Three days ago we crossed the border into Germany, and what a shock. Amsterdam, where everyone speaks perfect English, had lured us into a false sense of security. Hardly anyone here speaks English and up until yesterday we didn't speak a word of German!
Luckily I still managed to order a beer in the campsite bar with some pointing and miming so all was not lost.
Our first campsite outside Wesel was rather odd, home to 2,000 permanant caravans and 500 touring ones (check it out on Google Earth). After we had eventually parked up, there was room for 499 more touring ones on the field... It turned out the touring section didn’t open until April, but they seemed happy enough in the end to let us stay.
Blue sky in Wesel with Ali towing the van
Although we were finding everything a bit odd, it was nice to have a 'rest day' where we didnt have to get up early to visit a city, or have jobs to do.
I managed my first exercise of the trip (20 minutes jogging, just a bit to go until I am up to marathon pace) and so did Ali, with our awning being turned into a pilates studio. A few strange noises ensued, probably just as well we were the only ones around!
The sun was shining so Dot and Ali decided the afternoon lesson would be art, with the paints coming out for the first time.
Dot's first ever watercolour...
All in all, an odd site but not bad for £12 a night. I'm not sure who missed having Wifi the most, but we all suffered, so we are now making the most of it in our second German site outside Koblenz.
We are following the Rhine southwards, which sounds idyllic but the reality is that we haven't seen much scenery from the motorways that our satnav guides us down (now that we have learnt to trust it).
As we passed Cologne, the terrain finally began to change and we saw our first hills for 2 weeks. Outside Koblenz things began to get very steep, with a scary downhill drive into our site, Gulser Moselbogen.
Gulser Moselbogen (the view from the air looking down slightly different from the ground!)
We are both still getting used to the slightly lumpy caravan sofa-bed, so once we had parked up we headed to Ikea to invest in a comfy mattress topper, following an abortive attempt in Amsterdam when they were sold out. Ali's face was a picture when I unwrapped it only to find a note saying "leave for 72 hours to expand before first use"!
We are on the banks of the Mosel which has some crazily steep vineyards up it, so today's agenda, once we get around to getting up is to visit Koblenz and sample some local wine. Thanks for all the messages, it’s great to hear from everyone (and please can Dulwich Hamlet follow Aberdeen's lead and win today, thanks).