Die besten Urlaub auf der Welt

I’m back! Furthermore I’m mostly ready for September and everything that the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ has in store.
Our BIG family adventure of taking ‘Charlie van Bus’ to mainland Europe was a blast and we had the (cue *Jeremy Clarkson voice* ) besten Urlaub …… auf der Welt.
Admittedly things didn’t get off to a flying start when we were parked up at the entrance to Dover docks at 5am with water and steam (in Biblical proportions) spewing forth from the radiator. But then again being broken down is not as bad when you can sit in the back and brew up, which we did. Two cans of Radweld* and vast amounts of water later though Charlie was patched up enough to board the Ferry.
We made it to Paris** (smells a bit, very expensive but the tower thing was impressive) and on to Germany where I managed to negotiate a replacement radiator (a Kuhler).
van driving trim.jpg
Our travels and visitations in Germany were wonderful, with much family fun, adventure and humour. My German served us pretty well until we were down in the mountains where we encountered a man who spoke a deep Bayerish dialect and it was akin to being barked at by a Teutonic bloodhound-esque Geoffrey Palmer, I was reduced to nodding.
We called in to Oberamagau as a sort of faith pilgrimage, but not having tickets to the actual play we encountered only a lovely German town largely spoilt by nature of being a myriad of tacky tourist fly traps selling quasi religious plastic and hastily carved artefacts.
Everywhere else though was great and we caught up with friends, visited really cool places and generally had the best time. Highlights included:
> Being atop the Zugspitze (highest mountain in Germany) and taking in a little sledging.
> Enjoying a day at one of the lakes (the German equivalent of the beach) and being able to hire my exact same model of Kayak, yay
> Spending time at the Wellarium, a massive outdoor swimming pool complex, even having it virtually to ourselves once (I think the rain and thunderstorm had dissuaded others).
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On the way back we decided to avoid France as much as possible and headed up through North West Germany staying in the last possible German city, Aachen, before ‘doing’ Belguim and emerging into France at the last possible moment to find Dunkirque … in order to be evacuated by Norfolk Lines Ferries.
All told about 2500 miles of adventure and encounter.
A thousand wonderful shared family memories and prolonged resulting humour.
Die besten Urlaub …… auf der Welt!
heppenheim scene pic.jpg
*other emergency radiator sealants are available
** Ah yes, the question of how did all my French learning pay off? Well …. better than it was but SO far to go, but at least not the stereo-typical ‘shout in English’ Brit abroad.