10th June 2019
In May 2018, we started an adventure that had been a long held dream of touring Europe in a motorhome.
For 30 years, we had been caravanning in the UK, attending rallies and every year venturing abroad for holiday, but we yearned for the freedom of touring Europe in a motorhome.
Our plans became a reality when an opportunity to retire young came our way. A year of planning started with lots of questions to answer - which motorhome, what insurance would we need and where to go!
As we had been loyal to the Bailey of Bristol brand, with the last four caravans coming from Bristol and a great dealer in Lowdhams Nottingham, it was an easy choice to have Bailey at the top of the short list.
On our must have list was a comfortable living area, bathroom with separate shower and good storage both inside and outside, and of course value for money.
We narrowed the choice down to the Autograph 79-4 and a European manufacturers van and the Autograph got the nod due to its unrivalled luxury and practicability.
So, the Unicorn 3 was part-exchanged for the Autograph and we took delivery in May 2017, before we started to plan the adventure with a trial run to Belgium, Spain and the Scottish NC500.
Fast forward to 21st May 2018 and there we were at the Eurotunnel. Our first destination was Belgium via France and 11 counties and some 16,000 miles later we were experiencing the last leg of our mammoth trip.
The Autograph 79-4 in Morella, Spain
Should you be travelling near the Spanish resorts of Peniscola or Benicarlo on the Mediterranean coast and you fancy some history and typical culture for the region, then there is no better place than to visit the medieval town of Morella.
This historic town is situated on top of a mountain 984m above sea level and from the castle - that is the jewel in the crown - you can encounter magnificent emerald green scenery for miles.
Don't let the fact that this town is high in the mountains put you off taking your Bailey leisure vehicle. The Peugeot Boxer had no problems with the topography and although there are a few sharp and twisting bends, nothing was troubling our Autograph 79-4. As the town comes into view, you think to yourself “it's worth it!”.
The scenery on the drive is fantastic. We parked on a free aire about 5 minutes from the town itself. Due to the steep incline, you may want to use the car park adjacent to the town that allows motorhomes to park in the day for 2 euros.
As you enter the walled town through impressive gates, the view is breathtaking. You’re welcomed by ancient stonewalls and whitewashed houses with terracotta coloured roofs - no wonder that it has been voted one of the prettiest villages in Spain!
A short wander through the cobbled streets displays something for everybody. History is oozing from the walls, with many shops selling locally produced products such as goat’s cheese, the house of honey, local bread and - since the 13th century - Morella blankets.
Be sure to visit the castle that dominates the town and has seen many conflicts such as the Punic war. In 714, it was taken by the Moors and renamed Maurela. In 1804, El CID, who is believed may have rebuilt the castle, fought the battle of Morella - defeating Sancho Ramirez of Aragon.
Morella's castle defences
There are two impressive churches and a dinosaur museum to explore as there is evidence of dinosaurs inhabiting the land dating back 4,000 years BC – a perfect town with lots to explore for all ages!