A Perilous But Amazing Adventure

Wow! That went fast! One post, we only just left. The next, we have arrived in Spain!

It took us a total of five days, four of which we were actually traveling.

This is a summary of the first three full days of our trip – more will follow soon about the last -crazy- day.

February 13 – Switzerland

After sleeping a night on a field in Germany (see our last post), we spent two nights in Switzerland.

We arrived at our “campsite” in the afternoon of the 13th of February. The weather was amazing – sunny and even a little bit warm! However, I wrote campsite in quotation marks for a good reason: we did not know this, but the actual campsite was closed. What the campsite called “winter camping” was actually space on a parking lot. Next to an extremely loud construction site.


We briefly considered leaving, but we did not know where else to go. Besides, this place was very close to my (Jochem’s) brother Thomas, so the location was convenient. In all the sudden stress, we managed to turn the caravan around too tightly and crack one of our car’s tail lights.


Our “campsite” in Bern. Look closely through the trees on the right. That red thing is a helicopter. Yes, we were right next to a friggin’ helipad that was being used all day long!
The price of reversing too hastily with a caravan.

But hey, after a briefly stressful moment, we were happy to be there. The sun was shining, the mountains looked amazing covered in winter snow, and we were right next to the Aare river that runs through Bern. We had lunch in the caravan, rested for a moment, then walked to where my brother, his wife, and their two young children live.

Together we had dinner, had some fun with the kids, and caught up a bit.

February 14 – Jochem’s birthday!

The next day was my birthday! We spent the day walking Juna up to the peak of the Gurten hill and had coffee and cake at the restaurant there. Later, I went cycling with Thomas up some other hills with a breathtaking view of the Alps as a reward. That evening Thomas and Sandrine invited Alba and I for dinner again and we had a wonderful evening together. It was an amazing day that went by too quickly!

Coffee & cake (kaffee und kuchen!) on top of the Gurten, with a view of Bern and the Jura mountains.
Cycling with a view of the Alps in the background. And yes, I am wearing shorts during winter in Switzerland. We were extremely lucky with the weather!
Alba surprised me with a caravan-made birthday cake! Yes, it looked a bit ‘crumbly’ as it was made in our improvised oven, but tasted great nonetheless so I’d call it a big success!

February 15 – France

The next day, we were woken by Thomas unexpectedly knocking on the door of the caravan: he had brought us breakfast as a surprise! Thanks again for the super lovely start of the day brother!

After breakfast I had a beautiful run with Juna up the hill and along the Aare river. After all, we were driving to France that day so we both needed to have some physical exertion before sitting down in the car for hours again. When we got back, Alba and I packed everything up, connected the car and caravan again, and drove up the hill (great test for the car!) and out of Bern!

The journey into France went very smooth and was uneventful. We drove for about five to six hours and arrived before sunset at our destination for the day.

We are using an app to find places to sleep on the road (Park4night). Officially the app is meant to be used for campervans, but we find it very useful for our caravan as well. It is how we found a parking lot in a small French village, Hostun, on the way, and decided to spend the night there.

With our solar panels and battery, plus a large gas bottle for cooking and heating, we can easily stay a night off grid and be very comfortable.

Car and Caravan parked in Hostun, France

February 16 – our last day in France – was the opposite of a smooth and uneventful. We will tell you everything about this crazy day in the next post!