13th September 2016. Elend, Germany.

We made our way to Wernigerode this morning, we needed electric hook up so Darren could work and we needed to fill the water tank.  He had programmed in a stellplätze in the town which had both of these things and had also found a place to get LPG.  It seemed such a shame to leave the quiet field and more to the point the swimming pool on this baking hot day.

We drove to stellplätze Am Katzenteich and turned our noses up, it didn’t compare to the place we’d just left.  We thought we might be able to just go in and fill up with water as you seemed to pay separately for that facility in Germany but as we drove up we discovered there was a pay barrier at the entrance.

We were just about to turn round when a man walked over, he thought we were having trouble working out how to get in and began chatting away to us.  He seemed a bit perplexed when we just looked stood there looking discombobulated.  He eventually looked at our number plate and realised we were from the UK.  Unfortunately he didn’t speak English so it all became rather confusing as we tried to explain we’d changed our minds about staying.  We eventually mimed that we were just turning round, thanked him in German (I’m glad we can at least say thank you!) and waved goodbye, he looked very puzzled as though he wondered what the last five minutes had been all about!

We found the petrol station with LPG and filled up and decided it was much too hot to be in a town so drove back to Elend.  On the way back down the hill for the umpteenth time we stopped at the stellplätze that was next to the ASCI campsite.  I think the person who owned it loves Canada because there was a fibre glass model of a moose and a wolf by the entrance and a cage with huskies in it.  Intriguing!  We thought we’d see whether we could pay to empty and refill everything so Darren went in to reception and was told “No” apparently the facilities were only for guests.  That put us in our place so we turned round and made our way to the exit, stopping to let a lot of motorbikes enter.  They were milling around and as we slowly drove past them we heard one of the bikers shout to his mate in a South East English accent “Sorry I thought this was a café!”.   Unfortunately it was bedlam at that point so we weren’t able to stop to speak to them but it was very nice to hear an English accent nevertheless.

We drove to Elend where we were pleased to see that the other motorhomes that had been on the electric hook up had gone so we plugged in and went to the café to tell the owner that we’d like to stay another night.

We then went to the open air swimming pool for a swim.  Darren hates swimming so when he dipped his toe in the deep end and took it out in double quick time I began to wonder whether I’d be going into the pool on my own.  However to my surprise he chose to brave it.  He decided that the best way to get in was the way the café owner had entered the previous day, down the water slide!

As I walked down the ladder  the cold water took my breath away and I began to think he might have had a point, I’m sure it was colder than when I swam in the Arctic Ocean in Norway!  However the high pitched, ear piercing squeal that Darren let out as he hit the freezing water gave me the impression that entering the water gradually was the best way this time!  I had to laugh when he resurfaced, the exclamation he made left us in no doubt that it was cold, however he did receive a round of applause from two men sitting on a bench at the side of the pool which I think might have made up for the shock!

Once I’d got used to the temperature it was lovely just floating and looking up at the sky, very relaxing although every so often I had to swim to warm myself up a bit (it was strange to experience brain freeze from the outside in though and when I got out I felt light headed from the cold).

Darren swam for a while, had a couple more goes on the water slide then, when he couldn’t feel his hands and feet any more, got out of the pool and walked round to where our towels were.  He very bravely had one more go on the water slide so that I could photograph him.  Two ladies standing next to me were trying to tell me something, I assumed they were discussing how cold the pool was so I mimed “yes it was freezing”, they probably wondered what on earth I was doing but hey ho!

My next quandary was how and where I got changed back into my clothes.  We’d put our costumes on in the changing rooms but I noticed the people who had been ‘chatting’ to me had stripped off their cossies at the side of the pool and put their clothes on.  I’m not sure which country we were in when I saw the sign saying “Please dress for the body shape you’ve got, not the body shape you’d like to have” but that came to mind at that moment.  I certainly wouldn’t want to inflict the sight of my naked body on the other pool users so I took a tip from Mr Bean when he changed on the beach, I put my dress on over my towel then put my underwear on under that.  I know they say “when in Rome do as the Romans do” but luckily for all concerned I wasn’t in Rome!

As we left the pool I saw the people who’d been talking to me at the poolside and if they hadn’t thought I was a bit dense before I’m sure they did at that moment.  I noticed they were taking selfies and offered to take a photo of them all, the man handed me his phone but although I kept touching the ‘button’ nothing happened, I don’t know whether my finger was so cold that the phone wasn’t registering it but I have the same problem when I’m using the veggie scales in the supermarkets at home.  I eventually managed to take a couple of photos after the man had taken the phone back off me to see what was going on.

We went over to the restaurant to pay for our stay and ended up having lunch there. The owner was definitely a character, again he mentioned Brexit along with a lot of other stuff in German to which the rest of the customers in the restaurant had a good laugh (we might be becoming paranoid but we definitely heard the word Englischer mentioned a couple of times by the people at the table next to us!) then he placed a lead soldier on our table.  This time we were given Nelson only we were thrown a bit because this likeness was from a time when he had both eyes and again the owner said “Wellington”.

The food we had was well worth being the butt of his jokes.  He also put on some impromptu entertainment when someone asked him about the saxophone that was leaning against the wall in the restaurant and he played snippets from a few songs.  He was extremely good.

We’d managed to thaw out by the time we’d finished lunch and went back to the van where Darren worked and I did the washing.  Yet again I’d left it until the last minute so I was still hanging towels out at nearly 6 p.m.  Luckily for me it stayed sunny for another couple of hours.


Leave a Reply