2018/10/28 – Germany – Pronsfeld, Hellenthal

Sunday 28th – Wednesday 31st October

Our campsite for 4 nights:  am Alten Bahnhof, Pronsfeld – GPS N50.163010. E6.336810

Wow – is it getting cold now.  Martina and Ralf from Stelzenberg Germany warned us that come 1st November when the Autumn rains begin, the trees lose their remaining leaves and you say goodbye to summer, the sun and any hope of any warmth until March the following year.

The cold came four days early for us this year as we experienced cold, rain, sleet and snow in the 4 days at Pronsfeld.  The temperature during the day did not climb above 7 and the minimum on one day, even in the middle of the days was -2 degrees.    We sat in Ziggy for most of the 4 days and enjoyed the warmth of the gas heating and the wonderful strong internet speeds here.

Yes – we are sitting inside Ziggy at Pronsfeld watching the snow fall

Great little Stellplatz with everything you need and only a few minutes walk to the village.  The camping fuhrer comes morning and night to collect the camping fee.  Lots of lovely trees (now in full Autumn shades) border the camping area.

Met a great Belgish couple who gave us some tips on places to visit in Belgium.  They said there are not many camping places and Belgium is overcrowded, hence they holiday in Germany.  Advice from them was not to allow too much time in Belgium before going home.

Think without the internet we would have gone stir crazy as we spent many hours enjoying our movies and U Tube, sport and world news while the snow came tumbling down outside.  So pretty to watch through our picture windows but certainly kept us indoors most of the time.

Took the opportunity on the last day to do a walk through the village but not without coats, gloves, scarves and many layers.  The old railway cars at the railway station were quite interesting, but there is little else apart from cycling (not today for this little navigator though) and Nordic walking with lots of walking tracks to choose from.  Only lasted about an hour and a bit before the sleet came in and we retired back to our warm little cocoon.

The old railway station and trains at Pronsfeld

Thursday 1st November

Our campsite for tonight: Grenzlandhalle, Hellenthal – GPS N50.492409.  E6.380760

Travelled through more rain again today and struggled to keep the Windows from fogging up.  Has taken us a while to learn how to do this successfully but now it’s a breeze using the air conditioning in conjunction with the demister – no problem at all.

We are only travelling short distances in this weather and really appreciated getting to this great little camp spot only a short distance away. 

We are just on the outskirts of a very pretty little town with lots of great restaurants.  This Stellplatz is gratis and does not have any services but is a very quiet and restful spot.  Drizzled for most of our stay here so after a short time exploring this neat little town, we retired to back to Ziggy.

Friday 2nd November

Hard to believe we are coming home at the end of this month after more than 21 months away.  We are getting really very sad now and often there are several quiet moments when we are travelling where both of us are feeling the pain and knowing our holiday is coming to an end.

We have booked the Chunnel crossing between Calais and Folkestone back to the UK on 17th November to enable time to service, detail and register Ziggy and  have a habitation check done and neither of us are looking forward to leaving Europe.

Ziggy has been just wonderful and while we have two interested parties waiting to inspect her, I for one will not be disappointed if they do not fall in love with her.  If no sale eventuates, we will put her in to secure storage in the UK and return again for a while next year – now the thought of that makes us happy! 

Our campsite for tonight:  Reisemobilhafen, Rurberg – GPS – N50.605770.   E6.380760

Rain has stopped for the moment but it is still really cold.  We watch as the locals walk by in their heavy coats, layers, hats and gloves and wonder how they can stand this type of weather for so many months of the year.

Very dry in this area and the water level is well down

So many places are now beginning to close for the seasonand we really appreciate that back home, nothing closes ever for any part ofthe year.

This is a great campsite right on the edge of the village with only a short little walk to the massive lake which now only has a few boats moored, whereas a couple of months ago, sailing and small cruise boats happily cruised back and forth.  What a difference a few weeks make.

There is a really great information centre and a pretty village with lovely homes scattered up the hillsides around the lake.  Lots of hotels and restaurants on the waterfront but only a few remain open.

Quite happy to be able to take a really long walk today as the weather has improved (still no sign of sunshine – has been nearly a week now without seeing the sun).  The walks (and bike ways if you are brave enough) took us across the dam wall and around the lake which is stunning.

Temperature overnight was -3 and woke up to thick frost on the grass.  Even have a patch of sunshine this morning so hope it remains for a while.

Looking back towards our Stellplatz

My driver hasn’t had the opportunity of taking many photos over the last week or so – the weather has been so awful and the navigator has not had much to write home about for the same reason.

We have decided to head for Calais through Belgium so we don’t have to pass through France but will eventually have to cross in to France to get to the Chunnel crossing.

We are very sad about leaving Germany as we have had such a good time here – the country, people, food, beer and everything else have been really great.

It also makes such a difference when we have been able to understand what the locals are saying and they can understand us as well.

Important that you have plenty of cash at all times (same in many European countries) as credit cards are not accepted in many businesses with the exception of supermarkets and service stations.

Be aware of the “pay to pee” concept in Germany – when you can find a public toilet (offentliche toilette) there is a fee to pay on exiting the toilet.

We were surprised that this system was also in places like McDonalds and in some restaurants and bars.

The Driver was caught out a couple of times as he usually wanders around without any money at all as I am the one who carries the money, passports etc.

The other unusual concept for us was the deposit or “pfand” system whereby a deposit is paid on all drink type purchases both at supermarkets and in some restaurants and bars.

The supermarkets have automatic machines where you can deposit your empty bottles and receive a docket which can be offset against future purchases in the store.

Sometimes the deposit is more then the value of the drink ie 19 Euro cents for a bottle of water and 25 Euro cents for the deposit.

The most confusing situation we experienced was at a restaurant/bar at the Deutsches Ecke at the junction of the Moselle and Rhein rivers in Koblenz – we went to the bar to order 2 beers and were told we had to go to another section to pay a deposit for the glasses – 2 Euros each glass.

We did that and then returned to the bar and ordered the 2 beers which were then placed on the counter top – We went to pay but was told we had to go to another section to pay.

We consumed the beers and then went back to the bar to have the glasses deposit refunded but was told we had to go to another section to have the deposit refunded.

Just as well we could understand the signage (and there was sign pollution) or we could have been there for ever.

In many places staff are not allowed to handle cash – only the owner or manager handles the cash.

2018/10/17 – Germany – Moselle – Traben Trarbach

Wednesday 17th October

Our campsite for tonight:   Moselufer, St Aldegund – GPS N50.080662.   E7.131390

We have decided as we now only have a little more than a month before heading home that we revisit some of our favourite places on the Moselle.

This is a great winter spot as not many pitches offer shade as we found out on our last visit in summer. Bikeways run along the front of the campground and all pitches have magic waterfront views with a small but lovely village.

Thursday – Sunday 18th – 21st October

Our campsite for 4 nights:  Moselufer Reil – GPS N50.026272.   E7.114530

One of our favourite places again right on the Moselle where barges and river cruise boats meander past every few minutes.

The Moselle at Reil

One of the prettiest and safest bikeways we have ventured on which travel through the vineyards past old stone bridges and a castle to boot.  A little tractor towing a wagon that takes about 10 tourists shares this bikeway and leaves little room to get past.  So many little villages to pass through along the way makes this place a must to stop at and do several biking adventures.

The Village is set on a hillside and surrounded by grapevines.  So many winemakers here in the village and wine sampling is a must.

Reil main street from the river bank

Spent many days here and had such a wonderful time. 

The campsite has a small waterfront Imbiss (cafe) where the campers and locals gather throughout the day and night for food and drink.  The Imbiss closed for the season on Friday night and the big finale was the BBQ with outside bonfire which attracted a huge number of people who partied on until the wee hours of the morning.  Beers were €1 and wine €2 so there were a lot of untidy people.  Last look at our watch was after midnight so time to leave the party animals and indulge in some beauty sleep.

Monday – Tuesday 22nd & 23rd October

Our campsite for two nights:  Wohnmobilplatz, Kinheim – GPS N49.972141.   E7.057040

Haven’t been here before and guess we avoided it when here in summer – no trees here at all but lovely and sunny with the wonderful Moselle/vineyard views forever. 

Not a lot in the village but lots of interesting heritage buildings and a waterfront hotel which was very popular particular with bus groups.

The morning ritual here is a bit daunting with the church bells peeling at 8am, the campsite fuhrer arriving in his tractor at 8.10 am to collect the camp fee and the baker sounding his horn at 8.15 am.  Given the temperatures in the morning are single digits and it is still relatively dark at 8am, there were not a lot of happy campers at this time of morning.  Got to say the campsite fuhrer was not the friendliest.

One of the many interesting laneways in Kinheim – a bit narrow for Ziggy

Lots of little veggie plots border the campsite where veggies grow and the walnut tree on the border of the plots was dropping nuts in abundance.  Lots of campers out with their bags gathering up the nutty pickings.

Great little Stellplatz but the 8am forced start is the only negative.

Wednesday & Thursday 24th & 25th October

Our campsite for two nights:  Moselstellplatz, Traben-Trarbach – GPS N49.957180.   E7.104980

Couldn’t get in here during the summer months as it was packed out but this time round we won the lottery and got the best spot right on the waterfront with only the bikeway between us and the Moselle –   no campers either side as well – just wonderful!

Looking towards Traben from the Iron Bridge which was destroyed in WW2

Can understand now why this spot is so popular.  Our 20 minute walk along the bikeway riverfront track led us into one of the prettiest towns we have visited.  The double city is on opposite sides of the river and after spending two days here, not sure which side is the best.  Traben is the oldest with records dating back to 820 and Trarbach 1142. 

The Navigator taking in the views from the Iron Bridge

The architecture is spectacular on both sides with many old churches, cathedrals and buildings renovated back to their previous glory.   Spent the whole day exploring one side then the other and had to pinch ourselves as we walked through a wonderland – street after street of awe inspiring architecture. 

Old Railway Station in Traben

The main tourist attraction is the Bruckentor (Bridge Gate) on the Trarbach side which is a three storey entry structure on the bridge leading to the Traben side.  Looks like a small castle and is now a wine tavern on the second and third level.

Looking towards Bruckentor from Trarbach

On day one, we saw from the town, the ruins of Grevenburg Castle high on the hill and day two we took the challenge and climbed the mountainside to the top.   Only a few kms uphill, but all the way up a steep hillside left us breathless at the top. 

Looking towards Grevenburg Castle from Trarbach

So worth the effort as the 360 degree views over the Moselle, Traben and hillside vineyards were amazing.  There is a cafe right at the top (a road from the other side of the mountain leads to the ruins). 

View of the Bruckentor from the hiking trail

It was the old commandants quarters refurbished to a rustic cafe with an open fireplace, where we enjoyed a beverage before taking the steep descent back down to the twin towns.

Watching a cruise boat on the Moselle from the castle

Definitely worth a visit to see these twin towns and the Stellplatz was great but very popular even now out of season – it was full by lunchtime.

Ready to make the descent and yes it was cold

Friday & Saturday 26th & 27th October

Our campsite for two nights:  Reisemobilpark Treviris, Trier – GPS N49.750189.  E6.624440

The Stellplatz itself is on the Moselle about 3kms from the Old Town.  No real views as such as the fence and shrubs on the border block out most of the view.  It is well laid out and the best spot to camp because of its proximity to the Old Town.

A nearby regular bus service runs from Monday to Friday but not on weekends.  We arrived late on Friday and still tired from our long treks in Traben-Trarbach yesterday opted to rest and take the challenge in the morning.

The Navigator ordering the Gluhwein (to warm us up) from a bar in the middle of the Old Town Square

It is really cold now with this morning’s temp at 3 degrees with a high of 7 predicted so on with the coats, scarves, gloves and backpacks, we walked the 3 kms along the river, over the Romerbrucke (Roman Bridge) (2nd century) and soon found the Old Town.  

Trier is Germany’s oldest city (over 2000 years) with seven Roman UNESCO heritage sites in the city centre to explore. 

Wow, wow and double wow – what a fabulous Old Town where there is street after street of pedestrian only zones and with a mapped tourist trail to go by, made the exploring without missing anything so easy.

So much to see it took the whole day just walking and enjoying every moment.  Some of the most memorable for us were:

1     Porta Nigra is the world’s best preserved Roman city gate (170 AD) the town’s landmark. Set in the heart of Old Town in the main square, it stands tall and ominous amongst the newer buildings.

Porta Nigra

2     Konstantin Basilica (4th Century)

Konstantin Basilica

3     Kaiserthermen Imperial Baths (4th century) currently being renovated but many parts still visible.


4     Dom St. Peter (4th century) – just amazing.

Dom St Peter

5     Liebfrauen Basilica (13th century) and joins the Dom.

Were a little disappointed with the Amphitheater (100 AD) as it was a long walk out of town and though some of the original gates in the lower level still stand, would not recommend this as we have seen some in Greece that were much better.

Kurf Palace – adjoins Konstantin Basilica

Stopped in the main square for a hot gluhwein and watched some locals joining in for a display of how “The Macarana” is done German Style.

A truly wonderful day ending with a brisk walk home and then “feet up” in front of the heater for the rest of the day.

2018/10/05 – Germany – Stelzenberg to Bad Sobernheim

Friday 5th – Sunday 14th October

With friends Martina and Ralf at their home in Stelzenberg Germany

Sunny skies and fantastic warm October weather for the whole stay here which gave us the opportunity of spending lots of time detailing Ziggy both inside and outside.  She is more than sparkling now and we are sad to think that it is only six weeks before we head home.  Ziggy has been our home for such a long time now, it is hard to imagine not having her as part of our life in Australia.

Petra keeping an eye on the BBQ and the fire on Martina and Ralf’s back deck

Ralf is a real whiz with motorhomes and he installed a new micro-switch in one of the taps, adjusted the sun awning arms, renewed the waterproofing membrane on one of the skylights which was looking a little tired and made all of his equipment available for us to detail Ziggy – much appreciated Ralf.

We had such a fantastic time with our friends and their family and did so many things it is hard to remember them all.

Vegemite received a mixed response with Ralf, Martina and Petra

Martina’s mum and dad Christal and Emile are singers as part of a 40 strong choir in Kaiserslautern and we were lucky enough to be invited to their Schubert concert which also featured many great movie films such as Lion King, Aladdin and Phantom of the Opera to name just a few.  Accompanied by professional operatic soprano, baritone and piano player, the two and a half hour concert was just wonderful.

The Schubert conference with Christal and Emile in the Choir

We celebrated a 50th birthday with Ralf’s sister with her family and friends in a restaurant several kms away and they welcomed us with open arms.  Spent many hours talking about Australia with a few who had visited Australia previously and others who want to go.

Had a wonderful afternoon tea with Martina’s sister, brother, mum and dad and enjoyed cakes you can only dream of and the best home-made apple crumble pie (made by Cornelia – Martina’s sister)  –  yum – had to have two slices of this one.

Went on some wonderful hikes through the Pfalzwald with Martina, Ralf and Petra and on one day enjoyed the panoramic view at the top at the Hohe Loog Haus with a wonderful traditional German late lunch/dinner.

In front of the Hohe Loog Haus with Martina and Ralf – Petra taking the photo

Tucking in to the sauerkraut and lebernudeln

The road on the way to the departure point was a little testing – it is called Totenkopf Strasse which roughly translated means Deadhead road and there are many traffic accidents on this road.

Our last day and also our wedding anniversary (our second in Germany) was spent in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse on the last day of the two week wine festival where more than 110 floats paraded through the streets. 

Mostly pulled by tractors, beautiful horses, vintage cars and some man power, the floats carried wine princesses from all the wine regions in the area. 

Haven’t seen a Porsche like that one in Australia

Wine flowed freely and helpers with the floats were eager to fill up any glasses you had in hand. 

The Navigator getting a top up in her wine glass

Several bands in full colourful German costume passed by and created a wonderful atmosphere.

A wine Princess on one of the floats

Back in the town centre, Ferris wheels and other rides were in full swing and every spare spot was taken up with food and drink outlets.  Spent a whole afternoon here – just fantastic.

We have made wonderful friends in Martina and Ralf whose hospitality, friendship, companionship and help over this week with Ziggy have left us so sad to part company with them and their wonderful friends and family.

Ralf and Martina are going to try to come and stay with us in Tweed Heads in March next year and our Polish relatives from Biala Podlaska will be staying with us in August/September and we hope to be able to show them all some Aussie hospitality.

Ralf and Martina are also keen for us to return to Germany so we can go touring in our motorhomes together again – maybe Ziggy goes back into storage over winter??? – something to chat about in the evenings to come.

Monday 15th & Tuesday 16th October

Our campsite for two nights:  Am Nohfels, Bad Sobernheim – GPS N49.778881.   E7.658640

After a large shop at our favourite Lidl store, in Kaiserslautern, we travel through a colourful  countryside with Autumn now in full swing.  We passed along many roads where both sides of the road were showering autumn leaves creating a carpet of orange, red, brown and green – so pretty.  We just love the Autumn tones but can imagine it being a nightmare to clean up the tons of leaves everywhere.

Many artistic wood carvings in the park

The campsite is set in such a colourful Autumn setting with apple and nut trees scattered throughout the campsite.   Hedges are well groomed and everything is perfect here.  The small cafe adjacent attracts lots of visitors and campers and overlooks a small river.

Several walks and bike ways lead in every direction.  Walked to the village only 10 minutes away where there are loads of shops, cafes, old churches, quaint buildings and of course a small town square where we enjoyed a quiet ale.

The Navigator dwarfed on a seat

The walk/bikeway in front of the cafe led along a treed avenue to the Barfusspfad which is a local attraction where you take your shoes off and walk barefoot across the river to the other side with the aid of ropes.  There is also a suspension bridge though dismantled at present so only way across was through the river.   Really worth the effort though a little chilly in the water now.

Local restoration work

They have a local tree artist who has carved fantastic animals out of logs and these are right beside the cafe.

Nice architecture


2018/09/25 – Germany – Hornbach to Oberbrombach


Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th September

Across the border again with no border checks.

Our campsite for 2 Nights:  An Der Pirminiushalle, Hornbach – N49.183819.   E7.365600

We rate this little CP with a 10.  It is just so well organised and designed by a Moho owner – very obvious as everything you need is here and is so well done.   A really beautiful treed setting and peaceful and quiet.  There is a small sports ground beside the CP which provides several boules lanes, a mini golf course, table tennis, snooker and a small soccer field – all equipment is supplied to play these games and is  gratis and included in the tariff (though you can make a donation).  We spent a few really enjoyable hours in there and sad to say the driver outshone the navigator in every game we played. 

Hornbach Town Hall

The CP hut includes a big covered area with tables and chairs and loads of tourist information.  Beside the hut is a fire pit with seats around it.  Timber can be purchased from the supermarket.  Wifi was great on one day but a bit iffy on day two.

Still showing the signs of war

There are several great walks in the area and the first was to explore the historic town only 15 minutes walk away.   The old church was built in 1573 and is currently being refurbished while the monastery’s (Kloster) interior has been converted to a five star + hotel where we enjoyed a pint served in their own beer stein, in the sunny beer garden.

The Driver with a stein of beer in the Kloster Biergarten

Thursday & Friday 27th & 28th September

Reluctantly we left here, could definitely have stayed on longer as there are so many walks here and it was so beautiful. 

Our campsite for two nights:  Freizeitpark Zweibrucken Wohnmobil, Zweibrucken – GPS N49.253639.   E7.376230

This small town (town of roses and horses) has a proud history despite its nearly complete destruction in 1945 during WW2.  The town was declared derelict by the Americans and plans were to abandon any consideration of rebuilding.

The Castle

The locals got together and held a compulsory lottery, the funds went to the rebuilding of the town and some old buildings were rebuilt to the original specifications including Alexander church, Karlskirche and the Castle.

From the CP you walk along tree lined pedestrian avenues to the Rosegarten – beautiful gardens that are open all year round, though sadly the rose season ends in September, but still a few there now and lots of other blooms and gardens.

A cafe setting in the town square

The town’s sporting facilities are fantastic and we passed by many sporting fields and equestrian centres where horses were being groomed and put through their paces.

The CP again is really well done with excellent bathroom facilities and showers included in the tariff that have no time limit and loads of hot water.  Washer and dryer at €2 a load – took advantage of that and excellent wifi to boot.  Beside the CP was a beer garden and restaurant where we spent both afternoons in the sunshine with the locals.  A great Stellplatz though the €50 deposit for the bathrooms was a bit daunting (key was well looked after).

Government buildings

Saturday 29th September

Our campsite for tonight:  Wohnmobil-Oase Schwarzindersee, Weiskirchen – GPS N49.527168.   E6.831630

Unusual place this which is nowhere near a town but included as part of a hotel and resort.  The CP setting was natural bushland bordering a small lake where there were lots of beautiful nature walks.  Wifi excellent and you could use the facilities of the hotel when it was open.

Wine barrel accommodation set in amongst the vineyards

One section included the most unusual cabins looking like large oak wine barrels.    Separate barrels for each room i.e. one barrel on its side was the bedroom and beside it, the bathroom – all on a small deck with a couple of deck chairs.  If you wanted a two bedroom, then you got another barrel.  The setting was in a vineyard with the grape vines separating the units.

A closer view of the accommodation

Sunday – Friday 30th September – 4th October

Hohenblick, Oberbrombach – GPS N49.694721.   E7.259440

This place is just magic.  Very private on the outskirts of a small village.  It is high on a hill with views forever with several grassed terraces and large pitches.  Wifi again is excellent so taking advantage of this whenever we can.  The property has several rustic timber huts where tables and chairs, a fireplace (with timber) and the most unusual western artefacts create a wonderful ranch style atmosphere.

There we were amongst a group of Germans enjoying pork off the grill and schnapps, of course – the Navigator is on the right

Again there are so many nature walks from here where great tracks take you through forests where quite often the tree canopy is so dense you cannot see the sky.   No sounds of life in any direction with just us, the trees and the birds – thank goodness it is well signposted.  Something we soon realised is that being on top of the hill, all walks go downhill first and then the inevitable – the walk back is all uphill.  Took a few of these walks with the smallest being 5.5kms and each time, the uphill took a lot longer 😅.

One of the many hiking huts on one of our walks

The days have been very cool with overnights at around 3 degrees so walking has been a real joy.  Nights are spent around the fire pit where the owner puts on a great fire where the conversation becomes more lively once the moonshine comes out.  It amazes us that everyone seems to have that bottle of clear liquid in their alcohol stocks and are really keen for novices like us to share it.

One of the fire pits

The owner puts on the occasional BBQ grill where he cooks outside for the campers – only does this when there are enough numbers, and produces the biggest, fattest  and juiciest piece of meat we have had since leaving home.   This comes with cooked potato and you bring your plates and cutlery, bread, salad etc.  Total cost €5 each and the rustic beer garden is large enough to house a large group.  Had a real hoot on one evening but as the Germans began speaking faster and faster and with different dialects, we lost some of the communication.

So many times in our travels we have come across people who really would love to come to Australia but think it is really dangerous with the number of deadly animals and sea life we have here.  Evidently several documentaries shown overseas portray this.  The tourism bureau really needs to lift its game here as our image to overseas travellers is really scary.

The Navigator relaxing at Hohenblick

A really special peaceful place for those that enjoy a rural, rustic, unique and interesting environment.  All services here including wifi with electricity and water at a small cost and camping with the panoramic views only €7 per night.

Loved the meat so much have organised the butcher for some of the same to take with us.

Well done Hohenblick – your property and staff have been 10 star plus.

2018/08/26 North West Germany

Sunday 26th August

BRRRRR!!!  Summer is over, we think, as we woke to a cool 14 degrees this morning (inside Ziggy), single figures we believe were reached overnight.  Did we miss the rest of summer?

Our campsite for tonight:  Grosses Meer, Sudbrookmerland (near Bedekaspel)

Such a shame the weather was so awful with cold wind and very regular showers.  This Stellplatz sits on a large lake which has all the facilities you would want to hire and have a super day on the lake.  A few brave sailors are on the lake and those more energetic hire the pedal boats.  Super children’s play ground though it seems the holidays are over as no children are around now.

Grosses Meer (Big Lake)

Took advantage of some breaks in the weather and walked part the way around the beautiful lake but the cold and rain brought us back to the warmth and dry comfort of Ziggy.  Great location for bike riding – but not today.

More rain through the night but by mid morning – sun and blue skies

Monday 27th August

Had some quite heavy rain throughout the night and with no prospects for a fine day here, we moved on soon after brekkie.

Our campsite for tonight:  Lebensmittelmarkt Blank, Ditzum – GPS N53.315399.   E7.276730

Small Stellplatz right behind a small supermarket.  No view here but it’s location near to a fantastic small fishing village on the Ems River made it a great stopover.  

The village is picture perfect with houses with manicured lawns and magnificent colourful country gardens that anyone would be proud to own.   They are nearly all made of flat red brick and flush mortar, white window trim and white shutters.

The Navigator checking out the village

A couple of minutes walk from the Stellplatz takes you to the harbour where pleasure craft and large fishing boats are lined up (these too are too pretty to be fishing boats and are well cared for).  The ferry does regular trips across the harbour to the town of Emden.  The weather was too foul to take the trip across today.  We found out a few days later that this town has lots to see and has a great Stellplatz.  Sadly we missed this one.

Dykes surround the foreshore and a walk along here where markers certainly showed us just how high the sea rises.

Part of the fishing fleet and museum

A really wonderful little village to see and worth an overnight or two if you go across to Emden by ferry from here.

Tuesday and Wednesday 28th and 29th August

Still overcast and showery so choice for next two days was based on being in a town or village large enough to have a choice of restaurants and must have a good view and location to the centre of town.

Our campsite for two nights:  Parking Amisia, Haren – GPS N52.788830.  E7.247120

The Stellplatz was situated right on the Ems river with a front and second row view to the river – again got one of the last ones.  This Stellplatz is also gratis and though it has no facilities (which we don’t need anyhow) it has everything else we need.

Still bad weather but we headed off to the centre of town (only a couple of minutes walk) to check out the town and the restaurants. The tourist bureau was very helpful and gave us information on bike ways around the area (Emsland) and recommended a couple of great restaurants.

One of the Lock Systems near Haren

Great town with lots of development happening.  The cathedral was closed as it was having major restoration and many new buildings were under construction.  These were mainly for seniors living and our feeling is that this town with all its flat walking areas, malls and shops and restaurants will ideally cater for tourists as well as older people looking for a great place to retire to.

Sat on the deck chairs on the riverfront for the rest of the afternoon and had dinner under the stars.  We were lucky to have had a slight break in the weather and enjoyed some rain free time outside.  Watched the river barges going up and down the river, some barely making it under the town’s bridge.

Woke up to a beautiful sunny day – at last!! and sang “happy birthday” to my driver, best friend and love of my life.  The birthday brekkie with fresh berries (they have been wonderful over last couple of months) and yoghurt, ham and eggs hit the spot.

Off on the bikes along the riverfront, through rain forests and farmland which took us through the small village of Huntel.  Then by mistake we took a wrong turn and visited Hemsen.  Here we discovered our mistake and backtracked quite a few kms to the bikeway and then all the way to Meppen.  Had travelled about 20kms by this stage so hot and hungry stopped at a riverfront Beergarden for a great lunch and rest. 

What a super day it had been and great to have some sunshine for a while.  Headed back along the river this time the trip being a little shorter without our mistaken detour and arrived home very happy but with sore muscles (in legs and bottom in particular).

The Navigator checking out the Nuclear Power Plant on our bike ride

The sun disappeared and soon heavy clouds appeared – end of a super sunny day.  Headed indoors had a few predinner drinks, showers and headed into town in raincoats and umbrellas.

Trattoria Italian restaurant was the birthday boys choice and we were not disappointed.  Super meal of calamari in a tomato and pepper sauce for my driver and scallopini in a creamy green peppercorn sauce for me was delicious.  Fresh salad and German roast potatoes finished off our mains.  The owner gave us some of his home made grappa which warmed the insides before our trip back home in the rain.

Poured all night so we were so thankful for such a wonderful sunny day

Thursday 30th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Am Speicherbecken, Geeste – GPS N52.594151.   E7.274150

Our last stopover in Germany now heading towards The Netherlands.

Great huge summer Stellplatz set beside a large lake.  Only permitted to stay here for 24 hours but it is gratis with a great WC.   No neighbours here as it is parallel avenue parking and there are acres of trees and scrubs providing privacy between the avenues.  Really wonderful and cool for summer stopover but a little cool now that the temperatures are dropping.

Our Stellplatz in Geeste

Weather again overcast with some showers so not ideal to venture too far.  Highly recommended for summer.


2018/08/19 – Germany – Bremen to Wilhelmshaven

Sunday 19th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Reisemobilstellplatz am Kuhhirten, Bremen – GPS N53.064499.  E8.819340

The Stellplatz itself was very crowded with very tight spaces (about 100) however in a lovely treed setting.   Very expensive with the bathroom and WC facilities available at an additional cost.  Wifi is included but when the park was full, virtually impossible to get even connected let alone send or receive an email.  There is no TV reception because of the trees so all the locals switch to Internet to stay amused and compete with each other for reception.

The huge plus here is that a pathway runs beside the Stellplatz and within a couple of minutes walk you arrive at the Weser river where a small passenger ferry takes you to the other side.   A further ten minutes scenic walk along the riverbank takes you to the beginning of the Aldstadt.  You can also bike it as the path is shared by everyone – today we opted to walk the short distance.

The Navigator with the Bremen Old Musicians

We rate this old town highly and it is amongst some of the best we have seen.  There is so much to see here, it took us all afternoon into evening to see everything we wanted to see.

Bremen Markt Platz

The Schnoor quarter is Bremens oldest district and is a maze of 15/16th century houses lining the cobble stone alleys and is now home to artists and goldsmith workshops and galleries.   Took time out to visit a lollipop shop to see how they are hand made – yum.  Saw lots of tourists eating these huge lollipops.

Bremen Markt Platz

Bottcherstrasse, a pedestrianised arcade, is Bremen’s “secret high street” with a gilt relief called “Bringer of Light” and a carillon made from Meissen porcelain.

Roland Statue

Next to the Market Square is the home of the 5.55 m Roland statue – the most famous of the 26 Roland statues in Germany.  Here also is the Gerhard Marcks bronze statue of the Bremen Town Musicians.   This is a Grimms Fairy tale of four ageing domestic animals mistreated, who run away and become musicians in the Bremen. 

Gerhardt Marcks Statue

It is believed that if you rub the donkeys legs your wish will come true.   Both statues are well photographed by tourists. 

Entrance to Bottcherstrasse

The whole area is gob smacking with street after street of cathedrals and churches and the amazing town hall (Rathaus).  Schutting (guild hall) built in 1537 is now the chamber of commerce.  All have a huge “wow factor”

One of the many lollipop shops

Really should be included in the “must see list”.

Enjoyed a lunch and a cool drink in one of the market square restaurants and people watched and rested before returning back along the riverfront, across with the ferry and home.  There is a man made beach and café the  “Sand Cafe” on the campsite side of the river where hundreds of locals were sunning and swimming.  Could not get a seat in the overcrowded restaurant so back to Ziggy for a quick snack.

Bremen Markt Platz

Had a really super day in Bremen.

Monday 20th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Schaufenster Fischereihafen, Bremerhaven – GPS N53.526531.   E8.577130

This port is home to all sorts of ships including a submarine in the harbour.   Some very modern high rise buildings are on the waterfront with a massive museum that houses maritime memorabilia.

There are two other Stellplatz closer to the centre but chose this one because it had spectacular views of the harbour and uninterrupted breezes which the others did not.   The waterfront hub just a few minutes walk away has a trendy area of restaurants and shopping areas made by using the existing old warehouses and buildings.  Very trendy and much like Fremantle in Australia though a smaller version.

Dropped into the local tyre place and ordered a new shoe for Ziggy (arriving tomorrow) and then spent a pleasant afternoon walking around the harbourfront.

Tuesday 21st August

Ziggy is happy with her new shoe and my driver booked her in for a wheel alignment and balance (tomorrow) so we stay close to Bremerhaven for another day.

Our campsite for tonight: Parking Dedesdorf, Dedesdorf – GPS N53.444061.  E8.499520

Great little Stellplatz taking only five Mohos (each space clearly defined by lines) and we were lucky enough to be last in.   Beautiful location right next to the river with a long beach which is great at high tide, but mud flats at low tide.

Off with the bikes for a ride through the countryside which is now very flat with little or no mountains anywhere in sight.

Arrived back to find a small Moho (Van conversion – we call them door slammers) that had squeezed in between us and our neighbour not leaving even enough room for us to open our habitation door – “not happy Jan”!  Waited until they came back and then politely asked them to move on as we had paid for the pitch.

The night concert at Dedesdorf

There were two small cafes on the beachfront with a large car parking area for cars only.  The carpark was full and soon we were told that a musician was booked for the night.  After dinner we carried our deck chairs to the beach and sat and listened to the music while the sun went down.  This spectacular sunset, a couple of drinks and some great music to listen to made it a great night.

Great sunset at Dedesdorf

It finished quite early at around 9.30pm so back to Ziggy for a coffee.  We were greeted by a young lady armed with a microphone who began to ask us questions about why we had visited Dedesdorf.

She said she was interviewing people for her radio station – The Driver said we were from Australia and that our German was not very good and that she may be better off interviewing someone else.

She said his German was fine and so she recorded an interview – forgot to find out which station she was from so didn’t get to hear the interview on air – but it was all a bit of fun.

Wednesday 22nd August

Started the day by returning to Bremerhaven to have a wheel alignment and balance done  after Ziggy got her new shoe yesterday.

Our campsite for tonight:  Altes Faehr, Kleinensiel – GPS N53.443199.   E8.484450

Small gratis campsite that is advertised as taking 5 Mohos only but at day’s end we managed to squeeze in double that number.

Very quiet spot directly opposite side of the river to Dedesdorf with views across the river.  No services here but very peaceful so took the opportunity to do a few chores including clothes washing and spring cleaning in “pink zone” while my driver attended to some items in the “blue zone”.

We are at the mouth of the Weser River now and there is a huge amount of boat traffic passing by and so there is always something to see.   The locals come here and spend time on the beach (not one we can appreciate as we have some of the best beaches in the world at our back and front door at home).

Thursday – Saturday 23 – 25th August

Our campsite for three nights:  Schleuseninsel, Wilhelmshaven – GPS N53.516621.   E8.149680

Great Stellplatz with only the grassed dyke protecting you from the strong sea breezes (or was that tempest) coming off the North Sea.  There are three Stellplatz along the North Sea front at Wilhelmshaven – all with great aspects but this is a lot more protected, yet close to everything.

Wind brake 2 seater chairs

Ventured up the grass dyke in front of us and walked for miles along the Seafront.  Views forever out to sea and passed by some magic little seafront holiday bungalows nestled in amongst the trees.   Little passenger boats taking tourists for trips around the harbourfront were packed. 

There are bikeways across the top of the dykes that run forever but too cold and windy for us so walking was the choice for today.

Ventured back towards the harbour and walked along the touristy waterfront strand.  This is a pedestrian mall that runs along the top of the dyke for a couple of kms with the beach on one side and restaurants and funky shops on the other.  The beaches are lined with rows of two seater white wicker cane chairs and look like soldiers ready to go to battle and for a mere €9 you can hire one for the day – did not see many occupied!

From there we visited the Deutsches Marinemuseum on the river front where there were submarines, destroyers and many other ships and marine equipment on display.  It was late in the afternoon so opted to go through thoroughly tomorrow.

Deutsches Marinemuseum

Woke up to a miserable wet and windy day so bunkered down for some reading and Internet – a bonus this Stellplatz has a Wifi network but the other two don’t. It is times like this that we really appreciate Ziggy for the huge amount of habitation space and windows she has, compared to other Mohos.

Weather on day three was a little better though still windy with scattered showers.  Made a move towards town around lunchtime when some patches of blue appeared so packed our wet weather gear in the backpack, dressed in winter gear now as outside temps were around 20 degrees in the middle of the day and walked the three kms into town.

One of the few remaining WW2 bunkers

80% of this town was totally demolished during WW11 and they don’t appear to have rebuilt it.  One section of ruins and a few bunkers remain as a reminder.  Great shopping mall that runs forever but not much else to see.

Dark heavy black clouds were creeping in on the horizon so our 3km walk home ended up being almost a run.   We made it home with a minute to spare before the heavens opened up and it pelted down hail for about 20 minutes.

2018/08/14 – Germany – Now we have found The Pied Piper

Tuesday to Thursday – 14th to 16th August

Our campsite for three nights: Grohnder Fahrhaud, Grohnde – GPS N52.019440 E9.177460

This Stellplatz was one of the most well kept, organised and with the best bathroom facilities by far of any that we have stayed in.

Our view from Ziggy

The Stellplatz is fully automatic – at the entry gate you take a ticket which grants entry to the site and you use that ticket to gain credit for electricity, should you want it.

The ticket also grants entry to the toilets and showers and rubbish disposal areas.

On departing the ticket is inserted in the machine again and you insert the required amount in the machine – the machine also grants a credit for any unused electricity – have never seen that before.

The Stellplatz has two parts, the first being at the entry to the resort with only mountain and rural views, while the second and smaller area around the corner from the resort, was directly on the Weser River.  Here we scored the prime corner position which gave us both the rural and mountains view on one side and the river, parklands and the village on the other.  Primo!!

The bathrooms as mentioned before were equivalent to those provided in a five star hotel and as much hot water for as long as you wanted – very rare to find and took advantage of this for a few LONG HOT showers during our stay.

The resort itself included a camping area, Stellplatz for us, cabins as well as large grassed areas for tents on the river with huts and fireplaces for use in the winter. 

Placed mid way between Hamelin (the Pied Pipers home) and Bodenwerder, it was ideal as a central point to visit both towns over the next few days.  The Weser Bikeway passes through the middle of the Stellplatz so was ideal to head off in both directions.

This Stellplatz really caters for cyclists – they have a “Bicycle service station” where electric bikes can be charged, a pneumatic pump with guage for pumping up tyres, a vending machine dispensing tyre tubes of various brands and lockable cages for bikes overnight.

Bike (Rad) Service Station with bike pump (Blue colour) & tube vending machine

We cycled 60+ kms over two days on the bikes with the bikeway being so great, we did not need to use the batteries at all. 

Lockable bike garages

At the end of day two – found sore muscles where I didn’t know there were muscles.

Electric bike charging station – one of many

On the bike trips we passed through fields of corn, fruit groves where apple, pear and peach trees grow wild along the bike path, various vegetables, shady forests and sleepy little villages and a Nuclear Power Station midway between Grohnde and Hamelin.

Nuclear Power Station on bike track to Hamelin

Hamelin was a real treat with the Aldstadt displaying so many beautiful old buildings.  Certainly should be on the “to visit list”. 

Wind Mill on bike track to Hamelin

Here you can find the Pied Piper Museum (he stands guard at the entrance), souvenir shops eager to sell you rats in all shapes and sizes from cuddly stuffed ones to those made of wood. 

Pied Piper Museum

The Main Street even has rat tiles strategically placed on the cobbled stone street.  These tiles lead you to the river.

You big rat you

Intricate work in Hamelin

On the hour, the Rathaus (town hall) about 15 bells of different sizes begin to chime and high up on the building, large metal doors open then the Pied Piper appears leading the children away.

The Pied Piper Statue

There is a large Turkish community in Hamelin.

Nice architecture

The bike trip to Bodenwerder next day was equally special where we passed by similar stunning scenery. 

Bodenwerder is famous for their Baron Munchhausen who told lots of “porkies”

Not a patch on Hamelin but still worth seeing.

Statues on the bike trip to Bodenwerder depicting how boats were moved up the river before they had engines – by pulling them with ropes

Friday 17th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Marina Mehlbergen – GPS N52.687351.   E9.177460

Very quiet peaceful location at a small marina in the middle of nowhere just off the Weser.   The harbour housed about 40 small boats where there was a bit of activity with owners coming down to have a drink on the back decks when the sun went down.  Brought back a lot of memories of our boating days and with it the longing and desire to again set out to sea on our return.

A little cafe at the end of the marina became the focal point for happy hour.

Saturday 18th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Wohnmobilstellplatz, Bruchhausen- Vilsen – N52.826752.   E8.995330

Grassy and open area surrounded totally with large trees and scrubs.  The campsite is very tranquil with a good amenities block which is shared by the children’s playground next door.   Wifi is provided compliments of the tourist bureau but for one device only (we got caught having turned Wifi on our Iphone when in the tourist office and then on returning to Ziggy could not turn Wifi on our laptop.)

Town famous for steam train history

Typical tidy German town but with no Old Town however lots of great Fachwerk houses.   Steam trains are a feature in this town with lots of old ones to see at the railway station.  The train leaves regularly for joy riders.

Very quiet and peaceful until the fireworks started at about midnight.  Some of the local lads letting off steam no doubt, but only lasted for a few minutes and all was quiet again.



2018/08/06 – Getting closer to the Pied Piper – but not there yet

Monday 6th August 2018:

Wanted to stay at the Stellplatz in Wilhelmshohe but it was closed with the whole parking area now under re construction.   Using our NAVIE we found a carpark a little further up the hill which was almost directly opposite the entrance to Bergpark Wilhelmshohe, home to Schloss Wilhelmshohe a late 18th century palace. 

The Schloss

This is a huge park of rainforests, castles and ruins, fountains and grottoes, statues and water features.   We spent a really wonderful couple of hours exploring this park. 

There are tours offered to visit the palace where several buildings have been turned into museums of fine art.  It is not open everyday (closed today of course) but the gardens and whole park is open and free to just wander through at any time.  From the castle you get a fine view of the statue of Hercules high on the hill a few kms away.  We ventured about halfway there but as it was so hot, decided to go back to Ziggy to see if we could get closer by car.

Looking from the Schloss up to the statue of Hercules on top of the Pyramid

There is a huge car park there and soon we found our way to the statue.  A small entry fee of around €3 takes you through and up a million steps through the castle ruins to a terrace just below the statue offering a spectacular view to the city of Kassel.  Another steep narrow spiral staircase takes you to the bottom of the statue.

View from inside the Hercules Pyramid looking back towards the Schloss

Really a must do in the area, as the Bergpark Castle and gardens and the Hercules statue were truly amazing.

Our campsite for tonight:  Wohnmobil Stellplatz Am Wesertein, Hann. Munden – GPS N51.420368. E648620

What a surprise package this town was. 

The Stellplatz is part of a huge carpark on the edge of the Weser River with an area in the middle dedicated for Mohos.  This area was in full sun so like many other Mohos, we found a spot under shady trees designated for cars. 

View of the Old Town from the foot bridge

An old pedestrian bridge took us to the Aldstadt (The Old Town) just across the river where we were treated to street after cobbled stoned street of Fachwerk (half timber) houses all freshly painted in different colours and beautifully restored. 

Old Town street

The Main Street again offering numerous restaurants and Italian Eis cream cafes where for around €7 you could indulge in an ice cream masterpiece.  Have been tempted – but the problem I have is deciding which to have!

Oops – watch out – here comes another bicycle tour group

The Weser River is no match for it’s big sisters Mosel and Rhine but through this town it cascades over small waterfalls and we watched many canoeists and swimmers enjoying the cool water.

Tuesday 7th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Badeparadies Eisweise, Gottingen – GPS N51.523151.   E9.930640

A small but busy Stellplatz that filled very quickly by lunchtime.  It is set right beside the indoor and outdoor swimming complex where we literally watched hundreds upon hundreds of people coming in all day.  Even under the shady trees the temperature was in the mid to high thirties.


Couldn’t get any energy up to attempt a walk into town so just sat and tried to stay cool.   There is a great Greek restaurant right at the entrance to the swimming complex and an Italian only 100 metres away but neither of us could even think about food.  Even by bedtime around 11pm  it was still in the mid thirties so a good peaceful night’s sleep didn’t happen.

Typical Gottingen architecture

Wednesday & Thursday 8th & 9th August

Really wanted to see this renowned University town as early as possible so walked the km+ walk into town.

Three great churches in the centre but couldn’t get the right distance to take pictures.  Visited the Ganseliesel (little goose statue), the symbol of this town located in the Markt square.  She is hailed locally as the most kissed woman in the world. 

Lots of interesting Fachwerk houses were scattered throughout the centre but we found it didn’t have the same feel as some of the smaller villages we have visited.

Still really hot so sauntered back to Ziggy and moved on.

Our campsite for two nights:  Landhotel Zum Anker, Wahlsburg – GPS N51.624432.   E9.552230

Lovely shady spot on the Weser river.  Long lines of huge trees offered shade for nearly everyone though some Mohos still sat out in the searing heat.

The hotel was a treat with large outside shaded areas where we enjoyed a fabulous meal.  We watched the little ferry taking the local cars and bikes across the river.  There are many of these along this river with very few vehicular bridges in between.  No one seems to pay when they board so guess it is provided gratis by the community.

All types of vehicles can be seen around here like this one which even has a mezzanine floor

We are in the country now and apart from the river and the small village behind, there are fields of crops and farms with horses, geese and even llama that come right to the fence line.

There are some really great bikeways along the Weser so decided to take off the bikes and explore some of the nearby villages.  Sat at every opportunity for some iced water and shade until late afternoon when the dark clouds appeared and then with the sound of thunder shortly thereafter, turned on the batteries and scooted the 10kms back home at a much faster rate than normal.

The rain was cooling but the lack of wiper blades on the glasses, didn’t help the visibility.   Got back just as the really heavy rain started.

One of the many ferry crossings linking villages

The temperature dropped from 32 degrees when we got home to a cool 25 degrees in less than an hour and remained at that for the rest of the night – so wonderful to be cool after about 4 weeks of sweltering conditions.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday  10th-13th August

Our campsite for two nights:  Flossplatz Hoxter – GPS N51.773689.   E9.387150

Again on the Weser with the village just across a small bridge.

Just when we thought we had seen it all – the village square is just a picture.  Some of the best Fachwerk houses are located along the Main Street and the Cathedral with the twin spires is awesome.

Hoxter architecture

The temperatures have stayed in the low to mid twenties and we are relishing the cool conditions.  We even put on a jacket to sit outside and enjoy our steak on the BBQ with a good red until the sun disappeared.

So lovely to wake up to a cool day and not having to be mindful to select a campsite in the shade.  Decided to stay here another night or two.

More Hoxter architecture – just love it

Headed off on the bikes after breakfast to explore Schloss Welterbe Corvey only a few kms away.  The bikeway was wide and easy and picturesque.  Today part of the Schloss was set up with a floral and art display and as we arrived at the entrance we were greeted with hundreds of cars and bikes parked in the large grounds.

Entrance to Schloss Welterbe Corvey

Another UNESCO world heritage site, this castle is similar to Wilhelmshohe – a low three storey structure spread over acres with its own dual spired church and stables and outhouses set in beautifully manicured lawns and gardens.

Had a race with a horse and carriage on the way back.  They let us pass and soon they were hot on our heels – it was fun to hear the horses hooves so close clattering along the roadway and we could almost feel the hot breath from the horses as they were so close.

Back through the town and then followed the river to a series of canals where every spare space on the waters edge was taken up with campsites.

The ride was really enjoyable today in the cooler temperatures  so took our time exploring before heading back to another well cooked BBQ by my driver  (chef extraordinaire).

Felt a bit adventurous this morning so cycled down through Boffzen, Furstenberg and stopped for refreshments in Wehrden.

2018/08/01 – Along the Fairytale Road – Germany

Wednesday 1st August

Our campsite for tonight:  Am Burggarten, Hachenburg – GPS N50.662720.   E7.827220

Small carpark with 8 shady spaces allotted for Mohos.  Set beside a beautiful treed park which is part of the castle grounds called Burggarten .

Lovely little village with a small Old Town of cobbled stone streets and narrow alleys.  The castle was disappointing.  Three levels set in two quadrants, an inner and outer with courtyard in the middle.  Is now a functioning university.  Certainly looks more like a university not a castle.

Hachenburg Town Square

A band was setting up in the small square which apparently happens every Thursday night in the summer months. 

Opted not to stay the Thursday night as some comments in our APP referred to young people using this carpark as a gathering point in the evenings.  Did not experience this on our first night so did not want to chance our luck for a second night.

Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd August

Our campsite for two nights:  Ederberglandhalle, Frankenberg – GPS N51.056519.   E8.802170

This is a really great little Stellplatz with huge pitches and trees and walls of high shrubs everywhere – very private and cool and quiet. 

Met up with a great German couple, Hermann and Waltraud, from Urmitz – we stayed in Urmitz only a few nights ago while visiting Koblenz.   Frankenberg was Hermann & Waltraud’s home town many years ago so they were able to give us a run down on the village.  They also have a brother living in Mt Tamborine in Queensland, Australia, which is probably only about 50 km from where we live.

Frankenburg House

There was a 60’s band scheduled to play in the new part of town in the evening so we ambled down and joined in the festivities.    Interesting concept where you purchased a glass (wine or beer which actually was plastic) for €5 each and then €2 coupons to use for eats and drinks.  You couldn’t get a drink without the purchased glass.  Food and drink stations were set up and you used your coupons to purchase these.  The purchase of the glasses was an entry charge to cover the cost of the band.

Different building materials

Band was great (though we did not know any of the songs which were certainly not from the 60’s and were all sung in German).  Would say around 1000 people crowded the square.

Really enjoyed the Old Town next day.  The Rathaus (town hall)  in Old Town was one of the best we have seen – we seem to keep saying that with every new Rathaus we see.  Looks like a small fairytale medieval castle.   Cobbled stoned streets and quaint little shops and again the wonderful three storey houses (Fachwerk)were a treat. 

Frankenberg Rathaus

The Old Town is at the top of a hill and surrounding the old cathedral, beautiful parks and gardens offer a magnificent view of the town below.  It was a steep climb to the Old Town and the area is very hilly but well worth the effort.

A closeup of the finer work in the Rathaus

The Stellplatz is gratis and also has bonus free wifi which works throughout the old and new towns.  Certainly appreciated having the wi fi as we had quite a long on line chat with Qantas when they advised our return flights had changed – leaving us with 37 hours on planes and in airports on the way home – not happy Jan!  Quite a saga but finally managed to get an earlier flight which gets us home 12 hours earlier than original flight- hope there are no other changes!!

Saturday 4th August

Arrived at our first choice of campsites in Fritzlar to find a circus tent erected opposite the Stellplatz and absolutely no shade whatsoever.  No way was this suitable but as we really wanted to see this village we found a shaded spot nearby the swimming pool.   On with the walking shoes (third pair for me now) and trekked uphill to the old town.

One of the many Turm on the 2.5 km walled town in Fritzlar

Another wonderful Old Town and St Peters Cathedral where again they were setting up a stage abutting the Cathedral for an evening concert.  This week is one of the two – three busiest weeks of the summer season and nearly every place we have visited during this time is “partying” big time.  The town is encircled with a 2.5 km fortified wall where there are at least a dozen Turms (towers) guarding the city.

In the Town Square

Just outside the walled gates we came across a parking area for Mohos and out of 6 – there were two spots left (we couldn’t believe our luck).  We hurried back down the hill and returned ASAP to find we were in still in luck – still two spots left. What a win as this was only 100 metres from the centre of Old Town.

Unusual architecture in Fritzlar

Our campsite for tonight:  Parking Fritzlar – N51.132210.  E9.269740

Still amazingly hot well into the late afternoon so after a few cool drinks we headed into the square for dinner (great pizza) and then to the concert.  Great night but at 10.30 pm the temp was still in the mid thirties!

Sunday 5th August

We have been on the German Fairytale Road over the last few days now.  Named as such because the Brothers Grimm lived here and it is where the fairy tales were written.

Our campsite for tonight:  Wohnmobil Stellplatz, Baunatal -GPS N51.256340.   E9.398870

This is a huge stadium parking area where there are avenues of trees shading the parking places (for cars) and right next door is the Stellplatz – out in the open – without a tree to be seen.   It amazes us that most of the Moho owners in Germany are not bothered by the sun and have no issues with frying in the full sun in their sauna boxes.  TV reception is their first priority and electricity is second – most do not seem to have solar panels.

We parked in the shady car spots for the rest of the day and moved into the Stellplatz in the evening.  Did not venture out of the shade today so cannot report on this town.


2018/07/24 Germany – from the Mosel to the Rhein

Tuesday 24th July 2018

Our campsite for one night:  Moselvorgelande, Neef  – GPS N50.095051    E7.137050

We are suffering from the constant heat now and there is no sign of it letting up.  Strange how we were so looking forward to some warmer weather – now we say “bring back the cool”.  It appears from the news that a lot of Europe and Britain is suffering from the unusually hotter weather.

We sight a beautiful shady Stellplatz on the other side of the river and soon we are parked under some huge trees.   Lot long after we discover why there are lots of spare spots.

The train line runs about 50 metres behind and immediately above the Stellplatz with regular passenger and freight trains running.  The train noise is just bearable however they are expanding the train tunnel so the noise from the earthmoving equipment – not to mention the blasting first thing in the morning and last thing at night – was a little harder to accept.  Decision time – shade or noise?  Shade won hands down so we hopped on the bikes to do some exploring.

The 1132 Church in the vineyards on the Mosel on the bike ride between Neef and Bremm

Not a lot to see in the village but the ride through the vineyards led us to the ruins of an old cathedral dating back to the year 1132 and just below this,  a small beach on the river bend.  We wondered why there were so many cars here in the middle of nowhere but soon saw the kids and the blow up canoes occupying every spare inch of the three metre wide beach!

The bike trail became harder as tarmac gave way to stones so turned back.

Trees and shade provided some relief from the heat but the temperature inside Ziggy remained at 32 degrees well into the night.

Wednesday 25th – Friday 27th July

Travelled a fair distance up and down the Mosel river looking for another shady spot to beat the heat.

Our campsite for three nights:  Moselufer Sankt Aldegund – GPS N50.080662.   E7.131390

Bingo!  The best spot here had just become available so we grabbed this quickly.  The only spot right on the rivers edge, where the tree was large enough to give us shade morning and afternoon.  We were the envy of many around us.

A barge on the Mosel at St Aldegund

The riverside bike trails were excellent and we headed back to Zell, this time another 20km round trip from south to north passing by quite a few great little villages.    It was just so hot so stopped a few times along the way for refreshments.

Street art in St Aldegund (the original wine maker)

Couldn’t wait to get out of the sun, so turned the bike batteries on and peddled hard and fast back to our shady spot under the trees.   It is still mid thirties under the trees and the breeze is hot, so not much relief expected over the next few days.

Nice architecture in St Aldegund

Nicholas, Lisa and their white Swiss German shepherd Carly (from near Dortmund, Germany) camped next to us.   We watched as they played with Carly and swam in the Mosel river. 

Nicolas and Lisa joined us for the WeinFest – Carly the dog was the only one under the table

So many of the campers here swam in the river and though it was very tempting, we could not.  Hot as we were, we did not venture in as the river is so murky and barges come within metres of where we were camped.

The barges are massive with most being between 110 and 178 metres long and they pass by every few minutes. 

A road separated our Stellplatz and the village and there on the edge of the road, large Marques were being erected for a Weinfest on the weekend.

Went to the opening night of the Weinfest on Friday night where the “wine queen” for the region was chosen and we sampled 10 X 100 ml shots of local wines as part of the festivities.  We received a special embossed wine glass (to take home) as well.

The band “California Dreams” played so many of the songs we know well (in English) as well as many German Folk Songs.  Nicholas, Lisa and Carly joined us at long trestle tables and together we all finished the one litre of white wine sampling over five hours and danced the night away.

Happily staggered across the road to Ziggy where we had more nightcaps and watched as the party continued on until 2am.

We were all a bit slow getting up next morning so after a large breakfast and lunch we headed off again.  The Weinfest was running for another three nights and we had no plans to stay on while the Weinfest partied until 2am each day!

We also met and befriended a lovely older couple Wilhelm & Greet from Holland.  Wilhelm’s son is a Hymer specialist in Holland and we are seriously considering a visit to his workshop to get Ziggy serviced before heading to the UK for our last couple of weeks.  Wilhelm helped my driver replace a front light globe – how good is that!

Saturday 28th July

Our campsite for one night:  Wohnmobilstellplatz, Alken – GPS N50.250931   E7.445730

Only a very small Stellplatz with five squeezy (or four comfortable places) but situated on the Mosel right next to this great little village.  It is a tourist stopover with buses bringing in loads of tourists.  Also a day stop over for cruise boats so the restaurants and tourist shops are rally busy when the boats are in.

Burg Thurant (a castle) stands high on the hill overlooking the town and is a popular tourist stop.

Burg Thurant

Great place to visit and the views across the river are great but suggest, if you intend to stay in Alken, to leave early in the morning (before business hours) as the car parking that runs parallel to the Stellplatz makes it very tight for Mohos turning onto the street when leaving.

Alken viewed from Burg Thurant

Sunday 29th & Monday 30th July

Sadly we left the Mosel and headed for the Rhine.  Have had a few great weeks of touring along the Mosel and have seen so many wonderful villages.

Our campsite for two nights:  Am Rhein, Urmitz (just north of Koblenz)- GPS N50.418449.   E7.524550

Wilhelm suggested this Stellplatz as a great place to camp to visit Koblenz.

With the train station only a five minute walk away and Koblenz three stops or 10 minutes ride – this is a great spot for visiting Koblenz.

Only downside are the pitches are tight – narrow at the front and wider at the back so very little room to put out sun awnings.  It was as hot as Hades and we were in full sun until 9pm at night.  Felt like being in a sauna.   Sat under the trees for the afternoon and watched the millions of heavily laden barges go by.  So much more river traffic on the Rhine than the Mosel.

Another really hot and sunny day forecast for day two so were tempted to leave here and park somewhere else in the shade for the day while visiting Koblenz.  Just as we were ready to drive out, a Moho was leaving the only shady spot in this Stellplatz.  Collected my deck chair and headed for the spot, sat down in the middle of it and waited for my driver to come over – no one was going to take this spot away from me!

Happy to be in the shade now, we headed for the train station.

Had many fond memories of Koblenz when we spent some time here in 1978 and went in search of our favourite restaurant in Old Town.  Sadly the old area on the junction of the Mosel and Rhine had been replaced by new and modern apartment buildings so the restaurant was no longer there.

Nice architecture in Koblenz

We walked for hours around the Old Town which is pretty much all mall area now with hundreds of shops and restaurants with only a handful of the older buildings still standing.  The Deutsches Ecke (German corner) was as stunning as ever with the huge statue of stallion and rider guarding the entry to the two great rivers.   Seilbahn’s took you high above the river to the castle on the other side – the scenery is just amazing.

The Navigator (the one in the middle) with some statues at Deutsches Ecke

Beautiful tree lined streets through parks offered lots of shade as we walked back toward the centre of Old Town.

Stopped for lunch in one of the many street restaurants and enjoyed one of the best meals we have had in a restaurant since the beginning of our trip (Turkey breast in pepper sauce). 

The statue at Deutsches Ecke at the junction of the Mosel and Rhein rivers

Time to return to our shady spot in Urmitz so back to the Bahnhof for what was the hottest and most stifling ride ever.  The train was not air-conditioned and all the windows were fixed so could not open them to get fresh air.  It must have been 40 degrees inside and the ten minutes in there waiting for the train to leave the station and the ten minute ride home left us exhausted and dripping wet.  Everyone is complaining about how unusually hot it has been in Germany this summer.

Back to Ziggy in full shade, and on the river, was still uncomfortable.  Even after our shower with taps set to full on cold – provided little relief.  Sat on the riverbank until the sun went down at 10pm.  Fortunately the nights cool down and soon we were back to the mid twenties around midnight.

Tuesday 31st July

Made the decision to leave the rivers as there seems to be little shade on offer and no cooling breezes and head for the high country.

Our campsite for tonight:  Freizeitpark An Der Rheinaue, Bonn – GPS N50.709862.   E7.138890

Priority was to find shade and cooler temperatures.  We stopped in a Forest for lunch and a cool break for a few hours before heading off again.

We are heading north now away from the mighty and beautiful, but busy Mosel and Rhine rivers.  Too many holiday makers in this area and after more than a year where we have been pretty much alone, it is hard to get used to wall to wall campers though we have not had any troublesome neighbours.

Where every second vehicle we passed on the riverside roads was a motorhome, they are becoming scarcer as we travel higher into the mountains on side roads.

It feels like autumn already as the trees are changing colour and millions of leaves are already littering the ground – Lack of water and the heat here probably causing this.

This Stellplatz in southern Bonn is gratis and solely for motorhomes.  Giant trees on both sides gave us all day shade and right next door is the most magnificent park.  Only downside is that it is close to a four lane road which was a little noisy, but no problems during the night, even with the windows open.

We heard in the distance, what sounded like a band setting up.  Soon cars started filling the carpark on the other side and once this was full, they parked in the spare Moho spots around us.  It is so frustrating that we are not allowed to park in carparks but cars do not have a problem with taking up the limited “Moho only parking spots”.

Justice was served as the local council car pulled up and started booking the cars in the Moho area  – first time we have seen this.  We had a particularly irate parking offender, question us on the ticket issue and not satisfied with our answer (in German) checked out the tickets given to the other cars.

Concert finished around 11pm and we slept like babies.