Tuesday, 21 November 2017

House Decoration

Its time to head back home alas...
We could happily stop here, park the van up for the winter and take on a rental, we love it so much here in this switched on, modern country.
I can't for the life of me understand why France & Germany are in the locations that they are. How easy it would be for us if they did a 'Country Swap'!
That way we could amble down through a superb Germany in the Autumn and pop out South in sunny Spain for the winter, perhaps taking in Portugal, then back through the Glorious Fatherland and on to home soil....
This would alleviate the need to pass through a country (France) devoid of community daily activity, one that shuts as you arrive midday, and has thousands of quaint, but deserted villages come 3 o'clock in the afternoon
Come on you Francaise...get on board!
Put coffee shops in the Boulangeries, charge sensible prices and for Pete's sake (thats me!) stay open when the tourists arrive at 11.30am...Simples!

As I blog this post we are sat in a lovely (but closed) village in France contemplating our impending loss of body paleness as we trundle south to Spain.

So going back a few weeks.....


Heading North Westwards we diagonalise the country taking in a few stops along the way and making the most of the surrounding forestry walking opportunities


The Rathaus at Frankenburg


Always in our sights is a return stop at Potts Brauerie so having parked up for the night at the rear of the brewery we walk in to town to discover an evening market is in full swing


Every local bar stocks the town's famous beer but I have to say at inflated prices (compared to the Brewery restaurant) 



Waffles on the burner

We walked briskly back to the Brewery where we settled in the restaurant for the main event..
A Fish Buffet of gigantic proportions on a 'eat at will' basis for €22.50
Just me on this one then as Nina went for the beast of a Schnitzel with caramelised onions
There are photos of course of my numerous fishy endeavours but I've spared you on this post (Ha Ha)
The 'Eat all' dilemma again raised its head but I felt vindicated eating my fill as there were guys there twice my size eating inordinate quantities of nourishing protein....


A stop at Coesfeld further west means a trip to Stephanaus Brewery and Nina is spoilt for choice after  we tell the barmaid we can't remember which beer is which when reordering
She very kindly insisted we tried the lot!
How we love this country......


Winter is coming Jon Snow!


The crossing from the Hook of Holland to Harwich was fine with the boat practically empty and after having stayed the night on the docks we headed for the local Morrisons superstore. A
refurbed cafe and a superb Full English had me leaving a deservingly good review on Google


I have to say that after 5 years touring some of the most beautiful locations in Europe this place ranks at No 1 IMHO
Beautiful Dethick
Absolutely no problems coming back here when we stay in the UK as the scenery is first class and the hospitality from Mick and his brothers on the farm is heartwarming


Not so warming is the daily temperatures that greet us when we arise each morning


Too late in the year for the field and its views but the farmyard (and an electrical supply) is more than adequate as a base for us for the next 2 weeks redecoration duties

Its been 5 yrs since we were last under a proper roof and the house although looking pretty good after the last tenants' departure needs a full internal and external makeover

This involves two coats of paint....everywhere
Some doing given we only have 12 days to do it in


And here he is, Leonardo himself (after doing the ceilings of course)


Mrs Mower trying to put straight a neglected lawn


Martyn is called as a reinforcement and soon the outside takes shape


TaDa!!!!
The day before new occupancy we complete the job having done daily runs in the van (too cold and dangerous for Max) and finishing quite late most days

It felt quite odd leaving a squeaky clean immaculate house that we'd lived in previously for 15 yrs but in our hearts we know we'd be bored sick of our lives if we lived there now...


So why not jump back in the plastic & wood box on wheels and head south for the SUN!
(This is easily accomplished via a very rainy M11)


Soon we are in 'Deserted Northern France' and making our way southwards towards Perpignan and the Spanish border



Our second night's stay at Marcoing.
very quiet but oh sooooo cold!































Monday, 23 October 2017

North to Munich

We need now to turn around and head slowly north westwards from whence we came as the ferry is booked for Halloween...


We locate a very nice stellplatz at Trostberg where we stay three nights on the edge of loads of river walking trails and the very friendly village
This shot was submitted to Campercontact, our travelling App and shows our spot well...


Walks along the canal and River Alz reveal some really nice apartments very doable perhaps for future years..



Bird Bath


Does this mean its 39.2 km to Bakewell?



Too fast for me but we just got him as he entered the reeds


I have an assistant you know!


Cheesy grin..


Nice village, nice people, looking for tourists?
Now what can we do to encourage them to the village. I know, don't rip them off with car parking charges like they do over there in the UK....


We sort of walked too far yesterday and our bones ached a bit so Max took us on a blast today around Lake Chiemsee, the pride of Bavaria



A walk later in to the village found Nina sampling the Riesling


I went with this beauty followed by a DoppleBock of similar strength 


OK time for a return to Munich so we make camp on the stellplatz at the Allianz Arena again and head in to the city on the U Bahn
Thankfully, given it was a Saturday the glorious Bayern Munich were away stuffing Hamburg 1-0


Now what could be the attraction of inner city Munchen?
This was in the Augustiner Bauhaus Am Platz

TBH we tried the Hoffbrauhaus (How could you not) but it was totally rammed, very very noisy and strangely boiling hot inside
I'm pleased we'd been before and ticked it off then...


A rammed Marienplatz





Wandering up in to the swish end of town a wedding party decide to block the main roads and party


Step away from the window!


See how they just leave the cheap watches in the window overnight!


Come on....
Would you feel comfortable wearing one knowing how far it would go in Africa giving kids life's essentials?


Eye candy for Nina...


A big bag for me too....


The evening involved lots of market touring, drinking stupidly overpriced beer, and eating out in the square with most other Germans/Tourists as the prices here for traditional fayre are twice that of anywhere we've been in Germany

I have to say we were not enthralled with our visit here as the friendliness shown to us in other German cities far surpasses that shown here. Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg....etc all have their different sectors catering for all tastes and budgets but Munich we felt was just a city ripping folks off and trading on the 'Bavarian Factor'

We had an issue with one particular 'Muppet' waiter working in one of the 'Tourist Trap Brauereis' 
He thought it very funny to poke fun at Nina's apparent stupidity at not being able to find the beer section of the menu at lightning speed...
We both looked at each other and did what Brits do best.....left!
Within half an hour TripAdvisor had sent me an email thanking me for my honest review...



Our last impression is of Frottmanning station on our return, empty and devoid of humour

We had a good day overall but wish we'd spent it in Berlin TBH...













Friday, 20 October 2017

Bavaria

We move south eastwards to Bayreuth where we settle in a for a couple of nights at Lohengrin Therme


Perfect relaxation in a very nice spa for six hours
We came out thoroughly refreshed and squeaky clean


Trundling on we encamp at firstly Pleystein, a lovely small village in the hills but with a local church that chimed its bells all night!, then an intended stay at Vohenstrauss on a large dedicated parking area for MHs with free services including electric and views

We set off walking our socks off!





My Lumberjack....


I told Nina this was a warning of savage wild dogs....



So after a very long walk we returned to our stellplatz to find the motorhome bay next to us steadily filling up with Bric a Brac (Nina's description)
This was being brought in and stacked/sorted by an array of Polish and Czech vans that (in our opinion) were touring the local streets collecting the junk that the local Germans put out for next day council collection
Not an issue really if they would have done it over the other side of the vast car park but not in the actual motorhome bays and certainly not after dark as they were
One of the guys wished me goodnight as we packed up and left and I fear my response was not what he wanted to hear....


So after driving in the late evening (not a good idea BTW) we find a lovely spot way up in the hills at  Hetzenbach advertised as being next to a restaurant 
Noisy bells again but we were quite tired and too late to pay the gasthaus a visit so just crashed out for the night...


Back on schedule we pay a visit to the Glashutte at Arnbruck
This is a vast glass and pottery selling emporium with very nice gardens and far too many cafes to tempt you in
It was a sunday and the car park was rammed but managed to find a spot with a couple of other vans next to the busy main road, moving later to a quieter spot once they'd all gone



One of many sunny terraces that day



We even break out Max and head for the hills and the Czech border as its a stunning day at 21 degs
These two fellas do the rounds on a sunny terrace as we sunbathe overlooking the border


After a quiet night its very different at the Glashutte as its Monday and the Barbarian Hordes are off at work leaving us to make yet more 'essential twinkly light' purchases and of course have elevenses in one of the now deserted cafes


Those dieting look away!


Another day another beautiful location, this time at Lalling overlooking the sports field


No wonder the Germans are so good at football, the facilities are excellent at village level with a very level well manicured pitch


If thats Hell then we'd better make tracks soon for Passau....


You guessed it, more walking in the woods



More fungi of unknown origin



You'll be amaized how fast these guys get the crops in..


Woodland wanderers




Why not get buried in the woods?
Cant think of a better resting place..




Passau is next up and we park a good 3km out of town on a 'noisy by day, quiet by night' stellplatze near the railway and walk in to town
So many cars here awaiting onward travelling but bound for where?


The 'Dom" sitting high above the city





Check out the size of this instrument!



All this walking means occasionally a monster kebab is in order and how delicious it tasted!


Nina spots a walking accessory 
Yes but only if you carry it...


Sunset on the Donau..


Our current resting place (18km walk yesterday) is Trostberg just up from the Chiemsee, a huge lake which we will blast around later on Max in the glorious autumn sunshine which we are lucky to be having at the moment


A walk to the nearby village of Altenmark an der Alz reveals a Klosterbrauerie, the stuff of dreams


Having nipped in to make a phone call..


We return outside to drink those 'Dunkles vom Fass'


Temptation abounds down in the village and we succumb to two of many choices so graphically illustrated..