We are in Austria and are having a bit of a break day. After having pretty good weather for the last month and a bit, we are now suffering from clouds and rain. In short, it’s a great time to look back at what we have done so far. Here is the 9 Week Road Trip Report – Part 1 with a recap of the first 15 days of our epic road trip.
9 Week Road Trip Report – Part 1
Considering we did a whole lot of sightseeing during our road trip, it’s way too much to dump into one post. I’ve decided to split this post into 5 posts.The first 4 will contain the day-to-day recap of the trip (about ~15 days each). The final one will deal with the finances. I perhaps will make one about Airbnb too, about being both as a host as well as a user. Learned quite a few interesting things over the last weeks.
Anyhow, below is the recap of the first 15 days of the road trip. Enjoy!
Day 1 – Trip to Maastricht
It’s Sunday April 22 and we are ready to go! We tried to limit the amount of stuff we wanted to bring, but wanted to be ready for most situations one can encounter during Airbnb stays. You really never know what you are going to get :-). So we brought extra towels, bed linen, some useful items such as a sponge, kitchen cloths, matches/light, dish washing soap, etc. Smart thing that we did!
Day 1 we started late and had a long drive. We ended the first day with dinner at friends in Maastricht. Pretty relaxed and nice day to start the road trip!
Day 2 – Trip to Fairy Tale Forest (Valkenburg)
Since we are travelling with our 4,5 year old, we had to incorporate some entertainment for her too. That is why we started with “sprookjesbos” (Fairy Tale Forest) in Valkenburg. We were a bit too enthusiastic and got there before the gates even opened! So we had cart place to ourselves 🙂
Day 3 – Trip to Luxembourg
Having been to Belgium already many times before (see here and here for a few). We decided to drive straight through to Luxembourg to make some distance. However, we did visit La Roche de Ardenne during they day and visited it’s castle ruins.
Day 4 – Trip to Luxembourg City
On day 4 we drive from northern Luxembourg, via Luxembourg City to Northern France. During the day we visited another castle ruin (this time in Esch-sur-Sûre) and Luxembourg City itself. Due to the bad (rainy) weather (and a tired kid) the amount of things we could see and do in Luxembourg City were limited. It was still a fun and interesting visit.
Day 5 – Trip to Chateau des Ducs de Lorraine
During our first day in northern France we visited yet another castle ruins (the little one liked them, so we just keep going!). This time we visited Chateau des Ducs de Lorraine, this is located in the small town of Sierck-les-Bains. The town is not very special, but the ruins are well maintained and take about an 1-1,5 hours to visit.
Day 6 – Travel to Gérardmer (Parc Vosges)
On day 6 we drove quite a bit. On one of our first stops we visited Pont-à-Mousson and had a quick look at (the outside of) Abbaye des Prémontrés. Next we drove onward and explored a waterfall called “Grande cascade de Tendon”. This is located at the small town of Le Creux on the D11 road towards Gérardmer. We finished the day with stay at the lake. The Vosges parc was known to us only by name, as many people visit this area and spoke highly about it. They were right!
Day 7 – City Visit to Luxeuil-les-Bains
During our travels this day we visited the city of Luxeuil-les-Bains, a lovely place to stroll around for a couple of hours and get an ice-cream!
Day 8 – City Visit in Besançon
More city visits, this time in Besançon on our way to the Jura Mountains and Lake Geneva. There was a flea market in the city streets that day and we found some new records for the jukebox. We also got a puzzle for Miss CF to use during the trip. It still fitted in the small suitcase we got for her to put all her toys in.
Day 9 – Jura Mountains and Lake Geneva
The highlight of day 9 was a small mountain lake (Lac de Lamoura) and a mountain pass (Col de la Faucille) with a gorgeous view of Lake Geneva.
We actually ended up reaching the southern shores of Lake Geneva later that day.
Day 10 – Évian-les-Bains & Switzerland
This day we took a drive towards Switzerland and walked across the border (just for the fun of it) at Saint-Gingolph. For cars on the main road there is a border patrol check, for pedestrians it looks like this:
During the day we also visited the source of the Evian water in Évian-les-Bains. The company still has an office here too.
Day 11 – Swimming and Lac de Bourget
After our visit to Lake Geneva we continued our travels in the direction of the south coast of France (Cote d’azur). But since the little one showed signs of being tired, we stopped for a swim and did a short lake visit in the afternoon at lake de Bourget.
Day 12 – Serres & Gorges de la Méouge
More traveling southward. We did not expect much this day, as we had not seen any special places based on our route. Boy were we wrong! First we drove into the town of Serres and got this awesome view. Added an ice-cream to make it perfect.
Next we found the Gorges de la Méouge, a small car park along the road and short trail got us to a few falls and a nice area to enjoy nature.
Day 13 – Gorges du Verdon
The “Grand Canyon” of Europe is call the Gorges du Verdon, and it’s awesome! It certainly is not as big as the actual grand canyon, but it is really pretty with the blue water and the big lake. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. Good hiking in the area too.
Day 14 – St. Tropez
I always wanted to to go St. Tropez, the name alone is cool. Albeit we did not spend much time in the village (tired kid and not enough cash for parking!), we did go to the beach at the outskirts and visited the citadel in the center of town.
Day 15 – Beach day in Sainte-Maxime
Even during a slow travel road trip, you need a break day on occasion. That’s what we did in Sainte-Maxime. It was good, albeit still pretty cold water at this time of year!
That’s it for now. It’s just waiting for the next rainy day, or until we are home, before I can make the rest.
In the mean time, enjoy your own travels and/or travel planning!