After a few days of bad weather and our departure to Nepal in two weeks from
Warsaw we decided to make a dash for it to Poland, it would take us a couple of
days. We were heading for Andrews parent’s place and the thought of creature
comforts and a Mum to look after us was very appealing.
After taking the toll road to Zagreb in the north we stopped for the night in
the services. We woke at 5am and decided we were going to try and get all the
way home. All was going so well. We stopped for coffee in Slovenia commenting
it looked like a place we wanted to come back and explore it one day. We were
approximately one hour in Slovenia, on one road. As we were crossing into
Austria we were flagged down by two traffic officers.They asked to see all our
documents and then our vignette…. Oh dear, we didn’t know about the vignette
and therefore didn’t have one.
The officers weren’t having any of it. I believed it must have been very clear
we genuinely didn’t know about it. I admit it is our responsibility to find out
the driving regulations for each county but for this one hour we simply forgot!
I offered to buy one immediately in the shop next door where they were
available, they refused. We had to pay the fine of 150 euros for the one hour
drive. I was really angry as we explained our situation and it was not clear on
entering the country you need one, unlike on entry to Austria which made it
very clear. Oh well, I will get over it one day but feel conned and not in a
hurry to go back to Slovenia. I felt it was a money making scam to catch
tourists. After a bit of research I find it apparently happens all the time, a
few times a day.. they are raking it in!
We crossed Austria and the Czech Republic into Poland without any further
issues. It was a long, long day, we made it home late and were greeted by
Andrew’s mum, polish dumplings and whiskey.
Here we ended our first European van adventure. We will be coming back for more
in the spring. For now the van is all cleaned out for her winter hibernation.
The blog is going to be inactive too as we venture to Nepal and India without
laptops and without our beloved Bluestar…