Luckily the church bells stopped around 10pm and didn’t restart until 8am the next morning. They then proceeded to catch up with all the bells that they had missed overnight but it didn’t matter, we were up and ready.
We have reached a turning point in our travels today and are about to venture north into Germany before turning left and heading for home. I found a stellplatz on the Mosel river which looked rather inviting and headed off. The sat nav has been instructed to avoid all motorways and tolls so we have been travelling backroads through huge forests and the roads have been twisting and turning as we rise to get over hilltop passes.
We didn’t notice the Welcome to Germany signs and it was only when some of the road signs changed colour and we entered an umleitung (diversion) that we realised that we were there. Lucy immediately felt uneasy saying that whilst her knowledge of French was very sketchy her command of the German language was non existent. We had to have a little German lesson in the van. Haben sie das brot, zwei beir bitte, guten tag, guten abend and auf weidersehen (pet) is nearly all you need.
We came over one hilltop to see the Mosel valley spread out in front of us and the sound of two exclamations as we admired the view. We were so busy admiring the view that we missed the parking place and it was more twisting roads until we reached the bottom. We could see a stelplatz (a German aire) on the river bank so pulled in there and decided that we would abandon the previous plan and stop here for the day, it was noon and I had been driving for a couple of hours, don’t want to be working all day long.
Quick look in town to buy some bread and German wine, back to the van where I unhitched the bikes and we went off for a picnic a couple of miles down river. After lunch we decided to crack open the wine and got the Lafumas out to soak up some of the very warm sun which was great for a couple of hours until our next door neighbours got their bbq out and it started raining. This stelplatz is priced up at €6.50 per night, it’s 50c for water and they have elsan and waste facilities but I can’t see where to drain the waste water tank.
The baker comes round twice a day at 8am and 4pm (on the dot) and we have been chatting to a lovely couple from Sweden who left home back in September and are returning home in a couple of days. They kept apologising for their english but we both said that they knew far more english than we know Swedish. In fact their standard of English would put half of our customers to shame.
Word of the Day – Geschwindigkeitsbeschranken. It means speed limit and seems to be appropriate for today. You’ll be bowling down the road doing 90 and then there’ll be a sign saying 70 and then another saying 50 and then you’re back up to 90 and you can’t work out why you’ve just been ordered to slow down so much. Best to slow down because the Polizei are out there watching your every move! If you really want to know why I know the German word for speed limit, it was because it was the longest word in our German book at school.
Mistake of the Day – Ignoring one of the speed limit signs, the only one I’ve ignored to be honest, and then to see the polizei doing speed checks.