8th September 2016. Schwerin, Germany.

We woke up to another glorious day, keep them coming please.

While we were having breakfast another van pulled in beside us and the people got on their bikes and went off for a ride.  Once they’d gone we heard a very strange, intermittent noise and finally realised it was their dog ‘complaining’ because they’d left him behind.  He eventually stopped his mournful little howl and settled down.  A while later they reappeared and we thought they were taking him out, nope, they said hello to him then cycled off setting him off again, poor little sausage!

We got the bikes out and cycled through the schloss gardens, past the schloss and into the town to see if we could buy a memory card.  It was an extremely pretty town we saw lots of ornate buildings …..

a big lake with a fountain where the sun was making a rainbow ……….

and a bare footed man wheeling a piano down the street, that’s not something you see every day!

We found a shopping centre and Darren finally found a memory card for the SAT NAV, hopefully we’ll be able to download some up-to-date maps now.

As luck would have it we found a nice air conditioned café attached to C & A (blast from the past) however when we tried to order in the very little German we knew, the boy behind the counter told us he’d like to speak in English.  He asked us where we came from and was quite excited to find that we spoke English because we came from England rather than as a second language.  Darren said we were trying to learn some German words so he pointed to things and told us how to pronounce them in German.  We had very nice sandwiches and coffee there and they were very cheap which is always a bonus.

It was far too hot in the town so we headed back to the park.  As we neared the schloss four Japanese people cycled round the corner on TINY fold up bikes.  Darren smiled at them and gestured to one of the men in surprise at how teeny the wheels on his bike were compared to our folding bikes.  The man smiled back and showed us it was so light he could lift the bike up easily with one hand, superb!  He was extremely pleased that we were so impressed.

We walked through the garden that ran between the side of the schloss and the river.  We noticed a tower on one of the houses, the windows made it look like it had googly eyes with eyelashes so we surmised that Gethan (with his penchant for sticking googly eyes on everything) had been there before us!

The gardens were extremely beautiful, there was a grotto that had been built out of rock and it had little openings out to the water on one side and a door into the castle on the opposite side.  Apparently there are lots of bats roosting in there, they were well hidden though unfortunately.

Further on through the garden there was a Grecian style building, the whole area was full of surprises.

We came out into the main gardens and cycled along the far path, past the lake on our way back to the van.

On the way we saw two HUGE carp in the little stream and further along, a heron standing on the bank fishing.  I think he’d obviously decided that he’d have a hard time hauling one of the humongous carp out so he was fishing in an area where there were smaller fish.

We stood and watched him for ages, he wasn’t at all perturbed when someone walked or cycled past, he just carried on with what he was doing.

It was fun exploring the gardens they had interesting features.  The grounds had been landscaped with grassy mounds rising from the ground at intervals and benches had been situated near them, they mirrored the mounds.  Intermittently they’d placed a piece of art and they’d planted living tunnels from hazel bushes.  There were water features and interesting plants, the roots of one of the pine trees had sent up lots of knobbly lumps beside the tree like a mini mountain range.

We left the car park up the road we were supposed to have driven in on, if only!

We had great fun on the journey to our next stop, although our SAT NAV is only a year old the maps are horribly out of date.  We tried to update them but it said there was not enough memory! Hence our getting the memory card.  We ended up doing a lot of ‘U’ turns and according to the SAT NAV we were ‘off roading’ a lot of the time because we were driving on ‘new’ roads.

We never did find our way onto the main road, however at one point we did get a good view of the new main road as we drove parallel to it for miles, on the original (very quiet) road!  Due to the SAT NAV sending us off on a tangent we discovered an ‘issue’ when we came to the end of the road…..we couldn’t work out which road we needed to take mainly because the town name she said we were heading to wasn’t on any of the road signs.  D’oh!

Eventually we got on a road that she recognised and everything was fine for a while but suddenly the SAT NAV lost power and Darren discovered that a fuse had blown.  We were surprised because although I had been using the laptop it had been plugged into the cigarette lighter which I’d used loads of times before without any problems.  That was when Darren realised I was using my laptop (not his).  I’d forgotten it had developed a fault which is why the fuse had blown.  Whoops!  As luck would have it we were passing a car dealership so Darren pulled up outside their forecourt, replaced the fuse and popped in to see whether he could buy some more.  He very cleverly managed to ask in German and they sold him two.  In the meantime I’d made us both a cup of tea to drink during the journey, I’m getting much better at this motorhoming malarkey!

We finally arrived in the area where the stëllplatz was but we were rather concerned when our SAT NAV told us to turn down a small lane in the woods, we thought she was having another fit but we eventually came to a gate and as we drove in we saw a sign for motorhome parking, phew!

We chose a pitch and parked up.  The stëllplatz was at La Porte Hotel and Restaurant and they’d given each pitch its own water supply and power supply which was handy and we were tucked away beside a pine forest.  It was a wonderful find.

We decided to wander over to look at the restaurant and stayed and had a very nice meal.  The staff were a little nonplussed because we couldn’t speak German but they tried to help us, eventually they tracked down the waiter who could speak English and he explained everything that was on the menu.  I was pleased to see that we’d guessed a lot of the words before he’d arrived, we’d had to because the translation app on Darren’s phone had decided to sulk and wouldn’t translate anything at all, as unreliable as our SAT NAV.

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