Day 4 of our Germany Motorhome Tour- road to Todtnau.
We have entered Germany!
The first thing which surprised me is there isn't really any warning. I expected some kind of big sign on the border. But no- one minute we were in France and then all of a sudden we weren't. We think there was a tiny sign.... but we missed it as we sped past.
It really shouldn't surprise me after all the travelling we've done in Europe. Heck, last summer we invaded Switzerland entirely by accident. These things happen and the freedom to just cross borders without having to stop is pretty cool, but it would be nice to see a 'Welcome to Germany' sign.
It's a funny feeling when you enter a new country. All of a sudden there's a new world ahead of you and I always feel a bit like an overexcited puppy. Do I go left, right, straight ahead? What should I see first? So many choices and there will never be enough time to experience it all.
I'm the navigator for our little home and generally it's me who decides where we go. I ask the family questions as we're driving (do you want to see this or this most?) but mostly I get "I don't mind" from the backseat & "whatever you think we'll like best" from the driver. No pressure then.
In Germany there were two things I was excited about. One was castles. Not necessarily walking around them, but drone shots baby! The other was toboggan runs. If you've never heard of these, they are NOT made of ice and curved like a half pipe. It's basically a teatray with a moulded seat and wheels (and a seat belt!) which is put onto rails and pushed downhill. You are provided with a brake.... and if you don't use the brake you will possibly die. I couldn't wait to try one out... so naturally we first headed to a place where one of these are- Todtnau.
Todtnau is a very pretty town in the mountains, full of wooden houses with massive sloping roofs and cute balconies. It was about a 2hr drive from the French border (we may have gone the scenic route though so you might make it quicker.)
After wasting a day worrying about gas, I broke the family into holiday mode gently with a trip to the famous Todtnau waterfall ( Todtnau wasserfalle)- one of the highest waterfalls in Germany which plunges 97m down several levels to reach the valley below. The parking for this is actually on the road as you're climbing up the hill- not a separate car park. We missed it completely and had to turn around.... never easy with the trailer attached. Entrance is free and the waterfall is an easy 5 minute walk and well worth it.
We got there about 4.30pm and were lucky enough to have very few people around, meaning we could secure one of the benches right next to the falls. It's actually a wooden bed and the three of us spent a good hour lying there looking up at the incredible power of the water plummet over the cliff edge above us and tumble past. I filled up most of my phone with slow motion videos and photos as we walked around... it's a great place to come and burn off some energy and recover from a day's driving. Admittedly, I imagine it gets much busier in summer and it might not have the same peace & tranquility then. There are several paths and hikes you can take- we didn't walk too far as we wanted to find somewhere to park up for the night, but it felt great to stretch our legs.
We found a lovely motorhome parking area in Todtnau, about a 5 minute drive from the waterfall. There is space for about 10 motorhomes and the bays aren't marked, so we were able to fit in easily with our trailer. There are all the usual motorhome services and also a paddling pool (which was empty in April) and a playpark.
You pay via an honesty envelope- put your 10€ note into an envelope which was left by the service area and post it next to 'the showcase'. We looked all around. Showcase? What on earth is a showcase?
Having wandered around aimlessly for a while, probably not helped by the fading light, we discovered a tiny envelope sized hole cut into the wall of the nearby shed.... which has a noticeboard on it. So you post your envelope through there. Price is 10€/ night and 2€ for unlimited electric.... not a bad deal we thought. (Make sure you carry cash on you as most campsites require cash to pay for the site & also for any services. 50cent pieces are VERY useful.)
There is a really pretty stream going past the campsite. Mr WB and I were feeling brave so we decided to fly our drone UP the stream... dodging branches in the dusk is a lot harder than it sounds! We also met Jade and Mike, a lovely couple who were setting out on their own adventures. They had also stolen the family dog- a gorgeous fluffball called Nixon. Our Jade was instantly in love and begging us to get a dog of our own... sorry hon but that's a no. We've spoken about getting a dog many (MANY) times and almost did last year, but we don't think it's fair whilst we travel and ride our motorbikes so much, so we're resisting the temptation to give in and get one.
Dinner was spaghetti- a family favourite and a staple after a 'driving day'. Rather than chopping up onions, garlic, tomatoes etc I use a packet sauce (much cleaner, and easier to pack!) and the whole meal is ready in about 15 minutes. I find it makes my life easier and more chilled if I have a few simple meals which I know everyone will eat (anyone else travel with a fussy child?) and which don't take long to prepare. After all- it's my adventure too! My number one tip to anyone in charge of food preparation is to be kind to yourself and don't try to create gourmet meals every night if you don't want to. Warm, fast, simple food is much appreciated and in our van it disappears very quickly!
Whilst I'm on the subject, and to answer a couple of your questions, we tend to have set roles when we travel. Mr WB does all of the driving (as I don't have my C1 license yet.) Therefore I do all the food shopping, packing of the van & cooking. It seems only fair after he's been driving all day for me to prepare him something yummy while he chills for half an hour. I'm also in charge of wine pouring! Weirdly, we rarely drink in the UK. As in a glass a month at most. But in the van we love to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner pretty much every night. We're not big drinkers, but it's funny how our habits change depending on where we are. Jade and I wash up & put everything away after each meal- she doesn't understand why we don't just use paper plates all the time....! 🙂 The rest of the jobs we split or share as we go along... he does most of the maintenance though and ALL of the repairs. I supervise.
TOTAL COST TODAY:
GPS : N 47°49’56.2728” E 7°57’20.448” 47.832298,7.955680
Address: Paßstraße, 79674 Todtnau