|Route||Dirmingen – Neustadt, Germany|
|Overnight stop||49.354801, 8.152720|
(All services payable, good 4G)
|Diesel / litre||£1.10 (€1.24)|
We had a wonderful sleep last night in our very peaceful free parking. Our new alarm clock woke us up not too gently at donkey o’clock! I suppose I should explain that there is a small animal park/petting zoo on the premises as well and the braying donkey was quite insisting on being fed at 8am this morning. We’ve woken to worse sounds.
The drive over to Neustadt was fairly easy as we made our way initially on a motorway and then wound our way through various villages, stopping once to pick up milchkaffee and pretzels (laugenbrezel)
and once to dump the toilet at a proper disposal point. We always stop when we can to do this as you never know when staying in stellplatzes or free parking whether, if they even have facilities, that they are in working order (been there, done that!). All this does is serve to spoil the potential visit as you are then scurrying around to other places to do the same thing.
We arrived to an almost full parking place and nabbed the last spot. Phew! No electricity as they have all been snaffled but we are ok with the solar panels working hard in the sun that keeps appearing every now and again. It stayed for a while this time!
We left soon after donkey dong woke us this morning as the gorgeous Mr T had some handy work to do on Kaya. We noticed last night after our shower that there was a serious leak somewhere under the shower tray and water was seeping out from under the bathroom wall at floor level at an alarming rate. We had noticed the bathroom mat, which we leave outside the door when we are showering, getting wet the past couple of days but just put it down to water getting splashed. But last night because of our angle, it was far more noticeable and far more worrying. The gorgeous Mr T set to opening the area under the bathroom to find that one of the shower drain pipes had dislodged and was leaking so it was a fairly simple fix but as with anything takes up far more time than he expected. But by tomorrow we’ll be able to shower again. Thank goodness he is handy at doing stuff like this! Well, I did say we were waiting for Problem #3 ….and here it is. Please let this be the magic number.
Anyway, the reason why we are here in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse? The wine festival, over a period of 3 weeks, starts tonight, so festivities are in the town square. and you know how much we like a festival! We got ourselves ready to go, Moosette in tow, and set off for the trek into town. By the time we arrived at 6pm, the town square was heaving with people, glasses of wine, pretzels, flammkuchen and all manner of fast food. The music stage was set up but that would only be used the following weekend. That didn’t put off the locals as most of the night was spent with us listening to them sing rousing songs, drink, eat and make merry. A great crowd!
Our biggest finds of the night: Reisling Schorle which is gorgeous, chilled local white wine 300ml of it (a pint and a bit), served in a pint glass and topped up with sparkling water – what we know as a white wine spritzer but the locals wouldn’t dream of using a cheap white wine, they go with the view that if the building blocks are good, then the final product has to be good! The second thing we thought was just inspirational….dosen-schnapps or schnapps in a can. No, really!!! Our best ones as recommended by several locals: Dosen-Willi – a pear schnapps and Mirabel – a plum schnapps. We had to have a few in order to taste them!
Cut to 10:30pm and the market square was full to popping, Moosette had befriended a Danish Tigger & Kanga (almost homeland buddies!)…or is that Roo, we had befriended the Danes, several locals, other overland travellers and we were full of Saumagen (a local speciality – Saumagen is a German dish popular in the Palatinate, this area. The name means “sow’s stomach”. The dish is similar to a sausage in that it consists of a stuffed casing; however, the stomach itself is integral to the dish. It isn’t as thin as a typical sausage casing), wurst salad (sausage salad which is a sausage somewhat like polony with mixed pickles and a lovely mustard vinagarette dressing) and some of the best takeaway chips, as it all helped to soak up the copious amounts of alcohol we’d consumed.
We took a slow walk home back to Kaya and spent another 2 hours, wrapped up in fleeces and blankets, staring up at the stars (yes, the clouds had cleared!), warming our hands around our cups of coffee, sipping slowly on warming tots of brandy, sucking slowly on some dark chocolate that I’d been keeping for just such an occasion, as we set the world to rights.
Have I mentioned – we love festivals!