Some things you might not know about Germany. First, diesel is cheaper the more remote you are (currently about £1 a litre). That doesn’t happen in the UK? Now without nuclear fuel, they have embraced alternative energy sources with an enthusiasm that is remarkable. Every German barn (and there are lots of them) has their roofs covered in solar panels. I love it. Eating out is relatively inexpensive – think pub food prices, and the quality is good, if slightly sausage shaped. The roads are breathtakingly good, smoother than a baby’s whatnot. But to get to that state they close kilometres of them down at a time. We have been caught by many Umleitungs (diversions) some of which have barred us from a major A road through a whole county. And we have seen the polizei attending more crashes than we ever did in the UK. Not sure why that is. So now, you’re better informed.
We’ve continued to head south and ended up at Bad Reichenhall where my mate Kerrin and his wife live – just west of Salzburg. We drove down the ‘hop route’ – Bavaria is famous for its beers. And, and it never ceases to surprise us, the Alps just appeared across the bottom of the southern German plain in an instant. One minute you’re thinking the land couldn’t get any flatter and then, as if by magic, the majestic Alps appear like turning the page of a child’s pop-up book. Fabulous.
We’ve stayed at a couple more Stellplatz. And last night on a small, worn campsite run by the German version of the Munster family. All v strange. But it did allow us a short cycle ride into the town of Muldorf, which is a semi-walled town of strong pastel coloured merchant houses, gable end on, with decorative, high fronts almost Mexican like in terms of defining the town’s main street. It was a lovely surprise.
Today we’re on a swanky Stellplatz in Bad Reichenhall, having got to Kerrin’s a day earlier than we expected to. But that was lucky as we cycled up into the mountains to a small lake, had a picnic (with lots of other Germans) and I went for a long, delightful swim. There is nothing finer than paddling away in a lake when all around you are hemmed in by big, pointy peaks. We both did some phys and, as a surprise to both of us, went out for supper and ate meat and dumplings – fabulous!
What about the book? Thanks for asking. I have sold 67 copies of FtF in a week, over half of which have gone to the US – which is a surprise. In addition, and this must all be on the back of FtF, 18 copies of UH have also flown off the shelves. That puts me at over 10 books a day, which will do for now. I have continued to use Facebook to advertise, and am learning an awful lot about the demographics of all this – and what seems to work and what doesn’t. It’s too early to be definitive, but when I have something I’ll let you know. Still only 22 reviews, which is well under my target of 100. But I did a check and I know I have at least 50 promised – so numbers will be up there, but the timing was a touch ambitious.
Anyhow, that’s me. Hope you are all well and enjoying Mrs Sun’s generosity.