Zugspitze turned into another Fawlty Towers experience to actually make our first hotel the Vos & Ben seem like a model of professionalism. Things just went from bad to worse I can’t be bothered to go through it all but I must tell of the final indignity. I had parked in a very nice underground car park and when I attempted to leave the automated door would not open. I was on an extremely steep slope, engine running waiting for help to arrive, which never came. And since the hand brake hardly holds the car on the flat I gingerly reversed down the slope to wait. Then a German VW Beetle man (new version!) told me to turn off the engine (it does rather chuck out the fumes) but I took this as some sort of veiled insult to my V12 and so gave him both barrels. A couple of young hotel lads appeared and finally managed to get the door moving and we eventually made our escape though not in the best of humours.
At the end of the day though this is what a Euro tour is all about. One never knows what the weather will do, one
never quite knows how the car is going to handle the conditions and the miles, one never knows what the roads are going to be like, whether driver and passenger will consume one another and inevitably the end of day hotel becomes a gamble too. (And the English breakfast tea is always a complete lottery!) But it certainly all adds to the flavour.
The drive away from Garmisch was about as nice a drive as we have had, beautiful Alpine scenery for the first 25 miles, during which time our usual serene calmness was restored. We eventually picked up the Autobahn and that was pretty lovely too. However, the German motorway was infuriatingly inconsistent; we would cruise for 20-25 miles at 80-90mph, being overtaken by the Audi estates at 120mph+ and then we would continually hit a
build up of traffic or road works. I have suggested in the past that the German roads are most like ours, very very heavy traffic and loads of road works to put a spanner in the works. More road works than ours I would say, BUT they can do a very good motorway stop, quality loos at 70 cents a pop.
We were heading into France very near Strasbourg, and mid afternoon we got onto the French motorway and immediately the traffic disappeared, it is completely bizarre, one minute German high speed chaos, next minute glorious French open spaces. Is it the tolls? I have no idea, but it was lovely to be paying and back in France.
We were headed towards a hotel I found in Phalsbourg, I returned to this booking a number of times as I was unsure about it for some reason but it turned out to be the nicest room we have stayed in. Unfortunately we are the only ones in the hotel and the restaurant is closed on Sundays. Phalsbourg tends to be a wee bit quiet at this time of year. The other positive about this place is that it is just off the A4 and tomorrow we are heading for Reims, so we are well set.
Miles at the end of day: 58,293
Distance covered: 286 miles, 457 KM
Six and a half hours with two petrol stops.
Highlight of the day: Driving in France again and our room at the hotel Chateaux du Soldat.
Lowlight of the day: Continual German autobahn traffic congestion and road-works.
Petrol: one fill-up in Germany at a very reasonable 1.59 EUR per litre and another on the autobahn at 1.80 EUR per litre. When putting on a few miles and filling up more than once a day the fuel cost goes through the roof; total cost on the day 186 EUR.