Bastei

Moritzburg Hunting Lodge

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Saturday 28th July.

Next stop on my list is an area of sandstone rock formations known as Bastei, used as a medieval fortress the sandstone cliffs rise about 190mtres out of the Elbe river valley.

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The infamous Medieval Sandstone bridge of Bastei.

The drive involves a bit of a run to the other side of Dresden so ticked this one off easily. Reaching Bastei, we end up parking up in the top carpark and a bit of a ride on the trusty steads to get us down to the rocks.

German Tourist mecca, very busy with German families on Holidays, Asian tour groups and Us. I think we are the only ones coping with the heat though, its early 30’s and a dry heat so quite pleasant. There is not a shade tree spot safe from the families and the Asians just piss everybody off with their bloody unbrellas.

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For us a bit overrated attraction, yeah pretty amazing fact that a medieval castle was built here and the bridge is pretty cool but as far as rocks go pales into insignificance compared to Grand Canyon and Utah in the States.

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So out of here, Berlin here we come, about 200kms to tick off. Have decided to go rural for the first part of the trip through to Cottbus, then take the Autobahn into Berlin. Now in Berlin we have to be carful where we stay as it has a “Low Emission Zone” in which your vehicle has to be a certain young age or have been tested for Emissions and carry the green sticker. We have no bloody idea about this so just either avoid or ignore. Decide to avoid the Berlin one.

Ok back to the rural route, first up we have a problem with Jacinda, she got left in the heat on the dash while we had a quick stop and has developed a heat migraine and has frozen. Time out in the fridge for her. So google maps has to take over and we get onto the right roads.

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Windmills and very large areas of Arable Land, crops all harvested through this area and winter cover crops sown.

2nd up, the ever efficient German roading machine are very good at doing up roads, but when they do, they close the road completely and put in detours. In the most case these are signposted pretty well with big U signs and arrows.

However sometimes they are not as accurate as they could be for non-locals, and this is such an occurrence, we get onto a road that really doesn’t feel right, after a real back country tour of about 20km arrive back into a village in the middle of the closed road still finding closed road signs and detours. Just doesn’t feel right.

After a false start on another road that was leading way backwards, option A was to back track, Option B was to go down closed road for a bit to another road that would lead us in right direction, (we hope). (At this stage Jacinda is still in the fridge, and I think in this situation was the best place for her.)

Seeing it was Saturday afternoon and just about non-existent traffic didn’t think we would come to much harm. About 4km down this brand new undriven on road with a very high security fence on 1 side, we find our alternative road joining. Funny Ha Ha, it is the one we were supposed to have been on joining back into the now unclosed road. “whole new meaning of the tourist mantra, take only photos, leave only tracks”.

Reaching Cuttbus, its onto the A13 for an easy 130km run to Berlin, and time for Jacinda to resume her duties. Stopping about 20km out of Berlin its time to programme in a overnight place, however bloody data on my phone wont work properly and allow park4night app to load the map.

So its back to the Search for Sites book which we have given up on about 2 weeks into the trip. Looking for a site outside the emission zone area find one at a Marina on the Hamburg side of Berlin, which means a run through Berlin on the A100. Heading into the Marina was incredibly tight with Saturday evening traffic/parking well and truly in force. Finally reaching the Marina we find it is booked out for campers of our size and are told there is a camping ground about 5km further around the lake, so know we have to go back out through all the parked traffic, but tailgate a local this time a bit easier.

By now the looming thunderstorm has hit so the roads are rivers and the wipers are doing their best.

Next challenge is the camping ground staff speak non existant English which has been rare. So it is Pidgeon German and hand signals “well done Susie” I stayed in Miss Stella as it was raining.

A very pleasant night once the rain had stopped, great facilities, big showers again and washing machines. Think we are over Berlin, will be a casual visit and then leg it north to the coast.

 

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