We had no concrete plans for France as we hadn’t much time left until we needed to be in Germany, but when we saw the signs for Lourdes we decided to go there. We are not religious but we wanted to see how believe boosts the economy.
The town is prepared for every type of visitor. Beside of an uncountable number of hotels there is also a big caravan parking for maybe 150 cars, just behind a huge bus parking. We arrived late, spent a calm night next to the river and the next morning we headed to the center of worship. Before you reach the holy grounds you pass an endless number of shops selling everything you need as a true believer. But as soon as you get closer to the church and cave there are no shops and vendors any more, which I found good.
Everybody who is not able to walk is carried there, in wheelchairs, on special carts or even on beds. I found the density of sick and suffering people overwhelming. We noticed many different nationalities from all continents.
To walk through the cave you have to wait in a long queue together with all the chairs and carts. We decided to take some water from the fountain next to the cave. You can buy containers of every size and form in the shops outside and fill them with the holy water. Hopefully our mother believes so that it can do its wonder.
After this experience we drove north, and drove and drove..
The next day we drove north east, and drove and drove..
Finally we reached Germany and came past Donaueschingen where the Danube has its origin.
We noticed many American cars so we asked Google and found a meeting of historic American cars close by.
In the evening we arrived south of Stuttgart, where we left our caravan for 3 days at the Offroad Center ORC to get some new features.
We could use our caravan from 5pm until 8am and during the day they gave as a car. So we visited Tübingen the first day, an exceptional beautiful historic town full of live. Afterwards we went for a swim at a nearby lake.
The next day we drove into Stuttgart and visited the Porsche Museum and the city center.
The last day we went for a walk through a near forest before we finally got our car back.
We headed south to the castle of Hohenzollern, where we arrived in the evening, spent the night at the parking and visited the castle the next morning.
A fairytale on a steep hill overlooking the area. The present castle is only 150 years old but very beautiful and still used by the prince of Prusia.
Not far south we then reached the beautiful blue Lake Constance or „Bodensee“, how it is called in german. We visited the reconstructed stilt houses of the stone and bronze age, which was very interesting. To build the houses in the water seemed to have been a common form of settling down.
In the evening we arrived at the campground of the Adventure Southside fair. We parked between mostly Range Rovers with roof tents.
The next day the fair started and we spent most of the day wondering from one stall to the next.
In the late afternoon we started our journey east to Austria. The following day we found a nice lake north of Munich for a break and a swim and in the evening arrived in the Wachau, where we stayed at a camping next to the Danube.
Finally we reached Vienna where we will spend the next weeks with family and business.