Saturday, 19 June 2010

June 18th 2010 – June 19th 2010

Dinkelsbuhl – Stellplatz Contd

Overnight, it rains none stop. It stops briefly at about 9:30 on Friday morning, which allows me to cycle to the campsite to pay our 10Euro, and get our token to get through the barrier. By the time we leave, it has started to rain again.

I had hoped to take a photograph of the Stellplatz, but it was raining too hard!

Our destination is a site at Geslau (ASCI2010-475), which we think will be in cycling distance of Rothenburg.

When we arrive, it is pouring with rain, which never helps with first impressions of a place, plus it is very remote (it is not actually in Geslau, but at a hamlet called Lauterbach) and we have neglected to buy bread (or rice which we need), note the use of “we”, you know the score, no names, no pack drill.

After some discussion, we drive into town (Rothenburg) to buy supplies, the good news is, the supplies includes an Apple Strudel.

The rain continues, if anything it is worse. We decide, if we return to Geslau/Lauterbach, all we will be able to do is sit in the van and watch the rain. We study the Stellplatz map, and the ASCI map, and decide to head for Weikershiem/Laudenbach (ASCI-611).

This does mean we are missing out Rothenburg, but given that we have now done three medieval towns, we cannot summon much enthusiasm to walk around another one in the pouring rain.

Getting out of Rothenburg turns out to be something of a nightmare.

The Tomtom directs us down a road which is closed. Not sure why it is closed, all the signs are (understandably) in German. Our only options are ahead, which has a height limit too low for us, or a left turn into a car park. Fortunately the car pack has room to allow us to turn around.

We try following the signposts, for a diversion, but we run out of signs and end up at the bottom of a very steep hill, in a very small road, in a village, at yet another road closed sign. We are accompanied by a large German lorry, towing an equally large trailer. I manage to keep out of his way, while he attempts to turn around, which he does manage to do, but not before flattening a road sign, with the trailer. He does not seem too worried about this, as he smiles to us, and shrugs his shoulders French style.

At a junction at the top of the hill again, the German lorry stops, and waits until another passing lorry gives him directions, we opt to follow him, given that he is bigger than us, and if he can get past, so can we, until eventually the Tomtom begins giving us sensible directions again.

Weikershiem/Laudenbach – Schwabenmuhle – ASCI-2010-611

I hesitate to say this, but the rain has stopped. For the first time in I think four days, the sun is shining and we can actually see some blue sky!

This site is also in the Stellplatz book, and there is an area just outside of the site, which looks like you could park there. But inside the site everything is brand new, most of it looks as if it has never been used before, it is excellent. The owner and his daughter, do not really speak English, but they try hard, and with a bit of English, a bit of German and a bit of arm waving, we manage to communicate.

We cannot help but notice, the Germans have World Cup fever. People have flags in their windows, flags on their cars etc etc. I know they have thrashed Australia 4-0, and today when we arrive at this site, the owner is too engrossed in the football on TV, to check us in, Kathleen tells him she will come back when the match has finished.

We find the church in the village, the sun is shining, so Kathleen is happy. Added to this, one of the chaps watching the football, apparently plays the Organ at the church, and he is called Albert, so she has a date with him (at church) on Sunday.

Saturday, I hardly dare say this, it is not raining!

It is hairdressing day, so it is decided we will do the cycling in the morning, before the hair washing etc.

There is a cycle track to the next village, Weikersheim, and it is reasonably flat. On our way we spot a Lidl and an Aldi, both within 3km of the campsite, just on the outskirts of Weikersheim.

There is nothing Kathleen likes better than to have a Lidl within cycling distance.

As you can see, there is a wedding in progress, they must have started early, it is only 10:15 and they are at the photographs stage.

Sorry, we still have the sideways photograph problem!

Weikersheim is another village full of buildings from the middle ages, and has a large square with cafes/bars around it, and lots of tables to sit having a drink and/or food.

This suggests, they usually have fine weather and warm sunshine here, although, some of the cafes do have blankets provided to wrap around you, while you sit enjoying your drink (I am not joking!).

Just at the end of the square, behind where the couple are having their wedding photographs taken, there is a Schloss or castle / stately home.

As you can see, it is a very grand affair, and dates back to 1400 and something, if my memeory is working.

This shot is of the courtyard in front of the main building.

It also has gardens, some of which are the "usual" formal rose garden type etc, but, the part I liked the best, was a "Witches and Spells Garden".

Here, in addition to all kinds of "magic" props, like animal bones, hideous masks etc, they have figures of witches sitting on broomsticks, with their pet Raven in attendance, perched high above the footpath where you walk.

There were other amusing little touches to do with superstitions, for example, as you walk along the path, you are forced to walk under a ladder, propped against the wall, because there is nowhere else to walk.

Plus there is this chap, a figure of a wizard or goblin, I am not sure which, sitting on the branch of a tree, watching you as you walk through the garden.

We cycle on towards Creglingen (this is about 19km away, I do not expect to get that far).

As we went along, we pass a Stellplatz at Rottingen (it is in the book). I linger to check it out, for Bryan and Joan.

Kathleen pedals on regardless, see later.

There are about 20 vans there (all German as far as I can see, not that it really matters).

It is opposite the fire station and alongside the river.

The green portacabin type buildings are showers and toilets, at the time we are passing, there is even a cleaner there, doing the necessary.

There is also the usual fresh water and waste empting point, plus Electric hook ups.

Once I have finished taking the photographs, I pedal on after Kathleen.

We have been following a well signposted cycle track, along the river. I continued following the track, through Rottingen, and on toward Creglingen.

I usually pedal quite a bit faster than Kathleen, so when I have not caught up with her after about two miles beyond Rottingen, I conclude, she is not in front of me, but must have taken a detour.

Fortunately, we have our mobile phones with us.

Needless to say, I get no answer when I call.

Shortly after, I receive a text, to say she is in the church at Rottingen. I turn around and peddle back, to Rottingen (seen here).

It is verbotten to comment on who's fault this little mix up was.

We set out, together this time, still heading toward Creglingen.

We make it as far at a place called Klinger, before it is decided we have gone far enough and we turn around and head back.

As you can see, the cycle track is excellent, making its way gently through lovely quiet countryside, and is more or less flat.

Although it looks deserted, except for Kathleen pedalling on ahead, there are actually quite a lot of people cycling along, or having a picnic at tables provided along the way.

We return to Weikersheim, and pause in the square for a beer, before pedalling back to the campsite, to complete a 23 mile ride.

After lunch, Kathleen disappears for the rest of the afternoon to do the hairwashing / drying / straightening.

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