Thursday 24th May
A normal morning procedure undertaken with Water and waste taken care of.
There has become a bit of an issue with gas supply, when we picked Miss Stella up upon direction by “Neil” we filled up the 6l propane tank and purchased another, these are the Calor red tanks from the UK. Now this has ended up being another bit of “Downunder” misunderstanding, as we assumed that you would be able to either exchange or refill these tanks as we go.
BUT NO, because the UK has remained on the wrong side of the road, kept their own currency, talking about removing itself from Brexit and have right hand thread on their gas bottles, this is not possible. Its really only the last one that has any impact at all on our present gas supply.
Anyway due to the fact we are pretty much free camping and and not hooking up to 230v very much we use the gas for most things including fridge. The first bottle lasted about 2 ½ weeks and 2nd one is starting to feel a little lighter. But I digress, after much “Uncle Google “ etc we have replaced the useless red tanks with a 12l European tank ( and new European correctly threaded regulator) that can be either filled or replaced pretty much around Europe. Sorted.
By the time we finish with this and hit the road again it is basically lunchtime and looking at the map we are not really covering much ground. I know we are here for a reasonable length of time but are also realising Europe is quite a big place with a bucket load to see. Might need to start to pick and choose, (and perhaps not get lost quite as often).
We have a map and guidebook to this road and after a bit of reading decide that next stop should be Dinklesbuhl.
About 5 mins drive feeling quite confident about where we are heading we come across a road closed sign ( at least we think that that was what it was) very undecided at this stage as to next option we pull off and wait for other traffic to come past to give us some guidelines etc. Now in a country of godknows how many million and driving on roads for days crowded with cars you wouldn’t think that this would have been too much of a wait, you would be wrong, it was if every red light for the past 50km had gone red just for our benefit. After a bit more discussion and head scratching we follow the path of least resistance which in this case was through the bush with temporary plastic bollards and yellow flashing lights (which wern’t flashing because it was daytime) basically blocking off roads that we assumed you didn’t go down. To cut a long story short we got back onto the correct road after about 20 minutes of very scenic driving.
Dinklesbuhl is another small medieval village built through the 1200’s as a secure place of refuge along the trading routes, easy parking here as well, in fact this whole route has been easy on the parking as they are very well signposted for campervans within handy walking distance. A casual walk around and photos taken, we decide to move onto Nordlingen.
Once again very easy to find the Stellpatz as easily signposted on the way into the town, this one is pretty standard 3 euro/night, with availability to hook up to power (1euro/1kw) and water and waste. Very short walk to the old city gates.
Nordlingen is quite an amazing place, once again a fully walled medieval city on the trade routes, however the difference here is that was pretty much built inside of a meteorite crater which has been dated to 15 million years ago. Amazingly enough the outside wall of this town is almost perfectly round. Very similar town on the inside with the mix of true medieval architecture mixed with building / renovation carried out over the past 300 years. Interesting fact here though is that the limestone used in this area has a much quicker rate of degradation that other areas so the curse of the scaffold was very evident here.
Photos here are pretty much about the degradation and reconstruction of some of these buildings.
Yet another massive thunderstorm rolled in about 5.30 and this put paid to thoughts of doing the nightwatchman tour of Nordlingen, however as a special treat I splashed out and went to Macca’s just across the road from where we were camped up and bought Ice Cream Sundaes for an after-dinner treat.
Friday 25th May.
After intense study of the guide book we decide that today might be the day we change scenery and pretty much head towards the Alps and try and reach Fussen by the end of the day (about 200km).
Before we get onto the bigger roads a quick stop into Harburg castle that sits proudly looking out over the village below. Very unimpressive and I must say not worth the 3 euro entry price to get in. Nice view over the surrounding country side would be the take home statement here. Now to get to the B17 which is basically our escape route south the “Romantic Road” signs take us through this village of Harburg, “you can fit a bus through there was once again the catch cry from the passenger seat” while my mind is saying “yeah but what if we meet a bloody bus down there”, to date we have yet to scrape the wing mirrors so can’t be all bad. If you want to see the video footage of the village have a look at either Susie Giesen or Shane Tilson Facebook page, included in the footage are various statements that pretty much sum up the adventure that is Miss Stella and narrow streets.
Leaving the “Romantische Stasse” behind us for a while now we spend the next 170kms between the 25 the 2 and the b17 before returning to the 2551 at Rottenbuch, the reason being we had read that the monastery here was worth visiting due to the detail within the main nave.
That would have to be the understatement of the trip so far, and to be honest I think we were perhaps a little over church’s after England and France. The tower above the pretty plain white stone monastery certainly showed us the way there and after wandering around looking from outside and wondering what all the hype was about until we followed a couple through the main chapel doors. The photo’s below don’t really do it justice.
The foundations of this church date from the 1100’s while the superstructure of tower and nave date from the 1500’s and the stucco artwork from 1750.
After over indulging in this visual feast we had a quiet bike ride around one of the shorter “Milk Trials”, this area is a home to various sized dairy farms and local cheese producers. Was interesting to see these sorts of farms close up with most of them having the cow barn, dairy and dwelling all in one building, majority of the cows seemed to be Simmental Murray Grey type, and all have bells on. The dreamy musical nature of this wears off pretty soon especially when a mob of heifers (about 15) come bolting down the paddock to greet you as we peddle past.
Paid a visit to the an on- farm cheese producer here, which incorporated its own on-farm dairy, shop and restaurant, thinking we would try some of the local fare, unfortunately the cheeses were in an uncovered cabinet and literally had flies crawling all over them. Pretty quickly turned off this idea.
It is hay season here at the moment and everywhere you turn there are tractors working, including a lot of cut and carry directly into barns where cows are still kept for part of the day.
We had 1 more stop on our way, this one was on a side road from the one we are on but was signposted so felt pretty confident about finding it.
Called the ”Pilgrimage Church to our Tormented Saviour on the Meadow” it is even less impressive from the outside than the monastery, basically just a plain white church in the middle of a paddock with the mountains in the background. Once you are inside though it is quite amazing, similar detail to the monastery but due to more light from windows it is mind blowing. Interesting enough the ceiling is actually flat however the artistry “perspective painting and sophisticated colouring” makes them look like a genuine vaulted shape.
Since leaving Rottenbuch we have essentially moved into a subalpine landscape of postcard type scenes, rolling farm hills, villages of steep pitched chalet type buildings and trees, with an increasingly impressive backdrop of the Barvarian Alps with every kilometre we drive.
The last 10km into Fussen pass through villages of Halblech and Schwangau and have obviously entered an area of high visitor content “bloody tourists” and it no wonder as the Royal Castles of King Lugwig ll stand majestically to our left, That’s tomorrows expedition.
No shortage of overnighting in Fussen and a decision to use a campsite here instead of the park ups is reasonably easy. After 10days of no hookup the leisure battery is rather drained, we need to find a laundry and a 5 minute shower seems a good idea.
www.searchforsites.co.uk. Wohnmobilplatz Fussen GPS; 47.58242 , 10.7013. 15euro/night, all facilities here incl laundry, very full though. However is quiet. Is about 5km away from castles and cable car. ( An easy bike).