Day 45 - Guten Tag Deutschland!September 17, 2020 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
Inevitably I woke shortly after 3.00am & never got back to sleep again. Perfect preparation for a long day of driving!
We had breakfast at 8.30pm, loaded up the car only to discover a tyre inflation system error warning light & a service warning light illuminated on the dashboard. We had messed about with it the previous evening & seemed to have buggered it up. Perfect news for a long day of driving!
We popped into the a local Spar shop for some final provisions, sweets & drinks. After, with a little bit of trepidation, we headed to the Slovenia border crossing armed with a detailed travel itinerary of exactly where we had been in the last 6 weeks.
It was 10.00am exactly as we approached the vehicle free border & as Jackie wound down the window & raised our passports, the guard who was having a fag, just waved us through. Great, I was glad I had spent time preparing our travel itinerary! Still I’m sure it will be useful at the other border crossings.
The SatNav was set for Lake Bled without tolls & it took us back up to Koper, then north east on the A1. The A1 is a well maintained dual carriageway & the main road through Slovenia. We followed it to the outskirts of the capital city of Ljubljana, then picked up the A2, another dual carriageway north. Slovenia is a relatively poor country & they are definitely missing a trick by not charging a toll, because this is the main land route for Germans seeking sun in Croatia & Greece.
118 miles later & around midday we arrived in Bled with it’s fabulous lake in the Julian Alps. There were car parks signposted, but I skirted the lake seeking a spot we could stop at for free. I did, illegally on the junction of a private road. We both got out to admire the lake from the waters edge.
Lake Bled is very picturesque, surrounded by mountains & forests. The lake is 6,960ft long, 4,530ft wide & has a maximum depth of 97ft. Bled Island sits in the middle of the lake & has several buildings including the pilgrimage church dedicated to the Assumption of Mary. Above the lake sits the impressive Bled Castle on the north shore.
After taking sufficient photos & disabling the warning light on our dashboard, we set the SatNav for München (Munich), Germany again avoiding all tolls. It was to be a further 250 mile journey arriving about 5 & a half hours later.
We circuited the lake once more, then instead of rejoining the A2, we followed the 452 & 201 around the northern edge of Triglav National Park. The border crossing into Austria was at the remote Wurzenpass.
We were the only vehicle at the crossing & we showed the guard our passports & stressed we were transiting straight through to Germany. The guard asked us where we had been & we told him Croatia, to which he asked us to wait & he ran into his office. Seconds later he returned with a Self Declaration sheet of paper in which I had to write my name, sign and date it. He didn’t look at our passports to check the details or write down our vehicles index, but instead sent us on our way saying we weren’t allowed to stop in Austria. That was easy.
We then climbed up an extremely steep road over Wurzenpass & scarily back down the other side. Our route took us towards Villach, then along Route 100, which followed the Drau river & sat in the shadow of the raised A10 toll road. Our route took us through numerous pretty Austrian villages & then Route 99, up & down near deserted skiing resorts.
It was a very enjoyable drive until around 4.30pm, we arrived in Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart. The traffic was horrendous & we spent over an hour in a constant traffic jam. It prompted Jackie to ask the question “Would the toll road have avoided this traffic?” She then looked it up & the toll road was about 20 miles shorter & at least 3 hours quicker, BUT that’s not the point of a road trip!
Eventually we made it out of Salzburg & reached the border crossing into Germany. The guard waved us on without even seeing our passports. WoW. We then hurtled along the toll free Autobahn 8 for 90 miles to Munich. Despite doing 80mph, a procession of BMWs, Audi’s & Mercedes sped past us as if we were hardly moving.
It was gone 7.00pm, when we arrived in Munich, parked our car in a designated underground car park & walked to our hotel, H+ Hotel München. The receptionist was extremely helpful & provided us with a map for all the things we needed to see & a recommendation for dinner. Our hotel room is bijou, but very comfortable & functional. A good example of German efficiency.
We dumped our bags & crossed the road to Schiller Braeu, a Bavarian bar & restaurant. We walked in & a very officious serving wench (Helga) shouted at us to put on our masks. The whole restaurant looked around at us. Good start!
We had a couple of large home brewed lagers. Jackie had the most expensive thing on the menu again, Bavarian roast beef smothered in onions & roast potatoes. I had roast pork and crackling in a dark beer sauce, 2 types of dumplings & coleslaw. It was much needed superb hearty fare.
After a short stroll around our salubrious surroundings, we called it a night.
Song of the Day : Border Song by Elton John.
Bonus Songs : Bled by Every Mothers Nightmare.
Autobahn by Kraftwerk.
Madame Helga by The Stereophonics.Read more