03/19/2017 Mosel and Rhine Rivers

Monday 19th March -Manderscheid – Germany

Armed with addresses given to us by our friend at Bastogne, we left our safe park in the centre of Bastogne and drove to the hardware store to purchase 4 items on our list that we needed for Ziggy.

First item was a water hose and tap fittings.

We used Mr Google on our iPhone to describe what we wanted and pointed this at a shop assistant.

He studied this very carefully with raised eye brows for a considerable amount of time.

We began to think Mr Google wasn’t giving us much help here.

It wasn’t until we spoke the word “hose” that the shop assistant smiled and directed us to the hose section – success at last – phew! 

Water taps (when you can find one that has a top on it here, they are usually very close to chemical toilet dump stations so we didn’t want to use these to fill up our fresh water tank without using our own hose. 

We decided to leave the other items for another day as we had just gone through our own “Battle” with the French. 

We smiled at our one triumph for the day and eagerly moved on to our next adventure.

We drove about 100km through lush green forests and quaint homes and villages. 

Took a wrong turn (not unusual) and discovered a new estate outside a village with unbelievably new modern homes – architecture though and building materials still in the old style.

Drove through Luxembourg into Germany. 

Wind farms and acres of solar panels are everywhere in France and Germany.  They certainly are embracing alternative energy sources.

We both now feel at home as the road signs are in German and we can actually read and understand (most or should I same some) of them. 

We spend the hours testing each other on German words – not sure who is leading the competition right now.

Heading off the motorway we take a sharp right and go down, down, down a very steep and windy road. 

We hoped our sat nav wasn’t heading us in the wrong direction as we had no way of turning around. 

Then with great relief, we saw three other motor homes parked and breathed a sigh of relief.

Our home for the night was beside the beautiful rural Hotel Heidsmuhle which is surrounded by forest, a lagoon with ducks, swans and fish jumping.

There are beautiful walks set up around the property and we ventured off for about an hour. 

The reward for the exercise of course was to spend a couple of hours on the deck of this beautiful Hotel and taste the local Bitberger (or two). 

Heidsmuhle Hotel Manderscheid

We are now talking to the locals and enjoying a laugh as we speak our best German and people can actually understand us.

Krys navigating a stream on our hike in Manderscheid

Tuesday 20th March – Bingen on the Rhine – Germany

We reluctantly headed off from this beautiful place.  Would like to have stayed longer but if we haven’t already explained previously, we have one major commitment to get to Biala Podlaska in eastern Poland (right out near the border with Belarus) for Easter (13th April) to visit  my relations – Barbara, Petr and their lovely daughter Kornelia. 

We don’t speak a word of Polish but thank goodness Kornelia and her partner Kamil speak excellent English so there will be many days of translating back and forth happening. 

Barbara (through Kornelia) has helped me with documentation for getting my Polish Citizenship.  We think we have now done everything and submitted everything we need to get this – fingers crossed.

Today we travelled through the beautiful Mosel Valley – with villages everywhere on the side of the river.  Acres and acres of grape vines coming right down to the waters edge.   The vines are not in bloom right now but I am sure we will taste many of the varieties grown here over the next couple of years.

Explored our first Lidl – very much like Aldi at home.  Beer and wine is so cheap here compared to back home so we stocked up with several bottles and headed off for our sleeping place for the night.

Not as exciting as the Hotel Heidsmuhle but they had free internet here so I am sure Rob will wile the hours away this evening using the facility.