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Published: September 25th 2017
We found ourselves on Day 4 of the holiday. We have ticked off Hever and that old chestnut Trier and now we are just in travelling mode. Driving through thick german forests, driving along two lane German motorways and looking over fields of apple trees and maize. It rained yet again – another cats and dogs sort of rain. At least none of it is coming in Suzy. We pass fields full of vines devoid of any grapes. The harvest is well and truly in. More and more we see the colours of Autumn on the trees.Sally Sat Nag shows us no speed limits as there are none on German motorways . You drive at whatever speed you feel comfortable at. God help you if you crash. You get the book thrown at you. And they do drive at speed.
We rang Derbyshire caravans up to discuss any options for sorting out the fridge . I need cold wine. They asked if we had checked the mains switch board. Yes we had and nothing had blown. We had even found the yellow 20 amp fuse that works the fridge and replaced it with another . Nothing it still would not
work. They thought it was probably the control panel. Bring it in. Fine but we are in Germany heading for Austria . They didn’t know any local Thetford agencies in either country and they couldn’t guarantee they would have the parts so it looks like we will be fridgeless for the remainder of the holiday. We will need to book Suzy in for them to look at her when we return. So it is warm wine then.
Tonight we are at Camping Waldpark. A lovely site in a pristine village where it looks as if the litter pickers are out all the time ensuring the village looks lovely. Surrounded by trees it is an idyllic site to while away a night. Mein Herr is much nicer than our host in Trier and tells us to park anywhere. Bread and croissants can be ordered for the morrow and there is a restaurant open and with an extensive menu mainly Italian. Sounds good to me. We did end up there with a large bottle of white wine, a Pizza Margarita for Glenn, a Spag Bol for me followed by Tiramisu and Limoncello. We slept well , well fed quite cheaply and
content in our own little world. In the morning the Brodman arrived with our breakfast . How perfect is that?
We left our little piece of heaven amongst the trees early and set off along the german roads heading for the Austrian border. We were sad to leave as it was such a lovely place. The traffic along the route was awful. All the lorries holed up yesterday were now making up for lost time. Traffic jams along the way. Some due to road works and others for no reason whatsoever. We called in for diesel before hitting a very narrow section of road. We found ourselves squeezed in between a large lorry and the metal posts and stanchions in the middle of the road. Bang , twack – the lorry had come over to our side and Glenn had to drive closer to the reservation hitting Suzy’s mirror in the process. Out of the window I saw the rubber surrounds of the mirror guard flapping in the wind. I managed to retrieve it and luckily neither the mirror nor the guard were damaged . We considered ourselves lucky the lorry had not come so close that we would
have had nowhere to go. Yet again we thanked our lucky stars for our narrow escape but in the same breath swore that yet again we seem to attract problems without even trying. This holiday seems thwarted with them. What else could possibly go wrong?
Into Austria we paid our 9 euros to go over the Brennar Pass. Not our favourite way into Italy but certainly picturesque. Chalets full of geraniums in window boxes, bucolic cows with cowbells – it is a stunningly beautiful country and one we always just travel through on our way to somewhere else. That somewhere else was going to be the world heritage site of the Dolomite mountains. They look like nothing else you see in this part of the world . Jagged peaks looking like teeth. Pink coloured rocks . Pretty impressive I have to say. . High up in them it felt colder. We were at 1500 meters. Nothing much grows up there. It is as area unlike the Alps or the Pyranees. Austrian type Tirolean Chalets, the signs in both German and Italian showing the area was once Austrian. Both languages being used. Window boxes full of mauve and yellow Petunias. Onion domed churches. Alpine flowers – tiny blue Gentians and mauve Autumn crocus. There is none of the exuberance of Spring in Greece but what there is certainly charms.
We passed the first of the milky blue lakes fed by the mountain streams and saw the cars and motorhomes parked there. No camping overnight though which is a shame as the view from the van would be stunning. We climbed higher until we reached the next lake Misarina . First stop was the sosta at the top of the mountain. The village or hamlet as it was so small had provided a large hard standing area for motorhomers to stay over. There was no water nor electricity and the cost appeared to be 2 euros for one hour or 18 for an overnight stay. We intended to stay overnight. I rummaged in my purse for the 18 euros but found I did not have enough in change to pay for overnight parking. We ended up walking to the Lake Misarina to see what we could find and more importantly to hunt out change.
The lake is beautiful stretching across the valley floor milky in colour with the mountains hemming it in. There were not many people about , in fact the village which is tiny probably only comes to life in the winter months when the snow is on the ground. In the distance is a large hotel painted in buttermilk and with moss green shutters . They and the mountains were reflected in the lake. . All the hotels well the two of them were painted in the same colour scheme . They looked classy and empty. There is one supermarket a deSpar with a good selection of food, a tat shop, a knife shop with good selection of Swiss Army knives, a café and a restaurant cum bar . Old fashioned inside with skies and poles lining the walls it certainly catered for the winter skiing trade. There was not much to make you want to linger there in the pouring rain. We walked back to Suzy armed with enough cash to feed the machine. However given the lack of anything up here we decided to head down the valley to an ACSI site where we could hopefully settle down to a warm night with the heater on.
Our campsite was on the edge of yet another milky coloured lake with stunning views of the Dolomites all around. 19 euros a night it made the aire feel expensive. But then the added extras – tourist tax one euro 10 cents each - another tax of the same price and we ended up using 3 kwh of electricity at 70 cents a kwh. The bill grew steadily to 25 euros. Still we had a good night. A quiet one in a beautiful setting. We slept well and tomorrow we will head off on the next step of the trip to Trento.
As we are in the mountains my thought for the day is quite apt. A Chinese proverb “There are many paths to the top of the mountain but the view is always the same". Apt but sadly not true in this case as the view was not the same as anywhere else we have seen. What a view with more to come tomorrow .
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