Arrived at home

Blog entry April 5, 2020

After eleven days of travelling we arrived home yesterday at about 3 pm in Nußdorf

Was that a nice surprise at the door, attached by our neighbor Rosi:

„Welcome home“. 

In the kitchen we found a second and bigger surprise: a delicious Sachertorte and a bouquet of sky keys. How I would have loved to pick a few on our trip, but a full vase in the wobbly Big Fredi just doesn’t suit travelling. Now I am all the more pleased that I can enjoy the celestial keys in the vase. 

And the cake was simply heavenly. Thanks Michaela, thanks also for emptying the mailbox and taking care of our house. Also the grape tree was already cut and can now go full in juice. 

I hope Michaela can also enjoy the fresh grapes later in the year when we are gone again!

It was pleasantly warm in the afternoon and that as long as the sun was shining. The house had been ventilated by Michaela for days and filled with warm spring air. 

But without heating it would be too uncomfortable in the house and in the studio and so we voluntarily extended our travel feeling in Big Fredi.  

Now we have to live in quarantine for two weeks due to the corona virus. 

But our todo list goes far beyond two weeks. 

Yesterday, we already worked out a strategic plan for the implementation. 

The sunny and ever warmer weather will support us well and the many offers of help from our friends are a loving cushion. 

Thank you for having accompanied us so patiently on our journey so far. We are now taking a blog break during our work phase and will get back to you as soon as we have new plans for our trip and would be happy if you would follow us again!

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Austria, we are here again

Blog entry April 3, 2020

In the morning at the departure from Waldkirch we were amazed at the hustle and bustle on the streets and sidewalks.

Many companies seem to work normally or with little restrictions, car repair shops are open. What would the German do without his car! Even construction work seems to go on without restrictions. We have not seen this anywhere else during the Corona crisis.

In Freiburg, a very beautiful city, things were also very lively. Many cyclists and pedestrians were on the streets and sidewalks.

Soon we climbed up serpentines through the Black Forest, where we also refuelled. The saleswoman told us anecdotes from her everyday life with 3 children who are now engaged in e-learning at home and let go of her frustration about how the teachers are wiping themselves off against the parents. 

Up on the mountain there was still snow in places.

Past the Titisee we went through beautiful landscape, some of which was still hibernating. 

There, where the Danube has its source and the first kilometers it flows along, the world is still in order.

When we looked for a place for the late lunch after a few hours of driving, we found that it was actually enough of travelling and decided to stand right there for the night. It was in Ehingen at the Danube, the first time on our journey our sleeping place was not at a lake. 

That should have given us something to think about. It was pretty bad. Until 1am private cars came and drove at short intervals to the parking lot, which is actually used by mobile homes for sleeping, and made a kravall there: loud music from the radios, running engines, long and loud conversations of people who apparently met there and were doing business of some kind. This place is certainly no longer visited by us. 

Accordingly, we were tired in the morning and came late to the street. 

It was a long day with many kilometers on country roads. Via Ulm, Ingolstadt, Landshut we went for lunch to our place in Neuburg an der Donau. There we already stood in autumn 2018 when we returned from Great Britain, when a great art festival took place. 

Today it was empty except for a few pedestrians and cyclists. It also served only for lunch. The buttered potatoes are a quick but warm lunch, they are not heavy in the stomach and we both enjoy them. 

Full of impatience we approached the Austrian border and again we were rather disappointed by the reality. We were already warned by our friends and family members about the border crossing: it is getting worse and worse! 

But it became a short friendly stay at the border. We showed our passports and the very young official asked us if we were coming back from holiday and if we knew that he had to send us to quarantine now, noted our address on his list, filled in a form, had it signed and we drove a few kilometres further to Andorf. Hopefully it will be a quiet night here before our last part home. 

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Germany reached

Blog entry April 1, 2020

Today we were up already early and ready to continue travelling. 

The journey under blue sky and on little frequented roads went smoothly. 

An American school bus, apparently to be converted into a restaurant, aroused our curiosity. The work is currently – as all activities in tourism enterprises – stopped. However, photography is not prohibited and so we stopped Big Fredi to get a picture of the big road cruiser. Looks really fascinating, such a bus.

Just in time for rush hour we finally reached the German border. 

The last kilometer went at walking pace. The policeman checked our passports and wanted to know the destination of our journey. That was it and we were already done with the control. 

Since we are now quite legally on the road with our registered 5 tonner, we now allow ourselves to drive on the motorway. There is incomparably more going on on Germany’s roads than in any other country we have driven through so far. You don’t really notice much difference to normal traffic.

Also on the sidewalks, on footpaths and in the parks people walk in packs and you are surprised about the many extended families. 

Good that we can safely hide in Big Fredi. During a short walk around the small Stadtrainsee in Waldkirch I pulled my scarf over my mouth and nose. All the people we met were without mouthguards.

A water turtle was bathing motionlessly in the wonderful sunrays. 

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Back on the road Day 6 of our trip 

Blog entry 30.3.2020

After a day of rest in the forest we are now a little closer to home.

Actually it was planned to take a nice walk around the lake but the weather was not at all inviting: rainy and cloudy. How beautiful the lake presented itself when we drove along the shore the evening before. The next day everything was different. So we stayed lazy in the car, busy with things that we had to do anyway.

But today we had to move on. 380 km to the next small lake. In rain or sleet the drive was pretty boring. The beginning of spring was not accompanied by the sun. Good that there is no snow on the road. Our tires would not be suitable for that. 

On the overhead signs of the motorways you can read hints about the coronavirus Covid 19 again and again. 

Now we have found a place with a view of the lake Étang de Gouillet near Saint-Sylvestre in an icy cold wind and we only look at the lake from the inside.

in the morning the sun was shining again
the nice, quiet place for the night

Only about 20 km away from the small village Fromental, where we stayed last year. Our daily stages are quite similar to those of last year and even with a few days difference we are back on the same route. 

In Autun there is again a lake for a parking place for tomorrow. Let’s see if we can reach it again. 

In five days of travel we have already covered 1,650 km. 1.400 km are still ahead of us. 

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The 3rd day of our travel back home from Portugal

Blog entry 27.3.2020

Today was a relaxed, if not to say boring, travelling day.

Almost the whole distance led us over motorway or double lane federal roads to our parking place at the 3rd reservoir in a row. The Spanish roads are almost empty. Only a few trucks pass us. Yes, yes, they all have more power than our Big Fredi. Even on the motorway he only hums along at 80 km/h.

After Salamanca, Tordesillas, Valladolid we also circled Salamanca and Burgos. 

 

In order not to arrive too fast into the cold homeland, we went to a recommended town square in Briviesca. But already at the city entrance the police checked. Although we could get past them, as soon as we arrived at the parking lot, barriers blocked the entrance. Corona is omnipresent. 

So we moved back to the highway and because Wilfried was still in good shape we sailed around Vitoria Gasteiz and a few kilometers further on to the third reservoir in a row for an overnight stay: Embalse de Ullibarri. What luck! A few kilometres away from the motorway a natural paradise all to ourselves. Best equipped for motorhomes there is a parking lot for the day and an own one only for the night. There are also countless parking spaces along the road around the lake. A clean shore design and huge lawns on gravelled shores indicate that there are many swimmers in summer. A bathhouse, which even has marble-lined washing-up facilities, looks very clean, but is marked with a note that it is closed until March 12th. Apparently the coronavirus crisis has continued immediately, because everything is still locked.

I inspected the extensive grounds and because I find it very attractive for a relaxing stay of a few hours for tomorrow, we will enjoy the morning here a little before we continue to the French border. 

Nobody can dictate the pace of our journey. And as it is supposed to get very cold and maybe even frosty on Monday and Tuesday, we prefer to stay as long as possible in the warm south and hope that it will remain more bearable here. 

The heating in the evening hours is already pleasant again. During the night it is not yet necessary to heat through. But this morning we had only 7 degrees inside. Outside it had 1 degree. 

With heating the temperature goes up to 20 degrees minute by minute and when breakfast is ready, it is nice and warm. 

The scarf, the headband and one more jacket are now also attached during the car ride. Something that we haven’t used for months is unpacked again step by step. And heating during the day during a car trip was unthinkable since last November when we entered Portugal. 

The cuckoo and some songbirds are the only sounds we can hear outside. The fact that there is not a single motorhome next to us is only due to the corona crisis. Almost everybody has driven home before us and so the beautiful landscape belongs to us alone. 

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Corona, Corona, Corona. 

Blog entry 25.3.2020

We have to start the journey home. 

After the police had assured us the day before that we could stay there, they revised their opinion the next day and claimed the opposite. We have to leave the country until 28.3.2020 at the latest – that means in 3 days. 

We could also stand on a private property, for example at friends with our car,

Face Europe No.118-Klaus-after 120 min

but we are not allowed to keep contact. It is because too few hospital beds if the virus strikes. 

We haven’t had any direct contact with people for 2 weeks and we are sure that we have either had no contact with the virus or that we have had a disease that has not appeared. We feel very well, are healthy and happy. 

So today we are preparing for departure: shopping, refueling, supplies and waste disposal. 

Then we have an approximately 7-day journey home ahead of us.

letzter Blick auf den Atlantik

Austria – we are coming!

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