This morning we learned yet another lesson, ALWAYS put your camping ticket in the window!
Just before 8.30 a.m this morning I was sitting typing up the blog when there was a knock on the door and I thought it might be Lucy and Mark saying they’d decided not to go for a walk today as it was spitting with rain. I opened the door and there was the woman from last night waving tickets around and talking numbers. I gather she wanted me to pay again! I went and found the ticket from last night (it was still dark in the van because Darren was still asleep) and she took it from me, studied it thoroughly and left with a rather disappointed look on her face.
I understand that we only have ourselves to blame (Mark and Lucy didn’t get an early morning wake up call) but it’s rather strange that she was unable to remember we’d paid last night, it was 8 p.m. when she came round, there were very few vans in the stëllplatz and only 6 vans parked in the row facing the water, including us. Our neighbour in his small van had already left this morning so maybe that threw her. There were only two Frankia vans in our row (ours and Frankie) and they were the only two vans with UK number plates but the thing that intrigues me the most is how she failed to notice the HUGE picture of porpoises on the back of our van which was on full display to the whole stëllplatz. It makes me feel slightly better knowing that there are other people in this world who are even more unobservant than I am.
Darren finally tracked down some services (actually there just happened to be a guy clearing the drains who let us empty the cassette down the man hole, but we did find fresh water) so we didn’t feel as hard done by as we had when we’d first arrived. I’d been down to the lake and taken some photos of the mountains in the misty rain so that cheered me up.
It was pelting down when Darren backed the van up to the tap, the services were situated down an alley between two buildings which had overhanging roofs. I was very impressed that Mark managed to squeeze Frankie down beside our van. We stood and chatted in the rain, the plan had been to go for a walk round the lake if the weather was good but it turned out there wasn’t a path by the lake AND it was heaving it down, definitely not walking weather. We’d decided we needed to go into Rosenheim to get our brakes looked at and Lucy and Mark were going to take the boat over to the island to look at the castle so we sadly said our goodbyes. It’s been wonderful meeting up with them, it’s been so good to have a laugh and exchange stories with them.
We drove on to Rosenheim where the SAT NAV took us on a nice tour of the teeny residential roads looking for a garage to fix our brakes.
Darren had already guessed that it was sending us on a wild goose chase as he started to turn into the narrow road but he was turning off a very busy road and there was no time to dither. We’ve no idea where she was taking us because there was definitely no garage down there.
Our next garage was only slightly better. As Darren pulled into the forecourt off the unbelievably busy road (it was like being in the middle of London, a never ending stream of traffic both ways) we weren’t sure at first whether the garage was open but he walked over to the door to have a look and disappeared inside only to reappear a few minutes later with a lady who was pointing down the road. Apparently they were tyre fitters but there MAY be a garage that does brakes further in the town. We decided we’d had enough, the brake light hadn’t been on at all during our journey so we’d keep a look out for a place somewhere along our route because we were certainly having no luck here.
We needed to turn across the traffic to continue to our next destination but because the road was so busy Darren thought he’d need to go with the flow but by a miracle there was a big gap in the traffic as some traffic lights turned red so he ‘raced’ across the road and we set off to our next destination. There was one good thing about going to Roseheim, we found a petrol station with the cheapest diesel we’ve seen during the whole of our journey through Germany so we took the advice we’d read from a motorhomer on-line and filled up.
Our SAT NAV decided that her trick for today was that she was only going to mention the turn offs as we were almost on top of them and not give us the usual advance warning which led to a few occasions where we had to unexpectedly find somewhere to turn around with her bleating in our ears “When possible do a ‘U’ turn!”. On one such occasion where the road suddenly split (Sod’s Law meant we’d be in the wrong lane at that point) Darren found a turning which ended up in the car park of the supermarket EDEKA so we took the opportunity to go in to buy our groceries and have lunch in the café.
While we were trying out our inadequate German and the man behind the counter was using his English (I can’t quite decide whether we sound like complete idiots STILL trying to speak German when the person we’re talking to is virtually fluent in English or whether it’s good to make the effort because if we don’t we’ll never learn anything) we overheard another customer say to the lady behind the counter “Sit in” and for a fleeting moment I thought “Oh I wonder if they use English words for take away as well” then I heard her trying to order tea, it must have been just like we sounded saying some words in English and throwing in the occasional German word. She asked for a cup of tea, then there was a very slight pause before she haltingly said “mit milch”. Apparently the assistant then threw in a wobbly by saying they had Earl Grey tea, the lady announced in a broad Scottish accent that she wanted ‘normal’ tea. Darren tried chatting to her but she didn’t want to join in (she was probably very shy, or not!) and when she’d paid she made sure we didn’t speak to her again by walking past our table to the other end of the café and sitting with her back to us, couldn’t have made her opinion any plainer!
After we’d finished shopping we went back to the junction we were supposed to have gone down and drove to the stëllplatz or at least the SAT NAV took us to the co-ordinates which actually turned out to be just a roundabout not a special one like the roundabout near our home which is an island with houses on it, this was just a ‘common or garden’ roundabout! We took a turning off it and drove down to a lake (I have since read that it is called Staffelsee, it’s 7.7 km² and has 7 islands) which had signs saying there was to be no camping there. However it gave us the opportunity to walk down to the beautiful lake.
Looking out at the lake we saw a coach load of people stepping off a boat and we assumed they’d just been on a lovely trip across the lake but a few minutes after I’d started taking photos we saw the captain walk to the gangplank and wave to someone. When we turned round to look it was an ambulance. Minutes later another smaller ambulance turned up and as we were driving out we were passed by yet another ambulance with its sirens blaring. My heart goes out to all those people, we assume someone on their trip had become very ill. I do hope that the person recovered.
We drove on to our next choice of stëllplatz which was supposed to have a washing machine, that’s always a draw even though we have our own top loader it takes a lot of time and energy filling ours with hot water.
The stëllplatz didn’t look anything like the photo in the book, it was a small car park with caravans parked on one side which looked like they were there permanently and a motorhome on the other side of the car park. We spotted a driveway to what looked like a campsite and went to look and it turned out it was part of the stëllplatz.
If we hadn’t desperately needed electric hook up and wanted to use the washing machine we would have just parked with the other motorhomes in the car park. The stëllplatz turned out to be just the first few parking bays of the campsite. We couldn’t use the washing machine though unless we parked in the ‘campsite’ but it was an extra 8 Euros to do that and all we’d be doing was moving the van a few bays up! You still had to pay to use the washing machine on top a well. The electric hook up was run by the owner, she unlocks the box and once you’re plugged in she locks the box and you have to go to her the next day to get unplugged and find out how much you owe her! “Looking good Billy Bob!”
We were very tired so we stayed, I went out to take photos of the mountains and noticed a building at the end of the campsite which said they made great pizzas. Darren and I were enticed (we had planned on having yesterday’s leftovers and a salad that I’d just made for dinner). We thought we’d get a takeaway pizza and snuggle up and watch a film instead, however ‘best laid plans’ and all that!
We eventually found our way into the restaurant which was a pretty Bavarian building with witches all over it, I was sidetracked when I saw a life size dummy of a witch hanging over the wooden beam of the roof and I had to take a photo of it.
Darren was already inside by that time. We were the only people in the restaurant other than the owner and the chef which felt a bit awkward. We said we’d like to buy a pizza and were told they don’t make pizzas!?? As we were there we decided to sit and have a meal anyway which was a great choice.
After a short while one of the owners friends turned up and sat at the bar with a beer, every so often they’d go outside and we had the restaurant completely to ourselves.
Darren had pork with crackling in a Dunkle (dark beer) sauce with potato dumplings. It looked lovely and after the owner had a discussion with the chef he said they could make me spaghetti with tomato sauce. It was the best I’ve ever had.
We shared a big bowl of ice cream for pudding and sat and listened to the music they were playing on the music system. They seemed to be playing a lot of rock ballads and some rockabilly music. One of the women singing was brilliant and as we didn’t recognise her voice we asked the owner, he wasn’t sure but his friend told us she was called Caro Emerald. We definitely need to buy some of her music.
When we got back to the van we sat and listened to her music on Amazon while I was adding photos to our backlog of posts (I still have the whole of August to finish adding photos to as well as the beginning of October. I wonder whether I’ll ever be up-to-date with this blog!)