17th August: A (relatively) stressful day :-)

Today started well enough. We had a lovely, lazy lie in until 10ish and then pottered around getting the van ready to move to Garmisch-Partenkirchen. We tidied up, washed up and swept out; emptied the bins, loo and waste tank; and filled up the fresh water tank. We then put our ticket in the machine to pay for the 4 nights that we had stayed, ready with a €50 note to pay, and nothing happened. The machine wouldn’t recognise our ticket. We enlisted a German to help decipher the message on the screen but he just did exactly the same things we had done. Two others wandered over to help, again to no avail. There was a phone number on the wall and a lady offered to speak if we dialled. However, there was no answer.

We decided to see if tourist information could help. But they just gave us the same phone number, and there was still no answer. John was getting quite grumpy now so I suggested a beer. We sat in the square in the sunshine for a bit and tried the number again when we’d finished our drinks. Still no answer. We wandered back to the camper van and tried again, with the same result. We then noticed another number on the wall at the site so John tried that. There was no answer on this number either but he did manage to leave a voicemail.

We were both really fed up by now, although, please note, I managed to stay calm! We decided to go to the campsite which has links with the stopover site, and which we’d been trying to call. It was quite a distance away and we set off walking. However, a taxi pulled up next to us as we passed the station so we jumped into it. At the campsite we found the office was closed between 11 and 4, which is why there had been no answer.

We went into the bar and found somebody who could speak English. They located the man who could help us. It turned out he’d picked up the voicemail and had been over to the stopover site, probably passing us in the taxi! Never mind. He took us back. The ticket still (thankfully) didn’t work so he took the money for our stay, deducting the cost of the taxi so we weren’t out of pocket, and raised the barrier. After 3 hours we were free at last!

We decided to stop for diesel and LPG on the way to Garmish. Next drama! First I managed to get the diesel to overflow, then the LPG took about 10 minutes for just 2 litres. We probably needed about 8 (although the gauge on the bottle isn’t working so we can’t be sure!) but there was a queue behind us so we gave up! I don’t know why it was taking so long. The guy behind filled his car tank (a much bigger volume) in a matter of minutes!

We found the stopover site in Garmisch very quickly, which makes a change 🙂 I was a bit worried when we drove in. It’s so big. However, we have a nice spot with a lovely view of the mountains and there’s a really good atmosphere, with lots of people mooching around.

We had lunch and then worked out what we needed to do ahead of the walks we have planned from here… Shopping, street map, bus routes, weather, wifi etc. Garmisch is much bigger than anywhere we have stayed before and we are parked up at the edge. I nearly turned getting the bus into town into another drama… Where would we get off? Where would we find a supermarket? Would there be a bus back?! It all turned out ok. We found the shops and then decided to have dinner in a nice square.

As we drank our beer and waited for our meal, I noticed tourist information. Even better… When I walked over it was open. Some luck at last! I collected what we needed and went back to the restaurant. The meal I had was the best I’ve had in Germany. Things are going well again 🙂

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