Friday 24th March 2017 – Burgkunstadt – Germany
Woke up to the same, same and no different – overcast and cold (around 12degrees) in the morning so decided not to do the intended bike ride.
What a shame as the bicycle track looked very interesting.
Headed up town Hammelburg to talk to the guy at Vodafone about future options for internet (we are sorted for Germany – thank goodness but given the advice we have received from so many of our blog friends decided it was the best thing to do).
The guy at Vodafone confirmed what everyone has told us to – i.e. to get a sim card in each country we visit – best and most economical thing to do.
Left Hammelburg and again travelled the motorways and back roads to our next destination.
It is just so exciting as around every corner – there is something different. First the rural backdrop – green fields and beautiful scenery, passing through towns along the waterways and as you reach each village, you are greeted by alpine houses with various pastel colours of render – pinks, blues, violet, green and gold.
Nothing looks open here. The doors are shut tight to keep the cold out and only when you stop and test the door, you find it open and locals there to greet you. What a wonderful world it is.
Ziggy has not let us down. We are so happy with the layout – the bed is just unbelievably comfortable and snug at night and the lounge/dining area so spacious. The dinette area with café style seating is great for dinner and then to spend a few hours doing the homework and planning for the next day. When all is done, the lounge is a full length 2 metres plus for the lucky person who nabs it first to lie in comfort and watch the TV (when we can get a satellite connection).
Our next village for the night was Burgkunstadt. We are heading north now to make our way to Poland but want to stay in Germany as long as possible (to take advantage of our Aldi Internet for Germany). We will try to avoid going through Czech Republic for now and cross the border far to the north east into Poland over the next few days.
We are camped again right on the border of town – with Aldi and our new found Edeka (another supermarket chain but with so many extra brands to choose from and lots more fresh food – though a little more expensive than Aldi) within a short walk.
We have also found our first hardware store – a supermarket more designed to please the male in our family.!!!
The sun had come out and it was time to hit the bike trail again. Surprise, surprise, we found another Vodafone store – have been hunting for days to find one – now they are around every corner.
Packed up the bikes and then for our next task – how to fit the bike cover provided by our Friend Michael Steers in Stafford UK .
You need a degree to fit one of these. The packaging did not give you any real instructions on how to fit one of these, so for a frustrating hour we pulled and tugged and tried our best to put this around our E bikes.
Think Fiamma should put out a “Dummies Guide to fitting a Bike Cover” on the web for people with grey hair!!!! We did it – hurrah! – but then discovered we had not fitted the bike alarm-lock system before we did the final zip up. !!…!!! ugh!!!
Saturday 25th March, 2017 – Grunhain – Germany
Woke up to a beautiful morning – blue skies and sunshine – what a difference it makes to the way you feel for the day when you wake up to a morning like today. Hope this the beginning of many days of similar weather.
We stocked up on wine and beer and meat at Aldi and headed off.
After a two hour trip again through some unbelievable scenery we arrived at our next destination – Grunhain. One of those very small villages in the middle of nowhere.
The Stellplatz was behind a restaurant and again on the outskirts of town. No dedicated bikeways here so put on the walking shoes and headed for the town. Most of the village shops in Germany seem to close around midday on Saturday so the only places open after lunch are the pubs – well guess where we spent an hour or two trying to speak to the locals in our very best German. Had a lot of fun and after a few beers left for a shower and bed for the night.
They have a beautiful tradition here for Easter where they decorate small trees with coloured plastic easter eggs. The trees are around 1 – 2 metres high and most with no leaves so all you can see is the beautiful coloured eggs hanging from bare branches. Also the houses have little easter rabbits at the front doors. What a lovely tradition.
Sunday 26th March, 2017 – Pirna – Germany
Couldn’t find the first Stellplatz we were looking for – Schlosspark Pirna – Seems like it had been replaced with a new building under construction. Went round and round and found everything except it.
There are apparently 4 in this town so on to the next one. This one Elbaparkplatz, was right on the Elba river. No services at this one but the location was great. Arrived here before lunch so off came the bikes and we were ready to explore. I think every man and his dog was out enjoying the beautiful blue skies and sunshine. We thought the whole German rowing team was out on the river, I think we counted around 20 x 8 man boats out there. We sat and had a well deserved rest while watching them go through their routines.
Monday 27th March, 2017 -Senftenberg – Germany
Wohnmobilstellplatz, Buchwalde – right on the Senftenberg Lake – another beautiful sunny spring day. Arrived here only to find that this motorhome park does not open until this Saturday 1st April. We parked in the car park just outside of the gates and found someone who allowed us to stay outside in the car park for the night.
Just absolutely beautiful here and would highly recommend this place to anyone. The bike track runs along the waterfront and seems to be never ending. We biked around 15kms and there was no end in sight. This park is open from 1st April to 1st November only but it appears you can park in the car park outside of the gates for a night.
They also have a grey water and chemical dump point outside which we were able to use – but water is not available. We rode by a marina with many shops and where the locals were out in full force – biking, rollerblading and walking. Found the ice cream shop irresistible and indulged in a double scoop –to share of course, as we did not want to undo all the calories burnt off on the ride. We are not using the batteries on the bikes so the exercise has been great.
Set up the BBQ for the first time and enjoyed a German rump steak (very expensive here) with a bottle of cheap French red.
Can feel the muscles in the tops of the legs so must have done some good today.
Might try and stretch the friendship tomorrow with the locals and stay another night. Feel we need time out of travel as we have not stayed anywhere for more than one night so far.
Tuesday & Wednesday 28th & 29th – Lohsa – Germany
Thought we would head off mid morning to visit McDonalds which we sighted in town yesterday. Though we have internet on Rob’s Ipad from the Aldi SIM, it is not compatible with our laptop so we have not been able to update the website.
Tried to get the SIM out and put it in the phone and use hotspot but it was jammed in and there is no way we can get it out. No luck with McDonalds – it has to be the only McDonalds we have ever seen that does not have a car park and is walk in only. We went round and round trying to find a car park with no luck. Time to move on. Didn’t go back to Senftenberg and headed off again.
Only a short distance away we found Lohsa. Right on a lake again with a bikeway all around the lake. There are so many lakes and waterways in this part of Germany. Met some great people from Dresden who spoke excellent English so spent the afternoon with them. They have invited us to come stay with them in Dresden and they would show us around. – How good is that – meeting someone for the first time and getting an offer like this. We thanked them and said we might visit them on the way back – but we wont as we don’t like to intrude. They left late afternoon to head back home so we were once again alone in a big camping area.
It will get busier come the weekend as that is when officially most things open here.
Shopping for food is an experience all by itself. You can’t read everything on the label so you go on sight mostly. Chicken, turkey and pork are the main meat items you can purchase (at a reasonable price). Have not had a bad experience yet with choosing meats that are marinated (in what you might ask?) cook it and then you will know!! Bought two bike helmets at Lidl for an amazing 9 euros would you believe. They have to better than none we think.
Woke up Wednesday morning to an overcast day so took advantage of the day to find out more about what makes Ziggy work. Time for some much needed washing and housekeeping to be done. What a breeze. First person to wake up in the morning gets up and turns on the heater – the smalls get put in front of the outlet to warm them up (still very cold in the mornings now – still in single digit numbers). Had a very relaxing day not doing much of anything except enjoying the view and the day off travelling.
We have free camped mostly to date, but here at Lohsa for ten euros a day, they provide everything including electricity. Haven’t needed electricity as Ziggy’s solar panels and batteries have worked very efficiently. Had a wonderful night just listening to music. Our Ipod has over 2000 songs to choose from. Had a Pink Floyd night with a couple of bottles of wine – tried to dance but the dance floor was a little bit small.