Dockweiler – 31 Mar- 2 April 2017
Our good luck with the weather appeared to have run out. The sky was overcast and forecast maximum temperature of 16C. Glad of our windproof as the breeze was chilly.
Kate walked to the local bread-shop early for lovely croissants & some village-laid free-range white-shelled eggs. The only shop in the village, the bakery also sold a range of german cheeses, cold meats/salamis, and beers. The footpath between campsite & village passed back gardens with huge log stores, free-range chickens and fruit trees, all looking out to the wooded slopes on the other side of the valley. Idyllic.
Decided to go cycling without a map and got completely lost. Seeking to use cycle tracks owing to the break-neck speed of restricted german motorists, we headed for Daun which allegedly had shops but ended up in Dreis. Whilst very pretty Dreis has limited facilities – a community hall which, on this Saturday morning was packed with locals, and a bar/restaurant that is also a biker stop. Like us there were bikers looking for a cold drink, and like us they were disappointed it was closed. We later discovered the ‘season’ started the next day.
Disappointed, we cycled back or late lunch at the van then decided to take a taxi to Daun, 8km away. An extortionate 20 euros each way – will we ever learn! We wandered round town, which was very quiet, picked up some bits at a small supermarket – local sausages and some wine – and tried to work out where the population of 9000 was hiding. They were clearly somewhere as there was a range of restaurants including Greek, Italian, German, Chinese more than one kebab house & an Italian ice cream parlour. We found an open bar – Beirstube Beim Heinesin – and had a large beer before getting our taxi back.
Back at the van we tried to FaceTime mum with no success so spoke to her on the phone instead. She had been in the garden and obviously enjoyed it.
Early that evening we walked the 1km into Dreis along the pretty hillside footpath, well wrapped up. Down into the back of Dreis, past a back garden where kids were toasting marshmallows over an open fire. Into the now open Beim Holzschnizer Landgasthof country inn & Bikertreff (biker hangout). A few people were in there already and the waitress was welcoming and helpful with the menu which consisted largely of various forms of schnitzel as well as steaks or beef medallions. We had beer – Bitberger for me and Kolsch for Danny – and then after much consideration we both opted for straight weinerschnitzel with pommel frites accompanied by a dry portugese red (no german available).The fries were decent frozen ones and the wine drinkable for €19.5 but – big mistake – we ordered the 400g schnitzel rather than the 200g. We each got 2 huge pieces of schnitzel. Kate managed one and most of her fries. Danny didn’t even get that far. We felt so guilty Danny used his translator app to apologise and we agreed to a doggy bag, knowing we would throw it away for the wildlife on the way home. Got back and found the kitchen drawers on the van wouldn’t close but too tired to do anything.
Sunday morning dawned icy with a mist hanging over the fishing ponds in the valley bottom. A breakfast of boiled eggs, fresh bread rolls and strong coffee whilst we scanned the Sunday news.
Out and walking at 11.20hrs with no real idea where we were going. Sun was shining and forecast was dry and 16C. Went over the hill behind the campsite and headed for the village in the distance, through mixed woodland with lots of birdsong. Saw nuthatch and plenty of blue tits, great tits, chaffinch & greenfinch and heard woodpecker. Emerged into rolling open countryside where the occasional red kite circled above. The countryside here was scattered with wooden hunting platforms – we assumed for birds but later found they are for deer and boar in autumn. Large fields of grassland were separated by paths rather than fences. Saw some cattle in that most are still inside. There was certainly work going on to maintain the grassland as we had seen the occasional tractor out spraying the previous day.
We descended into the charming village – Oberehe – which had a very pretty church, some very old, attractive buildings including some black and white timbered ones, and some lovely spring flowers poking through – deep pink tulips, yellow daffodils, blue grape hyacinth, and green and orange crown imperial (fritillaria imperialis according to mum).
Walked back towards Dreis past the mineral water factory – boasting of its volcanic purity – and landed at the Beim Holzschnizer which was packed with bikers in time for lunch. Got a table outside overlooking the parked bikes and had cold beers and and 1 Kurrywurst with pommes frites between us – just right. Couldn’t bring myself to add ketchup to the Kurrywurst as we have seen some people do.
Walked back to the campsite finishing off our gentle 7.5 mile dander just as the sun went in. After a relax we looked at the kitchen drawer situation. We must have spent over an hour on it but we didn’t have the right tool to fix it. Eventually we managed a temporary fix to lock the drawers until we could get to Trier the next day where we would try to get the right tool.
Homemade chilli accompanied by the very english Countryfile on tv in a German mountain village had a rather bizarre feel.