Germany is a very big country! We spent less time on the road yesterday – just eight hours. We did have a new high of 38 degrees (Celsius) which only made us all the more excited when it went down to 33! Also, we had a very happy experience at the hottest point in the day.
(ooh some shade…)
There we were motoring along when we come to a complete stop – a traffic jam. Traffic jams don’t usually bother motorbikes so we tootled along between the lanes. All the German and Dutch drivers moved out of the way to let us through, which was very nice. But eventually we came to a foreign (!) camper van and it moved into our way instead. Anyway the truck on the other side moved further away and let us through, but we were still no nearer the front of the jam. Now we were sitting in the middle of a three lane motorway, sun beating down and hot air coming from every vehicle around us. Did I mention under appreciating the air-conditioning in our car?
(Traffic stopped as far as the eye can see. That’s the camper van in front to our left)
That’s when we noticed the services area. So, a little more tootling around the front of the trucks (one of which was now leaking water onto the road) and we reached the petrol station. Denis had a little (illegal) plan to continue out of the services area and ride on the shoulder of the road. Fortunately, he didn’t have to, there was a man stopping all traffic leaving the service area and he stopped us.
(See those great clouds and those mountains are the alps!)
Btw, I forgot to tell you that I had done a year of German classes when I was 18. If you’re a regular reader here you’ll remember that a year isn’t long enough for me to have any level of fluency but plenty of time to say “hello”. As “hello” in German is “Hello!” (or at least that’s what it sounds like…..) I had learned another phrase “Sprecken zie English?”
(Nice German town we found on the back road… doesn’t it look like Clonmel?
So as the man is explaining in perfect German why we cannot go back on the motorway I interrupt with my phrase. And he understands me! And he speaks English! And he tells us that a truck had dropped its load so we will have to take this other route, pointing to a back road out of the service area.
(Look! We found Amazon!)
Well, you could have knocked us over with a feather! Never before have we seen a back road out of a service area! In fact we have spent many riding miles wondering how the employees at the service areas get to work. Do they live at the service areas? Is there an underground tunnel to the nearest town? No, there’s a back road!
We’ll be crossing the border to Austria today and then late today we’ll arrive in Venice. We may take a day to acclimatise (sleep) but then…. what should we go see in Venice?
Until Italy, Mairead.