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Croatia and Slovenia part 4
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On the morning of Friday 20 August we left Camp Galeb and took the E71 east before turning northwards on the A1 motorway heading homeward. `Near Karlovac we took the A1/E65 towards Zagreb. We overnighted in a motorway services on the outskirts of Zagreb. On Saturday 21 August we made an early start and took the A2 /E59 motorway towards Maribor.

We crossed the border into Slovenia near Macel, our original one month's Slovenian motorway vignette was still valid. From the Slovenian border to Maribor our route was on was on the non-Motorway Routes 9 and 1. Near Maribor we crossed the border into Austria and took the A1/E59 motorway towards Graz.

On way down Cary bought a 10 day Austrian vignette at the Germany/Austria border, as I was driving at the time. I had bought a Slovenian one for a month at the services just before the Karawanken Tunnel. I think I was planning to buy another Austrian one on the way home and thus avoid paying for a longer vignette than we needed. I think that the fact that on the way home the Slovenian one was still valid confused us at this point. I was driving and asked Cary to check whether the Austrian one was still valid when we stopped near the Slovenia/Austria border - it WAS 4 weeks later. She misread the visa and thought it was still okay. We carried in blissful ignorance until we were stopped by an autobahn official as we left the toll booths at one of the tunnels. He pulled us over and checked our car documents and licences very thoroughly. He then asked if we had a valid vignette. I cheerfully replied that it was on the windscreen. That was when he hit us with the "bombshell" that that vignette had expired. He then relieved us a 100 Euro fine!! Things were rather quiet in the car for the next few kilometres!

We were only in Austria for one day and the vignette would have cost us under 10 Euros!!! I've heard since that the Austrian autobahn authorities are very "hot" on checking vignettes both with cameras and patrols. As well as the toll vignette there are additional tolls for some of the motorway tunnels. The Austrian fine did at least serve as a vignette for the rest of our motorway journey through Austria.

We continued on the A1/E57/E59 motorway towards Graz. Near Graz we joined the A9/E57 and drove northwest towards Wels. Near Wels we joined the A8/E56 in the direction of Regensburg We crossed the border into Germany near Passau and joined the A3/E56 towards Regensburg.

On the evening of Saturday 21 August soon after bypassing Regensburg we left the A3 autobahn at Junction 97 and followed our "Tom-Tom" directions to our planned night-halt Internationaler Campingplatz Naabtal near Pielenhofen.

The "Alan Rogers" POI was again a slightly inaccurate route but we, fortunately, could see the site on the other side of the river as we approached and we able to follow our eyes instead! Our journey from Zagreb to Camping Naabtal was 358 miles in length.

Our pitch at Camp NaabtalCamping Naabtal is featured in Alan Rogers "Camping and Caravan Europe" and the Caravan Club's "Caravan Europe Vol 2". English is spoken at reception but not by all the staff. We had not booked but phoned ahead on the day of our arrival. We received a friendly welcome and when we had asked about a riverside pitch we were sent to choose one for ourselves from the several available.

The site is situated on the banks of a small river and we were able to secure one of the lovely pitches right on the banks of the river. The river is used by canoeists and is accessible for boating and swimming directly from the site. It was a lovely, peaceful rural idyll and made an excellent rest stop on our homeward journey. The site would make an excellent base for visiting the historic city of Regensburg. There are, also, said to be a good range of marked cycle and walking routes in the locality.

The site has a small shop which stocks only the barest of essentials. There is, also, a pleasant-looking outdoor restaurant near to the reception although we did not dine there. There was live traditional music, an accordion band, in the restaurant during the evening.

There is a children's playground and tennis courts. Bike hire is, also, available. The site has 340 pitches the majority of which are occupied by seasonal units. There are 130 places reserved for tourers mainly near to the river bank. There is a large, clean toilet block which includes a laundry. This block is centrally situated and raised to avoid flooding.

We had a lovely pitch right on the riverbank and spent 2 pleasant days chilling out. We very much enjoyed our stay at this lovely site and recommend it very highly. We would be very glad to stay there if passing that way again.

We paid 42.60€ for our 2 night stay for 2 adults, car, caravan and dog. This included an EHU which was metered.

Early on Monday 23 August we left Internationaler Campingplatz Naabtal and continued our homeward journey. We rejoined the A3/E56 autobahn and drove northwest towards Nurnberg. Bypassing Nurnberg we continued west on the A6/E50 towards Heilbronn and then on towards Mannheim and Ludwigshafen. We bypassed Ludwigshafen on the A61/E31 before rejoining the A6/E50. Near Neunkirchen we turned onto the A8 and then turned northwest on the A8/E29 near Saarlouis. At the intersection with the A3/E25 we turned northwards on that autoroute. We again stopped at Berchem Services to purchase the low-priced diesel before continuing onto A6/E25 to pass to the south of the city of Luxembourg. We then turned west on the A4/E25/E411. We left the autoroute at Junction 30 and took the N87 southwards to Etalle. At Etalle we turned west onto the N83 and drove to Tintigny.

On the evening of Monday 23 August we arrived at our night-halt of Camping Chenefleur in the village of Tintigny near Florenville to the north west of Luxembourg. We had travelled a further 361 miles.

This site is actually in Belgium and we had previously stopped at Camping Chenefleur twice. The first time was in late August 2006 when our tow-car suffered a major breakdown on the motorway nearby. We chose Camping Chenefleur from the Alan Roger's "Europe" guide and our 'van was towed there behind the breakdown truck arranged by Britannia Rescue our breakdown insurance company.

In 2006 the Dutch owner Fred could not have been more helpful. He met us at the gate with his small tractor and towed our 'van to reception where he gave us a map so that we could choose a pitch. When we had chosen a pitch he towed our 'van to it and assisted us in positioning it in the way we wanted. Fred and his staff could not have been more helpful. Fred several times spoke to the garage concerning our car, as his French was much better than ours. When we got our car back it broke-down again only 10 miles up the road after we had, started homeward. We were towed back to the campsite. Fred AGAIN met us at the campsite entrance even though it was after 22.00hrs and again towed us back to our pitch. We had to leave our 'van to be repatriated and travel home by hire car. Fred stored our 'van safely until the Breakdown Company could pick it up.

This pleasant site is open grassland broken up by mature trees which give good shade. There is a small river bordering one side of the site and we pitched next to this. There are several toilet blocks and a laundry. Near reception there is a small bar which served food and, also, has a pay as you go internet link. There is, also, a small shop which sold basics and one can order bread on a daily basis. There is a small outdoor pool too. Activities are provided for the children and there are adventure type activities organised off-site by a specialist group. There is, also, mountain bike hire and outdoor table tennis. Most of the clientele are Dutch and this is the main language spoken but Fred and all of his staff, also, speak excellent English.

The site is located in the very small village of Tintigny which has few services apart a small self-service shop. There are larger supermarkets in adjoining towns and it is within easy reach of the city of Luxembourg. The site is ideal as a stopover from the nearby motorway and we would highly recommend it those who, like us, like simple rural sites.

by BigTim

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