EUROPE SUMMER 2016 – DAYS 3 AND 4
Day 3 Exploring Luxembourg 2nd July
Luxembourg may be a small country, but too big to explore in just one day. We had thus decided to concentrate on the Mullerthal region – also known as Luxembourg’s “Little Switzerland” or Kleine Schweiz. We’ll see! As we had to pass through the City, we decided on a brief look round but, as cities often are, it was pretty busy so we had a quick look and continued our journey. As we arrived, though, on the hour of 11, a carillon was playing a tune. It gradually dawned on me that it was Hosanna from Jesus Christ superstar! Interesting. We thought the city had some fine buildings.
Our first destination on the Mullerthal tour was Beaufort, which has a pretty fine mish-mash of a castle, being built in 4 separate periods. A good photo opportunity.
We then passed on through the Mullerthal Gorge, where we stopped for a while at an amazing spot where steps have been built into a crevice in the rock which lead up to a high rock – very like a priest’s pulpit. It’s called Predigtstuhl– which I now find actually means pulpit. Who knew? Amazing place.
Whilst there a trio of old – really old – VWs roared up. The camper, as you can see had only a couple of inches clearance from the ground! How they get around without bottoming out all the time, goodness knows. They made a fine sight though – and noise!!
After this, as we running close to the border, we poked our nose into Germany and I popped into a Norma supermarket. It wasn’t great. No Aperol or Asparagus darling?! Slightly below the standard of a LIDL/ALDI, I would say. LOL
We stopped to see some cows on the way back and Archie took the opportunity to have a rest after his exertions in the Gorge.
Then it was home and a bit of prep for leaving tomorrow and then we popped down to the on-site fritierie and had a beer (Bofferding seems to be the most popular round here) and some croquettes and chips. Reminded me a ittle of FEBO food. Was delish though. A bit of work on the blog and bed followed. Oh – and as for Little Switzerland? No. I don’t really think so. Beautiful, but only a very teeny tiny Switerland.
Day 4 – to Switzerland 3rd July
This was always expected to be a long day of driving and indeed it was. Some 310 miles. We find that long journeys are made more bearable by stopping little and often and this is just what we did. We set off and soon crossed back into France and through Thionville, where the mighty Moselle river flows and which also featured heavily in WWI and II. We also crossed the Maginot Line. We next passed through Saint-Avold. I went to school with a chap named Avold. His surname was Carter – as was mine but not a relation. What an interesting aside!
St Avold is home to the largest WWII American cemetery, with 10,500 graves. A staggering figure. All this time we had been travelling through the Lorraine Region and then we crossed into the Alsace region. Shortly after we had crossed the border, we saw that, as well as the usual signs for deer, we saw a sign for Wild Boar. Alas we did not see one in the flesh.
We passed through Strasbourg – which grandly advertises itself as the “crossroads of Europe”. Our next stop was at the Haut Koenigsbourg aire just outside Colmar, where we were surprised and delighted to see storks (European White storks to be precise). They had obviously spent quite a while at the site and had sadly become far too accustomed to humans feeding them and they were behaving like seagulls or pigeons at the seaside!
It was great to see them though. We also had a great view of the castle after which the aire was named.
By now it was 16.30 and the journey was starting to pall a little by now and we still had another couple of hours to go. We had a lively game of Trivial Pursuits to entertain ourselves, which whiled away some time. By now we were in the Haut Rhin region and soon (finally!) crossed into Switzerland. Our first task was to stop and purchase our vignettes at the border crossing (one for the car and one for the caravan – total €80). The vignettes are in lieu of road tax.
With the technicalities taken care of, we got back on the road and came to our first Swiss town – Basel. We went through Basel largely in tunnels. In fact, we had been in Switzerland only a short while and already been through half a dozen tunnels!
We were now on the last leg of our journey and began to see glimpses of the views we had come all this way for! Exciting.
We arrived at our destination – Camping Manor Park, Untersee near Interlaken – at 1830. The site is in the shore of Lake Thun (or Thunnersee) and I had booked back in January I had been able to select what I hoped would be the perfect pitch. It actually exceeded my expectations and I had to keep pinching myself, so beautiful was the view. Definitely the best ever pitch – in Europe at least.
We set up for our 6 night stay and I made a curry for dinner, which went down very well indeed. We retired full of anticipation of seeing that view again in the morning, with good weather forecast. What ho!