bloody euros a night they could afford it.


On arrival I parked, and presented myself at the window marked ARRIVALS, a few feet away was a window marked DEPARTURES with six or seven people being seen to.

I waited patiently, happy in the thought that people were leaving, so no problem getting a pitch. A few minutes later a French motorhome arrived, parked, and then proceeded to join the queue at the departures window. They didn’t speak English I thought. The departure window queue was joined by two more people the last one being a teenage girl.

I was no longer waiting patiently, so joined the departure queue. Well, yes the French couple were booked in weren’t they, which left me in my rapidly disappearing good mood, behind this teenage girl, who finally reached the window.


“Say, what time does the ferry leave” the teenage girl asked in this twangy American accent to the Italian receptionist chap at the departure window.

“Its just this minute left” he replied”

“Can we still catch it” said the American girl, who now I was sure was related to George Bush.

I was also now starting to lose it, big time.

“ Depends how fast you can swim” said the Italian, who spoke perfect English, apart from the words arrivals, and departures.


( The next bit could come from a Monty Python sketch, but its true)


The American girl turned, and shouted to another American girl somewhere inside the camp. “The ferry’s gone, the next one is in an hours time”. She was joined at the window by her American friend looking undecided. She stood silent for a few moments.

She then, believe it or not started singing some pop song, who was immediately joined by the original American girl in close harmony.

I had now lost it, and thought if the Italian joins in singing as well, I am going to finish up in some Italian jail.

So after four or five lines of this song I told them to bugger off. which they did.

I had finally got to the window.

“Scottish people” hey, he said.

“Yeah Scottish people” I replied.

I had booked in.


The Italian gave me a map of the site and drew the route to where I should park.

“You want to park over here, as far away from the bar as possible”. I felt quite hurt, I had spent quite a long time in the sun on this holiday, and I knew my nose was red, but it turned out he was only advising me that it got quite noisy at night.


We followed his directions on the edge of the campsite overlooking the sea, with a view out to Venice, super pitch, and, good to is word, we were not disturbed at all.


After setting up, we sat with our cup of tea and watched the speedboats zooming up and down the water in front of us, followed a few minutes later by an enormous seagoing

container ship, escorted by a couple of tugs.

Found out later we were only half a mile away from the commercial port.

Quite enjoyable.


Camping Fusina, is only able to charge 30 euros a night in my opinion, because of its position to visit Venice. It not only has access to the ferry, but also the bus terminus is directly outside. There is nothing else for miles around, unless you want to use your motorhome.

Though it has a cashpoint, internet point, plenty of showers etc it is not worth 30 euros a night. But then again this was Italy, which aint cheap.


The site was full of coach loads of Americans, Japanese, German teenagers etc, but they were all camped well away from the motorhome pitches, and no problem.

We saw more Brits on site here, than we had all the way down from Dunkirk.


After a while, after asking a Scottish couple, parked next to us to keep an eye on the van,

(It was very hot and we left the windows and door open, fly blinds and lambs tails down, alarm on) we went for a walk round the site.

While I had waited to book in, I had seen a sign. Ferry tickets sold here.

As there was nobody at the reception waiting, I enquired about the ferry tickets

And was told the cost was 10 euros return each, or 20 euros each for three return trips.

I asked if we could use the 20 euro tickets on staggered days but was told, no they have to be used on consecutive days. It appears that you cannot pay on the boat, ticket only,

The lads on the boat couldn’t care less, hardly looking at your ticket, so I think we were told fibs.

After a visit to the camp shop we bought a few things and returned to the van.


Next morning was my birthday, so as a treat, I was allowed to sit outside the Camp laundry for half an hour while some much needed washing was done.


Just before lunch our Scottish neighbours packed up to start their journey home.

Within minutes a young couple in a caravan took possession of the vacant space.

My heart sank when I noticed they were Swiss. Later in the afternoon I was sitting

in front of the van, when the young lady came out to look at the view over to Venice.

“Hello” I said……………a complete blank.

I was now forming the opinion that hello must translate into German as something like go fourth and multiply.


The camp pamphlet also informed us that there was an internet connection. Due to the lateness of the season it was only open morning and evening from 5 o’clock.

We had not been in touch with the kids for over month, so I went to reception

and booked a half hour session. The terminals being situated on the top of an old English double decker bus that swayed when you climbed the metal stairs


There was one terminal free, the others were being used by Japanese and American teenagers. I was somewhat disconcerted at the speed these kids were typing, there fingertips being simply a blur on the keys. I groaned inwardly thinking I was going to look a right pr@t with my one finger a minute typing. However I had paid for the session

so ploughed on. Five minutes later the bus started to sway again, accompanied by the clatter of what turned out to be four American teenagers running up the stairs to the top deck, with energy that I can now only dream about. Eventually this explosion of youthful noise and energy settled down in the seats behind me, to wait for a terminal to become free.

I hadn’t typed my next word when the lad behind me suddenly remembered he’d got rhythm, he started by tapping his feet on the metal floor, followed by a rapid drum accompaniment of slapping his hands on his bare knees. The lad was seriously hyperactive, I turned round and gave him the look that my wife often gives me, which after patient teaching she had finally taught me. Poor kid I bet he never played the knees again.



We presented ourselves next morning to catch the ferry to Venice proper. We sat on the top deck in glorious sunshine and watched as Venice drew nearer and nearer, To the left of us we could see the Minoan line ferry at berth, which we would be boarding later that week for Corfu.


We disembarked at the ferry landing stage making a mental note of where we catch it forthe return trip. The ferry terminal was directly alongside this Beautiful large white church. Not knowing where we were going we set off on the road/alley facing us, with

the first thing on the agenda being to buy a Venice guide.


We hadn’t gone twenty paces before we came to a shop selling Venice glass, and spent

a good quarter of an hour, staring and pointing at pieces saying “look at that one then”

The only price’s on display were for very small souvenir pieces. The large serious

collectors stuff showed no price. A case of if you have to ask the price you can’t afford it.


Later in the day though we came across another shop that did show the prices. This window was brightly lit to show off the glass to its best advantage. There was one magnificent piece where the price ticket was dazzling in the glare of the lights, it looked like 25.00 euros, I said to the wife “that piece there, it can’t be 25 euros” “no dear she said, its two thousand five hundred euros”.


Armed now with a guide book, we navigated our way to the Grand Canal. It must have been those cornetto adverts but I was expecting the Grand Canal to be a refined genteel

waterway, with gondolas leisurely plying their trade, at a slow pace, with a beautiful woman trailing a finger leisurely in the water, a cornetto though, would have been a bonus.

The gondolas were there yes, albeit the beautiful woman being replaced by Japanese tourists, but also there were water buses, water taxis, delivery boats, and sightseeing boats, private Viennese owned boats, it seemed like a water M1.

Apart from the gondolas, the rest seemed to run on rocket fuel, seemingly to have no concern for the wash created.

No way did this detract from the day, it was just an observation.


We were soon captivated by Venice, it was place like no other we had seen, and surely it must be simply unique in the world. We couldn’t understand how some of the palaces

and churches could remain standing for all those years with water lapping at their foundations, and sometimes under the doors.


We continued walking along the canal when we came to a really enormous white church.

Even among all the many churches in Venice this one must have been special, and felt lucky to see a bride and groom on the steps having their wedding photographs taken.

Behind us a loud noise started up, it was a barge with a JCB aboard, in its jaws was a new mooring pole which proceeded to bang it into the soft mud of the canal. We watched for a few minutes then turned round to watch the newlyweds. I peered at the groom, something strange here, the groom had gained about 3 stone during the time we watched the mooring pole operation. Well the newlyweds photo session ended, and started to leave, when around the corner of the church appeared a new pair of newlyweds who had waited patiently for their turn for the use of this church’s background.


As anyone knows Venice abounds with small bridges spanning the canals, so anyone planning to visit for the first time should be aware that a walking tour can be quite tiring.

We made for the large bridge that crossed the canal over to the St Marks Square side. At

the top of this bridge, in our opinion, was the best view of Venice you can see when on foot. ( I have photo’s but can’t figure out how to upload them.)


The place was heaving with all nationalities, who were entertained by an abundance of

street performers of many varieties, they ranged from the usual ‘statues’ (our favourite was a man dressed as a Roman centurion lying prone on some steps, with a dagger protruding from his chest, he had attracted a concerned Japanese lady who bent over him and asked if he was all right, she rose looking more perplexed when he answered in a broad Scottish accent “Aye I’m fine my dear).


Moving on, we heard the sound of music, around the corner was a young lady dancing

a sort of ballet, the music was provided by a ghetto blaster nearby. She is best described

as dressed like Snow White with ballet shoes. On finishing her dance, she skipped over

and turned the music volume down. I had noticed that she had not managed to actually get up on to her toes, but danced on the balls of her feet only.

She then skipped back, and theatrically gestured with her arm to introduce her male dancing partner, standing a short way off. This chap was not the sort to make much effort, he was dressed in every day shabby clothes and shoes, all crowned with a trilby,

that was definitely too small. He also looked quite a bit older than the girl. He shuffled over and nodded his head to the audience. With that the girl skipped over to raise the volume of the music, she then turned, did a remarkably fast hoppity skip and launched herself in the air in the direction of her male partner, whether the man had been distracted I don’t know, all eyes were focused on the girl, but he was suddenly confronted by this missile heading in his direction. He did manage to catch her, although he did stagger back a few steps, whilst holding her in a most ungentlemanly fashion, and losing his trilby in the process.

Some of the crowd now were trying to suppress their laughter, some giggling, some in abandoned laughter, some showing acute embarrassment for the girl

“by God” I said to the wife “I’m actually going to put money in their hat”

Having recovered the situation, though the girl was looking daggers at her partner, she did a pirouette while the man moved into position behind her to lift her in the air. The strain of the effort was plainly etched on the mans face, once again he took a step back,

and trod on his trilby.

I looked at my wife, her face showed she was in the acute embarrassment camp,

“come on” she said “ I can’t watch this poor girl any more”, and dragged me kicking and screaming down the street, leaving behind the sound of unbridled laughter.


We emerged from this narrow alley into the splendour of St Marks Square.

Not going to attempt to describe it, but noticed one or two observations.


I had learned from various channels, that unless you have a bottomless pocket,

you do not buy a cup of coffee in St Marks Square. All along the one side are at a rough guess, are about one hundred tables, overlooking these are three bandstands, one holding a string quartet, one a Stephan Grappeli type jazz, the last a piano led trio, all playing

In front, at various stations stood about twenty immaculate dressed waiters.

Customers ? two.

Surely they must know the secret is out now about the rip off prices?


The people really making money were the pigeon corn sellers, for a euro you could buy a miniscule packet of seed to attract the pigeons who fed out of your hand whilst you had your photograph taken and got covered in their calling cards.



We were impressed after spotting the puddles on the floor, that the square was mopped

every morning, until we learned that the square is liable to flooding and the benches we sat on, were in fact walkways at certain high tides.


We returned to the campsite after a very enjoyable day to find the van had been invaded by green flying beetles, I haven’t mentioned it much, but I had been tormented by mossie bites since France, so they were not at all welcome .”These don’t bite” said the wife as I ducked out of her way as she set about them with the fly swatter.

That night, after just going to bed, my wife jumped out of bed screaming, I hastily switched on the light, “something landed on my head” she said, there on the bed was

a green beetle, which she dispatched with the fly swatter she had decided to sleep with.

It was three weeks later before we could declare the motorhome free of them.


The next morning I awoke to find I had acquired three more bites, they were in a perfect

straight line starting at the top of my forehead ending at the back end of my bald patch.

I slapped some afterbite on, had our breakfast, and got ready for our second day in Venice.

We caught the ferry, the day was scorching hot, on landing I realized that I had forgotten my hat, this slap on cream tube advised not to expose bites to the sun. “buy another hat”

said the wife, “no way, I’ve got three in the van” I said, her other suggestion of tying my hankie into knots at the corners like other Englishmen do, didn’t warrant a reply, mainly

because I didn’t have an hankie.


Our plan for to day was to join the long queue, at St Marks Basilica, not matter how long

the queue was. Eventually we were allowed in and wandered round aware that this was some church. The entrance was free, but in certain sections a charge was made. There were signs here and there saying no photography. The inside of the church was brilliantly lit by scores of continual camera flashbulbs. Sorry but if I tried to describe the decoration

in this church, I would fail miserably.


Our next stop was the Doges Palace, no long queues here, you had to pay to get in. they did a concession for EU citizens over 65, cost 6.50 euros and worth every cent.

The Doge was the number one political honcho for centuries. Anyone who saw the TV program on Venice a few months back will know all about him. The tour takes you round all the magnificent rooms all with ceilings equally magnificent. You eventually arrive at the Magistrates court, where on sentencing were sent into the dungeons across the Bridge of Sighs, which you are allowed to cross and visit the dungeons.

There is a cafeteria in the palace, one cup of coffee and a can of orange, 7.20 euros.


The rest of the day, and also the next were spent strolling round and just taking in this

unique city. So my wife and I, and my three bites now the size of marbles, said a fond goodbye to Venice.





Motorhome to Corfu


Part 3 Corfu

Camping on deck.

Arrived on a boiling hot morning at the Venice ferry port for the “24” hour cruise to Corfu. Seeing no signs for the Minoan booking in office, I was pointed in the direction of this large glass office that bordered the embarkation lanes. Booking in went quite smoothly, I was issued a green card with Corfu printed on it, and told to place it in windscreen where it could be seen. I asked if I should be issued with a Lane number?

The perplexed look on her face told me this was a new concept to her, so I said thank you and returned to the van.

“I think I’ll park alongside that large lorry in the shade” I said to the wife. “Is that our lane?”, “haven’t got a clue”, I said, then told her that you weren’t told which lane to go in. We had arrived two and a half hours before sailing, big mistake, if you are getting off at Corfu you are last on and first off. Unbeknown to us this is not a roll on roll off ferry, and were somewhat puzzled when we could see motorhomes boarding the ferry in the direction of the bow, then the same motorhomes heading in the direction of the stern.(seen through the large open openings that are a feature of the camping on deck, deck, if that makes sense?).

There were many motorhomes on board mostly German but a couple of Brits also,

who were going to Corfu, or were going on to Igoumenitsa


Don Madge had posted somewhere; remember that you can be parked next to some enormous lorry with sheep in when taking the camping on deck option.

So finally it was our turn to board. Now is it me, or do all boarding marshals give no instructions until you guess wrongly, which way to go, anyway after guessing wrongly again, I was directed to my parking place, right next to one of those large openings

Absolutely perfect. A few minutes later a man came with a long hooked pole and pulled down the electric cable for our hookup.


We had barely time to make a cup of tea, and put the folding chairs outside next to the large opening when we were off.

The ferry the “Europa Palace” slowly made its way down the Guidecca Canal giving us a magnificent view of Venice, and making us realize we hadn’t seen a fraction of it.

We were issued with key cards to enable access to the upper decks, so I went and had a look round. This ship I believe is about 4/5 years old and is magnificent, the décor and comfort is superb, you have to remind yourself that it is a ferry.


I made my way to reception where I had been informed by Minoan lines that they had a camping site discount scheme. I was given a brochure listing the campsites and told you MUST show it when booking in to the campsite, not when you leave.

I was peeved to see Camping Fusina in Venice was listed, but mollified to see Camping

Karda in Dassia where we were heading was listed. This allowed a 20% discount.


We awoke next morning to find ourselves in view of the Albanian coast and eventually

arriving at Corfu after the smoothest sailing we had ever had.

We were first off, no messing here the marshal was frantically waving to us to get off,

didn’t seem to know that the diesel pre heaters needed to warm up, on exiting we saw they were also loading for the continuation to Igoumenitsa, hence the frantic waving.

Had a little ride round the port until we finally found the port exit, how we missed it I will never know.

We were now tomtomless, but the campsite website directions said turn right out the port, carry on to next right, and then straight on, and so it was.

We booked in giving the girl our Minoan discount brochure, no problem.

She said she would go with us to show us where to site the van, explaining that two days previous Corfu had had two solid days of very heavy rain which had surprised the Corfiots. We were shown a selection of shady pitches, or we could go on an open patch of grass, it was very hot so chose a shady pitch.


Karda campsite contains most things you would expect, it has a beautiful swimming pool.

A restaurant, with internet access, modern toilets and showers, water always hot, children’s play area and a small shop, cash point just outside. It also has mosquitoes.

First night we walked the 100 yards to the camp restaurant, pleasant enough meal, but paid for it not only in euros, but woke in the night to severe itching, yes, no I hadn’t sprayed, next morning we counted twenty nine bites on my legs, This was not a friendly welcome to Corfu.

I had now entered the stage of complete paranoia regarding the local wildlife mosquito.

I had come to the conclusion that they couldn’t just be mossies but we had an infestation of fleas, or the like. So the whole first full day was spent washing bed linen, clothes, spraying, candel burning, even made the wife take a shower.

The locals, with their bare arms and legs, and smelling sweetly, and not a bite on them said “yes it’s a bad time for mosquitoes”, whilst my wife and I smelt like an old paraffin can, what with the overdose of anti mosquito spray.


This was our first time back in Corfu after about ten years, ever since we bought the motorhome. The Island is still beautiful, but we noticed a few sad changes. It was very quiet even for the beginning of October. Most of the accommodation on the Island when we last visited was mainly self catering apartments, studios, etc, the great majority being owned by the local people. All were booked by all the big tour operators then, they would all show signs, Airtours, Thomson, Grecian holidays, Olympic,etc. This visit the only sign we saw was on a large hotel. This wasn’t because it was the last month of the season, many had overgrown gardens and homemade signs saying rooms to let, even some bars and supermarkets in the main streets shown by their neglect that they had not been open this season.

We spoke to a Restaurant owner asking him if he had had a good season, he seemed hesitant and said “not too bad” then went on to tell us that since the euro, things had changed greatly, “do you know that a carton of milk, even in the bigger supermarkets in Corfu Town now costs 1.50 euros” (about £1.05) he said adding “all we have is sun, sea, and sand. “We rely on tourists”


The Corfu people we have always found to be the nicest people you can meet, an example of this, years ago we were out walking when we came to a road that had a sign saying no entry, nearby were women picking cherries, I asked them if we could walk down this road,” yes” she said nodding, at the same time loading my wife and myself

up with armfuls of cherries.

Now in contrast to this, this year we stopped at a taverna offering a FULL English breakfast 4 euros, we sat down and ordered this, and were asked what we wanted to drink, we said tea please. The breakfast came it was superb, you name it there was two of everything.

When I came to pay I was asked for 13 euros, when I queried this, I was told the tea was not included, so we paid 8 euros for two breakfasts (£5.60), and 5 euros for two teas (£3.50) still trying to get my head round this.


Is Corfu motorhome friendly?

I suppose it depends on what you want.

Corfu is a very small island, outside the campsite we could catch a bus into Corfu town for 1 euro. From there you can catch a bus to anywhere in the Island, leaving me the driver to enjoy the scenery whilst letting someone else to do the driving.

So for me the question doesn’t arise.

If you want to drive yourself then I would say no, there are a lot of narrow bendy hillside roads, and as nice as they, are the Corfiot drivers are not quite ready for the internal combustion engine.


The return ferry journey differed by the fact we were parked in the middle of other motorhomes, so didn’t have the nice view as we had coming, still can’t complain.

It also differed this time that there were many cars on the camping on deck, deck

containing dogs, whose owners were allowed, or did, sleep in the cars with them.


We arrived at Norfolk two days before our sailing, so we went and asked if we could

get an earlier sailing. We were told that there was one leaving in ten minutes and if we got a move on we could catch that one. We drove round; the man changed our paper work in seconds, and apart from being held up by British immigration officers who searched the van we managed to catch it. This time no £10 charge.



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Hi Stan,

Have been reading your trip write up with great interest - feel like I've been there with you this afternoon. We are going to Lake Garda in September and I wonder what the ferry to Corfu cost please? Forgive me if I've read this already and not retained it, but I am supposed to be working! B-)

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catinou - 2007-07-19 3:57 PM


Hi Stan,

Have been reading your trip write up with great interest - feel like I've been there with you this afternoon. We are going to Lake Garda in September and I wonder what the ferry to Corfu cost please? Forgive me if I've read this already and not retained it, but I am supposed to be working! B-)


Hi Venice to Corfu last august cost us £305


voyage takes about 24 hours, not bad when you compare UK to Spain ferry prices.

Hope this helps



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  • 4 weeks later...
JudgeMental - 2007-07-19 2:22 PM


most def


I am away tomorrow on a similar route as far as lake Garda anyway...


you have a gift - contact "vicarious Books" they may well publish...... :-D


Hi Judge


How did you like Lake Garda?



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Guest JudgeMental

Hi Dethleff, brilliant time and great site. so much so that my kids may get there way and convince me to book again for next year (something I never do - lifes to short etc..)


I missed the french bread but toasted ciabatta nice for breaky. and prefer swimming in the sea as well. but site had two good pool's - always got a sun bed!


if kids happy I'm happy - its only for a few more years before they stop coming


Italians so much more outgoing and friendly. eating out was very reasonable compared to France and costs generally lower.


have you got a publisher yet?



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Charlie&me - 2007-08-17 1:01 AM


What a wonderful account of driving to Corfu. I shall print it all for reading again, and again, and........


Thanks for that Charlie&me, and all,its always nice to get a bit of feedback, makes it worth the effort.


Hi Judge


No, no publisher, wouldn't know where to start.

Glad you enjoyed Garda


We are off to Germany for a couple of months

end of August, hope to stay out of trouble.




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