08/28/2017 Torgau and Colditz – East meets West & POW Escapes

Monday 28th AugustGermany

We were eager to get back to the countryside now after three fabulous energised days in Berlin though Rob was feeling a little worried there was something important he missed seeing here.  “I am worried that we will not have time to see everything in Europe that we want to see, we are running out of time” – were his comments as we drove out.  Only around 18 months to go!

The trip out of Berlin was trouble free.  Think our old Sat Nav heard it was due to be replaced soon. We had tried to upload the maps to the new Garmin Camper 770 (NAVIE) using our internet data and soaked up the lot only to have it crash twice in the process. Over 7.9 GB needed for this exercise. We will have to get a new SIM card or find a place with good internet to update NAVIE.

Again we travelled along miles of tree lined roads and when these stopped the tree lined streets were replaced with massive wind turbines.  Germany has certainly given these big monsters a big tick.

Campsite for tonight: Flair Hotel Reuner, Zossen

Only a short trip was planned for today to give the feet a chance to recover.  

The Hotel offered a great area for motorhomes at the rear of the building in a beautiful garden and grassed area. There is no cost to stay here as long as you spend some money in the hotel or alternatively the fee stated is €5 for the night and you get to use their facilities when open. They also supply electricity if need be.   NAVIE was excited to swallow up their free internet and soon was up and running.

Left the driver with his new toy and ventured into the village on foot. The village is only very small with only a couple of shops so returned in just over an hour. Strange though to see a traffic jam on the Main Street of this little village in the middle of nowhere.

Shame about the lawn mower and whipper snipper that happily munched grass and shrubs around us for the rest of the afternoon – not the peace and quiet (after Berlin) that we had hoped for. Noise all done for the day, we sat and enjoyed what was left of a beautiful sunny day in this colourful garden setting.

Tuesday 29th August – Torgau, Germany

Campsite for tonight: Elbeparkplatz, Torgau

€5.10 overnight or free up to 10 hours (some motorhomers arrived after 6pm and left before 8 – staff collected money at 5pm and then 9am – how sad!)

Rob’s birthday today and his choice for tonight had to be a small village with a great restaurant and some atmosphere.

The campsite is right on the Elbe River and only caters for 5 motorhomes (though by next morning there were 7 parked there). Some locals use this to park during the day as the village centre is only about a ten minute walk.

 Torgau is the place where during the Second World War, United States Army forces coming from the west met forces of the Soviet Union coming from the east during the invasion of Germany on 25 April 1945, which is now remembered as “Elbe Day”.

Torgau Main Square

 We strolled up and down the quaint cobble stoned streets and checked out the restaurants – most were around the Castle perimeter and St Mary’s Cathedral and of course into Market Square – the centre of town (and of course with the regulatory fountain). Rose gardens were everywhere starting from our campsite though to the Market Square. We are still getting used to knowing whether places are open or closed and it is a matter of giving the door handle a go to see. Tried to buy a SIM card but at €15 for 1 GB – gave it a miss – WOW how expensive is that compared to Poland.

Nice architecture at the Town Hall

Sat and people watched – with a not so small black beer – for an hour or so before returning to Ziggy for a rest before dinner.

Our Italian dinner venue

Choice for tonight was an Italian restaurant, Calabrese, just off the Market Square, which catered for about 20 outside and some inside. A perfect sunny day led to a balmy summers night. Italian food and funny and friendly staff were more than fantastic.

 Wednesday 30th August – Germany

 Colditz Castle and Escape Museum

First place of interest to visit was Colditz Castle and Museum.

We booked an extended tour with Steffi our English speaking guide for 2pm and with a couple of hours to soak up, headed into town (Castle was on the top of the hill overlooking town – so all down hill – think we are gluttons for punishment). Rewarded ourselves with an iced coffee before climbing the many stairs back up hill.

Part of Colditz Castle from near the front entrance

We were very lucky to have Steffi as our personal guide as her knowledge of the castle and its history was really great and with the extended tour you get access to all the escape tunnels and the famous glider etc.

The Colditz Glder in the secret attic where it was built

There were many escape attempts, many executions of captured escapees and around 31 escapees made it to freedom.

The French Tunnel

There was a TV series with David McCallum and Robert Wagner made about the castle in the early 70’s.

Some of the notable prisoners included the Englishman Douglas “Tin Legs” Bader and Charles Upham, a Kiwi, who was the only person during World War 2 to be honoured with the Victoria Cross twice.

The Pat Reid escape route

The castle is huge and is still under renovation – even now secret hiding spots, radios, cameras etc that the prisoners had for their escape plans are still being uncovered as work continues.

The ingenuity of the prisoners – one is a dummy and one is the real person – all from scraps – which is which?

Campsite for tonight: Welcome Wellness & Sport, Dobeln, Germany

What a fantastic sports facility. Sports fields all round and a building that provides apart from a restaurant, climbing wall, bowling, badminton, tennis, gymnasium, solarium – just to name a few.

Only 3 spots available for motorhomes and again, we were first to arrive and were then joined by a Polish couple who spoke excellent German. Rob got on well with them and soon was happily jabbering away in his best German. Quite busy during the day, but after 6pm – just so quiet and peaceful – though one of the hottest days we have experienced with the evening not cooling below 25 degrees.

Rained during the night so hope this will cool things down for tomorrow.

Thursday 31st August – Germany

Travelled though rain squalls most of the day and were disappointed when the place we chose to stay at today, did not look anything like the picture in the “Parkings APP” – picture showed it overlooking water – not so. We moved on and though not planned, arrived at the Czech border – a new day, a new country, a new language, a new currency and new challenges – bring them on.


One thought on “08/28/2017 Torgau and Colditz – East meets West & POW Escapes”

  1. Hi Rob & Krys, enthralled with your journey and look forward to each new blog. I’m blaming you for the lack of work being done around my place because I’ve sat and read all your blogs since you left home….. I’m all up to speed now !!.. Really appreciate the time and effort it takes you to fill us all in on your journey, I know how it eats into your precious “happy hour”. I’m unsure as to whether you know about the Vicarious website for motorhome guides, if not, here is the link https://www.vicarious-shop.com. It’s based in the UK and you can also buy your ASIC camping card for all the great discounts offered on campgrounds and attractions. Keep smiling and having fun, kind regards, Leeanne from Banora.

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