Elisabeth & Teije's reis website

The tiring trip back to the Netherlands


Home -> Europe -> Greece -> Travelogue Greece -> 28 to 30 June 2019

Friday 28 June, the tiring trip back to the Netherlands

Teije goes swimming for an hour while I pack my things for the return trip. And then we have breakfast at Christos, we have good memories of that; a few years ago we got cherries on ice after breakfast and we hope for that a little bit but unfortunately, not today. The car is packed and we have coffee with Michael and Kiki before we leave. It is 2.5 days driving to our hometown and that half day we are going to do today, we have booked a hotel in Serbia about 540 kilometers from here.
We leave at noon and an hour and a half later we are at the Greek - Northern Macedonian border near Evzoni. We usually get through this fairly quickly, now there are long lines and it takes at least half an hour before we reach Greek customs while the temperature rises to 42 degrees. You are officially not allowed to photograph or film at border crossings, a rule from the time that land borders were still sacred, but we have the dashcam on. They have become somewhat boring videos and we have shortened them considerably, but we thought it would be nice to post them, first the Greek customs and then the North Macedonian. Maybe we should build a collection of border crossings.

We pass through Northern Macedonia fairly quickly and we refuel before the Serbian border because fuel is cheaper here. We have to go to another pump and it is not possible to pay with a credit card. Are we being scammed again? But it is not too bad, for 50 liters of diesel we need to pay € 60. The meters are probably not calibrated here because 50 liters seems a bit too much to us and along the highway fuel is more expensive than on the normal roads, but it is not too bad. We are now close to the Serbian border but this time we forget to turn on the dashcam. In the south of the country a whole new stretch of highway is ready, the previous times we had to make a long detour on mountainous roads. But a lot of exits have been closed.
Our smelly room in SerbiaThe exit at Paracin, where we have booked a hotel, is also closed. Only 2 exits further can we get off and then drive back through small villages.
The hotel looks reasonable, we are welcomed by a friendly young man who even speaks a little Greek and we get the only room that has a (tiny) balcony. But after a while we realize that it does stink, a sewer tank that only gets worse at night.

Saturday 29 June 2019, a tiring day, looking for a hotel

We do not sleep very well and at 7 o'clock we are already in the car, but the smell stays in our nose for a while. There is a traffic jam on the Belgrade ring road because there is a mega-market outside the city that attracted thousands of people. And at the Serbian-Hungarian border, the customs officers are not very interested to work: there is only a short line and yet we have to wait an hour. And then follows the long and boring part through Hungary, the least beautiful part of the route as far as we are concerned. In Austria we are making good progress and around 6 o'clock we are at the hotel in Meggenhofen. The weather is beautiful, the terrace is full of eating and beer-drinking Dutch people (although I prefer to see foreigners when we are abroad) and we are happy that we have completed the long journey of 1,000 kilometers.
But at the reception they claim they have no reservation for us. We show the e-mail confirming the reservation and the e-mail from the hotel stating that part of the price has already been collected from our credit card, but the ladies immediately blame Booking.com: oh yes, that goes very often wrong, sorry, we can do nothing for you, there are no more rooms. We order a drink, grab the laptop and call Booking. They indicate that they will call the hotel and it takes almost an hour for us to hear something again. Unfortunately, we will have to find another hotel. Booking.com wants to look for something similar in the area but we have already seen something. And then the connection is broken. We try to call back but the reception is apparently too bad.
View of the Alps from Wolfsegg am Hausruck in Austria View of the Alps from Wolfsegg am Hausruck in AustriaThat is why we are already driving to the village where we have a hotel in mind and there we have a beautiful view of the Alps in the distance. But the hotel we are looking for is now full and we call again with Booking but the connection remains poor and we decide to arrange something ourselves. It is difficult because it is Saturday and in some parts of Germany and Austria the summer vacation has started so everything is full. We now drive to Germany and stop at every hotel and motel that we see but we are not lucky.
We decide that, in the worst case, we continue straight home and take some longer breaks. When we have to refuel a little before Regensburg, we decide to look one more time at the laptop. Nearby we see a lot of hotels on the map and one stands out, Goldenes Rad. We drive there in good luck but the attractively lit terrace is quite full. Fortunately it is mainly village people who are out for the night and there is still a room available. It is after ten o'clock and we have been on the road for 15 hours, w eare exhausted.
The original beams are integrated in the bathroom in Landgasthof Goldenes Rad Original beams in the bathroom in Landgasthof Goldenes RadPff, we are so happy that we still found something even though it is the most expensive room of the whole trip (€ 95 but that does include breakfast). Otherwise we would have come home very tired, which is not the way a holiday should end.
The hotel is a converted farmhouse, but in the bathroom you can still clearly see that the old wooden beams of the skeleton are original.
Teije sits on the terrace outside until 12 o'clock with a cold beer because it is still 25 degrees. I am so tired that I rather stay in the room. The beds are wonderful and so we have a good last night. We also earned that after the night of yesterday and the debilitating day today.

Sunday 30 June 2019, the last kilometers

In Germany we find a good hotel after a long searchWe get a great breakfast buffet and then want to pay. It takes some effort to get the attention of the somewhat deaf hostess and then we get the bill: € 180. She soon realizes that that is probably not correct and we get a norma invoice for € 95.
We are well rested and hit the road for the last 830 kilometers.
It becomes a little bit more because of the many road works and diversions. In total, we have driven 10,400 kilometers in 7 weeks when we get home, almost half of them for the outward and return journeys.
In the neighborhood of Schweinfurt we drink a cup of coffee in the heat, here it is also 35 degrees. Would it go just like last year? Then on the way home it became warmer and our homecoming turned out to be the first day of a long heat wave. But this time we don't have that luck, the closer we get to the Netherlands, the colder it gets. Just before the border at Bad Nieuweschans the thermometer shows 23 degrees and even some raindrops sputter on the windshield.
Whether you go on a holiday for 2, 4 or 7 weeks, in the end it always seems to be over too soon. It was our longest vacation ever but it is over now. 7 fairly quiet weeks in which we saw beautiful and new things. Notw it is time to take a break from the holiday before planning the next one.
Then we must remember to turn on the dashcam by default and just throw the movies immediately away when they are not interesting. We still have some movies to ort out and you can find them on our new YouTube channel where you can subscribe to.
A week after returning home we are called by Booking.com and later by the manager of the Austrian hotel where we were sent away. According to her, we have never been there, but we have proof of it. Ultimately, we have to call in our credit card company to get the wrongly charged money back.

 


© Teije & Elisabeth 2000 - 2020 To the top of the page