Hi guys! This’ll be the final blog for a while which I didn’t plan on but it’s how things have worked out. A few things have changed drastically throughout countries (which you will already know!) and although I take risks I’m not silly!
Join me today to discover what adventures I got up to when exploring the Bavarian countryside on my own and how it’s just as important to relax as it is to go full steam ahead especially when it’s something you love so you never feel burned out!
Monday I walked into the main centre of Ohlstadt (with a population of about 3,000 it’s not exactly big). There wasn’t much around like the guy had promised me the night before but I walked around and stumbled across a little book exchange in a post box. I saw the only English book in there was an Andy McNab so I snatched it up quick time and headed back to the van to get reading my first book for a good few years!
Back at the van I had a freezing cold outdoor shower, the sun was out so I wanted to make the most of it but the water was almost ice and I got major brain freeze! I had some lunch and tucked into my book. I really got into it and before I knew it it was becoming dusk and time to adventure to the pub.
I went back to the same place where they were happy to see me, I got talking to a couple old boys at the bar where one of the spoke good English and then got talking to a guy a couple years older than me who I seemed to get along with quite well, the hazelnut snchapps seemed to help too...
We stayed until the bar closed and headed back to the van for a beer, it was nice getting talking to someone even thought some words we did have to google translate across but we didn’t mind. We decided to meet again the next day so he could take me around the local area and we could go for lunch somewhere too.
Tuesday we went out to catch a ferry across the lake at a nearby spot my new friend knew of. We missed the first one so grabbed a beer and ended up missing the next one too which was the final one of the day! We decided instead to go for lunch and then see where we wanted to go from there.
We stopped at this hidden little restaurant and I had a goulash starter with a schnitzel and mushroom sauce main, it was delicious and very Bavarian which I was more than happy to give a go.
After lunch we went and played mini golf which was a good laugh and funny to see the competitive side to Florian. He dropped me back at the van and we decided to meet for the evening as there was a football game on showing at the pub. Back in the van I raced through my book once again which I found extremely engaging and then before I knew it it was time to meet Florian.
We had a couple of beers and I didn’t meet anyone new this time although it was nice walking in and feeling a bit of sense of community as a couple people said hello, the owner included and this was his day off so he had had a few too many so was having a good laugh with everyone, it was nice. I went home and got to bed after a pretty busy day.
Wednesday was a relaxing one, i read the rest of my book over the whole day and made myself a really tasty stir fry lunch. In the afternoon some cones were set up on the fenced tarmaced area next to me and really young kids in go karts (about 8 or 9) started whizzing around the track. It took me by surprise but was a company set up to get young children into motorsports. They were there a good two hours so I sat and watched them fly round the course. It made good afternoon entertainment.
I planned to meet with Florian again for my final night here but sadly he couldn’t make it as he felt a bit under the weather. I decided to go to the pub anyway just to say bye to the bar maid and anyone there I had met. After a beer and a bit of chat I made my way home and got an early night ready to move on in the morning.
Thursday I started to head towards my next location, a beautiful grand castle overlooking mountains and a vast landscape. I had to hunt for a shower first and do a quick shop then i’d be on my way. After a couple of no’s from campsite owners I found one at a little camping stop which was pay as you go. It’s brilliant finding little places like this and strange how much you take a hot shower for granted, especially when it’s so cold outside!
After my shower I continued on to the castle. I saw it on my drive in the car distance and it looked incredible! It was early afternoon so I had plenty of time to go up there, I was determined to go before dark and nothing would stop me.
I parked pretty close to the castle and spoke to a couple of people who had just come down from there, I chucked my shorts on and decided to see how quickly i could get up there. The walk said 45 but I was feeling good so raced up there in only 30 minutes! The walk was beautiful and very uphill but I felt so good when i got to the top and was rewarded with the unmatchable view of the castle. The Disney castle was based partly on this and you can tell with the huge spires and monolithic theme throughout. It’s possible to go inside but sadly it closed only 10 minutes before I got there!
I wandered around at the top for a while and looked out at the spectacle of a view and saw all the little cars in the distance, it was like watching a little model countryside setting with tractors carrying hay bales and big trucks carrying the goods across the country. I made my way down in quick time too only about 25 minutes on the same walk and got back to the van and made some food and relaxed after a quick leg massage!
Friday was a day I most definitely needed, I woke up and went back to the same showers as the day before and then went to the Lidl across the road and sat there all day using their free wifi. I need days like these to make sure I don’t feel burned out when looked at all these beautiful views like the day before although it does sound like a strange thing to be saying. I watched youtube, ate snacks all day and felt great about it, the weather wasn’t freezing too so I had the door open and could look out at the view over the mountains, yes it was a very picturesque Lidl.
I moved on for the evening and found a little spot where I Facetimed Polly for the evening and had a few beers for a lovely Friday date night.
Saturday I upped and headed to find a book on Lake Constance or around that area. The first shop I went to didn’t sell any English books so I was guided towards somewhere that would. When I arrived and parked up in Lindau I had a walk round and it was full of history. Lake Constance was a trading hub as it is part of Switzerland, Austria and Germany. This was especially prevalent a couple hundred years ago and this little sleepy fishing village became a prominent town full of ships coming in and out fetching and retrieving goods from all over the lake.
I bought a new book from the train station and walked round to read the history and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I was happy I asked where the book shop was otherwise I probably wouldn’t have come here.
I treated myself to a BBQ for dinner and cooked up about 10 chicken drumsticks ready for lunch the next couple of days and a big plate of fried rice, it was delicious. I stayed in the forest that night and it was really dark and quite relaxing in the end although I know some would’ve found it creepy!
Sunday was a classic chilled out one, the sun was out and I was feeling good. Excited to come home to see everyone but at the same time making the most of the time I have left. I spent the day tidying the van and cleaning the floor ready for my departure and did a lot of people watching and ready of my new book. On Sundays all the shops are shut by law so everyone is always out with their family having fun in the park to this was lovely to see.
I went for a walk down the shoreline and watched a beautiful sunset over Lake Constance with the snow capped Alps in the background. It was so peaceful and I really enjoyed being able to sit there as long as I liked just watched this sun set on another week.
From the 26th until the 30th I didn’t get up to a whole lot being honest. It was so important to me to take time to myself and relax and find something I found really engaging and reading was definitely the one for me which I never thought I’d say! I found out Germany and France would be entering a national lockdown so my flight home came in at perfect timing! I was really excited to get home to see everyone and more than anything it just rained the whole time, after getting another book in Lindau I was more than happy sitting and ready for most the days. I found this a very relaxing time and definitely glad I had the opportunity just before coming back to the madness that was about to happen in the UK (unknowing at the time soon to be a national lockdown like that of France and Germany).
The flight home was pretty easy and I was greeted with big open arms from my family when I got home which was so nice especially after being on my own for a short while too!
My trip away was most certainly a life changer. Like with every ‘big’ trip I do I learn more about myself each time and get to find out how I will react in all different situations. I’d like to thank anyone who has been out to see me (and Isaac) on this trip and all the friends and brilliant memories we’ve made! I truly believe travel opens up your mind to so many opportunities which you would otherwise have written off.