10th September 2016. Schulenberg im Oberharz, Germany.

We started off very late today, we had a ‘household chores’ morning.

We had high hopes of the SAT NAV today but she let us down as soon as it was switched on.

She was trying to send us down a footpath and when Darren drove along the only lane out of the stëllplatz the screen showed him off roading.  It doesn’t bode well!

It was an exciting journey, there were a LOT of roadworks along the route.

They began when they closed the carriageway and the queues of traffic were backing up in one lane.  Luckily we had to get off there so we drove down the coned off road which only went to the exit.  As we drove along it we noticed another long queue forming on the other side of the cones and a bit further down we caught sight of a coach trying desperately to inch his way back into our lane.  Darren stopped to let him in and we realised there was a small gap left in the cones for anyone who’d missed their turning, I bet the coach driver had been relieved to see that!

We did see some interesting things along the way, however.  Looking across a large field full of sunflowers (I wish we’d seen those in full bloom) we saw a machine parked on an enormous pile of something that may have been crushed stone, it looked snow capped hills from a distance and as we got closer we could see different layers in the side of the pile.

I also saw a ‘half’ tunnel which reminded me of my favourite Norwegian ‘half’ tunnel.  http://hartfree-bright.co.uk/31st-july-layby-on-the-mainland-norway/ It didn’t begin to compare with the swanky Norwegian one but it was still a very interesting design.

We narrowly missed being sent off to heaven knows where when yet again the road was coned off but the lane we were driving in had been turned into the ‘Ausfahrt’ which is actually the slip road off the autobahn.  Luckily Darren noticed in the nick of time and quickly moved over into the other lane.

Further along the autobahn they’d closed the junction we needed while they were working on it but there were no diversion signs and the next couple of junctions were also closed.  We finally found a slip road but had exactly the same problem on the next road, each of the roads signposted to Goslar were closed off but still no diversion signs.  We got to the point where we wondered whether Goslar was actually closed.

We saw some interesting vehicles on the journey, there was a converted Trabant which had been made into a ‘jeep’, I didn’t manage to get a photo of that.

There was an old black London cab on the back of a trailer, he was a long way from home, just like us.

A while later we saw an Eddie Stobart lorry, I wish they still had the pin up pictures on the side of their lorries with the ladies names on them, it was great spotting them on long journeys along the motorway.

I was surprised at how scary it was seeing people race past so fast on the autobahn and I’m not a slow driver.  I’m sure I’ll get used to it but they really put their foot down, it probably looks faster than it actually is because we’re pootling along.

We drove into a town which was very pretty but we’re not actually sure where we were by that time.  We spied a Lidl which was just what we needed so we parked in their car park and as we were leaving the van noticed a nice looking kebab shop over the road called the Döner Lounge, changed direction and headed over there.  The kebabs were gorgeous AND we got to watch a British wildlife programme about the Congo while we were eating (we haven’t seen live TV for months).

We did a much larger shop in Lidl than we anticipated (damn those bargain buckets of things you never knew you needed in the centre of the store!).  We were amazed to see fruit and vegetables rotting in the boxes on the shelves, I’ve got a much greater appreciation of our shops at home since we started this trip.  We have a great choice of fresh foods and I’ve never seen flies crawling over rotting (runny) fruit before or trays of wrinkly, past their best, peppers being sold.  I picked out the least wrinkly peppers and I was a bit reluctant to sort through the bananas so we ended up only buying 2 bananas because they were on the top of the box!

Once we’d packed everything in the van we drove on to the parkplatz, stopping en route to get some fuel, which turned into a charade.

We drove into the petrol station from the main road where Darren was thrilled to discover that he could latch the pump on just like we used to be able to do at home, in the good old days.

Once the van was filled we turned right out of the petrol station, returning the way we’d come.  However it wasn’t until we were heading towards the end of the road that we noticed the exit had bollards across it so Darren had to do a three point turn!  I’d wondered why the car in front of us had come back past the petrol station earlier, they’d obviously done the same thing.  They hadn’t bothered to put up a sign saying ‘No Right Turn’ at the garage exit.  L ooking to the left from the exit we could see a ‘Dead End’ sign at the entrance to a pretty narrow road, it all became clear as we drove back past the garage and discovered there was another road that had been hidden from view from the forecourt.

Darren had chosen a parkplatz that was right up in the mountains, it had a beautiful view overlooking a large river or at least that’s what most people had, we were so late arriving we had to squeeze on the end of the line of motorhomes who hadn’t been so tardy!  We had the duff pitch behind a thick hedge with absolutely no view of the river, completely our own fault for our late arrival, we were very lucky to get a pitch at all.   However when the owner came over to collect our money she told us there was an available space further into the parkplatz, it was still behind a bush but at least this pitch allowed us teasing glimpses of what was on the other side of said bush!

We had a short stroll around the village and were able to look down on Parkplatz Schulenberg.

Although we didn’t have the best pitch it was still very pretty and we were grateful that there was actually a pitch left.  We really must start our day earlier and get to our evening pitch earlier in the day.  I wonder how many more times we will say that on our trip!


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