Monday July 25th
After meeting up with Meindert and Heleen in Salzburg we went searching for the Danube. We ended up with a campsite a little away from the river in Morslingen. It was a very small town and the campsite we ended up at was a work in progress.
After setting up camp it was pretty obvious we were in the middle of farmland as various manure smells wafted over the campsite.
I looked for a place to get dinner in town but there was nothing in this town other than a butcher and a grocery store both closed at this time. It also started to rain, so riding to another town did not work out. Fortunately we still had some noodle soup and that was our dinner.
Tuesday July 26th
The next day we did a trip 15 mile trip with 2 Danube crossings. We passed a beautiful castle in Hochstadt an der Donau.
The route went along the Danube for a bit on a gravel road. The Danube was here still pretty narrow and looked like a canal. But was great to see it. I only saw it once before in Budapest on a business trip.
After the loop along the river we ended back in Hochstadt and had a capucinno at a gelato place. Apparently in Germany gelatos and espresso based drinks alway go hand in hand. It was fun to see all the schoolkids that seem to be in summer camp, can by with their guides and get a gelato.
When we returned to the campervan we packed up and drove to our next destination Bad Kissingen. This town is known for its natural springs. When I checked in at the reception they gave us a coupon for a free entrance to the local spa (turned out later it was just for the first hour). Hence after we installed ourselves we walked up to the spa and enjoyed the pool and later the various saunas. We also had dinner at the spa and it was dark by the time we got back the campervan.
Wednesday July 27th
The next morning we enjoyed the breakfast rolls we had ordered and then explored the historic town center. You could see it had been a famous spa town. We saw and tasted the water of the original springs called Pandyr and Rakoczy.
The water tasted a little salty and had some bubbles. We also had another cappucino and gelato. Here also lots of schoolkids on a fieldtrip but also elderly people. We constantly ended up being swamped by a tour group.
After we got back to the campsite we packed up and drove to our next stop, Paula's sister Siti and her husband Geert in the town of Gunne near the Mohnesee. This is famous for its damn (bombed by the English in the 2nd world war and featured in the movie dambusters). We also saw their kids Amber and Nils who came by to see us. After a wonderful dinner overlooking the Mohnesee we went back to their house and we slept in our campervan on their driveway.
Thursday, July 28th
The next morning Siti and Geert had already left and we drove off. Since we had not had breakfast yet we stopped at the bakery in the center of town. They had pre-made roles and custard filled buns. We also ordered cappucinnos. Just when we ordered Geert came in as well for brekafast. His practive was just down the street. We ended up having breakfast together at the outdoor patio.
We then drove off to our last destination, my brother's house, to return the van. We had heard about the farmer's protest in the Netherlands and Google maps already routed us along an alternative route to avoid some of the protest fallout. The farmer's are protesting the nitrogen output restriction regulation that is affecting them. Some of the tactics they used was throwing hay bales on the highway and setting them on fire. When we arrived through the alternative route in the Netherlands we saw the farmers doing a protest on the opposite of side by slowing traffic by riding tractors on the highway. Later that day they blocked off both sides of the highway and having a barbecue.
We arrived in Coevorden early in the afternoon and visited my mom first. We then drove the Eric's to drop off the van. It had to be cleaned and the cleaning lady was already waiting for us. I had forgotten that I promised to return it by 4pm, oops.
Later my cousin Stan and I picked up pizza and we ate on the outdoor patio. Ingrid my sister joined us later and we drove back with her after and slept at her house as the next morning the Flatlanders part of the vacation would start...