Looks better at night. After a night sleeping next to a cobbled street we need a rest . The drivers all think its a Grand Prix cicuit and the racket the cobbles make is unbelievable. Especially when your head is about 2 meters from their wheels. Bed at midnight after some beers and then up at 6am to beat the parking wardens. We moved to a much nicer residential area that would have provided a much better nights rest. They were setting up a film set in one of the houses and one of the vans had a Van Helsing sticker on the back from when they were filming that so not sure what they were doing. Looked very professional. We walked miles round the town and I had my first foot long Czech traditional hot dog...yummy. Our budget is blown again with it being a city. Found a Tesco's and got some shopping. Its set out exactly the same as ours are at home so you can find everything. They have all the magazines on the right when you go in follwed by the stationary and car stuff and Laptops and TVs...just like Balby. Prices are comparable but strangely some odd things are much cheaper. Engine Oil for example was about £4 a litre and Vodka was dirt cheap. We bought one. Guess
Prague looks nice in the dark. Lets see what it looks like in the daytime...
Zwe az zno Internetz
You would have thought Germany would have an abundance of Wi-Fi....You'd be so very wrong. It took us hours to find a working hotspot and miles of trawling round. All that said Berlin is quite a nice place. The weather was fantastic and we even eventaully found free parking overnight next to the Brandenburg Gate (about 300 meters infront of it anyhow). This is after finding the not free parking and paying 14Euro's. So far our most expensive day. 24Euro for the bus tour and 10Euro on some beer, also the Diesel isn't as cheap as England (did i just say England was cheap??). The new tank is getting us 650 miles easliy so filling up 120 litres isn't cheap anywhere.........
thanks for all the messages.
Finally and then.....
we go onto the road and made a heading south and the east. Currently visiting the highlights of Europe in the form of Motorway truck stops which are quite nice if you happen to stop at a nice one! The not nice ones, are NOT nice.
Next Stop Berlin, Prague and then South to various capital cities.
Thanks for all the comments and Emails. We are trying to get the map fixed but all things are IT are sometimes fickle. The Map uses at least four servers to work. The Google Map server, The Email Server, The Web Site itself, The Database server and in actual fact a 5th server at Inmarsat. So getting them all to talk to each other and do this flawlessly isn't easy and Bart the developer who came up with the magic is doing his absolute best to get it working. Might be a few days as after all he's doing it for free !
Let it be......
I cannot believe it but we found a let via the managing agent we were going to use. 12% commission but that's not a lot of money and they want to move in quickly and are an exisitng client of them so no hassle, so turns out inconveniencing various garage owners has paid off.. It was too late to get a sea container put up as they build them to order. So two garages later and we are empty apart from some white goods and a few other furnishings.
preparation has gone backwards over the last day. House insurance needs changing involving more 0870 and 0845 numbers (don't you just love those. Dial them off your mobile and you will know what i mean). My phone bill must be the highest its ever been this last month and thats the land line. The post-it note list isn't getting any shorter as various things that were sorted now need re-thinking with additional cost. The mapping site is offline for some strange reason so i've asked the developer to fix it. It was all going so well.
I've not eaten in 24 hours and more importantly not even had a drink of alcohol so it must be bad! The stress is begining to tell. Theres too much to sort out and too little time again. You'd imagine its easy leaving the UK. Its not.
Despite everyones best efforts....
we are still planning on leaving on Tuesday. Things are finally going to plan with packing up nearly finished.
To update you on the letting of the house: with all of two days notice our let has pulled out. So the house is staying as is, packed up and empty with various family staying on odd days so its not left vacant for insurance purposes. Various furniture is going to the "four corners" for storage. Neighbours have keys and will hopefully come in every other day to check all is well.
they've nicked £2500 from my account and wont give it back. This means we can't get our US Dollars. So we can't go ! Thanks a bunch Santander for being so very inflexible when releasing our funds back to us even after 4 hours,,,yes 4 hours !!!! on the phone to them.
The more than my job worth attitude in full effect. At least i got to speak to 10% of Santander call centre staff and found one (only one) that actully tried to resolve the issue. The others were useless.
the afore mentioned person seems to have sorted it out........Thanks to Terry.
went to get my dollars and they had cancelled my card as part of the above problem. Took 1 hour and 15 mins more on the phone to sort that out. Finally they admitted it was their issue after blaming Travelex (who have been superb).
For my trouble today £105 compensation (as you can imagine by the compensation it was a lot of trouble)....a good result really but i'd rather have wasted my time today doing something i needed to do rather that getting very wound up with the bank. I had my first migraine for about 8 years the other day. This isn't helping ! I don't need the £105, can i have my day back please ?
The new 2012 Land Rover Defender.......
I wonder what the carnet price would be on this shiny beast. I'm drooling....
More photos in the photo section.
International Certificate of Motor Vehicles. An expensive piece of card from the AA which is a poor translation into various languages of your V5C. Mandatory in some countries and i didn't even know about it until last week. It arrived today.
Travel insurance......after a week of looking 8hours a day and ringing an awful lot of companies i finally went for the least worst option...what that means is the one thats not quite as bad as the others !
We have cover for 18 months and they have covered my non-existant medical condition. Yes you read that correctly, the condition i don't have (as their is nothing wrong with me) is covered ! You see i made the mistake of having some tests which proved to be negative so they fall under their exisitng medical conditions clause. So how can i declare a condition i don't have ! Stupid...all of them. I've wasted a week on this !!!
So some cover you for a year, some for 18 months and some for 24 months. Some won't let you visit back home, some will let you come back once and some have no limits. Trouble is they all have other clauses that mean they are good in one area and bad in another. If you want the best possible one for 12 months go for ACE Insurance (if they had done an 18 month policy they would have won hands down). If you want the most difficult to deal with and 18 months with visits home go for Flexi Cover and these are who we went with. To be honest i gave up and just went with them as i'd had enough. They are pretty un-flexi if you ask me but their cover is OK and they covered my illness that i didn't have and haven't got.
Update on the Carnet
They'd manged to exclude some contries from its validity so it had to be returned. The revised one is here so panic over......
Carnet Arrived Today......
So the little piece of paper worth over 12,000 arrived today. Better not lose it then.......
Syria's back on the cards
We may now be meeting up with 10 Swedish travellers in 3 other cars on their way to Africa. We need to waste some time in Europe as they are planning on going leter than we were but the more people the safer it should be crossing Syria.
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