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3.7 out of 5 stars
Europe in a Motorhome: A Mid-Life Gap Year Around Southern Europe
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2007
The snippets of time between hectic work this week i.e. breakfast, bed-time allowed me to tour the usual suspects - France, Spain, mainland Italy - as well as less obvious Portugal, Sicily, Slovenia and especially Croatia with Hazel, Simon and teenage son Jack in their oversized US motorhome. The "can't put down" effect may have been due to my desire to take a similar, relaxed gap year all over Europe, but I feel it was mainly a credit to the personal, open and warm style in which Hazel wrote about her special year with her family in the "Beast". Basically we have a nice bunch of people who take interest in the natural and historical delights of different countries, enjoy being off the beaten track and who find it very easy to meet with like-minded travellers usually over a glass or two (and often more...) of local wine. Hazel's honesty avoids this being a travelogue of the cultural "must-sees" of Europe. Her descriptions of the major architectural stunners exude excitement and enthusiasm; on the next page she may be describing a rest day watching a DVD in the motorhome, or a walk on a beach - or a serious problem. As a result the book draws the reader into a world that one often daydreams about on those wet, winter mornings on the way to work. Those who have travelled and camped abroad in tents, caravans, motorhomes etc are likely to have been bitten by the "big European trip" bug and will find this essential reading. Non-campers may be fascinated how and why a family of three live in a small (well, smallish) space for such an extended period. Those who love to travel will certainly benefit from the travel tips about some stunning, lesser known places to visit - especially in Croatia. With its list of recommended places to camp, I'm sure this will be an essential item for the dashboard of motorhomes all over Europe. By the end of the book you feel you have really got to know this family and are willing them to turn south as they approach the ferry port for the inevitable return home.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2011
We bought a Motorhome in 2007, it is a great way to visit family and friends in France. After buying this book we became more adventurous and went to Croatia. It gives a great insight into life on the road.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 9 January 2009
As we read this book when we'd already committed to the purchase of a motor home for full time travelling, it was kind of important that it didn't put us off! On the contrary, the book was fun, very readable, and honest about the good times and not so good when living and travelling aboard a 'van.
It has inspired us to follow in many of the footsteps at some time or other, and the underlying humour and warmth in the writing led us to believe that we'll meet many like minded people as we do.
Recommended to anyone thinking or dreaming about a life away from the everyday grind.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2010
Not as good as I expected after reading reviews, not very informative no address's of camp sites or prices, maps, pictures illustrations I personally found it a very boring read and not much help to anyone planning a similar trip
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2010
Having just decided to buy a motorhome and explore Europe in the new year,I found the style of writing lively and warm and some useful starting points for places to visit.My only minor gripe is that even by using the website given in the book,I can't access the photos which I would love to see...each time I try I just end up with ads for the book or motorhomes. Apart from that,have found it hard to put down.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2011
excellant book, a bit hard to get into at first, but then hard to put down, loads of information, both within the story and in the appendix for anyone contemplating a similar trip.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2008
I bought this book to read whilst I planned and prepared for my own extended travels around Europe in a motorhome. It is a great read, fabulously descriptive without being overbearing. It has been very helpful in my plans and I would recommend it to anyone who loves travel and the experiences it brings, whether you are planning a trip like this yourselves or just fantasising about one.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2006
If you travel in Europe for hoildays or if you fancy something more this book is just for you it is full of tips while visiting various countries of how to skip queues and how to be prepared for all aspects of travelling.

It is written with a sometimes hilarious sence of humour which will get you laughing out loud not only is it packed with a wealth of information it is also a lovely read which will keep you engrossed into the next adventure.

This is amust read for anyone who is thinking of(which if we were all totally honest we all would) taking a year out and going for it, snow for christmas and lovely sun filled days.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2009
not a bad read but became a little repetative visiting similar things at
every new location.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 12 July 2010
I am completely disappointed. I wish I had paid more attention to some of the slightly more negative reviews, before I bought this with a great sense of anticipation - having just got the motorhome! The cover of the book held such promise: I imagined a quirky, clever account of adventures with the emphasis on the motorhome experience, but sadly they were neither quirky nor clever, and the motorhome seemed quite incidental - simply a means of travel, with the occasional mechanical problem or manoeuvering challenge thrown in.

My first let-down was the extremely small print, and long paragraphs, unrelieved by any variation of font or text style - just like the worst kind of visually boring textbook. The dreadful scribbled map of Europe on the first page was the only illustration of any kind, when I longed for a few good maps or photographs or drawings, or even the odd recipe of some unusual or particularly delicious food .

However, the worst thing was really the standard of writing - or perhaps editing. Spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes were many and constant. Clumsy construction and clichéd descriptions just made it worse, and as another reviewer already said, it all became a huge distraction. I couldn't enjoy the content of the book for being irritated at the quality of the writing. I realise that, when it comes to buying books, value for money is entirely subjective, but it seems to me a reasonable expectation that, at the very least, spelling and punctuation mistakes should be corrected before publication.
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