Tuesday, 18 September 2018

German Avenue Road, 18 September

This morning we were rather alarmed to see that almost every other motor home had left the site by about 10:00, and wondered whether the owners wanted it cleared, but there was still one other machine there, so we went into Limburg and had a lovely walk through this very pretty town, including a visit to Woolworth's, which shocked us by having Christmas decorations already for sale - it isn't even October!

Back at the van, another machine came in and, after all I said yesterday they were English, although I gather they lived in Penang, and were headed to Brisbane after their European trip!

We decided to abandon the Alleestraße after only a token stretch in favour of driving along the Rhein, and that was lovely. It is still very hot - even overnight and this morning it wasn't exactly cold - and we enjoyed a ferry crossing at St Gaur. I thought I had mis-set the sat nav when we got here, just outside Bad Kreuznach, but just as we were about to go sadly away, we saw the signpost telling us where to go. We are in the yard of a vineyard and have been warned that the grapes will be brought in at an unearthly hour of the morning because of the heat!

Monday, 17 September 2018

German Avenue Road, 17 September

The SW went for a run this morning, and then after breakfast I went to the Norma across the road to shop and then did a scrap of washing, as he said his running shirt needed it, and he didn't have quite enough pants to finish the holiday. And the forecast is for it to be very hot over the next few days, I also washed the one light pair of trousers I have that don't  need ironing, in case it is still too hot for jeans by the weekend. Mind you, it's bitterly cold in the early mornings, and I am thankful for my bed jacket while I am drinking my tea, and for my bathrobe to dress under when I have had my shower. We haven't yet switched the heating on first thing, but it's been close!

I really haven't felt up to much exercise today, so we drive through Fulda, and I took a couple of photos out of the window, and then we had a very complicated drive to Limburg an der Lain, trying to stay on the avenue route, which the SW calls the "Alley Way" ("Alleenstraße", you see), but not really succeeding. Despite an ice-cream break mid-afternoon, we were both tired when we got here. And the place I thought I'd found us to stay turned out to be outside a motorhome dealers outside of town - wonderful c you were just passing through, but no good for this sort of trip. However, we knew we'd seen signs for an aire, and duly found it on Park4Night, so now we are parked beside a tributary of the Lain, not far from the town verbe. The SW, who has been for a walk, says it is wonderful and he reckons the reason it's not in the guide books is that the Germans want to keep it for themselves!  Not that we've actually seen any other British tourists since Hamburg, and few of any nationality other than German! This will change, of course, as we get further south.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

German Avenue Road, 16 September

Another lazy Sunday morning. We decided to go to the automobile museum, which was just across the road from where we had parked, and it was very interesting, telling the story of the motor industry in Eisenach from its earliest beginnings right through to the modern Opels made in an out-of-town factory. They decided, I think, that the factory of which the museum is the only bit that remains could not be made state-of-the-art post-reunification, so they tore it down and started again.

But while it existed, the factory built all sorts of cars. The most interesting, of course, were the little 2-stroke Wartburgs, built during the DDR years (you can always tell a former East German Town as they have those very splendid "Ampelmänner" on their traffic lights.

Anyway after leaving the factory we used the services we had found last night and then  headed on, leaving Thuringia for Hesse and the town of Fulda where we are parked up opposite a Norma, which will be useful for the morning. Except what we really need is more Federweißer, dvd the discounters tend not to sell it. Never mind, there is always beer!

Saturday, 15 September 2018

German Avenue Road, 15 September

I don't seem to have taken any photos today. We started off by going to Edeka, as we were running out of everything, and tomorrow is Sunday when the supermarkets are closed.

Where we were, Duderstadt, appears to be in the exact centre of Germany, from north to south and from east to west. But thirty years ago it was a very different story, as Duderstadt was right on the border with the DDR. In fact a major crossing was built there in 1972, which saw over 6 million people use it during its lifetime. And one of the buildings is now a museum about the "Inner Border" and life on the frontier.

It was really fascinating; lots of stuff not only about the border but about how it was strengthened over time and how one village realised they were going to be deported once the 5km exclusion zine was put in force, so, led by their Priest, they escaped in the dead of night. They were not very happy, missing their farms and so on, but preferred life in the West to the East. The village has since been re-established. There was a lot of stuff about the events of 1989, and reunification. Fascinating!

By the time we had finished, it was lunch time. We did look in the snack bar, but it was very greasy spoon so we didn't.

We then tried to drive to Eisenach, where we thought we could park up in a museum car park but we had trouble getting there due to closed roads and then when we did, the museum car park was a bust and the official aire was full. But we have found somewhere, although this is a dull town and we will not linger.

Friday, 14 September 2018

German Avenue Road, 14 September

Today we are approximately half way through our holiday, so we spent the first hour or so changing the sheets (and, incidentally, discovering we had packed the wrong undersheet for the second week. We also had trouble finding the clean table napkins I'd washed earlier, but they eventually turned up in the bag with our swimming things instead of the bag where they live. This morning also involved frantic counting of shirts and pants, to see whether we had enough of each to do us, and a quick hand wash of pants and table napkins, the latter in case of spilled coffee or other such emergency.

Once this was done, we set off to explore Quedlinburg, and after a very pleasant walk round the town (including buying a new sheet) and a cup of coffee/ice cream /apple strudel, we found  that the little tourist "train" was about  to leave, and it was only €6.50 for a 45-minute tour, so I suggested we take it. I'm glad we did, although neither of us understood much of the commentary. Nevertheless it really did take us all round the town.

Then back to the motor home, and after a very light lunch we set off again. We decided to temporarily abandon the Avenue Road in favour of a glorious run through the Harz Mountains National Park including a stop for a cup of tea in one of the many car parks along the route. We have ended up here, in a town called Duderstadt (so unfortunate, as the poor cars all bear the registration "Dud"), which is very, very close to the former border, and there is a museum which we think we might visit tomorrow.

Thursday, 13 September 2018

German Avenue Road, 13 September

After yesterday, which was a lovely warm day - to the extent that we put on sun cream to walk round Brandenburg, and I  at least, wore a hat - today was  bitterly cold. The Swan Whisperer went for a run, and we didn't hurry over breakfast, or getting services. Everything was provided, but we couldn't find anybody to pay, so eventually had to leave without.

We drive to various little towns which were supposed to be lovely, but weren't, really. Our if they were, eyeful find the lovely bits! So when we reached Quedlinburg, which we know is lovely - we have  been here before - we fed to call it a day and have parked up in an aire near the town centre. I had a bad headache so didn't feel up to a walk, but lay down to try to sleep it off, not very successfully, while the SW explored, and we are looking forward to further exploration tomorrow.

On the plus side, I finally scored some Schwäbische Maultaschen (a filled pasta) which we had for supper with a sauce Forestière and green beans. Followed by stewed plums and yoghurt. Yum.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

German Avenue Road, 12 September

This morning we walked round Brandenburg. Well, perhaps not all of it, but certainly round the Cathedral Island, the New Town and the Old Town! Lots of churches, including a very splendid Evangelical Free Church that was shaped to resemble Noah's Ark.

Also a modern shopping centre, which we looked round, and very noisy cobbled streets. I was glad I didn't live there - the traffic noise must be horrendous!

We got a bit stuck then, as after coffee it was time to move on and the card didn't work, and there was no one on duty to let us out! Fortunately we didn't have to wait too long! How we got in last night we'll never know, unless the guardian saw us and raised the barrier without our realising. He obviously thinks it's time the PTB modernised their arrangements, too. But it was a lovely aire, even though services were somewhat lacking for €10. Walking distance to the city centre, and there was a bus if we'd wanted it, has to be good.

So we headed on, stopping at an out--of-town supermarket and having lunch in its car park, and then down the Avenue Road to Wittemberg, now rather grandly known as Lutherstadt-Wittemberg. No place to stop there as the centre is pedestrianised and time was getting on, so we went on down the road to Dessau, where the aire is in the local aerodrome. Fully serviced, too! Only thing is we are low on gas, but it is our small cylinder that is nearly out, not the big one,and we have plenty.