I need to catch up a little. We’re in Italy. Green needed to be here for ten days for work. Before you begrudge him those ten days please know that ALL he does during those ten days is work. Off early in the morning not back until after eight at night and then he works some more from here. Me? Oh, I definitely got the good end of the bargain here. I get to revisit a place I love and see my mum. Oh, and I get to show Bean Italy and this time there is a good chance she’ll remember it.
Now before those ten days started we figured we’d actually take a vacation as a family, so we came over for a whole two weeks prior. This is unheard of in the Bean household. A vacation that isn’t visiting family? A whole two weeks? But how to see Europe cheaply? With a four year old in tow? When you’re no longer spring chickens? Camping darlin’. Well, Eurocamp. I’m not sure that counts as camping.
I don’t think this concept has really made it to the US, but when I was a kid and we went on vacation it was most often a Eurocamp. The basic gist is this: You show up at a campsite or parc. The tent, which is more like one of those tents out of Harry Potter than a backpacking tent or even one of those large car camping tents is already set up, complete with beds, stove, table, linens and towels (if you order them), a grill AND a fridge. See what I mean, not even remotely like camping other than you’re under canvas. Anyway book at the right time and you’re looking at about $30 or so dollars a night. The campsites usually have a restaurant, hot showers, laundry facilities, swimming pool, and a basic shop of sorts. I mean, really this isn’t camping, but when you’ve got a kid and a limited budget it works really well. The sites are usually infested with kids, which as they get older means they go off and entertain themselves while you get toasty on a little local vino. Sweet eh?
Well it was sweet, but next time I’m going to remember the following: When choosing sites close to large mountain ranges that include active glaciers remember that they might be a bit nippy. Just because they weren’t nippy in July, 30 years ago when you went as a kid, doesn’t mean that they won’t be nippy in April at the beginning of the season. Remember your freaking fleece jacket and extra sweaters or you will freeze your ass off.
View from our camper in Bourg d’ Oisans
I’m not sure if I should admit that I actually did think that the temperatures might be a wee bit brisk, but decided I needed the space in my suitcase for cans of olive oil and yarn from Florence instead. Hmmmm. My cold and cough have subsided now you’ll be pleased to know. The other admission is when we were in the French Alps at Bourg d’Oisans we weren’t even under canvas, but in a wee cute Eurocamp mobile home which had its own bathroom. A mini apartment with a heater. Oh, and a grown up bedroom with a full bed, and a teeny kid room with bunk beds that looks like something out of a ship galley. Still, it was cold outside. Yeah Eurocamp! It rained, we played cards and knit. It was nice, we went out and explored. We ate out at some great places, but also had the option to cook and eat cheaply at our home/tent. Lovely. Oh, and then we went to warm, sunny Vernazza and stayed in a hostel room, which is where the earlier post’s photo was taken.
Playing cards or something in the Eurocamp mobile house