Day 834 – Euro Mini Tour – 13 Jun 12
For piccies see www.eastmidlandsdea.co.ukPrimarily this blog is aimed at keeping our daughter in the UK, Chloe, abreast of our adventures in Europe. Additionally, we hope that other readers will find snippets of info regarding campsites, prices and foreign travel interesting or perhaps just informative.
Arrived at Camping Mosel, Cochem after a 45 minute trip. Couldn’t fit into the first pitch they offered, which was, as requested, right on the riverbank. A tiny interlinking road system made it impossible to negotiate turns round Z –bends and up high kerbs. So we gave up on that asked for a pitch with more space. Not on the bank, but large and grassy – further away from the TRAINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!! The Mosel has TRAINS!!!!!!!! And many of them.
Cycled into Cochem, about 2kms, and it's a very pretty town dominated by a large Reichs Castle high above. It was very busy with about 20 coach loads of visitors crowding the bars in bright sunshine. We walked along the front and took the ferry back to the other bank where we left the bikes. Had a shop in ALDI, which was a bit shabby really compared to LIDL. Then a pleasant evening in the sunshine.
Rained overnight and this morning (6th) so we hung on till midday before walking into Cochem and had a ride on the Sesslebahn (€6.30) (sort of ski-lift) up to the top of the hills above the town. Great views of the Mosel Valley and our campsite. Went for the duty Schnitzel (it's schnitzel woche!) and then onto the Mosel Wein Woche in the town square. About a dozen vineyards plying their wares at very reasonable prices, live oompah bands and parades of townsfolk. Stayed far too long after meeting Claire and Stewart ( RAF ) and Drew and Cath, who were at our campsite and on their way to Mannheim. Good night had by all.
Quiet day today (7th) as rain clears. It might be a light lunch followed by a walk up to the Reichsburg Castle. Caught the bus up (€2.50) and walked down. As usual for Germany, no tours in English – it's a common occurrence. Nice castle with great views down the Mosel once again.
I make no apologies for bringing up the dog problem again – or rather the irresponsibility of their owners. Example 1: 4 very large dogs taken for their evening constitutional and they couldn’t wait to do their stuff – so it was squirted all over the pathway. Owner ignored the mess until it was pointed out to him and then he still left it until a further complaint was made. Then cleared up after stream of abuse. Example 2: Dogs should be on leads – big notice at reception. The rules clearly do not apply to our neighbours, of course. Therefore, 2 dogs allowed to roam free, barking and doing their stuff over random pitches in the general area. Objections met with shrugs of shoulder. Then the terrier attacks another dog and its owner as they walk peaceably by. No apologies and dog still free. It really is just not good enough. This behaviour gives all other dog owners a bad name – which is why it is not surprising that more and more sites are banning your four legged friends. Perhaps dog owners should more forcefully police their fellow campers with errant pets?
Well, we went into Cochem to try and access the internet. €1 for 30 mins it said! However, the computer was using IE4 and took 10 minutes to load a page. Didn’t even get through to Google Mail. We just can't believe how backward Germany is in some things – Credit Cards and Wi-Fi – pathetic. Anyhoo, we checked the wx and it's not great for the next fortnight. It started raining, and the neighbours were blasting out music, their dogs were barking and kids screaming and then we got a text from Paul and Jackie saying they were going to Garda, and it was sunny and warm. So we had a quick plan change and tomorrow – 9th – we are heading for Garda via Strasbourg – where hopefully we’ll dump Smartie - and go on to Lucerne. Should get to Camping Serenella in Bardolino on Monday afternoon. What's the point of being in a 'van if you can't just take off. Italy here we come. We can even do the last week of the French tour on the way back and catch the ferry on the 28th as planned.
Well, we packed up and set off to Strasbourg (9th) after grassing up our noisy neighbours. It was lucky that we didn’t take the River View pitch. We would NEVER have got out without damaging the 'van, Smartie or both. It was difficult enough anyway. Made Strasbourg in good time – got a bit lost twice – but that was due to roadworks at critical moments. Herr Wendling was most obliging and agreed to store Smartie for 10 days at a cost of €50. It would have cost €35 for the trailer Vignette and fuel – so a good deal – and the site at Bardolino doesn’t take big outfits!
My gout has re-appeared and the urticarial is a fierce as ever. I am now going on a plain food diet for a week. Pity it's in Italy.
Took off early from Europa Camping, (ACSI) where Herr Wendling was pleased to meet the author of the review of his campsite in MMM. He had it laminated on the wall of his office. Got into Switzerland with no problem, bought a Vignette at the last German petrol station and arrived in Lucerne (ACSI) to find the reception closed for lunch till 3pm! Luckily we met some old acquaintances from Benicassim, so we sat and chatted for an hour till the owner appeared. Site was quite wet so only a few pitches available. But we’re in and all is well – except for me being a bloody hospital case.
Had a bad night with the gout but it's now improving. Set off at 8am from Lucerne and had a pleasant drive through the Swiss mountains to Garda. Shirl did most of the driving which gave me a welcome rest. Jackie and Paul had secured the last 2 pitches on the campsite, fighting off Dutch opposition. Great to see them and after a light lunch in the very warm sunshine the footie beckons – after a late swim. Might stay an extra week so we can go to the opera in Verona. The weather and the company and location bode well.
Great first night but thunderstorms in the morning with quite a bit if rain, but sun now out and a trip into Garda later for some provisions.
Looking forward to a good two weeks unexpected sun and company.
M and D
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