Monday 21st May
On the road reasonably early and making our way to Giessen, this is the closest we can come to finding Susie’s Family name, so as it is not too far a diversion we may as well suss it out. A quick blast down the E40, surprisingly very quiet with all the Rest Area’s filled with trucks, next observation is that all the shops except petrol stations seem to be closed.
So this is something else that is following us around Europe, 3 day weekends, Uncle Google tells us it is “Whitmun”, the Monday following “Whitsunday”. In my language its another public holiday across most of Europe, great for motorway travel.
At Siegen we need to turn off onto the N62, and after 30 minutes of travel still haven’t come across a village name that is the same as on our map, (and the road is considerably narrower than a red road should be). Low and behold Susie recognises a village name “Wissen” and it is not where it is supposed to be, in fact we have gone in completely the opposite direction on 62 away from Giessen than we should have.
As you are aware this is not an unusual occurrence, so we have a moment of reflection, after all this is a religious holiday and reprogram “Jacinda”, (It probably also needs mentioning that we weren’t using her this morning as it looked straight forward on the map). So this continued to be a very scenic journey until we made our way back to the E40 and arrived in Giessen.
Nothing much to report here really, had a cycle around, through main centre, everything still shut and then down to the river to make our way back to where we had parked Miss Stella. I would like to point out that finding her this time was easy as after our midnight getting lost in Wiesbaden and cycling around for an hour adventure, I now make sure my phone is charged and I mark our parking spots on Google Maps.
From Giessen we are basically turning back south and heading back towards France, a route towards Wurzburg then Stuttgart and picking up Castle Hohenzollern in the vicinity of Rottenburg. This involves a bit of driving so a good taste of the Autobahrn is in order. This is an experience in itself but is actually quite stressfree, as long as you stay in your lane (in Miss Stella’s case the outside one, unless passing trucks), the km’s fly past as do the Porsche’s Audi’s BMW’s and on the odd occasion a smartcar, yes one of those little things that we have seen parked end on in normal carparks. I can only smile to myself and hope I pass them again at the next charging spot). These cars coming past at the unlimited speeds really give ole Miss Stella a bit of a shake as their slipstream takes hold.
Without further incident we reach the outskirts of Wurzburg and turn down the B19 towards Stuttgart to find a freecamp area in the vicinity.
Bad Mergentheim is the first we come across and proceed to The Stellplatz carpark;
www.searchforsites.co.uk GPS: 49.49203, 9.79198, This is the paved carpark very easy to find just off the B19, it has services on coin operated machine, include water, power and Sani dump, ( we where unsure about greywater as could not find a dump spot for this). There is a designated area for Motor homes with payment at 5 euro /van and a further 2.50 euro/person. However we parked up in the truck park within the bigger carpark and freecamped.
Tuesday 22nd May.
A leisurely start to another sunny warm day, cycled into the centre of this lovely old town and to find the typical “Marktplatz”, basically the centre of town that has the town hall and a square more often than not containing open air stalls, (Foody Heaven) and the info centre.
Deciding that it could be worth visiting the info centre we find we are essentially at the beginning of what is known worldwide (not by us) as the Romantic Road (now don’t read anything into this, remember that whole diamond thing was back in Antwerp). This is a 410km road that winds its way from Wurzburg in the North (gentle rolling arable and wine regions) until Fussen in the South (within the Alps).
Guess What, change of plan, this looks like a great way to see a whole heap of Germany, including our “fairytale German Castle”.
So after picking up the information that we need so as not to get lost again (thought process anyway after all this booklet and map does come in English) ( And yes I do realise that North and South is the same in any language and have not used language as an excuse for misdirection yet), I settle myself down with coffee and cake to suss this new route out, while Susie decides she needs to help the local economy out especially after we free camped last night.
Domestic duties are in order after lunch including a grocery shop before a massive thunderstorm delays our plans for a bikeride to the next village down.
These villages on this road are all medieval historically and at the Wurzburg end are “Bavarian in design”. Bad Mergentheim is the Former town of the Grand and German masters of the Teutonic Knights. By Bavarian it means the half timbered houses and Baroque palaces that are situated around the village Square.
Late afternoon we move on and 20km’s down the road we find Rottengin and this time have easy signposts pointing out which way to the “Feltzplatz” motorhome parking, “UNTIL they have either missed one out or it has been nicked” because we cruised through the centre of this cute little village and exited out the other side and no more signs. A quick turn around in a parking bay and retrace our steps and sure enough there is the missing sign on the back of a wall as we drove through.
Can’t actually find this spot on any of the websites/apps, however is very easy to follow the signs if you are coming from the south, as said above 1 vital sign missing from the North.
Site is 5 Euro/night, and power water showers WC and dump points all available. All signed pitches were full mainly due to crap parking, so we just helped ourselves to large open area beside.
After dinner went for a walk around village and pretty much wandered the sights here.
Wednesday 24th May.
After studying the book it seems that the next stop Rottenburg o.d.t (ob de Tauber) is worth a full day, so get on the road early and pull into the Motor Home parking on outskirts of Rottenburg about 9.30, as most of last nights campers where leaving.
www.searchforsites.co.uk Rottenburg Parking P2, GPS 49.3705, 10.18345. A well set up camper park on Sealed Pitches. 10 euro/24hr, Power, water, waste dump, WC, all on site.
Now Rottenburg is a pretty cool place but well and truly on the tourist map as a definite stop. It is a truly Medieval town being completely encircled by a solid wall and towering battlements. The old town includes surviving medieval houses and central marketplace and rebuilt (post WW11) areas. The significance is obvious by the way the windows are level in the new buildings.
Fantastic few hours spent wandering around and a little bit of souvenir shopping, by midday the tourists buses have arrived and photo bomb opportunities abound.
Lazing back at Miss Stella for a few hours mid afternoon before a quick look at the new part of town and then I think we may do the night tour with the nightwatchman.