A week ago we returned from our wonderful holiday in Germany. This had been planned for many months and had been talked about for a few years. Some good friends of ours grew up in Neustadt an der Weinstrasse just over the German border, near Alsace, and they were always telling us that we should join them there for a holiday. Finally late last year, we managed to get a date in the diary when the four of us would all be available to take a week off and travel over.
We decided that, as the cycling was reported as being so good there, we would drive and take our bikes with us, planning to cycle to most of the destinations that we intended to go to. There was the added advantage that we would not have to worry about drinking (or not!) and driving if we took our bikes.
And so the day finally came and we all drove down to Dover, The Man and I only just making it in time for the ferry, thanks to the dreadful service at the Service station on the M2, and the appalling traffic once we got to Dover, but we made it which was all that mattered. And so the holiday began.
Once we docked in France, The Man handed the driving over to me, he is not a great one for driving on the Continent, and even less good at driving at speed, which was going to happen. So, we followed our friends through France and Belgium (stopping for a meal early in the afternoon - I had not even realised that we had crossed into Belgium at this stage!). We then changed drivers and drove to Luxembourg where we filled up with petrol (very cheap) and changed drivers again for the end of our journey into Germany. If I had thought that they drove fast thus far, Germany was something else. We were driving at about 85 miles an hour most of the way and although a few cars overtook us, they did not do so at any great speed, Germany was a different matter; cars overtook us as if they were on a race track. Truly scary!
At about 9pm, twelve hours after we left home, we arrived at our destination, Gimmeldingen, a village just outside Neustadt.
Our landlord for the week, a friend of our holiday companions, kindly laid on supper for us, with some of the local wine to help wash it down. Now, when I say local, I mean local, this was the view from our flat, and where the wine came from:
If the wine did not travel well, that would have been fine bearing in mind that it only had to travel a few yards from the Weingut, or Vineyard. We did visit the vineyard on our final day to buy some Sekt, which was very pleasant and very cheap at €7.60 a bottle, more of that later.
So, after a long day, we finally got to bed.