Week 6 – Harz Mountains to Home
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Our final week is going to be a quiet week – we read back over our diary and can’t believe how much we’ve seen and done – so for our final week – we’ll be taking it slow, avoiding cities and just enjoy getting out and about! Leaving Bad Sachsa we just pootled along to a small town called Naumburg, had a 10 minute walk around, and then just settled in for a lazy Sunday just chilling and playing games. Most things (well everything) is closed on Sundays in Germany anyway!
The next day we went off onto the twisty roads for some challenging yet fun driving, via Waldeck and their castle, through Vohl, and then on to Frankenburg. We stumbled upon a free motor home parking site with facilities, so decided to stay there for the rest of the day and venture into the town. Some lovely timber framed houses and the old town is reasonably good, but most things are closed on Mondays! These Germans have an easy life! Mel found an open hairdresser and just about got across what she wanted, and the end result was okay but the Germans must like it a bit rougher than English girls. As the light faded we had a tough 11km run which felt like more!
From Frankenburg we knew we had to head roughly home – and as we’d seen enough of cities we were looking for more suitable chill places to maybe do some more walking or cycling. On the map there appeared to be an interesting route via a couple of castles in the Munster area. With really poor weather we set out via a Center Parc and enquired if they allowed camping (like the one we found in Holland). In no uncertain terms we were told no – so we headed off into the mountains towards Munster in pouring rain. After we crossed the mountains about 70 miles later, the sun was shining so we thought the day was going to turn out well….
The first castle on our route was at Ludinghausen which turned out to be a lovely castle with some nice grounds and town, but it was closed. We then ventured to Schloss Lembeck which looked lovely – but this too was closed. As such we gave up castle hunting and looked for a suitable place to set up camp and just explore for the rest of the day.
We stumbled on a town called Dorsten which has a specific motorhome parking area for €3 which looked perfect. Even better, it was a stones-throw from Atlantis – an ultra modern swimming complex with full size pool, play pools with 370m of slides, outdoor spa which was superb – underwater music, hot, mood lights, and a great view of the stars! Just what we needed! (That is, of course, a bath after 37 nights away!). As the area is fairly flat and littered with cycling routes we decided to stay a couple of nights and enjoy the area. We actually are a little annoyed we’ve only just started finding these little cheap gems at the end of our tour! Ah well – practice makes perfect and the day ended surprisingly well!
With the sun shining the following day, we enjoyed a long bike ride out into the country following a Roman Ruin trial – which we forgot about and therefore didn’t knowingly see anything that ancient! After popping into the very friendly local tourist information office, we were recommended a restaurant in town where we had a superb meal – and very good service. We have to say, Dorsten seemed to be a superbly friendly place – the friendliest we felt in Germany, and though the town is reasonable it is unfortunately a bit down and in need of some TLC.
Upon leaving Dorsten we headed to a small place on the Holland/Germany border called Afferden to spend our last couple of nights. Incredibly friendly staff gave us some maps so we could have a run in the nearby forest which is literally touching Germany. You could imagine how this place would have felt years ago at the start of WWII. Having no real plans but to veg and chill, and plan our next adventure trip – and boy did we come up with some ideas!!! We bumped into a nice English couple staying on the same site – the first English we’ve seen for over a month! They kindly gave us some good tips about camping locations in Portugal which look gorgeous.
Our second day we just had our last bike ride and final shop ready for the main drive home. The entire final day will be road & ferry, about 350 miles or so, wondering what bills and post await us at home, and what plans we can make for our next trip! One down – who knows how many more to go!