16th September 2016. Mainstockheim, Germany.

We moved on half an hour up the river (or maybe down the river?) to another stellplätze along the same river.  This one had electricity and other services and it only cost 7 euros which was a bargain.  We had chosen one on the otherside of the river but as we drove up the road towards the river the SAT NAV suddenly announced, “Now take the ferry”.   It’s always nice to be given a bit of advanced warning but that’s the second time she’s told us when we’re about 300 metres away from it!

We looked at the ferry which was another tiny shuttle ferry like the one we’d seen yesterday and decided that although this was a large field we’d stay there.  We found one pitch beside the river, it was tucked between two enormous motorhomes so we pulled in there.  Unfortunately the vans from the other end of the line had plugged into the hook up so there was nowhere for us to plug in.  We could have moved to the next line back but we decided the view was worth not having electricity.

As it was such a hot day we decided to be lazy and sit beside the river for a while before we went anywhere.  I changed into my swimming costume, Germans are happy to wander around in their swimming costumes so I thought I’d follow suit.  My mistake, it seems the sun could only take the shock of seeing my white limbs for about an hour then it disappeared behind a cloud and refused to come back out.  I changed back into my clothes, that was the third change of clothes in one day, far too many in my opinion.  I’d started the day in warm clothes, then it got very hot so I changed into my shorts and, as you now know, I got briefly carried away and put on my swimsuit, before going back to shorts and a t-shirt!

We thought we’d have a look around the town which turned out to be another cobbled town which was also very hilly.  We did begin to wonder about our sanity as we cycled up the third hill when every other person was cycling along the two FLAT cycle paths beside the river.  We cycled right up to the top where the road ended at a vineyard.  There was a house up there with a satellite dish that was painted to look like a smiley face but unfortunately I only saw it as I was hurtling past on our way back down the hill.

We’d hoped to find a shop to buy some groceries but all we found was a chemist.  We eventually gave up and headed back to the van along the cycle path beside the river (yes, the nice flat one).  We didn’t quite make it to the van though because as we were entering the stellplätze we saw the ferry was in and we decided to go over to the restaurant on the other side for a beer and sit and watch the world go by.  That didn’t work out quite as we’d planned, the food looked so nice there that we had a meal there too which was very nice.

As we were sitting eating we heard the chimes from an ice cream van and noticed an ice cream van entering the stellplätze opposite.  Poor Darren had to watch it parked there knowing that if we’d been back at the van he could have had an ice cream!  About half an hour later it suddenly appeared at the stellplätze on our side of the river but we were in the middle of our meal then so it would have been a bit rude to race across the road and come back with an ice cream so yet again Darren had to watch as all the ice cream drove away!

At the entrance to the stellplätze there was a small red hut which had a sign mentioning a morning bread service.   From our vantage point across the river the front of the hut appeared to be open and it looked like a man was loading things inside.  It seemed a bit strange to be putting the bread inside already.

We finished our meal and wandered back to the ferry.  It’s funny I’ve noticed in a few restaurants now that the waiter or waitress will come up to Darren and ask whether he’s enjoyed his meal but they never ask me.  I wonder if that’s because I’m eating a vegetarian meal and they assume it can’t be possible to enjoy that?

As we got off the ferry we were nabbed by the man in the hut, he told us he was from the vineyard on the hill (the one we’d cycled up to earlier) and he was doing a wine tasting in 5 minutes.  We took our bikes back to the van and went to the wine tasting.  The wine was so good that we ended up buying six bottles.

As Darren carried the box back to the van we passed some people eating their meal and they started laughing and jokingly tried to encourage Darren to hand over the box.  Simultaneously a siren started blaring, just like the air raid sirens in war films, that was VERY weird.

As we walked past our neighbour’s van with the siren still blaring they said something to us in German and burst out laughing.  I do wish we could have joined in with the joke but it’s hard when you’ve no idea what is being said so we smiled and went back to the van for the evening.

Once the siren had stopped wailing three different churches started chiming their bells!  It’s very funny the clocks on two of the churches also chime but one starts and the other follows as the first one finishes, surely they should be chiming in unison?

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