Today I finally lost patience with the fact that the cupboards and drawers were all so full of the things I couldn't possibly live without, and that had never been used, that I made Ray take me to the local hard ware store and get storage boxes and drawers that would help tidy everything up, and surprisingly we threw out a lot more rubbish. It has taken a while to adjust to our new life and strangely it is very cleansing. After a long night doing the sorting out, we are far more efficient and lighter.
I had to take Leon to the vet's to make sure he was completely ready with all his jabs and stuff, as we have decided to go to Europe as of Thursday. We are totally fed up with the weather that we have chased around and are going sun hunting. The vet described Leon as the youngest and healthiest 14 and a half year old cat she had ever seen, so we are off on the ten 0'clock ferry to Dunkerque on Thursday morning.
Ray bought Leon a disc with his name a phone number on it. He looks cool.
We are getting visitors today, so I did all the house work and made sure we looked like we take care of the place other than do a pub report for the blogg. My brother and his partner Tim came down to Ashford to see us and our motor home, as life had prevented the time being right before. It was a fantastic night. Tim drove us into Ahsford and we were searching out a curry house via Ray's Zumo sat nav. We ended up asking a little Indian chappie, sat in the street if he knew where the curry house was, and apparently he said, Curry Leaf and started to walk along the road, beaconing us to follow, John and I were bringing up the rear and thought he said, I'll give you a lift to which we both thought no way am I getting in a car with him. John and I started shouting to Ray that there is one over there as Ray and our little fellow turned into a door way. As it turned out, there were two Indians within a nats of where we stood, and I have to say the other one looked far better, with old beams and listed building style, and our little fellow took us into a more modern building that had only half the character of the other. However the food, drink and company was brilliant, and I have to say a good time was had by us all.
Thursday morning we were up and off to Dover for the ferry. The weather was glorious and we had a lovely trip over to France, then, began our long journey to Munich for the Oktoberfest. We drove through a bit of France, Belgium, Luxembourg and into Germany. We were aiming for a little place called Trier and landed at about 8pm our time, 9pm by theirs so it was a long day. We weren't at a campsite as we know it, but a hugh car park for an industrial estate. There are no fee's or services but there was a huge McDonalds and it was just a short walk into town. I'm not sure what Leon thought of his first steps on European soil, however he still went off exploring. I should add that having left a glorious day in Dover, by the time we hit Germany, it was raining again, I could begin to start taking it personally. We needed to go into town for the bank and do a wee bit of shopping so off we wandered, managed the bank and then found a lovely little German pub. We popped inside, the air was thick with cigarette smoke and the bar was a bit of an international affair, with, German, Russian and Polish people in there and then there was us. For both Ray and me, Germany is like a pair of comfortable slippers, Ray served here when he was in the Army, and I lived here as a child, when my Dad was in the Army. We both have a smattering of German words, so soon became involved in conversation with our new best Polish Friend, Darek. It did help that he spoke a little bit of English. It was quite surreal, because the Russian joined in, Darek also spoke that and we were having conversations in 4 languages. Having popped in for one, 2 hours later and the shopping forgotten, we headed off to bed. It was a great way to start the European jaunt. The bar was run by a lovely woman called Sandra.
|Darek, Sandra, Ray|
|A drunk cuddling the cat|
|The public "campsite"|
Friday 1st October
Another early start, and on down to Munich for the Oktoberfest. We hadn't booked a campsite so headed for one that we found in our trusty tom tom.
|I am gonna get you back for this, I havent been out all day|
It was another full day of driving and on reaching our first choice, it was completely full, however they did direct us to one over to the west side of town. We had to negociate the centre of town, I use the term "we" loosely, I sat very quietly thanking my lucky stars that I wasn't driving. Ray did a great job and we arrived at the recommended one, which again was only for MH's and covered a vast amount of ground.
|Lots of room and thousands of noisy Italians|
We had electricity here so it was slightly more user friendly, however, it was one of the more expensive, presumably because of the festival. It was a little bit hectic here for Leon, but again, off he went, I can't believe the change in this boy, he is really enjoying his new life.
After setting up, it was off to quaff some steins of beer and eat curry wurst. We managed to get to the "fest" with some help from our new best, Swiss, Italian and American Friends. They helped us get the right train tickets, told us what station to get off at, and if that wasn't enough, bought us our first beer of the night.
|One of those bottles was Ray's ...honest|
|Just like the London tube escalators...not. Smiles and happy people...oh and bosoms...|
There are some very nice people out there.
We had a wonderful time, the atmosphere was brilliant. The only thing I would say was the last time we were here we were able to get into the tents and join in the fun, this time it seemed to be more corperate and by reservation, but we were able to stay in the beer gardens and enjoy.
We actually went into the funfair this time and went on the big wheel to take some pictures to try and let you see the scale of the place, and then just for fun we went on a water log flume, and were lucky not to get too wet, but had loads of fun.
|Just let me sup up will you....|
|Let the action begin....|
|How an I doing so far....|
It all closed down at 11pm so we were hoarded onto the U Bahn, (Germany's equivalent of the tubes in London, except everyone is happy, absolutely nothing to do with the beer). It was a bit like when we'd policed the football games and concerts in London, it was weird being on the other side.
We both slept well that night, even with all the parties going on around us, and the Italians laughing loudly and telling jokes at shouting level.