Tiny Steps

Half an hours drive from Schongau was Landsberg am Lech. The stellplatz is a section of a big carpark, so not very picturesque. The town itself was beautiful. We had a walk around the pastel coloured buildings and alongside the torrent that was the river Lech, as well as a couple of mill lets that came off into town, with several old water wheels still present though no longer in use,  on several buildings   The weather was closing in however so we hurried back to the van in time for lunch and shelter


Back at the van the rain hammered down for 36+ hours. We didn’t think it worth getting drenched walking back into town, especially with Nefyn who limits the indoor stuff we can do so we stayed in the van. The following day we stayed put as it didn’t seem worth moving on. Thank heavens for the Internet which helped to keep us amused. 

Today we moved further up the romantic road to Augsburg. This turned out to be a big town and has an old centre, though we didn’t see it. We stopped at an out of town stellplatz by a lake. Dogs weren’t allowed anywhere near the lake and it was all too deserted so we decided it was time to head out of Germany towards the Czech Republic     We need some new experiences. We decided not to stay but to move on another half hour to the town of Aichach. We had no expectations. The stellplatz seemed to be off a main road in a retail park but were surprised to find a beautiful old town, with two big gate houses, cobbled streets and an Indian takeaway!  Had a lovely walk. No the food was great!

Oberammergau

Having moved on from our woodland stellplatz we ended up in Garmisch Partenkirken.  Intersteingly we arrived via a private road we’d ridden out of Garmisch on our bikes while on our big trip some years ago.  

The stellplatz in Garmisch wasn’t particularly welcoming.  Essentially it was a large car park on the edge of town at the base of the Wankbanhoff sky lift.  The address was the wankbahn strasse.  The sudden onset of a massive thunderstorm didn’t enhance it’s appearance, so we set up off the valley to Oberammergau.  Here we booked into a campsite and made use of the washing machine to get our washing done.  

Oberammergau itself almost seemed a parody of a tourist destination.  A decent sized village/town, obviously affluent if judged by the sporting facilities, with numerous hotels and restaurants and tourist shops, but very little else.  We did however come across our first bus load of Japanese tourists, taking photographs of most everything as well as numerous selfies, with scant regard paid to cars driving through the town.  

We had planned to wander back in to town for an evening meal, but the mid afternoon thunderstorm and ensuing rain made us decide against it.  So another relaxing evening in Wotan before setting of again tomorrow.   

Moving On

We had. A wonderful last day in Bayrischzell. To be honest we didn’t do much in the day. We were still all exhausted after our trip up the Wendelstein. We had a pleasant day around the stellplatz. It’s was very warm and Nefyn spent a couple of hours pottering around in the stream while Ian & I took turns sat in the shade on the bank keeping an eye on her. In the evening we strolled into town ( less than 5 minutes!) for a meal at the Hotel Gasthof Zur Post. We sat at one of the few empty outside tables. The food and company were excellent. I don’t think we’ve ever had so much interaction with people at the tables nearby. Our nearest neighbours provided a translation service between us and the waitress as well as being very tolerant of Nefyn staring at them eating until we pulled her away. Another guy gave her some leftover ham from his plate.  Ian had a venison goulash while my veal schnitzel came with a wonderful mixed salad starter and accompanied by fried onion and potatoes.


   To finish we thought we’d try schnapps, a drink that we’ve no real experience of.  We like to try local stuff so the waitress pointed out a local schnapps which she said was the root of a flower in the mountains, she described it as “not good but Bavarian”!  She was right! It was more like paint stripper or cough medicine. The apple/pear one was fine. The couple at the third table were quite amused and came over to see what we thought of it?  They were from Munich & we had a nice chat before it was time to hold with goodbyes  and gut fahrts from several tables

The following morning we made the short journey to a stellplatz in the village of Fall, beside the Sylvensteinsee, a large 3 pronged reservoir. It was lovely!  The parking places were in a wood, a short walk from the reservoir where Nefyn had a swim and we were watched by a naked man sunbathing on the grass.



This morning we planned a flat 1 hour way marked walk but got lost. After over an hour, mostly uphill, in the heat & being bitten by insects, we turned back only to realise we’d got about half way around the 2 1/2 hour  marked route!  Back at the van we had a good drink, packed up and set off to the stellplatz at Garmisch. It was like a huge car park   There was probably plenty to do there but we didn’t like it. We had lunch as a thunderstorm boomed overhead and torrential rain made a little lake around the van. 


Once it passed we moved on to Oberammergau where we’ve booked in to the campsite. I’ve done two lots of washing and we’ve both luxuriated in spacious hot showers, the first outside of the van for nearly a fortnight   Will decide tomorrow whether to stay another night or move on again.

Wendelstein

We’re back in Bayrischzell for a few days. We arrived yesterday and did the same 1 hour loop into the village as previously but sampled a different cafe for a beer. The stellplatz is actually only 5 minutes or less from the village centre but it’s good to take the scenic route!

 What a wonderful day we’ve had today but we’re now both exhausted with aching joints. After a quick walk to the tourist info centre we decided the best route up the nearby Wendelstein mountain was to walk to the cable car station, go up and down and walk back.  A bit disappointing to miss the rack and pinion railway but that would have involved a 1 hour bus trip to the other side of the mountain at 8.00 am and it was already gone 9.00. The bus might have been easier!  It was a 40 minute flat but hot  walk along the valley, through open fields alongside the river to reach the cable car station.  Nefyn sat on Ian’s lap going up on the cable car. She couldn’t really see out and it was very crowded so she was a bit nervous 


Emerging from the top station we crossed the cafe area and climbed to a small lookout to see the wonderful views into the snow capped Alps of Austria. Much, much higher was the very top of the mountain and observatory. 


The steep path zigzagged up 150 metres. I was relieved to find some benches on the top for a sit down. We had a lovely chat with 3 young girls from Washington state, USA & their Mum, who was from Bavaria.  Their grandparents were also there but only spoke German


After a good rest we ventured down for a hearty lunch of currywurst and chips for Ian, bratwurst & potato salad for me. There were no sparrows picking at the crumbs but a big flock of choughs. Wow!  Then it was time to go back down to the bottom in the gondola.  The 40 minutes back to the stellplatz was a bit of a trudge for me and Ian but Nefyn was full of beans, running ahead to paddle in the stream as much as she could. Back at the van the three of us put our feet up and took a couple of hours to recover!  We’re feeling our age but it was a great day!

Bad Aibling

We arrived back here yesterday afternoon ready for the new tyres. Unfortunately they hadn’t arrived so we settled in to the stellplatz.  Nefyn and I found a nice circular walk alongside the river and back while Ian took the opportunity to play his harmonica. It’s very busy here and several vans who arrived late in the evening had to go elsewhere. 

This morning we had the tyres fitted. Ian stayed with the van while Nefyn and I set off to find an ATM for some cash. I had a little difficulty as they’re all hidden inside banks but eventually I was successful and in the process found the lovely town centre which we’d totally missed before. After lunch back in the stellplatz we decided to try out the German railway system with a trip to the nearby town of Rosenheim. Some schoolgirls helped me at the ticket machine. It’s quite tricky dealing machines if you don’t know the language and we were soon on the very quiet electric train for the 10-15 minute trip. Rosenheim was a bit disappointing. Ian had read that it had a beautiful mediaeval centre but he must have been reading about a different town. It was more like Cardiff with lots of chain stores though the buildings were obviously more German. We wandered around for an hour or so before heading back on the train.  Interestingly no one checked our tickets on either leg of the trip, not even when entering or exiting the large station at Rosenheim!  They’re obviously more honest and trusting here than at home

Stellplatz Rule

We’ve now stayed on 4 Stellplatz, and are so pleased to have discovered them.  After the 100 Euro for 2 nights shock in the Austrian campsite, it’s a return to sanity.  

After Bad Reichenhall we stayed at Bad Aibling.  Not the most scenic of towns, but on the way we visited a camping shop to buy 2 new chairs, as well as doing a supermarket shop, and also ordered 2 new tyres for Wotan!  They won’t be in stock until the end of the week, so we’ve headed up in to the Bavarian Alps for a few days.  

Our first stop was at Bayrischzell.  A beautiful alpine village.  It’s tourist high season is in the winter, as there are many ski lifts and ski runs in the area.  We took advantage of the Nordic skiing/cycle path to enjoy a nice circular walk, ending in the village, where we enjoyed a quiet beer before heading back to Wotan.  We had intended ascending the Wendelstein mountain by cable car, but the weather forecast was a little unsettled so we gave it a miss.



In the evening, and overnight we had lots of rain, such that we ate supper inside.  

Yesterday we moved 15 kilometres or so to the shores of Lake Spitzingsee.  It’s a beautiful small lake with a path around which takes about an hour to complete.  We’re so settled here we’re planning a second night before heading back to Bad Aibling in the morning to get the new tyres fitted.  


Bad Reichenhall

We took a lovely scenic route along a good road through pretty Tyrolese villages this morning. Everything is so neat and tidy here compared to Greece. There’s no peeling paintwork or derelict buildings.  Everything is pristine and there are tubs of flowers everywhere. Just before Salzburg we crossed the border into Germany and shortly after reached the small spa town of Reichenhall. After lunch and a rest we walked into town. The main attraction, apart from the modern spa, is the Kurgarden but dogs aren’t allowed in so we wandered through the pedestrianised town centre. All the shops were shut as it was Sunday but there were plenty of people wandering around in the sunshine or eating and drinking in the many cafes and bars. We stopped off for a cold drink in one before heading back to the stellplatz. Ian and Nefyn went on ahead so I could take a look in the Kurgarden. It contains a huge wooden structure, about 100m long packed with what must be tons of twigs with water pouring over them. It’s apparently some sort of air purifier. People were walking around or sitting beside it. There was also a large fountain with deckchairs to sit at. The air did smell rather fresh and ozone-ish but it was rather weird!

Back at the van we enjoyed the free high speed internet and started preparing food as the clouds gathered and distant thunder was heard. We made the right choice of moving indoors to eat just as the rain reached us. It’s cooled everything down nicely so we should sleep well before moving on again tomorrow

Austria, 

From Modena we headed due north up the motorway and over the Brenner Pass into Austria. Passing Innsbruck we arrived at Camping Seeblik Toni. A very pleasant campsite by a small lake, Reitensee.  We stayed two nights enjoying the cooler temperatures, walks around the like and dramatic evening thunderstorms. 


 It turned out to be our most expensive stop yet at €101 for two nights!  Time to avoid campsites in favour of Aires and stellplatz I think!  Now we’re off to Germany and the Bavarian Alps

Modena, Italy

Moving north for cooler weather was a reasonable plan but northern Italy wasn’t far enough. After leaving Ancona we had a simple motorway drive for a couple of hours to Modena. This is an interesting town home to balsamic vinegar, Pavarotti and close to the Ferrari factory but it was too hot to explore. It was 37° when we arrived at the excellent Camper Modena Club Mutina, a small motorhome sosta with campsite facilities and a shuttle bus into town. We sat on the grass in the shade of the trees trying to keep cool until bed time. Fortunately though hot by day nighttime temperatures were much lower than Greece so we had our most comfortable night for weeks. The next days temperature forecast for Modena was 39° so we set off, without seeing the town and headed north once again