Friday, 29 July 2016

T4rdis2 Tour 2 - Day 26 - 29 Northeastern France and Germany

Day 26
Tuesday 26th July 2016.  Hottest day yet. The Temperature gauge reached 33 degrees and we reached boiling point!

We didn’t really have a very good day today!  When we mention to people how we live  they seem to think it’s quite idyllic, and most of the time it is, however sometimes, the constant planning and moving can be quite hard work and stressful, and added to that, the ongoing heat and humidity  of the last few days had made us both a tad grumpy.  

So when we got up this morning and the temperature gauge was already touching 28 degrees, we weren’t in the best of humours. And today was the day that we planned to cross over into Germany which meant we had to come to terms with new road signage and language, and also the Aires had now changed to Stellplatze and the only book that we’ve got telling us about them is written in German!

Crossing over into Germany into the state of Baden-Wurttemberg, was as simple as continuing to drive along the road, so immediately after we were over the border we set off on our first mission which was to obtain an ‘umweltplaket’ that would allow us to enter low emission zones of which there are many in Germany.  This was accomplished easily and quickly, but after that we encountered several irritating misfortunes that didn’t improve our humour at all, especially as the interior of T4rdis2 was around 35 degrees and we were melting!  

First we ended up driving in the wrong direction and had to turn tail and retrace our tyre tracks, then we got stuck in a traffic jam for nearly an hour (the first we have encountered on this tour), and then the Stellplatze we wanted to stay on was closed - and by this time John had had more than enough of driving and just wanted to get parked up for the evening!  

We ended up staying on a bit of rough ground that called itself a Stellplatze near the town of Mullheim, but it served a purpose - it let us rest and gave us time to make a proper ongoing plan for the next few days.

Day 27
Wednesday 27th July 2016 - It’s cooler - only 26 degrees today and with some cloud cover!

The Church at Todtnau
Our plan for today was to drive up into the hills of Schwarzwald - The Black Forest, specifically initially to visit Todtnau and it’s Tourist Information Office.  Then we thought we would continue our journey to Lake Titisee and spend a few days on a camp site there which would allow us to time to explore the area more toughly.  However, when we arrived at Todtnau after another lovely mountain drive, we discovered a very pleasant Stellplatze that wasn't marked in our book and plenty of walking routes in the area, so for tonight we are staying put.  

Following lunch we set off to find The Hangloch waterfall - at 97 metres it is the highest natural fall in Germany - so as you would imagine, it was all uphill to get there.  However, thankfully we were mostly walking in dappled shade and there was also a nice breeze that cooled us as we went.

We did think that after all the dry hot weather there might not be much to see, but the water fell in two huge pretty cascades so our effort in getting there was amply rewarded, and we were also able to watch, on the opposite side of the ravine, a huge toboggan run and cable cars that took mountain bikers up the hill, thus allowing them to come down under their own steam! Sharon, it would have been just your cup of tea so fingers crossed there will be something similar in the Czech Republic!

Day 28
Thursday 28th July 2016 - Another nice cool day - only 24 degrees!

This morning we left our Stellplatze at Todtnau and headed deeper into the Black Forest passing by deep ravines and chugging up steep hills to reach the lake at Titisee where we planned to splash out and spend the next couple of nights on a campsite. When we arrive the site seemed fairly packed but we were offered a choice of about 20 pitches, and most with a lake view, so T4rdis2 was soon snuggled in amongst lots of other campers of many nationalities.

Then we had a lazy lunch before toddling off into the lovely town itself - and it really was as if it had been painted on a picture post-card. The streets were absolutely spotless and full of pretty flowers, as well as numerous shops selling everything from bread in a bottle (not ships) to cuckoo clocks. We also found something that vaguely looked like bacon but when the shop keeper gave me a taste it seemed to be more like tough shoe leather so we declined to buy.

And finally, we couldn't quite resist the invitation of Germany's most favourite alcoholic tipple - which is beer of course! Apparently they drink an average of 100 litres per year per person, so we settled down in a beer garden right beside the lake and purchased a drop of their famous black beer to start our tally! Cheers to you all - and very nice it was too.

Day 29
Friday 29th July 2016 - Another warm mostly sunny day

This morning we set off to walk around the lake - a distance of about 8kms - so we weren't really expecting it to take us to long, but it was a very pretty. To start we climbed up a steep path on to a heavily wooded plateau where we found lots of ancient pines lining our way, along with numerous signs identifying it as a winter cross country sky route. When we came across a bench with a pair of skis on it I think John got a bit confused as to the activity he was surpossed to be undertaking!

I eventually pausuaded him to get down and walk, and as we continued on our way we came across what was surpossed to be a beaver pond! We couldn't spot any beavers but we did find this little family of ducklings all snuggled up and taking a nap. Then, quite quickly we were back in the town of Titisee so we took advantage of one of it's pretty lake side parks to sit and have our lunch, before returning to T4rdis2 for another lazy afternoon of reading and, for me, napping. Tomorrow we plan to move on, first to lake Schluchsee, and then onto the River Rhine, where hopefully, we'll be a bit more energetic and get our bikes out again to do a bit more peddling.

Anyway, bye for now xx