Saturday, 9 February 2013

Death threats and sausages.

Day 207 06.01.13 Strasbourg to Luneville

We decided to move the van over to the aire on the far side of town situated by a youth hostel.  We’d read online that the hostel would most likely let us use their showers and if not we figured we’d treat ourselves to a night in the hostel to get showered up, charge everything and hopefully get online.  On arrival we spotted a scruffy-looking travellers camp down the road from our destination, confused as to where to go due to the Sat Nav having a tantrum I got out and had a quick wander around.  Some workmen told me we shouldn’t park in the travellers’ camp as they would “kill us”.  I’m not sure quite why he said that but we didn’t stop to find out!  They pointed us in the direction of the youth hostel and we soon arrived to find 4 other campers in a small carpark.

We asked at the youth hostel and the lady on the desk told us showers were out of the question.  All the double rooms were booked so if we wanted to stay it would be 11 euros each to sleep separately in same sex rooms with 3 strangers and no wifi.  Needless to say we changed our minds quickly.  So much for that plan!

We walked over the bridge from our parking spot and into Germany for some shopping.  We had only intended to pick up bread for lunch but soon came across Aldi and Lidl both of which were noticeably cheaper than their French counterparts.  We ended up with a few bags with cheap chocolate, sausages and beer (when in Rome and all that, or more accurately Germany!).  We had a quick walk around Kehl, the first town over the border.   It’s very noticeably German in its very functional, grey box-shaped buildings.  There’s little architectural flair or colour and it feels a lot like the UK.  We head back to the van for lunch and enjoy some of the German treats we picked up.

After lunch we head back over the border in the van to scope out the campsite and youth hostel over there.  The campsite is closed and the youth hostel extortionately expensive with a reception desk not manned for another 4 hours.  We decide to get on the road towards Nancy keeping an eye out for cheap hotels and aires on the way.  That also turned out to be a bust as the journey was a twisting, turning hairpin-riddled ride through snow covered mountains!  A tiny village here and there with a handful of houses all caked in 6 inches of snow was the closest we came to civilisation.  I have to say it was incredibly beautiful for the few seconds either of us dared take our eyes off the road or SatNav.  Van Diesel didn’t like the trip too much and it was a stressful journey for both of us too.  As we ran out of light we threw in the towel and parked up beside supermarket in Luneville, the first sign of life we’d seen for a long stretch.  We settled down for a much needed beer before getting the German sausages cooking for dinner. It’s been a long, cold and pretty frustrating day.  Here’s hoping for better luck tomorrow.

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