Day 3 - 13th of July
We woke up fairly early to a grey sky but no rain. We quickly got on the road and headed south with Switzerland as the goal. As we get to the entrance lane to the autobahn it starts. Construction work and all closed. We figured we'd continue driving and hope the GPS would find an alternate route eventually. At first it was slightly annoying but it would prove to be a very nice route through a national park and very cool forest with big trees and it was almost like driving in a tunnel. Unfortenately there wasn't any good place to stop and take any photos so i've got nothing from here
After a while we were back on the autobahn though and doing good progress. We had some heavy rain after only a little while on the autobahn, but it didn't last very long and soon it looked like it would clear up and we were getting hopeful of an afternoon with sun.
This would prove to be quite a misreading of the weather. As soon as we had finished lunch it started pouring down again. After this it never really stopped raining till the middle of the night. On our way through the rain we spot a sign saying "Hockenheim". I'm not sure if any of you are familiar with it but it's a racing track. Of course we had to go check it out! Unfortenately we only got to see the outside of it and didn't even spot the track itself at all.
Back on the road the rain got lighter but that happiness was short lived. After hours in rain on the autobahn we were finally standing only a few kilometers from the border to Switzerland. The plan was to sleep in Basel and since it had been raining most of the day we decided to find a hotel to sleep in for the night. We called some friends back home to get some help with finding one. We quickly realised that Switzerland is an expensive country and we went for a hotel in Germany instead. Our friend made a reservation online and gave us the adress and off we went.
We had barely come more than a few hundred meters before the whole sky came down on us. The clouds was so dark it felt like driving in the middle of the night and things were getting really soaked. I found out my boots were leaking too and they were now filled with water. Terrific. We get off the autobahn and the GPS leads us up on small roads on the nearby hills. The rain made us want to reach that hotel quickly and driving in it made it feel like it took ages. We finally reached a small village called Hertingen and as we stopped outside the house with the correct adress we immediately felt something was wrong. This looked like any ordinary house, not a hotel. We double checked the adress but it was the correct one.
We figured we could at least ask and knocked at the door. No one came to open. On the reservation email we had a phone number and we decided to give it a go. Hopefully at least that would be correct. An older man answer and of course he only speaks German. So we try to communicate with him with the limited german we know and we succeed good enough to let him know we've booked a room and are standing outside in the pouring rain. He says he'll come outside and talk to us. And to our surprise he comes from the house next to the one we were at. Not long after he comes there his wife arrives at the scene and luckily she can speak English.
Now to the problem. The room we've booked is already occupied by someone else. So we're standing soaked out in the rain with no place to stay for the night and it's getting late. Good for us the woman feels very ashamed this double booking has happened and she feels obliged to help us. We get to come inside and warm up a bit while she goes to make some calls. All we hear at first is "Scheisse! Scheisse!" (**** in german
) and we're starting to loose hope but eventually she comes and looks quite happy and says she's got a hotel room for us!
We drive only a few kilometers and end up at Hotel Sonja. The woman even manages to get the hotel room cheaper than it would normally cost. We get our gear into the room and are very happy with what we got. Our gear is hanging everywhere to dry up and water is dripping all over the place. A quick shower, pizza and beer and we drift off to sleep. The next day we wake up and it's blue skies and sun! Things have dried alright and we're good to go!
And view from hotel room
That's day 3. A day that looked to be rather boring and only going on the autobahn turned out to be quite the adventure in the rain. Day 4 is where the fun starts though. We're entering the alps!