Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Our Drive Out :- Day Two

Day Two

Once we woke up and sorted out the pets a command decision was made, we would follow the sign posts for Aachen, as we knew that was in Germany, and for the time being we would ignore the Sat Nav. Once we had got to Aachen we would start to pay attention to the Sat Nav as we should be back on track.

The plan seemed to be going well as we were now heading towards Koblenz, we confirmed that it was on the route map and the marked route on the road atlas. We started to wonder if the Germans had heard about the trouble with the world markets as there were so many Ferraris roaring past. It wasn’t until we got to near the Nurburgring race circuit that we found out why, they were having a Ferrari race meet there. The trees through Germany were in their full autumnal colours, what with watching them and the multitude of Ferraris on the road we didn’t notice that the Sat Nav had thrown another wobbly. You’ve guessed it, the bloody thing was trying to take us to Serbia again (hence the title of this blog).

The nice thing about travelling through Germany is the amount of lay-bys and the standard of them. They are certainly a lot better than the motorway service stations in the UK. At the first available one we pulled in and grabbed a quick forty winks after the routine of sorting the pets out.
Once we woke up we consulted the road atlas, turning on the Sat Nav we found a use for it. It told us where we were, somewhere between Ludwigshafen and Speyer. All was not lost, it looked like we could cut across country and pick up our proposed route near to Nuremburg. To prevent the Sat Nav trying to take charge of our destiny we decided that we would first check the atlas and then only program in that day’s destination.
Our goal that night was to get to Passau, where we could rest up before heading into Austria the next day. So unless you wish to travel via Serbia we would suggest this method to anyone else contemplating the journey, that and consulting a route finder and taking a good European road atlas with you.
We did stop at service stations to check on the animals, and to feed and water ourselves. Walking Fenny was a good way to stretch our legs and get the kinks out of our bodies, by now the cats had decided that they were not coming out of their boxes for anything or anybody. Every time that we stopped we had to clean the 2 girls and their boxes, we were getting worried about Greebo as he didn’t seem to be eating much and drinking even less. Even more concerning was the fact that he hadn’t been to the loo since our unenforced stop just outside of Poole. The German lay-bys might be nice but all he wanted was to stay in his box.

Even though our plan to fool the Sat Nav seemed to be working we had both developed a paranoid distrust of it. So with me driving and with Jannette map reading and looking out for sign posts we started heading towards Passau. The roads in Germany on a Sunday seemed remarkably quiet, even the number of Ferraris had now dwindled to a trickle. Instead of our proposed diagonal trip across Germany we had now completed the down bit of the letter L, and all that was now required was the bit along the bottom.

The road to Passau was largely uneventful, the girls decided that once one had been to the loo in their box and been cleaned up the other one decided that it was their turn. The car was now starting to smell like a mobile cat litter tray even with the windows open, if it hadn’t been raining we would have opened the sun roof as well. The car air freshener wasn’t coping so at the next stop Jannette rummaged in one of the bags and came out with one of my after shaves. The Prada seemed to be doing the trick, so it should at the price and it wasn’t even duty free.

We rolled into a big service station at Passau just as it was getting fully dark, after putting fuel in the car and getting the vignette for Austria once again it was time to sort out the animals. Tinks and Luna were still refusing to come out of their boxes, and Greebo was still on his hunger strike. He wouldn’t even be tempted by his favourite treats. Fenny was as good as gold apart from suffering with bad wind, I know the old saying about blaming it on the dog but you couldn’t avoid the awful smell emanating from him.

The animals sorted it was our turn to get fed and watered. We were sat in the all night cafe drinking a final coffee when the extras from the Sound of Music turned up, complete with Lederhosen, hairy socks and knobbly knees. Now there’s something that you don’t see everyday at Fleet services.
We got back to the car and found that a refrigerated lorry had parked up near us and it was making an awful racket. There was no way that we were going to be able to sleep with that noise, incontinent cats, a constipated cat and a dog suffering with terminal flatulence. The only thing that we could do was move the car to a quieter spot, maybe we were getting used to the animals by then, at least we had the Prada.

Early in the morning, very early in the cold morning, we were woken by yet another noise, the engine on a Czech coach had caught fire. People were running here and there with fire extinguishers. There was no way that we would get back to sleep after all of that rumpus, but at least we had managed a good few hours sleep, so we headed further East and crossed into Austria at Engelhartszell.

If we count the UK, we were now into our fifth country, and no one had asked about the pets or their passports. A nice quiet lay-by came into view, it was still dark and we were knackered. We stopped and were soon fast asleep, surrounded by lorries of all shapes and sizes.


  1. What an interesting post. I came across this post while doing some research for fleet services for our new cars that are coming next month. I am glad I came across your article, it was very interesting to read. Thanks so much for your post.

    1. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this blog, and for posting such kind comments. This was the middle post of five that dealt with my wife and I's drive across Europe when we left the UK to move to Bulgaria.