Village: Eger (Hungary). We loved this old city and the wine caves around it. People were very friendly and it had a great atmosphere.
Campsites: Prague – a boutique site in the owner’s well-kept and treed back yard. Facilities and proximity to the city were great. We also liked the Eger campsite for its friendliness and proximity to the village. Siofok (Hungary) was fantastic - right beside a beautiful lake, lots of trees, gorgeous sunsets, great facilities, and we had the place almost to ourselves. Low Tatras – most friendly (Monique and Dion) and with breathtaking views of mist-wreathed hills.
Sights: Plzen old town and České Krumlov, gorgeous ancient towns in Czech Republic; Melk Abbey (Austria); travelling along the side of the Danube and its many cute and interesting small wine towns (Austria); Sissi’s castle (Vienna); Spissky Hrad (castle in Spis region of Slovakia); Tatra Mountains (Slovakia); St Stephan’s Cathedral (Budapest), sunsets over Lake Balaton viewed from Siófok (Hungary), and the beautiful and vast fields of bright yellow flowers throughout Slovakia and Hungary (rapeseed plants used to make canola).
Experiences: Staying with Klara and her family and experiencing Czech family life; the Naschmarkt (main market in Vienna); the spontaneously provided tour of 5 acres of ancient wine cellars in Tokaj (Slovakia); taking a wrong turn and finding a restored castle with a restaurant where we had a fantastic meal (Slovakia); unexpectedly coming across the amazing Spissky Hrad (Slovakia); eating goulash in Hungary; hearing our first cuckoo bird call (Slovakia), finding small (and I mean small) cute streets that require a 25 (!?) point U-turn to get out of (throughout), and travelling the minor roads enabling us to see and meet people living in the rural parts of Czech, Slovakia and Hungary.
Buys: Our new wok which we use to cook fresh veges etc that we buy at local markets; a largish plastic box that fits perfectly under one of our seats and has so many uses; sheet holders that go onto our NZ fitted sheets so that they don't wrinkle on the much thinner mattress in the van; small speakers that run off USB so that we can maximise the music that Howard and Mark arranged for us in Welly - great stuff.