Write2Camp in Europe

Come and literally join me on my literary journey!


I LOVE my E-bike!

I have never before mentioned a product I use, but this time I can’t help myself.

If you should ever consider buying an electric bicycle, you might just be overwhelmed by all the choices that are on the market. I was.  I try to support local stores, so I set off visiting one bike shop after the other. All of them offered e-bikes, but not one of them had a folding e-bike in their itinerary. The sales person usually began to leaf through his catalog to present me a folding e-bike starting off with about 2000 Euros ($ 2232.90). Wow… that was out of my league.

Although I was skeptical about buying a bike before I could test ride it, I decided to check the internet.

In my search, I listed:  compact fold, maximum loading, minimum mileage/kilometer range and price. The E-bike Xia was the only one that showed up.

And amazingly enough … the price was right! https://www.germanxia.de/

Since we camp a lot, I needed a bike that could easily fold and be stored in the back of our Nissan. The maximum weight was important, since I’m not exactly a light weight and I do carry heavy camera equipment with me. A big added plus is when the battery is fully charged… the e-bike runs up to 138 kilometers!

I love LOVE my e-bike. For the first time in years, I have no knee pain after a bike tour. The comfortable upright position, without having to lean on my wrists is perfect.  And it’s easy to get off and on the saddle, because of the low slung bar.


Yes, There Are Age Limits: At least 40 US states and Canadian provinces have a minimum operator age for e-bikes, typically 14 or 16 years of age. In Alberta, 12 year olds can operate an e-bike, but in Quebec, you must be 18.

Speedy Enough: Think cars are that much faster than an e-bike? Think again. The average car speed for around-town driving is 18 mph. Average e-bike speed? A very respectable 15 mph.

Yes, They Still Count as Exercise: Though they’re pedal assist, an e-bike can still give you a workout, improving your cardiovascular health, fitness, and aerobic capacity.

Here are a few photos of my Stallion… Ah… s’cuse me, my e-bike. I call him Silver, as in the Long Ranger’s horse … Hi Yo Silver! My boomer friends will surely know what I’m talking about.

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You just can’t beat this place.

The advantage, or maybe it’s a disadvantage − however way you want to see it − but we change our travel destinations as often as the billowing winds change directions on a mountain lake.

“Okay,” I said to Hubby. Let’s just drive to our most favorite place in the world, and we’ll decide from day-to-day what our next stop shall be.

“You know, that’s the best idea you’ve had all week.” he said, and  gave me a big happy kiss.

I have written about Lake Constance, in Germany,  before. Where else can you breakfast in Germany, take lunch in Austria, drink an afternoon coffee in Liechtenstein and enjoy a glass of wine in the evening on the Swiss side of the lake? This is only possible  in the four-country-region- Bodensee… or known as Lake Constance. It’s like a second home to us, and  only a good hour and a half drive from our house.

We just love our trusty camp ground, and this time we even got a space that allows a narrow view of the lake between tall trees.


But before I say anything more, I have to admit — one of the reasons we drove to a camp site so close to home was because we were exhausted. Yes, exhausted from all the zillions of little pre-vacation things that had to be done. Packing our caravan has become a marathon of carrying laundry baskets full of clothes, medications, blankets, pillows, food, cell phones, laptops, Kindle, chargers and storing them all away in the caravan, so that nothing, not even a bra strap is caught hanging out between the hinges of the cabinet doors.  Maybe we are getting old, and maybe the need to take everything in question with us has increased with age. Gee, I can remember going on vacation with just a little handbag. Ha ha − that was about a million years ago.

Nevertheless, the vacation started off with a bang… or better said with a click. I was waiting patiently in the car, eating one gum drop after the other, while Herbert, my hubby, was in a gas station’s men’s room. The  car radio was playing some cool music, and not till after the fourth or eighth song − or maybe it was the empty gum drop bag, but I suddenly sat up in alert. What is taking my dear Hubby so long?  I got out of the car and marched to the gas station, when suddenly my husband approached me.

“So how long were you planning on waiting before checking up on me?” He asked a bit disgruntled.

“What took so long?” I said, while suppressing a sweet sour taste of gum drops coming up my throat.

“The lock broke on the bathroom door, and I banged and knocked and yelled on the door till someone finally let me out!”

Hubby suddenly began to laugh, saying the people at the gas station and even some customers, who urgently needed to use the bathroom, were in a tizzy trying to get the lock open.

“Now that would have made a good vacation shot!” I exclaimed. We both laughed, and then I knew − when stupid things like that strike one as funny it’s a sure sign that vacation time has started.

That evening we ate in a lovely restaurant by the sea. But even better than the food, were all the little signs,  stuck between roses and weeds, with wonderful wise quotes written upon them.  I took some snapshots of them, and am more than happy to translate the quotes for you. So in this first of the latest travel report series:    this is quote no. 1.

p1000039-kopieThe practical thing about vacation is that it not only renews your strength to start
working again,
but it makes you so damn broke, that it really gives you no other
choice in the matter.

PS….The header photo I just took this evening.
I swear! No photo shop!

PPS…I will be writing soon again. Hope to see around, and I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you!


When Life Gets in the Way of Traveling

Why do unexpected things come up just before we plan to go on vacation in our caravan – but an unexpected change of plans NEVER comes up if we have booked a flight? To me it’s one of the greatest mysteries in the universe. I would even say a close runner up to – why do penguins jump off cliffs.

It’s either a cool spontaneous party invitation, or some distant relative passes away, or one of the grandchildren is performing, (as a tree) in his very first play. Childish handwritten invitations flutter in our mailbox  for summer school events, gymnastic shows, and school choir concerts… and usually a day before we plan to leave.

“But Oma, (that’s grandma in German), it’s so easy to postpone your vacation with the caravan. 
It’s not like you HAAAVE to go now!”

grandma smile

Anyone who has been following my blog may have noticed that there wasn’t much to follow this past year – for one simple reason – we didn’t go anywhere.

Why? Okay, summoptimismers we always spend at home, because camping is six times more expensive then. In the fall our granddaughter stayed with us, but didn’t want to go anywhere because she wanted to play with her cousins But then, mid-September 2015, as soon as we packed the van, and were ready to shift our car into drive –a cold front swept over Europe. Hurricanes and mud slides forced us to stay home.  We raced to the house, through the rain, with just our blankets and pillows in our arms, expecting that we can drive on as soon as the storm passes through. When the storm literally blew over, we packed our blankets and pillows once again – and full of optimism, (weak laughter here).


“Hey Herbert? When did you guys buy a dog?” Our neighbor asked, while squinting against the sun, at our caravan door.

“That’s not a dog. It’s my wife crawling into the caravan because she’s got sciatica pain, and can’t walk up the steps.” My husband yelled back, of course loud enough for ALL the neighbors to hear.

“Ha ha ha,” our neighbor laughs hysterically all the way up his front steps and stumbles.

Hahaha, I think with spite: … He needs to change his black sunglasses to hot pink.

Sooo here we go again.  We aren’t going anywhere. We unpack and make doctor appointments.

Then winter comes.

And 2016 rolls around. Up to now our schedule is all about getting appointments and stupid daily things finished so that we can take off when spring comes around.

April: We let down our jacked up caravan, check tire pressure, haul the mattresses from our attic into the van, pack all utensils, food, pillows, blankets, clothes, shoes, games, books, TV,  etc.

Have you heard? Germany has unusual freezing temperatures, snow storms, and icy streets … and that at the end of April!

…Okaaay, ….. Let’s unpack clothes, food, bed stuff, and haul it all back into the house.

But wait! Today, when I look out the window, it looks like it has cleared up.  Blue skies, warm sun, birds are singing!

Quick, pack up!

Rrrrrriiiiiing!  It’s my brother! It’s definite. He’s coming to visit us with his girlfriend, son and his girlfriend from the States! Oh man, I haven’t seen him in 5 years!

Roll film backwards … please speed it up! Unpack the caravan, lug the blankets pillowcases, and clothes back into the house. Throw all the food items into the laundry basket, schlepp back into house and store away. Get radio, Cd’s, bathing suits, games, (we might want to play them at home), sun hats, glasses, passports … yup… everything, but the mattresses.

So I think, while sprawled on our sofa, I have to think like the fox in Aesop’s Fables: The Fox and the Grapes… Do you remember that one? Here a link, to the short story in case you’ve forgotten… In any case, thinking about that made me feel better already.


But you know what, I’m really not complaining….. Staying home because of family is really not a bad alternative. In fact I truly feel blessed.

Gee, I just counted my blessings and vented at the same time. That’s like eating spaghetti without meatballs.

Next time, I promise, I will say no to the spaghetti and gulp down the meatballs. I hope.


“…….But – but Omaaaaaaa!!!!!


Camping near Venice

After spending several weeks in Croatia, we headed for Italy, mainly because we wanted to be with our family who planned to spend their vacation there too.  We looked forward to the chaos of grandchildren and barbecuing together.  Enough of the peace and tranquility… any more of that, and I would have turned into a piece of petrified wood.

So far, our favorite camping site in Italy is Lido, Cavallino-Venezia,  just a few miles away from Venice. the camp site, Lido, is like a little city, with grocery stores, drugstores, boutiques, golf, fantastic swimming pools,… you name it, they got it. For those that aren’t traveling by RV, Lido offers cottages in all sizes to rent. The prices are comparable to hotel rooms. But before I start to gush about this five-star camp site, let me just say − this is the 4th time we vacationed in Lido,  and since we really aren’t repeat campers… that says it all.

Here is a link to their website. Go ahead, take your time and browse around.


I put together some of my own photos of our stay there.  Come on and slurp home-made spaghetti, or bite into a salami Pizza oozing with cheese … at least in the virtual world.

Just click on the photos below, (best to open in a new window),
to take you to the slide shows.  

Click here to see slide show!

Camping with family!



Strolling through the campgrounds

Italien Beaches in Camp Lido by Venice

Italien Beaches in Camp Lido by Venice


Till next time….  🙂    arrivederci






Laundry Day in Kroatia

Mmmm, don’t you love the way laundry smells after drying it on a clothes line?

Clothes line?

What’s that?

The folks in Croatia or  Kroatia (sp?),  sure know  how laundry drying in a breeze smells like. Of course when in Kroatia, ..do as the Kroatians’ do. While we were camping along the coast line. It was so windy, our bed sheets dried within 15 minutes.small laundry

Here are some glimpses of colorful  laundry flapping under Kroatian‘s warm spring  breezes.  You see women bending over their baskets and hanging their clothes without skipping a  beat. You see  little children playing hide and seek between towels and faded blue jeans. You feel smiling eyes staring down at you while  women draw in their clothes lines between buildings, as if they were hauling in fish nets.

And you hear a concert of waving  textiles, snapping and whipping in the wind, giggling children, fast talking women, the seagull cries and always … always the sounds of waves splashing, like  a round of applause,  against the jagged gray cliffs of Kroatia.

Can you feel it? Can you hear it?

Mark was kind enough to let me use his laundry  song ‚ Another Man’s  Laundry Hanging on your Line to accompany my little clip. Go on — listen to his lyrics, they are a hoot. And if you want to hear more of his work, here is his link: http://www.mjhibbett.co.uk/songs/




Lake Garda, Italy

A favorite camping vacation spot for Europeans is Lake Garda. It’s the largest lake in Italy and lies between Venice and Milan.

The camping site we stayed at is http://www.camping-bellaitalia.it/de/ I can recommend it.  Everything was clean, people were friendly, and prices were more than fair. They offer  great animation programs for children, or  for adults who still like to play. 🙂

Our son and 7  year old granddaughter came with us. Within the first hour she made loads of friends. That’s what I love about camping. It’s so easy to make friends, not just acquaintances. We’ve met people who we have remained in contact with over the years.

Bike and hiking trails lead along the lake shores  through tiny ancient villages to modern squares with spewing fountains at every corner.  But why say more… take a glimpse of Lake Garda through my eyes. Maybe you would like to come visit here too. Let me know… maybe we are there when you are and we’ll drink Italian wine together! Ciao! Ciao my friends!

By the way these were all taken around the beginning of September. We had perfect weather, between  75 and 80 degrees.

If you double click on a photo you can see it in a slide show and LARGE!