Annecy to Toulouse France

Friday 25th November 2022
Well, decisions didn’t come any easier this morning. We know we are too late to head to Portugal as it is a full 2 days to drive to the southern most part and then we only have 6 days to explore to northern Portugal and then we have a full 3 days drive back to Benny’s. Oh well, we haven’t ruled it out yet, the weather is inclement for today so we decided to head south west towards the French Pyrenees and see what develops. We went to the Spanish Pyrenees in 2016 which we really enjoyed, so hopefully we can find a walk or two that aren’t under snow before we continue on again.

So we had a big day driving as the map will show you, through beautiful countryside, amazing snow-capped mountains, it was sunny and dry one minute, pouring rain the next, and a lot of drizzling rain. After David got us through Lyon where there was so much traffic, I had a drive for about an hour until the rain was torrential and I could hardly see. David took over for a while and then I drove again for about 40mins. That was a big increase on my last effort and was enough to give David a little break. We finished the day in peak hour traffic driving through the centre of Toulouse which has a population of about 500,000. It was hectic, dark and raining. David survived it, so after 8hrs 44mins we had travelled 694km further away from Benny and spent over 50 euro on tolls. France really hits you hard.. We are now 1492km from his home and 15 hours drive time.

 

Thoiry to Annecy France via Geneva Switzerland

Thursday 24th November 2022
Happy birthday Paul, Hope you have a great day.
The sky is a little blue this morning so we drive back to in to Geneva for a walk around the city. It is quite a lovely city but I am disappointed to not see it under lights last night. We walked along the waterfront, through the Christmas Markets in the park, passed the fountain again and then into the city centre. We saw the cathedral, the town hall, many fancy shops, lots of specialty chocolate shops (we even went in one and bought 10 chocolates for 12.20CHF, about 2AUD each). David said he would have to say “They are very good chocolates” swiftly followed by “They are also very over-priced”. Hehehe! Surprise, surprise. It was a lovely walk as we just meandered around the city, happening upon the tourist spots along the way. We returned to the car park which was located in a very good spot but at a cost as usual. Only 10CHF for 3 hours. As always David doesn’t like this cost, but for me it is about the ease of doing what we want. We could have parked for free at CERN and done Park and Ride but that cost more and was more time consuming. So I see it as a win, win situation, I just need to blindfold DB when I pay for the parking. Mind you, this holidays he has been a lot more accepting of extra costs, which is amazing. The parking station was a very tight squeeze, don’t know how we got out of there without any damage.

We then drove to a little town called Annecy in France. A place with fond memories from 2014. We enjoyed a walk around the Old Town plus the Christmas markets. We tried a Sugared Bretzel which was quite nice, a lot nicer than the savoury ones. Then headed home to our apartment for dinner.

We are struggling with a decision as to where we will head next. Tomorrow’s forecast is for rain so our walk to La Tournette summit at Montmin is out, which is a shame. That was a revisit to a summit we didn’t reach last time because of the weather and we were running out of time. Also there may be snow at the top. Oh well, when we went to sleep a decision had not been made. We are getting worse. We think we may have left our run to Portugal a little late.

Evian les Bains France via Geneva Switzerland to Thoiry France

Wednesday 23rd November 2022
We slept last night in France and today we will go back in to Switzerland and then more than likely we will sleep in France again. The small distances required for travel to more than halve the cost is worth the miniscule effort.

Firstly, we will have a walk around the town of Evian les Bains on the banks of Lake Geneva. This is where the Evian mineral water comes from. We walked through the main street which had some lovely buildings and many driftwood sculptures which are on display from the beginning of December for a few weeks. It was interesting to listen to a new language again. We then walked to the Cachat Source in town and like all tourists filled our water bottle with spring water, drank from the continuous stream of water and watched the locals fill their supply of water into portable water bottles. One man had about a dozen 1.5 litre bottles he filled and carried home, we assume. It is said to have healing properties and assists with kidney ailments. I need to bottle it and bring it home for you Mum. We then walked through done to the lakefront and continued a lovely walk back to the car. The buildings were again lovely, there were many more sculptures and we even passed an outdoor olympic pool with diving platforms into the lake. It was then time to sample a pastry again justy because we are in France. A scrumptious plain croissant. It was as expected delicious. It makes the ones from anywhere else left wanting.

We then drove for about an hour through the city of Geneva. Back in Switzerland again. They are all set up for the Christmas markets and we are hoping to do a night walk tonight, weather permitting. We have now gone to CERN which is the location of the Large Hadron Collider e. David is very excited and hopes to do a guided tour. They only take 14 people and you can’t book, you just turn up and register and if you are lucky you get to go. Well he came back from the reception with a big smile on his face. He has registered for the next tour in 30mins. Yay!. Before his tour we had a look at the “Universe of Particles” exhibition. This was enough for me and I left David to enjoy his afternoon of brain exhaustion.

CERN prompted conversation with us this morning that always ends the same way. It starts out with David explaining in the most basic level and terms about atoms, elements, protons, electrons and neutrons. After a while it gets too difficult for me and I always end up with the same response – that it interferes with my belief in God and because it is so scientific and a bit beyond the average persons understanding I struggle with it. I always end up asking “Why people need to know all the detail about, Where do we come from? Where are we going? What are we?”, instead of just enjoying life and what it has to offer. I just simplify it, and when I wonder those questions I just answer myself with “Wasn’t God incredible to create such an amazing world.” For David it doesn’t cut it and we laugh about our differences. It also makes me feel quite naive and to put it bluntly “Stupid”. Oh well, I also feel a little sad that it is just too difficult and wonder how many people are on my level and how many are on David’s, but there are more that are also way beyond his level of understanding. Anyway. He is on his tour and I will let you know how it goes later with my 2nd instalment of today when I have internet reception.

“The Cachat spring – formerly known as the Saint Catherine Fountain – is the most famous of the many natural sources in Evian. Built in 1903, at the same time as the pump room opposite, the spring runs all year at a constant temperature of 11.6C. This mineral water spring is why Evian is known all over the world. It is named after Gabriel Cachat, owner of the garden in which it flowed at the end of the 18th century. The therapeutic qualities of the water were discovered by Count Jean-Charles de Laizer, an aristocrat from Auvergne. Fleeing the French Revolution, he stayed in Evian from June 1790 to September 1792 at Gabriel Cachat’s home and drank the water every day. His kidney stones, having made him suffer for years, disappeared rapidly. Analyzed as early as 1807, this water was recommended as a cure for kidney and bladder diseases and became increasingly popular as table water from the 1860s onwards. The Cachat Spring belongs to the Evian mineral water company.”

“Jet d’Eau, literally meaning ‘water jet’, is the huge Fountain on the Geneva Lake, in the city of Geneva, Switzerland. Jet d’Eau is one of the tallest fountain in the world. Originally, in 1886 they built the fountain to control and release the excess pressure of a hydraulic plant at La Coulouvrenière. Shortly it became remarkable symbol of the city and so it was amplified and relocated to the center of the Lake. The Fountain presence gives the power to the place, every time you look on its majesty you are reminded that you are in the powerful and well organized country. Soon after being finished, the fountain became the symbol of strength, ambition and vitality of Geneva and Switzerland. Its strong engines pump 500 liters of water per second to the height of 140 metres.”

“Universe of Particles, CERN.
Everything in the Universe is made of particles. Where do they come from? What is the origin of the laws of Nature? At CERN, the Large Hadron Collider – the most powerful accelerator ever built – provides a unique tool for scientists from more than 100 nations around the world. Collisions produce new particles that are studied using giant detectors, to give us more insight into the mysteries of the Universe. Find out more about the fascinating world of the smallest and the largest dimensions.”

I had a quiet afternoon reading in the car whilst David really enjoyed his tour of the CERN facility – a definite science nerds experience. He visited the Synchrocyclotron – CERN’s first accelerator which was operated between 1957 and 1990. He also went to the ATLAS Visitor Centre and he watched a couple of videos, one proving the existence of the Higgs Boson. If you need any more detail you will have to ask David about it.

We had intended to walk around Geneva tonight but the weather had other plans for us. We are having a quiet night in, out of the rain.

Wilderswil, Bern Highlands Switzerland to Evian Les Bains France

Tuesday 22nd November 2022
Decision day again. We are not getting any better at these.

After much deliberation, we decided to move on from our comfortable little apartment in Wilderswil. The light snow falls each night have increased the white on the snow-capped mountains and it is getting more and more beautiful everyday. The temperature is pretty cold and damp most of they.

Before we leave the area we drive to the small village of Lauterbrunnen.
“When it comes to quintessential alpine villages in Switzerland, Lauterbrunnen really hits the mark. Dotted with chalet-style houses and surrounded by green fields and towering, snow-capped mountains, there is surely no village in Switzerland that is more picturesque. On arrival in the village, one of the first things you will notice are the huge rock faces surrounding the town. Nestled in a valley, the village sits surrounded by these huge cliff faces from which 72 waterfalls spill over. Each morning you wake to the soothing sounds of water rushing over the rocks. The Lauterbrunnen waterfalls are a real feature of the town and are a tourist attraction in their own right. The region’s three well-known mountains – Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau – can all be seen from the village, with Lauterbrunnen the main gateway to the Jungfrau.”

We enjoy a walk from the village into the valley, passed the Staubbach waterfall and continue for another 3km before turning back. We see an amazing glacier, a high village, beautiful green pastures on the farms and the most magnificent sheer cliff and snow-capped mountains. It was a morning of true beauty. We then returned to the car and drove to Interlaken where we looked at the Catholic Church and Castle Church, both these buildings were magnificent.

We then drove along the southern edge of Lake Thun, where we enjoyed the picturesque views of the little villages, the lake and the beautiful snow-capped mountains. It truly is a magical place. We headed to Thun and then further around the Lake to Oberhofen. We decided to have another walk around the lake to Oberhofen Castle. Another magnificent building, with picturesque gardens on the beautiful Thunersee (Lake Thun). Another wonderful afternoon spent in beautiful Switzerland.

Well its 4pm and over time for us to be on our way to our new home. We have to travel north to Bern, which we have un=fortunately run out of time to visit. It is a bit problematic as no cars are allowed ion the town, so we decide to give it a miss. Our next stop is at Evian Les Bains which is in France and located on Lac Léman. “Lake Geneva (or Lac Léman) is a crescent-shaped lake shared between France and Switzerland, and overlooked by the Alps. Geneva, the Swiss city at its southern tip, is a diplomatic hub with luxury shops and a cobbled old town. On the southern, French side, is the spa town and resort of Évian-les-Bains. The chic, palm-studded Swiss Riviera stretches along the north shore from Lausanne to Montreux.”  We didn’t realise that this is where Evian water comes from. Apparently they produce 6 million bottles of water a day and have committed to only using recycled plastic for their water bottles by 2025. We will explore a little here tomorrow before heading on to who knows where.

We will keep you posted soon.

Wilderswil – Bern Highlands Switzerland – Day 2

Monday 21st November 2022
The plan was to be at the tourist information as early as possible as they open at 8am. Unfortunately I didn’t wake until 8.20am, so not the start we were after. Oops!

After a little more research we were finally parked at Interlaken Ost and on our way at 11am. A bit later than we were hoping for. Oh well.

The first part of the hike was a lovely, easy walk through Interlaken, a nice little town with many beautiful buildings, a river, church and snow-capped mountains inn every direction. It truly was beautiful.

Stage two was the start of the hike up to Harderkulm which was to an altitude of 1323m from Interlaken at 580m. Eek! I had forgotten that we had to climb at least 753m and it started up, up and up straight away. We have been taking it easy at Benny’s for the last week, with a couple of city and forest walks but not much else since our waterfall walk at Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. The last decent hike up to elevation was back at Orebic in Croatia on 2nd November. Way too long ago. It is amazing how quickly your fitness deserts you. I am definitely out of practise and I suffered most of the way up which was for about 2.5 hours. As always when I am having a struggle, it makes it very difficult for David as well. He has to continually wait for me. He also gives me the option to return to the bottom and catch the train up. The train cost was ludicrous (13 CHF each, each way, so 52 CHF – which is about 82AUD) which always makes me struggle to quit. One day it will happen but at this stage I would prefer to struggle a little, or in today’s case – a lot. Apart from the pain, it was a lovely hike, albeit, up, up and up some more. Followed by some more up, up and up again. It was interesting to see that we were passed by about 5 people, which is unusual. David kept catching them, then had to wait for me to catch up, so we really never passed anyone today. The views of Interlaken and the snow-capped mountains were spectacular.

We finally made it to Harderkulm at 1323m above sea level at about 1.40pm. We were surprised at how many tourists were at the top, most having taken the train. After enjoying the view, taking a few pictures we found a seat to have our packed lunch. We then went in. to the restaurant and had a hot drink (5.80 CHF) and some hot chips (9.50 CHF) – we had to ignore the prices as we knew it would be expensive, as Switzerland is but it is hard to cope with. I just tell DB to close his eyes and ignore. So it was 21.10 CHF which is 33.80AUD. Ouch!! After enjoying our snack and a little warmth we headed on our way.

Stage three was another climb, shortened a little due to my tardiness and the time. We got on our way at about 2.30pm, sunset was 4.51pm and last light was 5.24pm, so the clock was definitely ticking. We had another 252m elevation to 1585m at Wannachnubil lookout which was a 360° view. it was spectacular. I managed this climb a little better, aided by a stop to talk to an Irish man and Swiss woman along the way. We were in snow for sections of this stage but it was okay, the mud was more slippery than the snow. At Wannachnubil we enjoyed the beautiful view for 10 or 15 minutes then continued on our way. We had to return back the same way for a bit which was down 40m and back up to 1652m, our highest point today.

Stage four was the trip back down from 1652m to Goldswil at 638m and by this time it was 4pm, So we had to get a wriggle on. It was quite steep, with slippery mud, loose leaves and rocks and a little snow. We enjoyed the views of Thunsee, Brienzersee, the snow-capped mountains and the city of Interlaken along the way. It was hard going and took us about 2 hours to get down to Goldswil. Lucky we always pack our head torches as by now it was very dark. We then had 30mins of city walking to the car at Interlaken. I wanted to see the city at night, so my wish was answered today, even though it wasn’t planned. It was very pretty. Only 15.50 CHF for parking. So a not too expensive day but we won’t tell David the total cost even though he knows how much it is, he prefers not to be reminded.

We arrive home totally exhausted with very sore knees from the constant downhill slog and very tired legs. Lucky we have a reheat for dinner tonight. We enjoy our beautiful apartment for tonight and need to plan tomorrow’s adventure or travels. Not sure where to yet!

Wilderswil – Bern Highlands Switzerland

Sunday 20th November 2022
Today David had planned a big hike so we were up and on our way about 9ish. Not too early because with it 0°C overnight and only just 3°C at this time we had to be careful of the ice/snow but also aware of not starting too late. So off we headed from our elevation of about 650m above sea level at Wilderswil to Grindelwald at 1050m. As we went the temperature outside kept dropping until it was 1.5°· on our arrival. The plan was to catch a cable car from Grindelwald Grand to Mannlichen at 2200m and walk to Kleine Scheidegg 2061m on the Panoramaweg which when he researched last night the hiking trail was open. Unfortunately when we arrived at the station the cable car to Mannlichen was closed and so was the trail. We would have still done the hike both ways if just the cable car was closed but it was not to be today. We could have caught the train to Kleine Scheidegg and hiked on the only open trail for about 45mins up to Eigergletscher 2333m but it was a touch expensive for such a short walk 64CHF each so about 200AUD. I was also a little apprehensive about snow as I forgot to bring Benny’s pole. Then the fallback plan to Schynige Platte for about a 4-5 hour hike, the train for this was also closed. David was very disappointed as he had spent so much time researching and all plans failed.

So instead we enjoyed a drive around the Brienzersee (Lake) near Interlaken. This was a beautiful drive mostly on the lake’s edge with narrow roads, beautiful views and amazing snow-capped mountain peaks in every direction. It was a beautiful afternoon. Unfortunately no walking today but maybe tomorrow. The temperature once we came back to lake level was about 6°C which was quite pleasant in the sunshine and a bit fresh in the shade. We are feeling pretty happy as we have still avoided rain so far. Fingers crossed for tomorrow. The forecast is for a little snow here overnight.

Kandern SW Germany to Wilderswil Switzerland

Saturday 19th November 2022
Today we are heading to Switzerland. We will make a short stop in the city of Basel for an exploration walk and then head to our new home for the next three nights at Wilderswil near Interlaken, Switzerland.

As we start the drive, we head to the shops for our supplies before we leave Germany as Switzerland is a lot more expensive for everything. That done, we realise we have a few more challenges along the way today as Switzerland is not part of the EU. This means – no internet, a new currency and no phones. Oops, we should have done some more planning last night. After  a stop to do some more research on the side of the road, we head to the border. No stopping here for border control. A new set of road rules, signals and challenges. Every new country has new rules, signs, lane guidance and is a really interesting experience each time. David loves the challenges.  We head to Basel to a paid parking which I reserved a spot online before we lost our service. Luckily when we arrived at the door, it just opened and we drove in, found a spot and everything was going well until we couldn’t get out. We were lucky, the girls who tail gated us in had made contact with the company to get an app to open the door. So out we go, we will deal with how we get back in later.

We walked around the town, enjoying the sights of the beautiful churches, the colourful and amazing buildings. As we were still internal-less we called in to Macca’s to use their free wifi and paid 9 CHF for a hot chocolate and small thick shake which is about 13.50AUD. A little expensive. After about 30 mins mucking around David is now up and running. Yay! It is amazing how much we rely on our modern day communication tools. We continued our walk down to the bridge over the Rhine River, watched the regatta race and then headed back to the car. We were still looking for somewhere to buy  the Autobahn Vignette so we can use the autobahns to get to Wilerswil. We were not having much luck so we decided to get on our way. With DBs internet we were able to get back in to the parking garage, pay for our parking and exit the building. Thank goodness for that.

The first service station we stopped at for the vignette had sold out and only had 2023 ones as they start on 1st December. We were then worried we may not be able to buy one. Without it our drive was going to take over 3 hours instead of under 2. We managed to buy the vignette which costs 40 Swiss francs for a year, no discount or weekly ticket. Oh well, not much choice, so pay we did. The autobahns were wide and smooth, a very pleasant drive. We unfortunately drove half the way to the mountains in the dark, missing the beautiful snow-capped peaks. Oh well, we will get to see them tomorrow. Our little apartment is lovely and I think I managed to secure the cheapest room in the area – only $400 for 3 nights, some accommodation was $4000. A little out of our price range.

Well we have managed to work through each of our new country challenges, are happily fed and enjoying the warmth of our new home. We look forward to hopefully doing some walks tomorrow. As always the closed season will present some other problems.

Chemnitz to Kandern in SW Germany

Friday 18th November 2022
Today we are on our way again for the next 18 days. We have hired a VW Golf this time and the loose plan so far is to travel south to Switzerland, spend a few days there, then head towards Spain and Portugal. It is about 2500km to Portugal so we might not make it that far as we are due back at Benny’s on 6th December. Wish us luck.

Well this morning the weather is putrid. In Chemnitz it started at 4°C and will not get any warmer, by 3pm it is forecast to be -3°C. So we are out of here in search of fine and warm weather. We need even more luck on this front as the forecast across Europe is rain for the next 2 weeks.

We left Ben’s at about 8.30am as we had a very big driving day. Our destination tonight is Kandern in the south west of Germany just near the Switzerland border. It is about 660km without any wrong turns. We have added me as a driver this time so I can help out with the driving as we have at least 2 or 3 long days of driving to and from Benny’s in the next couple of weeks. Eeekkkk! I am a little scared and apprehensive. I know I can do it but it isn’t my favourite thing to do. I will need to psyche myself up and it is one of the easiest places in Europe to drive on the autobahns. They are such good roads and the drivers are on the ball all the time.

Anyway, as the weather was so miserable, rainy and foggy, David started the driving as they also drive so fast. Unfortunately, there also wasn’t much to see as therein kept coming down. I wasn’t keen to start driving now and David also wasn’t keen for me to start either, so he was a trojan and just kept on driving. On and on and on we went. 100, 200, 300, 400km, theism just kept ticking on by, the weather stayed the same and my amazing husband just kept on going. At about 2.30pm the weather cleared a little, the rain stopped for a bit, so it was time. I bit the bullet and had a drive. The aim was for about 30mins just to give me a little introduction to autobahn driving. I was a little nervous as some of the cars today have been driving in excess of 160kmh. It is tricky being on the other side of the car, driving manual and amongst the fast drivers but I managed ok. Painfully after about 10mins there was a traffic jam caused by an earlier accident, so the next 30-40 mins was a continuous stop, start, in 1st and 2nd gear at between 5 and 15kmh,. So the speed was no longer a problem and I got heaps of gear changing practice. The traffic jam finally ended and I drove for about another 30mins. It is a little stressful but I managed to get up to about 120kmh which is pretty fast for me. David then took over and drove the last hour to our little apartment in Kandern. The scenery as we continued towards Kandern was beautiful green farmland with amazing autumn colours in the forest. It was beautiful. Kandern is a little suburb off the main road. The further in we got, the less likely we thought our host would speak any English, but lucky us, he has a son who lives near Brisbane and his English was really good.

Time to make some plans for tomorrow. Hope all is well at home. Take care. Lots of love from us!

 

Chemnitz and Berlin Germany

Friday 11th November to Friday 18th November 2022
We have had a lovely week with Benny. A quick trip to Berlin for the weekend, a lot of rest, a couple of Benny’s performances, a few walks in the forest and some good food. We have really enjoyed our time here.

A quick review of what we have done.

Friday 11th November
I enjoyed a studio performance of Benny plus 5 other dancers (Sascha, Roberto, Valeria, Savanna and Livia). It was very good and also unusual being so close to them. The audience sat around the outside edge of the studio, so we were very close. We could see them breathing and it was really good to see Benny dance again.

Saturday 12th November and Sunday 13th November – A weekend in Berlin
We enjoyed a quiet morning and a sleep in whilst Benny went to work, then we all headed on the train to Berlin mid afternoon. We arrived about 5.30pm, checked in to our hotel and headed straight to Friedrichstadt Palast to see a spectacular show. It was called ARISE Grand Show. It was amazing – singing, dance, trapeze artists and the most spectacular costumes. It truly was and amazing night at an incredible venue. After the show we had a couple of kebabs for dinner and then ventured back to our hotel for the night.

After a lovely hotel breakfast we headed out on Sunday morning to the Berlin Zoo. We were quite impressed with this zoo. When you are overseas you are never really sure what you will see. They had an incredible number of animals that looked very healthy. We walked all day and saw big and small animals, lots of birds, then at the latter stage of the day we headed in to the Aquarium which we thought would just be fish but it was reptiles, amphibians, lizards, insects and also fish.

“The Berlin Zoological Garden is the oldest surviving and best-known zoo in Germany. Opened in 1844, it covers 35 hectares and is located in Berlin’s Tiergarten. With about 1,380 different species and over 20,200 animals, the zoo presents one of the most comprehensive collections of species in the world.”

David thinks they probably count their ants. Anyway, it was a very impressive zoo and we enjoyed a full day there in the cold. We were lucky though it didn’t rain.

We then headed to a German Bierhaus for dinner where Benny and I enjoyed a Hachser (Pork Knuckle) and David had a chicken and potato dish. I managed to swap my sauerkraut for slaw which was just cold cabbage and vinegar. We prolonged dinner as our bus home wasn’t until 9pm. Our 6.30pm bus we had planned to catch was cancelled. So a very big day out as we didn’t get home until 1am. Poor Benny still has to go to work tomorrow.

Monday 14th November 2022
We had another rest day to recover from our weekend in Berlin. In the afternoon we went for a walk around Kuchwald Forest which is about a 10min walk from Ben’s place. As this is our only opportunity to go out for dinner with Benny this week, we went to a very nice Chinese Restaurant – pork buns, whole perch fish, Sichuan pork and Peking duck. It was a lovely meal.

Tuesday 15th November 2022
We enjoyed another quiet morning and then in the afternoon we went for a walk with Benny in the other direction this time to another Forrest called Zeisigwald Forest, also only about 15mins from his house. It was a lovely walk through autumn leaves and we saw an enormous void from a bomb in the war and walked to a lovely lookout.

We then headed home for a quick dinner and went to watch Benny’s studio performance again. This time David came also. It was very good and as always I understood it a little better this time.

Wednesday 16th November 2022
Today, the weather had turned quite miserable, so we spent a lovely day at Benny’s just chatting quietly. It was a great day. He headed off to the theatre at about 5pm and we joined him at 7pm and watch a triple bill called Wellen Flimmern. All 3 dances were amazing. Benny was in the first and last dance. They were all so good. It was lovely to be watching him dance again. We then headed home for a late dinner.

Thursday 17th November 2022
Today we had planned to be on our way again, but we hadn’t had a chance to organise where, the weather was ordinary and we decided to stay one more day with Ben. He worked all morning and then for an hour or so in the afternoon. So we did some planning, booked a car, enjoyed some time in the afternoon with Ben, and he cooked a lovely meal of prawn and pork dumplings and Korean potatoes for us for dinner. It was a lovely day again. We will be on our way tomorrow.

Zagreb Croatia to Chemnitz Germany

Thursday 10th November 2022
Well it is time to head to Benny in Chemnitz today. I am really looking forward to seeing him again. It will be a very long day, we are travelling all the way to Dresden on one bus and then a train from there to Ben in Chemnitz. Total time on the bus is from 8.35am until 9pm.

Zagreb – Maribor, Slovenia – Vienna, Austria – Prague, Czech Republic – Dresden to  Chemnitz Germany.

It was a very pleasant day. We were pretty comfortable, had our food, book and laptops. So we just sailed through the day. We had a couple of stops at borders where there was different protocol at each one. The first being crossing from Croatia to Slovenia. We all hopped out of the bus on the Croatian side of the border (a white line), showed our passports to a policeman in a booth, who stamped the passport, then we walked over the line and waited for the rest of the passengers to do the same. The bus then drove over the same line and we climbed back on. The bus driver then drove 100m, we all climbed out again and did exactly the same thing for our entry in to Slovenia. Lined up, police stamped our passport and then climbed back upon the bus. As we exited Slovenia a police got on the, asked us to hold up our passport so they could see everyone had one and that was it. At the Austrian, Czech and German borders we just drove straight through without stopping. We enjoyed some lovely scenery and a very restful day. I did a lot of reading and David did a lot of sleeping.

We arrived at Dresden a little late but with enough time to catch the 9.52pm train from Dresden to Chemnitz. Masks are still required on German public transport, so we put these on for the next hour and a bit to Ben. He met us at the station at about 11pm and we walked  about a km to his home. We had a chat for a bit, then went off to bed for a wonderful sleep.

It was a very big day and we are really looking forward to spending some time with Benny.