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Hazel and Simon Jackson decided to do what so many of us fantasise about – sell up, buy a big motorhome and tour Europe with no particular plan for a year, with their youngest son, Jack.
Europe In A Motorhome is an account of their trip, which was jam-packed full of adventures with a few ups and downs thrown in.
The Jacksons’ tour took them down to the south of Spain to escape the winter and then back through France, all around Italy (including Sicily), and into the Balkans before they gradually made their way up the Channel coast and back to the UK.
The motorhome-related stories are more amusing than usual as the Jacksons’ choice of motorhome – an 33-foot American RV – ensured that they had more than their fair share of driving ‘challenges’ as they negotiated European-sized roads and campsites…
The book itself is entertaining and full of genuine personal experience; there is no ‘travel writing by numbers’ here. The only real downside is that there are no photos – readers have to visit the EuropeInAMotorhome.co.uk website to see the family’s photos from the trip.
Despite this, Europe In A Motorhome is an entertaining and educational read that brought back happy memories of some of the places I have visited myself and made me want to visit many of the others.
Hazel’s account of the robbers of Vesuvius and traffic conditions in Naples brought back particularly strong memories, as back in 2005, we visited Vesuvius in a British car (“you must park here and pay me”) and then got lost in the back streets of Naples while taking a shortcut to the ruins of Pompei.
In the end, I had to resort to driving like an Italian to get through the narrow, congested streets – otherwise we’d probably still be there, surrounded by hordes of buzzing scooters swarming past the car on both sides with about 2 inches to spare… Happy memories!