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
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
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!