Number and names of travelers:
3 adults (Tobias Nägele, Pascal Schwarz, Laureen Stooß)
Carado T338 EDITION15
2 weeks in September 2022
Leutkirch im Allgäu (Germany)
Valdobbiadene (Italy); Piran, Ljubljana, Postojna (Slovenia); Südsteiermark, Neusiedler See, Vienna (Austria)
Themed round trip with friends
Hello, Tobias, welcome back! Why did Pascal, Laureen and you choose this itinerary for your trip?
Since we dedicated the trip to our interest in wine from the beginning, the itinerary was based on that. Our goal was to visit as many different wine-growing regions as possible and to get to know different wineries, wine styles and the interesting characters behind them. So we chose the area around Valdobbiadene, which is known worldwide for its Prosecco. We had long been interested in the Austrian wine-growing regions of Styria and Burgenland, so it made sense to explore the wines of Slovenia as well. For us, this was a great opportunity with the motorhome - we could camp in the wine-growing areas and thus also easily take part in a wine tasting. Afterwards, we ended the evening in a cosy atmosphere in the T338 EDITION15 - a pure pleasure!
What was more your thing: freedom of wild camping or comfort of campsites?
As we love the freedom as well as the independence of camping, we really enjoyed looking for beautiful places in nature. But of course only if it was allowed! There are various apps that we have used to find places to stay when passing through. We especially appreciate the peace and seclusion we find in nature. It automatically decelerates and also leads to inner peace and relaxation.
And where was your favourite place to spend the night?
We found our favourite place right on the first night. At an altitude of 1,300 metres, in the mountains above Valdobbiadene, we found a beautiful spot among cows and sheep with a unique view. Admittedly, this was also our coldest night with an outside temperature of three degrees. But the magnificent sunrise in the morning more than compensated for that. And also in the evening there was a great light atmosphere, which we enjoyed during a walk.
As a photographer, what do you find exciting about the cuisine and/or culture in the regions you travel to?
Wine is per se the fusion of culinary and cultural. The landscape in the various wine-growing regions is very attractive, not least for this reason. The steep slopes around Valdobbiadene and in southern Styria, as well as partly in Slovenia, densely planted with vines, create a very special landscape. In these regions, a distinct culture has grown up around viticulture, which is a lot of fun from a photographic point of view. People have a strong connection to nature, because in the end they produce their trade goods from it. Especially the visits to different wineries and also the tours through their wine cellars were very exciting for us, because you don't get such insights every day.
So what are your top 3 spots you've explored?
For us, Southern Styria has clearly made it to first place. On a tour of the southern Styrian wine route, you can hardly escape the impressive viewpoints from which you can see vineyards and small wooded areas as far as the eye can see, as well as idyllically situated wineries. Of course, it is almost obligatory to visit some of the local wineries. You can have quite spontaneous wine tastings at most of them.
Second place for us is the area around Valdobbiadene. Although this is also a regular wine-growing region, there are clear differences to southern Styria. The typical Italian architecture - in combination with many small cafés and restaurants, fresh, sparkling Prosecco and the view of vineyards encircled by the Alps - creates a very special atmosphere.
Ljubljana: The capital of Slovenia was a super change for us from the more rural wine-growing areas. Ljubljana is a very colourful and lively city. The city centre is characterised by many small shops, art galleries and a wide range of great gastronomy. Anyone travelling in Slovenia should not miss this side of the country.
What is your personal insider tip for the route you have chosen?
My clear tip for the route is: no motorways! You could also call it "slow travelling". True to the motto: "The journey is the destination", one of the things you should enjoy most is the journey in your motorhome. All the countries and regions we explored on our tour have a lot to offer in terms of scenery. However, you only realise the full beauty if you consciously choose the remote country roads. This way we got really deep insights into great little villages and developed a feeling for what makes a country or a region special. Especially in the wine-growing regions, there is simply very impressive scenery to marvel at when you are far away from the motorways. Slovenia is also scenically beautiful. It's definitely worth taking a trip to the mountains here.
Which photo taken during the trip is your favourite?
When we were on the road in southern Styria, the weather changed and it became a bit more autumnal and rainy. As a result, we spent more time in the camper van. In between the breaks of rain, however, the sun came out again and again. This was also the case one lunchtime - when we looked out of the window, a beautiful rainbow was suddenly visible directly behind us. We immediately got the camper van into position and took a few photos. The photo combines several special details of our trip for us. On the one hand, the vineyards, which can be seen in the background of the picture and reflect the theme of our trip. On the other hand, the closeness to nature that one has on a trip with a camper van, as well as the small miracles that one always experiences through it, symbolised by the rainbow.
Valdobbiadene - Slovenia - Croatia - Burgenland - Styria. Which of these places particularly appealed to you and your fellow travellers?
We had a special time at the NeueHeimat winery in southern Styria. This winery is not particularly large, but unique wines are produced there. They follow a consistent philosophy that places great value on unadulterated wines, produced in harmony with nature. The young manager of the farm and the small team around him differ in many details from most other wineries with their approach to winemaking. Moreover, the winery, whose buildings are architecturally very aesthetic, is located in a small, quiet valley surrounded by vineyards. We spent a few hours at the winery. Immediately after our arrival, we were able to enjoy an extensive wine tasting and learn interesting details about the typical wines of Southern Styria. During the subsequent tour of the wine cellar, we were not only able to understand which individual steps are important in wine production, but also to taste barrel samples of the freshly harvested grapes as well as wines that had already been stored for a longer period of time - an unforgettable experience for us. Since we all got along so well during the hours together, we were spontaneously invited to dinner at the winery and cooked together. Of course, we were also allowed to stay with the camper at the winery, in the middle of the vineyards.
Did you have a fixed daily routine on the road? What did it look like?
Our days were quite different, but there were definitely a few routines. We looked forward to freshly prepared muesli with lots of fruit every morning. Thanks to the spacious kitchenette, we were able to prepare this together every morning and enjoy it in the cosy sitting area. Since we visited many different places in a short time, there were of course one or two hours of driving on the programme almost every day. Here we took turns, because we all had great fun driving the camper.
Apart from cereal breakfasts, did you go out to eat or did you cook your own meals in the camper van?
After learning and exploring during the day, we often cooked for ourselves in the evening. Here, too, we were usually in the kitchen together. While it was already dark outside, we made ourselves comfortable in the camper van. This was usually accompanied by a wine that we found on our trip. Afterwards, we either played together or read in a relaxed atmosphere.
What gadgets helped you the most on your trip and will be in your luggage on your next trip?
We had our stand-up paddling board with us. We could easily store it in the spacious rear garage. We had great fun with the SUP. It can be inflated in no time at all and makes every experience on the water more exciting. Especially in terms of weight - keyword payload! - a SUP is ideal for motorhome trips, as it doesn't weigh very much.
You travelled with the Carado T338 EDITION15. What did you particularly like about this vehicle?
Right from the start, we were all amazed at how pleasant the motorhome is to drive despite its almost seven-metre length. You have a very good overview of the vehicle at all times, and the built-in reversing camera provides valuable support when parking. Cruise control also makes driving long distances much more pleasant. We were also very surprised at how low the fuel consumption of the motorhome was. What also excited us right from the start was the brightness inside the motorhome. Thanks to the many windows, the interior is flooded with light and always pleasantly bright. However, if you like to sleep in the dark, you always have the option of darkening all the windows with the installed blinds.
Apropos sleeping: Did you get on well with the sleeping facilities in the T338 EDITION15?
The built-in fold-down bed was of course a highlight for us. It could be easily lowered in just a few steps. This way, the motorhome offers sleeping space for four people, but is still pleasantly compact. In the morning, again only a few hand movements were necessary to firmly anchor the bed again. Even in the lift-up bed, the large window above the driver's compartment still allowed plenty of light to enter from outside, and a small window in the ceiling even made it possible to watch the starry sky from the warm bed. The large bed in the rear of the motorhome also offers a high level of comfort. It is more than big enough for two people, and the sleeping area is also pleasantly bright.
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