Day 32: Three Countries in One Day
We rose bright and early to head to Germany. Unfortunately, when settling the bill, I realised that the campsite was almost double the amount I thought that it was, so budget blown I am hoping that the German Stellplatz (like French Aires) will be nice as we are likely to spend a lot of time in them.
We popped into Lidl to load up with cheap food and wine before heading north. I’m not a fan of German wine so the long aisle of Italian wine got my full attention. A weird observation that I have made, it seems without working I am observing much more, anyway, in all of the supermarkets that I have been in both in France and Italy since we arrived, not one has sold fresh mushrooms. I think that this is very strange and Greg and I are now on mushroom watch in supermarkets.
Back to the day was long but absolutely stunning. First of all, we drove through the Dolomites, then up into Austria through the Tyrol valley, then into Bavaria, Germany. The rolling hills and views made it the most picturesque drive, although the road works through Austria were a little annoying. Innsbruck looked lovely so I made a mental note to come back to visit one day.
We had heard a lot of horror stories about purchasing a vignette for Austria, which is needed to go on the roads, but we found it simple. We bought ours at a service station in Italy near the border. Everyone there spoke German, apparently this area is more Germanic than Italian and the architecture certainly seems more like a German or Austrian alpine village. The vignette cost €8.80 so it wasn’t expensive, but you get a large fine if you don’t have one.
I realise that I’m going off on a tangent but it has struck me during our tour that Europe, as a continent, is very segregated by language. It seems really sad that we can’t converse easily with one another as I’ve found the French and Italians very friendly but we’ve been unable to have a proper discussion. I wish that I could speak every language as I think that our trip would be much more fulfilling for it. To those of you who are linguists, I am very jealous.
We are heading for a Stellplatz in Oberau, which is nearer to Berchtesgadan and Kehlsteinhaus (the Eagles Nest), more on those later. I put into Knigel’s sat nav Oberau and we headed off. We were pleasantly surprised that it was only going to take us 4 hours. On arrival at Oberau, we couldn’t find the Stellplatz and drove around for ages. Then I realised, ooooopppppppsssss, we were in the wrong Oberau! Our Oberau was around 3 hours east of the one we were in. A tense silence came over Knigel, with both Greg and Juno darting glares at me. Greg was tired and wanted to stop driving, Juno wanted her dinner and to join in the glares! Having found the Stellplatz GPS coordinates, we headed east.
German roads are great to drive on, but much busier than we are used to and surprisingly German drivers are the most impatient that we have encountered. After popping back over the Austrian border we arrived at the Stellplatz at 7.30pm and were sooooo relieved. They had a space and the Stellplatz really is lovely, up on the mountain side, with great views, a bar in a log cabin, toilets and plenty of space between vans. I hope all the Stellplatz are like this one as our budget needs it. This one cost €10 per night.
Following our stressful day, we settled down for a homemade curry and a film – Hail Ceasar, which I would recommend, especially after watching Trumbo.