Google Maps said today’s journey would be 5 and a half hours, but it was more like 8 hours. We’re used to journeys taking longer than predicted in Bertie, especially with toilet and food breaks added in, but it did seem a particularly long day.
The motorway through Germany was very busy and there were lots of road works. It seemed to take forever for our estimated journey time to drop below 4 hours and then 3 hours, and our estimated arrival time kept being postponed because of the road congestion worsening.
When Google Maps suggested a faster route, we decided to go for it. This meant finding a different place to stay overnight from the one we’d already planned. I consulted the various apps we use and found somewhere that sounded suitable in a Bavarian town called Aschaffenburg. Although the motorway we were now on was quieter, the weather didn’t help speed up the journey. The sky turned dark and John drove through thunder and torrential rain.
Finally, we arrived at the stellplatz, took our ticket as we passed through the barrier and parked up. It was a peaceful spot between allotments and the River Main. We went to pay at the machine, and then came our next problem… the machine rejected our ticket! John kept trying while I translated the error messages with my phone. Eventually a man spoke from inside the machine. However, he didn’t speak English and we don’t speak German and, eventually, he went quiet! Thankfully, a couple of cyclists stopped and helped us out. We paid and a new ticket was issued. Phew! Thank goodness for Good Samaritans!
We then wandered over a bridge over the River Main into the town, with huge barges passing below. Aschaffenburg has a charming historical centre with narrow streets and old buildings, which I was looking forward to exploring.
We could see Schloss Johannisburg, a beautiful 17th century renaissance palace on the river, from all angles on our walk.
We wandered through the palace garden and along a pretty arcade with a beautiful view to a breakfast temple and the Pompejanum. The Pompejanum is a replica of a Roman house from Pompeii with a vineyard. It was commissioned by King Ludwig I and opened in 1850.
By now we were ready for dinner. The old town was bustling. There must be a festival taking place over the weekend because stages and stalls were being erected. Many of the bars and restaurants were full but we walked a bit further and found a somewhere doing Spanish and Mexican meals… a welcome change from German and Italian food!
The meal was enjoyable, although we had a very long wait between our starter and main course. It seems the waitress forgot to put the order for our fajitas through. At least it was a warm and pleasant evening, and we had no rush to get back.
Sadly, we’ve had our last night in Bertie. Now we’re driving up through Germany and The Netherlands to Hook of Holland, where we catch the overnight ferry back to Holland. Hopefully, the rest of the journey will go smoothly.