Friday, 26 July 2013

Ridiculously super awesome European driving adventure - Brühl and the haunted house

 July 3

We took our wet tent west under gloomy German skies to the countryside. Germany is bigger and less densely populated than the United Kingdom, so driving along the massive road network can lead you to very quiet and untouched places of beauty.

A quick word on driving before I continue. Though it is commonly known that the Europeans drive on the right side of the road (right as in side – we know it’s not the correct side!), some issues soon become apparent once using your vehicle. To provide an example, my gearstick has always been on my left. Until Maxine, that is. A couple of times I have instinctively tried to change gear, only to succeed in rolling down the window. Not something you want to do in the rain.

The tempestuous conditions had become more intermittent by the time we reached Brühl, which possessed a lovely residential palace strikingly similar to Schönbrunn in Vienna. It also had another stately home which, particularly in the drab conditions, more closely resembled a haunted house.

We continued south and west along some smaller roads to the Eifel National Park. As one could expect, it was full of dark green trees soaring from gentle hills, and a lovely sweeping drive. The roads in Germany have been of an excellent quality thus far. The winding curves around the mountains as you drive through the park allow you to pick up significant speed. I felt like I was transported to an alternative career as a host on Top Gear, and that I was dreamily drifting along the German country roads.

Sadly, if you go too far west, these silky smooth asphalt trails lead you out of German borders. We crossed into the pot-holed land of Belgium. Other than staying in a nice campsite reminiscent of a university campus, Belgium was not at all memorable. Though the drab conditions may have played a role in addition to only being there for a couple of hours, Liége was a particular let down, mainly on the grounds that they couldn’t satisfy my craving for waffles.

After popping into Liége and leaving somewhat unfulfilled, we decided to head on to our next destination with haste. This proved to be a wonderful decision, as we headed into a country that proves that biggest doesn’t always mean best, and certainly doesn’t mean richest.

Love you all


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