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Published: June 12th 2019
Today is a normal day so we start with a second attempt at the supermarket. This time we don’t try to enter the car park. The van is allegedly 1.85m and the height limit allegedly 2.10m. One of these allegations is false as we discovered yesterday when we went clattering into the barrier.
We purchase bread and cheese and set off for Switzerland accompanied by Six the Musical. Most of the day is spent driving; a total of 5 hours, with one brunch stop at a French service station. We arrive in Switzerland mid afternoon. Daughter no 2 is clutching her carnet. I have the passports. We are stopped at the border but they’re only interested that we cough up 40 Francs for a year’s Swiss road tax.
We decide to go to the toilet while we’re stopped. There are portaloos, which are the worst smelling place I’ve ever been. There is a bus load of Chinese tourists parked outside. The smell is so overpowering that I’m seriously tempted to open the door mid pee and rapidly weigh up whether exposing myself to a group of 50 camera toting tourists is preferable to bearing the stench of those toilets.
We continue to our B&B in the village of Obermumpf. The landscape en route is very industrial. We drive along a 3 lane highway past factories spewing fumes into the air. It’s nothing like the image in my head, where most of Switzerland looks like the finale to the Sound of Music.
From Obermumpf you can walk across a medieval wooden bridge over the Rhine to Germany. There are people walking back across the bridge with bags of Toblerone. This is how high the cost of living is in Switzerland; people reimport Swiss chocolate from Germany.
Our B&B host is an American tattooist and his other guest a Belgian architect. We spend a pleasant evening eating, drinking and chatting, take an evening stroll through the village, then retire ready to complete our journey in the morning.
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