Krujë – We Meet the Dragon of Albania in the City Beyond the Sky

As we wound up hairpins to Krujë, Mark said, “I wasn’t expecting it to be like this!”

It could be his catch phrase, although I am not sure how he thought Krujë, a town whose handle is ‘The City Beyond the Sky’ would not be uphill. Still, it meant we didn’t need to worry about The Beast’s brakes overheating. At least not until the way down.

Krujë Castle, Albania, ‘The City Beyond the Sky’
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Llogar Pass to Apollonia, Albania

Apollonia, in southern Albania, is where Octavian received news of his great uncle, Julius Caesar’s murder. A student at Europe’s first university, Apollonia’s School of Philosophy, Octavian left immediately for Rome.

Nymphaeum, fed by undergtround water sources, dates to the 3rd century B.C.
Image by Carole Raddato from Frankfurt, Germany, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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UK Van Life Festivals, RV, Caravan, Camper, Motorhome, Overlanding & Self-Build Events

If you are thinking about buying or converting a van, I really recommend visiting shows or attending meet-ups. This is without doubt the best way to get ideas, see what options are available, meet suppliers, manufacturers, and chat with experts and other like-minded people.

If you already own a van, it’s just a fun thing to do!

In the UK, there is a full calendar of vanlife shows and get togethers. Most are annual festivals that take place over weekends, so although the actual dates change year-on-year, the monthly calendar remains much the same. Day tickets are often available.

This post includes a downloadable Vanlife Printable Festival Planner. I have divided the events roughly into two categories:

  1. Trade Shows & Self-Build Get Togethers, which are more product and information oriented. The largest shows featuring all the mainstream manufacturers are the two at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) in Birmingham in February and October. The largest custom and self-build shows are the two joint Adventure Overland/International Campervan Shows in Stratford upon Avon in May and September.
  2. Campervan Festivals, which are more social, music, and fun, although there is obviously an overlap.

I have tried to make this the most comprehensive guide to vanlife events, but if I have missed any major annual events, please let me know and I shall add them.

Britain has hundreds of brilliant and bonkers Other Festivals, which are ideal to visit in your van, so as a bonus I have also included some links for you to search directories of music festivals, air shows, floating markets, independent and green festivals to help you find the festival for you, although do see my Note on Dog Friendliness.

If you want to try vanlife but don’t yet have a van, I’ve included Motorhome & Camper Rentals, and a link to sample Sample Virtual Vanlife Via YouTube.

One of the custom vehicles on show at the Adventure Overland/International Campervan Show, which takes place twice yearly in Stratford upon Avon
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‘The Best Coastal Drive in the World’: Ksamil Beach & The Llogar Pass, Albania

“We can’t go to Mongolia if you can’t cope with this.”

Mark’s words stung like a whip. I felt desolate.

On a strip of yellow dirt, in a 16-tonne truck, with nowhere to turn around, we were lost somewhere in southern Albania.

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