Day 6 - Heading East and a Rant

Wednesday 2nd July 2014

Up with the lark and away. We follow the Rhine north for a few kilometres to the village of Remagen. Although the bridge here was made famous by the the John Guillermin film 'The Bridge at Remagen', that was a railway bridge and there is no road bridge here. Fortunately there is a ferry so we board and cross the Rhine in style.

Having eaten our breakfast prematurely the previous night, we stop off at a village Bäckerie and fill up with coffee and rolls. The sun is shining and all is well with the world. Avoiding the autobahns we cruise across Rheinland Pfalz towards Hessen. Our ultimate destination is Fladungen in Northern Bavaria, in the Rhön National Park which straddles Bayern, Thuringia and Hessen.

Dropping down into a valley bottom we see an old Gasthof and stop for lunch. It is an Italian restaurant, rather oddly called Jimmy's, and does an excellent tortellini. We are heading for Vogelsberg which claims to be the oldest volcano in Europe.

That may be, but Vogelpark comes and goes with no apparent pointy mountain in sight. So we crack on and climb up another summit. This is more interesting. There's a flying school here and gliders are taking off and landing in a seemingly haphazard fashion. We stop for coffee at the adjacent restaurant and watch the action.

Gliding buffs will laugh at my ignorance but it is the first time I have seen gliders with auxiliary engines powering a centrally mounted propellor which gets them airborne and up into the thermals before they start gliding. There are traditional gliders here too and so there is a fleet of powered aircraft towing them aloft.
Coffee stop watching the take offs and landings

We ask Tomtom for the nearest Campingplatz and the satnav leads us south through the town of Motten to Camping Rhönperle. It's a lovely site. We camp by a babbling stream under shady trees beside a lake with an artificial beach. There's a gasthof for food and beer. We have a burger and talk football with a German/Canadian guy. It's been a searingly hot day and finally the sun goes down and we enjoy a spectacular Bavarian sunset. 

+++++++ RANT INTERLUDE ++++++++

 For those reading this blog in real time it will be obvious that the storyline is seriously delayed. As I write this it is the evening of Wednesday 9th July and we are in Austria but the events I describe are one week earlier than that. 

 The problem has been the medieval attitude towards the web currently prevalent in Germany. Where available, which is in precious few locations, you must pay ludicrously high fees and give all your details, down to inside leg measurement, in order to be granted the privilege of access to the web . At Camping Rhönperle I was told I must hand over my passport and pay €2.50 for one hour on a slow connection. Why say I? "Sicherheit" (security) I am told. I don't think so.

At Camping Rheineck the advertised wifi was "not available". In Fladungen web access was unavailable anywhere. In Berchtesgaden (coming soon folks) the cost of 8 hours access is 10 €, half what I pay for my 30 meg connection at home for a whole month. So sod'em I say. 

Tomorrow I shall be in Austria where less draconian rules are in force. A few days later in Slovenia where entire towns broadcast free internet access in the street. Come on Germany, your government have been control freaks for far too long. The internet is anarchic by design. Understand this or your tourist trade will suffer as a consequence. 

+++++++ RANT OVER ++++++++


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