This morning we bad farewell to Herr Wolf, the wonderfully genial host at our campingplatz near Montabaur for the last two nights. Heading to Erfurt, we had a 300kms drive ahead of us at the good ol’ German towing speed limit of 80kph/50mph. You can get a certificate to do 100kph/60mph but that’s a bit difficult for an occasional foreign tourist. So, our journey would be something over 4 hours and, avoiding the accursed mittagsruhe, we decided to leave at approaching 11:00. That meant we could go shopping first.
We hit a local Aldi supermarkt in Montabaur, just 6kms away. This was a new experience, a German supermarket in Germany. It proved no better than the selection provided by Aldi stores in the UK. Well, no reason it should, I suppose. Stretching our imagination, we managed to buy two days worth of food not including sausages. We may be arrested. Oh, no we won’t, we did buy some bratwurst, too, just in case – emergency rations, don’t ya know? Next stop was a fuel station so we could start our journey with a full tank.
Finally we returned to store our purchases, hitch up and say goodbye, handing back the excellently produced (in English) information booklet. Herr Wolf has done so much with his campingplatz in the country. He has littered the site with literally hundreds of nesting boxes and created a walk around a couple of Biotopes, which is where we found our dragonflies on the day we arrived. He takes children out on guided tours, we were told. I think we’ll have trouble topping this site in Germany, though we can but hope.
Eventually we set off to head into former East Germany and the drive went smoothly. 50mph/80kph feels quite pedestrian but in reality I would only normally do 10kph/6mph more anyway – truck speed. Now I could sit back and relax and let the trucks all worry about overtaking me.
We stopped for a coffee break to burn some time. Then the satnav’s pathetically estimated arrival time worked its way beyond the magic 15:00. We actually found our prearranged campsite at about 15:20. It is prearranged not by a booking but by meeting our friends, H&G, tomorrow. We checked in.
It’s another somewhat large camping village. It is not, mercifully, as bad as the one we endured in Belgium. It does, though have a lot of static permanent caravans; caravans which couldn’t move if they wanted to because of the fixed extension structures built over and around them. It manages to avoid looking too much like a shanty town. Just.
We were directed to two touring pitch areas. The first was supposedly the “deluxe” serviced pitch area but it looked like Jaywick Sands – completely crummy. There was no grass to speak of and there were motorvans and caravans shoe-horned in to an area beside the lake. This latter was why it was supposedly the prime site. We didn’t want to be there.
We drove away from the lake to the second touring area which happily looked somewhat better, complete with grass and some trees. One pitch looked quite reasonable so we nabbed it and got pitched up. One German neighbour in a 30-year-old Eriba was friendly and chatted to Francine. The other neighbour was absent but was clearly Dutch. They returned, poured a beer and the gentleman began playing a classical guitar. I kid you not. We’d said it in the 60s and 70s – in every campsite there was always one that thinks they can play a guitar. We’ve pitched right next to the one on this site. Memories of Monty Python’s cheese shop sketch spring to mind. “Oh, no matter, I delight in all manifestations of the Terpsichorean muse.” Actually, to be fair, he’s playing classical music quite well and quite softly so maybe I can cope.
We’re beside big water so went for a look. It was nothing exciting but just for the record, this is what we found at Campingplatz Hohenfelden:
- Ischnura elegans (Common Bluetail)
- Platycnemis pennipes (Blue Featherleg)
- Anax imperator (Blue Emperor)
- Orthetrum cancellatum (Black-tailed Skimmer)
“Will you please stop that bloody bazuki player!” 😀