The journey home was hampered by the heavy rain which turned the busy Autobahn into a river of spray. The volume of traffic, roadworks and accidents added almost an hour onto our journey each day. We were used to travelling in short daily hops so it was not really a problem and we were able to find somewhere to stay by mid afternoon – first near Berlin, then Hannover and our final stop before Calais was in Belgium. Therain eventually stopped and we were able to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening sunshine.
We drove east from Brandenburg for several hours and reached Poland in the early afternoon. Our camp site in Poznań was beside a man-made recreational lake, constructed in 1952 by damming the local river. Lake Malta was just over 2k long and 500m wide and was used tor rowing events. The lake was surrounded by a promenade, cycle tracks, cafés, a hotel and an amusement park. There was an artificial ski slope and thermal baths and the whole area was surrounded by grassland and mature trees.
The campsite was almost full on our arrival and the weather was warm and sunny. The next day it was raining so we spent some time enjoying the thermal baths. There were connecting pools inside and out and we emerged two happy hours later very, very clean.
There were dedicated cycle paths everywhere and we cycled into the old city centre where there was a large market square with shops and pavement cafés, dominated by the Renaissance style town hall, now a museum.
The final attraction on our tourist itinerary was a visit to see our expedition truck, which was being prepared to have the chassis sandblasted ready for spray painting.
Bad Kissingen was a spa town in Bavaria. It had beautiful parks well served with cycle tracks and you could cycle for miles through the parks and along the river banks. Splendid hotels and apartments overlooked the central rose garden and there were also lots of medical clinics; we noticed a high proportion of elderly folk out and about with walking aids. We spent a happy afternoon in the local spa, swimming in warm mineral water. You could swim through barriers and enjoy the sunshine outside.
It was time for a hair cut and we found a luxurious looking establishment on the main street where you just walked in and waited for the next available stylist. Although it appeared busy I didn’t have to wait long and very soon I emerged, washed, cut and finished for €33.
Most European camp sites displayed signs and notices in English as well as in their native language; our site only had signs in German – it was true the majority of campers were German but there were also Italian, Swedish and Dutch and it made it difficult to obey the rules of the camp. We had to used Google Translate a lot, with some bizarre results. An elderly Swedish couple at the next table in the camp site restaurant explained that East Germans historically had no love for the British. I hoped they were wrong – think so as they were playing Rod Stewart type piped music in the toilet block, so things British couldn’t be all bad.