Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Romantic Rhine – or not! 24th August 2014

Hi, now a couple of blogs ago I posted a picture of a very small campsite entrance and said that I'd tell you about it later, well here goes.

Now don't get me wrong, I do love living in our motorhome, one of my favourite things is that you may have a small home but you have a massive garden and it changes all the time. Of course another is the amount of housework that you have to do – or not. It's just the time actually on the road that gets to me!!!!

We left Arnhem and decided to by-pass Dusseldorf and head for a campsite just south of Koblenz. Iain picked one that purported to be suitable for larger motorhomes. Now this is August in northern Europe and we expected the weather to be good, not so. It doesn't seem to have stopped raining since we were in Ypres some weeks before and this day was no exception. So here we were, driving through Koblenz with only the satnag to rely on as we have only a map of Europe and no detailed ones. As I've said before, my husband is not the most technically minded and refuses to even have such a device as a Kindle so it seems to befall to me to set the satnag each time, now I put in the co-ordinates (because that pin-points the exact place) AND the address and make sure that they both go to roughly the same location. It was p**ing down as we came into Koblenz and it's not easy to follow the roads through. This was exacerbated by the fact that there was a sign on the road we wanted saying nothing over 3.5 tonnes so that was not an option. Then there was a choice of 3 roads and I asked which one I should take, I expect Iain was rolling a cigarette at this point – this always seems to be the case when I need a quick response and only getting an “I don't know”, I of course took the wrong one. Around again in Koblez. We actually stopped in a McDonald's drive in car park, just to wait for the rain to ease and to re-assess and re-plan, our heads as well as the satnag.

It didn't look like the rain was going to be kind to us so, calm heads and plan made we set off again. Having got through Koblenz we found a Lidl supermarket on the road. I wasn't in the best of moods and Iain didn't really want to stop, but I did anyway. We have a saying that if you need a supermarket and you see one – use it, you never know where the next one is. So supplies for at least 4 days replenished we got on the road again. Just as well we did as we didn't see another supermarket, or even shop for the next 5 days.

Iain was navigating to the campsite from the book, which is always a good idea as the satnag can take you some strange ways and the book said “DON'T FOLLOW THE SAT NAV”. I might have mentioned before that I explicitly stated that I didn't want a repeat of the Ardeche Gorge situation where we had both been terrified on the windy hilly roads when I said to Iain to slow down and he said he was only doing 15 mph and I said “Well go slower”. Also when I said I was scared, he exclaimed that “It's alright for you, I'm 6 feet nearer the edge”. And that was in Vanessa who was much smaller than the behemoth we travel in now. Well I'd had a look at the Rhine and decided that it would be much like the Mosel, main roads down each side of the river so that would be ok.

Now the only trouble with the riverside campsite that Iain had chosen was that it wasn't actually riverside on the Rhine – but on the Lahn a much smaller tributary and of course resembled much more of an Ardeche Gorge than a Mosel river road. This was when we came across the campsite entrance which I showed you on a previous post. But here it is again if you missed it.

You cannot be serious!!!!!!

If you want to know what I thought of that you can go back to a couple of posts ago. But I can assure you that the Rhine didn't feel very romantic to me that day. We sat outside the campsite entrance (in the rain again) and contemplated our options. The only good thing was that it was still only around 4pm and we had already got our supplies, so we didn't have to hurry anywhere. It was at this point that I gave out a few expletives, wishing I could go home to a nice little cottage somewhere and forget our life on the road. But we were where we were, and we had to find somewhere to go. So I just said that I wanted to go back to the Mosel, at least we had been there before and I knew that I would like it. I just said “Get me to the first campsite on the Mosel, I don't care where it is!” We found 2 ACSI sites in Bergen and headed off again about a 25 mile journey. There was nothing important to report about the journey, probably because I don't actually remember it, except that as we approached the first campsite I asked if this was the one we were heading for and having got a slow response of “Which one do you want to go to?” I had hurtled past. Oh well the next one was only a couple of hundred yards further along.

They had space for us and we booked in for 4 nights – time to relax.

Please cheer up - it's flat and on the river

The campsite was right on the banks of the river – the Mosel, not the Rhine which now meant another change to our original plan of Up the Rhine, Down the Rhone. All of the pitches were grass and we take hard-standing wherever possible and it had been raining a lot so we selected a pitch, one row back from the river on a higher level. Another van pulled in just before us and they chose a riverside pitch, which they immediately regretted as they got bogged down before they actually got on their pitch and couldn't move at all. The next day a tractor came and pulled them off. Now this sort of thing is usually good for a bit of spectator sport and I'm sorry that I didn't get my camera out quick enough because the tractor actually dragged them forwards and around a caravan that was pitched up riverside. The photo I did take of this was after the event and I'm sorry but it doesn't show quite just how narrow a strip of land there was between the caravan and the river bank, nor does it show how sloping the ground was. 

So glad it wasn't us being towed off

There really wasn't as much room as it looks here

I asked the motorhome driver if they were still leaving that day and he said after that he was going to get out a beer and sit and do nothing.

One thing I will complain about is that the Internet charge was 3.5 euros a DAY, so we had to ration which days we would get it for. What a rip-off. Apart from that the campsite was pretty good.

We took some walks into Bergen but there isn't actually much there although it is a pretty town. The Mosel however is beautiful and we knew that it only got better further up river you go, but here's some pictures of the not so beautiful views.

Bet that stream is normally nearly empty in August!!!

This house was actually older that our one back home
Just a pretty street

And some views of the river.

Misty morning

Paddling in the Mosel
Don't come a step nearer or I'll have you - who said that?

This isn't the prettiest bit of the Mosel either

And our cheese from Gouda - before we started to devour it

Now we were calmer we had to decide what to do next, the first thought was to continue down the Mosel to Trier but we had already done this trip about 3 years ago and although we loved it (highly recommended) it was a shame to repeat it when we could go somewhere new. I did some rekkie on the Romantic Rhine – the real Rhine this time and it looked like it wouldn't be a repeat of a few days before so we decided that although we had used up some days by going to the Mosel we would add about 50 miles on our journey (a drop in the ocean of the some 4,000 we would be doing this winter) we would give it a go as it would have been a shame to miss it.

So refreshed and me more positive, we set off for Oberwessel about half-way down the Romantic Rhine.

No comments:

Post a Comment