Monday, 22nd October 2018
When we embarked on this trip we knew that we had a maximum of eight weeks in which to travel before we needed to return home for our long-awaited trip to Iceland in search of the Northern Lights. We were also aware of a couple of things which might make us head home sooner than planned. Fortunately motorhoming gives us this flexibility and as one of these has materialised, over the next week we will be heading north and retracing our steps, albeit via different cities, to return to England.
Sorting out the rubbish as we left Saverne we found that the sound of a bottle falling into the large municipal recycling bin frightened Ralf. He also didn’t like being put back in Alan in case Matilda went somewhere without him.
We have also found that the Navigon sat nav system can be a little unpredictable. The pronunciation of some of the place names is almost incomprehensible, being a combination of the English pronunciation of letters and that of the local country. It also sometimes chooses a very questionable route for us to follow. Today, it tried to get us to join the motorway via the back entrance into a service station. The directions took us down some very narrow single track rural roads to a dead-end. As the motorway was a toll road, there were no short-cuts and we were faced with a locked gate.
We hit another problem when we eventually arrived in Saarbrücken in Germany [5th country of the trip]. The aire we had planned to stay in, conveniently next to the swimming pool for Matilda, was unfortunately closed and work was well underway to build a theatre on the site.
Matilda was slightly concerned when Robert opted to park in a nearby adjacent car park with no indication that overnight stays are allowed. She has everything crossed against eviction by the authorities at midnight but as she is adamant she doesn’t want to drive it has to be Robert’s decision.
Another motorhome was parked up when we arrived but left shortly afterwards as the owner had simply been walking his dog. Another car pulling a caravan also arrived while we were leaving for a walk into the city with Ralf.
Saarbrücken is quite a large town on the river Saar.
Indeed, it is larger than we expected with many of the well-known international chain stores as well as some splendid buildings including St Johanner Markt, where Robert was pleased to see a van offering curry wurst for sale.
Our walk took us past the Kirche St Johann and the new-Gothic Rathaus St. Johann [centre] built between 1897 and 1900 and featuring statues representing traditional trades such as smelting, farming and brewing. It also features the fight between St George and the dragon on the corner of the tower.
Outside Ludwigskirche in Ludwigsplatz, both Robert and Matilda were slightly bemused to be approached by two Germans asking to take photos of their bags. Robert displayed his Star Wars Tesco bag and a Lidl bag, whilst Matilda had to explain the purpose of the collapsible drinking bowl for Ralf attached to the strap of her handbag.
Unfortunately Ludwigskirche [main photo] is closed on Mondays, as the interior is a fully restored baroque unusually splendid Protestant church.
Walked today: 8.4 miles
Driving distance today: 70.70 miles
The current tour map:
Overnight location: n49º23.2907′ e6º96.2953′
Carpark next to the swimming pool: