Saturday, 11 June 2016

Austria May 2016 ( part one)

Austria May 2016

The church at St. Bartholomew, Koenigsee, Bavaria.

The trip always seems to start with an overnight at Dover so we can get an early start-  free parking but we always manage to spend money in the local hostelries!

Day 1  Stenay

A lovely drive through 'Chippy Woods' near Le Nouvion where we do the traditional stop for chips. Madame who ran the chip van has retired but the chips are still brilliant. Stenay is always a nice stop. This time, there was a boules competition going on and we watched as the teams moved a marquee to the other side of the spirit.....
Day 2 Bacharach

It was cold and grey and we headed for somewhere different to our usual route south stop. We drove into Remich. Luxemburg for fuel and wine fill then drove a lovely ridge road, Hunsruck Hohenstrasse  to Bacharach. Never trust a sat nav- the route through the little town was through a 2.3metre high tunnel under the railway but a right turn takes you over it further along.We stayed on the aire there by the river for nine euros by the campsite which is ACSI , seventeen euros and showers are extra. We had a walk around the pretty cobbled town which was pretty much shut but watching barges was good instead of watching people.

Day 3 Dinkelsbuhl

15 May is a National holiday which we found out when we tried to get parked in a very busy Rothenburg.  There was no space anywhere. We got fuel and moved on down the Romantic Road to Dinkelsbuhl which was also in full holiday mode.  We tried to get parked in the aire  parking 2a but it was small and people had already parked overhanging the central grass which made it difficult to find a space. We parked at the bottom of the aire on a side lane at the back of the cemetery.  We walked into the beautiful little walled town and found festivities in full swing. we watched dancing, heard bands and of course found a stall selling beer, ribs and sausage. We had a quiet night....dead quiet!

Day 4 Donauworth

A drive into Nordlingen made us decide not to stay and we went to the free parking in Donauworth, right by the river with electricity on a meter. It was one euro for eight hours. We walked into the town and found a nice place to have a drink and catch up on internet ...and get out of the rain. We then walked miles in search of a Brauhaus but never did find one. We were tired and sought the comfort of the van rather than look at the tall pastel coloured buildings any longer, in the rain. We saw our first stork and stork's nest of the trip.

Day 5  and 6  Seecamping Gunztal, Breitenthal

We woke up to find the car park by the river absolutely full of cars as people were back at work. There were motorhomes waiting to find a space so off we went. The site we found is 7kms out of Krumbach and a delightful spot. The sun started shining and the really nice guy on reception (ASCI site) gave us a waterfront pitch- just gorgeous. We had a cycle round the lake and around a couple of villages but all was quiet and no-one about, no cafe to people watch so we went back and sat outside the van. We heard a cuckoo and saw a plough horse pulling a grass cutter cutting the lawn at the stelplatz on  the other side of the lake. The facilities here are good and internet is 2 euros a day.
We decided to stay another day because we opened the blinds to a flawless blue sky. I did a little bit of washing and read a book...a whole book. Lazy! We had a walk around the lake before tea and enjoyed this beautiful serene place.  

Day 8 and 9 Munich

Leaving the lovely site, we went to stay outside our friend's house on the outskirts of Munich. It was so good to see Bernhard and Uschi who we first met on Camping Thines in Finikounda, Greece.
We had a super evening out. The next day we went to Dachau- I know it has an awful history but we went up above it and had great views across to the Alps, then came down for beers, coffee and applestrudel. We talked and talked and laughed and laughed. They were packing their bikes for a cycle tour in Italy. There's nothing so nice as catching up with friends.

Days 10,11 and 12  Wolfgangseeblick campsite, Abersee near St. Gilgen

Wet set off for Saint Gilgen which we had driven through years ago en route to Slovenia and we wanted to go back there. We paid for a vignette at the border of Austria and promptly got lost in Salzburg. We had decided not to go on the motorway but the sat nav stopped, my map wasn't clear and there was no signs for the road we needed so, in desperation, we stopped outside a Chinese restaurant where an older man was working outside. We now know what to do if you can't find your way and don't speak the language...find someone young with an iphone. The man called his son who not only spoke English but had a iphone, he found what we wanted and told us how to get out. We weren't far wrong but we went on the motorway after thanking him profusely- he had saved the day and a fraught situation.  We had a lovely drive to the super campsite. The lady at reception, Sylvia, the owner, was so lovely and she showed us a few pitches but when she showed us a lakeside spot with a beautiful view, I got really excited and gave her a hug! It was perfect! It is a great site with good facilities and free wifi but it's the position that makes it so special. It is next to the ferry to St Wolfgang so you can easily go across.....and the views!!!

Once set up, we didn't want to move.We sat in the sun and watched people walking, biking and even swimming in the lake and as it got dark, we watched the lights twinkling in the water. The views are stunning. ( The night was made even better by being able to watch the FA Cup final)

 The second day was a lazy one, watching the steam train going up the mountain opposite and people coming and going. We thought about going across to St. Wolfgang but didn't. The next day was overcast and we went across on the ferry which you can call. We had a walk round St Wolfgang which is pretty and touristy with groups of people pouring out of buses.  We went to get a ticket  to go on the railway but the helpful man at the desk said we wouldn't see much  at the top as the cloud was coming down. We found a stall with sausages and beer ( again) and sheltered from the rain. It became really heavy so we hopped from dry spot to not so dry spot till we got back to the ferry and rang the bell. The ferry came across a very choppy lake and we had a bumpy ride back. We stayed in the van and it felt wintry.

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