French motorways were great, very efficient and no traffic jams (you do have to pay a toll on most though) where ever I went. French customs on the way out to Germany were funny. First I had no idea I was near the border and then at the Toll booth I was pulled in by a charming female customs official who questioned me about where I had came from and where I was going to. She spoke good English so I told her, “Its on the car” she said “Cape Town …….long pause in Africa?.” I replied, “Yes here’s a card with my blog on, have a look when you get a minute!” I could see she was dying to laugh out loud but professionalism got the better of her. “I will ” she shouted as she let me go. Thank God as my car is full of stuff that would take ages to go through. Once in Germany almost immediately the traffic queues were massive, they went on for miles. I can only assume the French give them a good going over before they enter France but Calais suggests it probably isn’t completely successful . It will be interesting to see the borders on other countries as I make my way towards Athens in Greece.
Couldn’t help but wonder how Brexit will affect it all. I am not convinced that the UK will have the ring of steel they seem to want so much, but I ma sure the politicians will use it to their best advantage.
Austria was an immediate change off on flat open fields and arable farming to mountain tops and alpine hillsides. Very beautiful and picturesque. Great tunnels too. Never been through so many.
Popped into the Austrian Red cross in Salzburgand met Julie and Hassan who run the refugee and family tracing without volunteers. They were supported by hundreds of volunteers from all over Austria in late 2015 when approx 1000 refugees arrived on trains from the east every day. Almost all were going to Germany. It was chaos for everyone. Things are much calmer now but like every country hardened policies make processes slow and more difficult. I spoke to Herbert who described a project in Tazania where 700 volunteers have bern trained in first aid for the villages nearby as medical resources are very poor.
I am now in Slovenia and loving the place. Choice of £93 hotel in Austria or £8.88 hostel here. I got an exclusive bed for £13. Love hostels full of travellers all keen to explore and learn more about the locals.
Started working my route out to avoid non EU countries as my car insurance doesn’t cover them. So looks like it might be Slovania, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and then Greece. Should get very intetesting as only visited Bularia before! That will be 5 new countries to add to my list. 😁
Today’s kindness is the shortest yet from a young volunteer at Calais