The Second Month
Our travels over the past two months have taken us through:
Iceland> Sweden> Germany>the Netherlands> Germany> Poland> Slovakia>Hungary> Austria> Czech Republic> Austria> Slovenia> Croatia> Bosnia-Herzegovina> Montenegro> Albania> Greece> Italy> France> Spain
Croatia, Slovakia, Iceland, and Greece stand out as places that have really made a positive impact on me. I could especially see future trips taking me back to Croatia and Slovakia.
We’ve also now been traveling in this camper for over 45 days. It’s been our “home” since leaving Sweden and we’ve slept in it every night except for the overnight ferry crossing from Greece to Italy. We’ve now logged over 7,000 kilometers driving. Parts and pieces of the camper continue to disintegrate from it’s body as we bump down the road. We’re going to owe a bloody fortune in repairs when we finally return this rental in less than a month.
Rituals with the camper have changed as we’ve mostly graduated from amateur camper status. Our set-up and take-down happens quickly and we each have tasks that get accomplished without reminders. When we first started out, we almost exclusively would do the dishes and shower in the camper, but we’ve all now transitioned to using the local camp facilities for those tasks. Doing so reduces the number of water fill-ups and discharges at camp sites. With this shift I’ve also become much more attentive to the design of shower stalls.
The best stalls have more than just one hook for clothing and have a raised or partitioned area for clothing/shoes away from the spray of the shower. Unfortunately, about 50% of the time it’s a single 3’ by 3’ space with a drain in the middle and one hook on the inside of the door. I’m learning to adapt to these limitations by hanging my clothes and towel in the order that I’ll be needing them post-shower, and creatively balancing other shower items on top of walls or in pockets of clothes hung on the hook. Alternately, I could take a more natural….and probably more practical….approach like another guy did in Pompeii.
We stayed at a fairly dense and well-occupied camping site near the Pompeii ruins. The men’s shower facilities at this location were essentially outdoors. Imagine a detached two-car garage with the door open. Then imagine a combination of 9-10 shower stalls and toilet stalls lining the three sides of the interior of the space. Each of the stall doors opened to the inner area where a few sinks were located. Across from this open-garage-like bathroom setting were 6-7 small rental houses with doors all facing the open bathroom area. Between the rental units and the bathroom was a well-used road/walk path. This logistical set up is important…bear with me.
I had showered and was shaving at one of the sinks in the middle of the room facing out to the rentals/path/road. This, on it’s own, was a bit weird as passer-byers and people staying at the rentals would take notice of the guy shaving in the open garage. A guy a bit younger than me came into the “garage” and was going to shower. He looked into a couple of the open shower stalls to evaluate his options. He saw what I had already noticed…there was only one hook on the inside of the stall, but several on the outside. From a very practical perspective he clearly didn’t want his crap to get wet while he was showering, so decided to fully disrobe on the outside of the shower stall. Not a huge issue for me, but did chuckle a bit as passer-byers looked a bit longer at him than they had previously glanced at me shaving. The guy goes into the shower stall and closes the door only to reappear five seconds later in the buff scamper to the next stall. I can only assume the water wasn’t working in that stall. All the while people are passing the open garage where all this is taking place and glancing at one primate shaving and the other without his Planet of the Apes clothing. He now comes out of this stall as he forgot his shampoo in the first stall, grabs the bottle, and goes back to the second habitat of a stall. A new set of people have now passed the zoo exhibit and have taken notice. Second to that experience, the ruins of Pompeii were also interesting.