Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Beyond Vienna, 3 and 4 October 2017

Since we were parked up just opposite a McDonald's, we decided to treat ourselves to a McDonald's breakfast.  In Germany, they don't force feed you hash browns with your sausage and egg McMuffin, I was glad to find!  I do love them (sausage and egg McMuffins) but try not to eat them too often.

After that, it was a long and dreary drive to Calais.  Originally we had planned to break our journey somewhere in Belgium, but of course the extra day in Hungary put paid to that, and the long drive isn't impossible, just boring.  There had been a couple of bad crashes on the border - the only crashes we saw all holiday, thankfully - which held us up for a bit, but not too badly.  We stopped a couple of times for breaks and lunch, and arrived at Cité Europe at about 5:30.  After a cup of tea, I went shopping in the Carrefour there, and the SW went for a walk, and then we decided to visit one of the restaurants in the Cité Europe instead of going to the Buffalo Grill like we usually do.  Big mistake - the meal was foul.  The snails were okay, but one of them was so tightly stuck in its shell that I had to break it to get it out.  The duck was edible, I suppose, but its sauce was way, way too salty for my taste, and the potatoes that came with it were undercooked.  Plus the helping was too large.  Then I ordered crepes with jam for pudding - they were tepid, tough, and he'd sprinkled them with sugar and THEN expected me to put jam on them.  I did eat one, but really.... not good.  Won't be going to that restaurant again.

Sad to wake up this morning amid those motorhomes that were heading off on holiday as well as the ones coming home.  Wishing we were going in the other direction, we presented ourselves to Eurotunnel hoping for an earlier crossing.  Oh dear, disruptions, and a two hour delay.... but fortunately it caught up with itself and we crossed at our booked time of 11:20 - home in time for lunch, although then there were hassles with the builders who fill our car park each day and make it so impossible to come in and out.... sigh... how soon can we go away again?

Monday, 2 October 2017

Beyond Vienna, 2 October 2017

Another wet day, alas. We set out from wherever it was we had spent the night, just outside Kitzbühel.  Our first port of call was Landau, a large ReWe where we did a Last Shop in Germany, and then we headed cross country, in the rain, towards Trier. We missed one services, where we had planned to stop briefly to put on jerseys, etc, but finally found one to do for lunch. We are parked up in the big park and ride car park - not 100% sure we are supposed to spend the night here, but people seem to. Certainly they did last year....

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Beyond Vienna, 1 October 2017

It had stopped raining by the time we were ready to go out this morning. As it was Sunday, we assumed we'd be able to park in the street, and indeed, that turned out to be the case, and we could probably have parked even nearer to the town centre than we actually did.

We had a pleasant walk round the centre of Augsburg, and in the main square we came across a mass balloon-release - we have no idea what it was in aid of, and were rather surprised that Germany allows such a thing (so bad for the environment), but it was pretty!

After a cup of coffee, we found a bakery that was open and bought rolls for lunch, and then headed back to the motor home to head on north up the A8, only this turned out to be blocked, so the Satnav took us the pretty way, with such an attractive lay-by to park in for lunch!  Only an oxbow where they had straightened the road, but still!

Then on, and I fell asleep and didn't weaken until we arrived at the Aire here just north of Kitzbühel, I believe. Not where I had intended for us to stay, but the SW decided it was less off our route.

Beyond Vienna, 30 September 2017

One of the loveliest mornings of the holiday so far!  We decided to breakfast outside, and the picnic table was brought into use for that. Then we cleared up and said a sad farewell to the Alps, and headed off. Or first stop was a local ReWe, which was disappointing as it had a rather poor range of meat and sausages (but it did have Federweisse!) and we had to stop again later for meat.
The aire in Augsburg was very nearly full when we arrived; we were lucky to get place. The SW went for an explore and said the town centre was lovely, but shortly after supper the rain came, and hasn't really stopped since!

Friday, 29 September 2017

Beyond Vienna, 29 September 2017

Today was one of those days when we visited three different countries in one day!  We started off in Slovenia, at Lake Bled, where after breakfast we tidied up and I made a quick dash to the supermarket for rolls and milk while the SW used the services and checked out.  The first bit of driving was down to Jesenice, where we were finally able to join the motorway in time to go through the Karawanken tunnel into Austria, and thus over Austrian motorways to Bad Reichenhall which, despite being a suburb of Salzburg is, in fact, in Germany!  We had one stop for the SW to drink coffee, and then turned aside in Salzburg to get diesel as it was cheaper there. Mind you, the last time we'd filled up had been in Hungary, and we have been in Croatia and Slovenia since then!

Bad Reichenhall is an old friend; we used to come here on ice dance courses back in the day, and after a hard morning's work at the rink, many of us used to spend our afternoons at the Rupertusbad, a wonderful spa baths the other side of town. Well, the motorhome park is just across the road from the spa, so guess where I headed after digesting our rather late lunch!  It was being upgraded the last year we were here, but that was some years ago now, and it is still great fun. There is now a public swimming pool as well as the spa area - if you buy a ticket for the late you can use the former, but not vice versa. I decided against a sauna, but spent my time in the indoor and outdoor salt baths with a mixture of jacuzzis, overhead water massage, as the circular current thing like they have in the baths in Budapest!  Great fun!

Meanwhile I was very impressed by the locker system. You got given a wristband as you went in - pink ones for the sauna and blue for the rest of it - and you undressed in the usual little cabin with a wet floor (which locked by bolts on the benches, not the doors, rather confusingly), and then you put your stuff in an open cupboard which you locked with the wristband!  And when you were near it, coming out, it flashed at you!  Much better than trying to have the right coin and remember your number (I can never read the labels on the keys without my spectacles).
I'd stupidly forgotten my flip-flops, since I'd been wearing them as slippers since Budapest, and in hindsight my towelling robe would have been nice, too, but you can't have everything.  And it was fun.

But we are definitely on the way home now!

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Beyond Vienna, 28 September 2017

Feeling quite a lot better today, thankfully, so this morning we went for a potter around the lake. Sadly, my stupid lungs don't seem to like being at even this rather modest altitude (it's only about 500 metres - dammit, I've competed at much higher!).  So we didn't walk as far as we would have liked, but came back and had a coffee in the café here.

Then the SW learnt that he could use some practice ice at the rink here, so we got our act together and went into town on the little tourist train that runs round the lake for the purpose.
There was time for a sandwich in the rink café before the session started, so we had that, and then went into the rink to meet the coach and confirm it was ok. The first half hour was primary-school children, so the SW got some solid work in, and then he got off when the older, better skaters got on.  We had just missed a little train, so wandered down to the next stop, hoping to find the supermarket (there is one up here, but its range is somewhat limited), which we didn't, but we did find a place that sold ice cream, so had a delicious cone before the little train came along. 

After which, the SW insisted on going out on yet another walk, round some mountains, and I read quietly.  And am about to make an interesting supper of sausages and leftovers!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Beyond Vienna, 27 September 2017

After yesterday's awful drive, I was really dreading today's. We started off by driving into Ljubljana, hoping to see some of the sights and sing en route at a supermarket for bread,, but when we got to the car park he'd chosen, the SW said the turn into it was too tight, so we decided to head on.  What we saw of the city looked pleasant and prosperous, although we didn't see the old town or the castle.
The drive to Bled turned out not to be too ghastly, after all. A lot of it was on a concrete road, which vibrated horribly, and there were some hairpins, but in the whole it was all right.  We arrived and set up on time for lunch, and then the SW went out to explore. I was very tired and not feeling great, so I slept almost all the afternoon. 

We are to spend a whole day here tomorrow, and tomorrow night, and I have no real plans to do much other than potter!