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Euro campervan trip 2023 - stage 7: Salzburg and onwards to Hungary (warts and all)

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

A lot of holiday areas are aflame in Europe. Forest fires engulfing Rhodes, and temperatures of 45*c are being recorded in much of southern Europe.

We too have had 37/38*c days in Switzerland and Garda. We have been so hot we couldn't sleep, so hailed upon we couldn't hear ourselves speak, and so rained upon that we couldn't see to drive. As yet no plague of flies. All in the last 2.5 weeks.

Now, we are having to leave the beautiful Gastein valley in Austria early because it's too cold and wet for us to comfortably camp.

I have bemoaned the effects of climate change already in this blog, and it's definitely playing a large part in shaping our route on this trip.

The beauty, and in equal measure the pain of the campervan, is the total flexibility. Too hot, move somewhere cooler, too wet and head for the dry. But the downside is exactly that. The choices need constant consideration. Had we flown to Austria for a walking holiday we would have stayed put, avoided the heavier down pours, bought some thicker and more waterproof clothes and got on with it. Lederhosen?

So a large part of yesterday was spent discussing and researching. Where is dry? If we can't find dry, shall we do something that is good to do in the wet?

Eventually we realise we would need to retrace our steps to Italy to find warm and dry. We decide against that. We agree to decamp to a city we both want to see. Where if the wurst comes to the wurst, we can stop in a cafe and have beer and a wurst. Salzburg it is to be. Birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus. Home of the Mozart Kugeln. Much more we don't yet know.

It was raining when we arrived in Salzburg. The campervan parking place we aimed for allowed us access after a significant time queueing, but then unhelpfully refused to let us into a parking space because we would stick slightly out the end in Nessa. Very annoying.

We changed plans and found a campervan park in the Nord-Sam area which was ideally situated on a bus route to the old town.

We went straight to the old town and wandered taking in the sights and sounds of Salzburg.

We then had a lovely Italian meal at L'Osteria. Not the wurst decision we could have made.

Back to camp on the local bus. It rained most of the night. Spirits are at a low ebb. If it wasn't so wet sparks might fly.

Again the weather forecast remains poor, in Austria and Germany, our next planned stop, it's going to rain all week. Italy is yet further backwards now we are in north Austria.

Inspired, Mrs W checks the weather in Budapest. Excellent all week. Then, with eagle eye, spots the largest lake in Central Europe just south of there. Lake Balaton.

Within an hour we are on the road heading for Hungary.

All this takes both a physical and mental toll. Despite the enjoyable challenge we are presented with, we remain downcast and feel less positive again about the #vanlife experience. Another five hour drive.

First stop just over into Hungary is Romantik Camping es Panzio . It feels like the romantic label is deliberate additional pressure.

We are warm, Reg is delighted with the abundance of red squirrel available for his sole use. The chase is on.

The site is vast and very empty. Well it's the middle of nowhere. It is actually really pleasant but we hardly notice. Our thoughts of visiting the Lake Balaton are being frustrated by the lack of readily site availability, the Hungarian rules about dogs on beaches, and the hopefully temporary low mood in camp.

Spirits are not lifted by the plague of flies. Mrs NHSontheRUN feels less than enthusiastic, and my natural desire to see everyone happy takes a dip. She builds a home made fly trap. The scene is set for a 'long reflective evening'. #vanlife code for a row. Sensibly Mrs W suggests we book an AirBnB. I disagree, on reflection this isn't my finest hour.

We have a chat that goes less well than it could have. something along the lines of :

Mrs W:

" I'm never setting foot in a campsite again" ....


"that's fine, I've found you a flight from Budapest for £22 with Ryanair, I can drop you at the airport in the morning" ....

Mrs W:

"I'm going to bed in the fly graveyard..."

I sleep well. Maybe due to the overheated emotions or simply the exhaustion of our now apparently aimless wandering in Central Europe. Or perhaps despite 19 days of holiday, this is really very tiring.

Tomorrow is another day. I wake more positive and we shall see how the day goes. I very much hope we aren't heading for Budapest airport. I read this blog to Mrs W, and she laughs.

1 Comment

David Price
David Price
Jul 27, 2023

I'm smiling ruefully as I read this, imagining the scene. I'd have liked to be a fly on the wall, but knowing my luck I'd have got caught in Mrs W's homemade trap. As someone wise once said, 'this too will pass' x

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