Monday 14th September 2020

Mettenheim to Burgen – 114km

The rose went down rather well last night, too well. Today we are going to a small town that we stayed in two years ago called Burgen. A hotel there provides a very nice space with everything you need for 15 euros a night, which is far better than the crowded campsites down by the riverside that can charge up to 35 euros – mad.

It’s a nice drive today taking us through some lovely scenery.

On the way to Burgen, we fill up with diesel and do some shopping for basics. In Germany, they have a recycling system called “Pfand”. When you buy bottled water or cans of beer, not only do they charge for the item but they add a thing called a pfand (a deposit), sometimes the pfand is dearer than the drink itself. Once you consume the water the idea is that you can take the empties back to any supermarket that has a pfand machine, throw the bottle in the hole on the front of the machine, it makes some noise as it scans a bar code or whatever, it then disappears around the back somewhere.

The German pfand machine!

There is a small screen telling you how many bottles or cans you have put in along with a running total that will come back to you. Once done you print out a ticket with the value on it, you take it to the till and they give you the money back. Good or bad? We can’t make our minds up. Its a high tech deposit scheme which is very popular here and has been going for a while now.

We arrive in Burgen to find two spaces remaining so we choose a nice shady spot right in the corner overlooking a dense forest and a small stream, very nice.

Our nice position in the corner

Our host is pleased to see us and very friendly, they just leave us to get on with it as we like. It’s nice here, with a ten-minute walk you are right on the Mosel river and on the other side of the river you can see the steep vineyards on the hill, it looks fabulous especially in the afternoon sunlight which is now 30 degrees with tomorrow promising to be even hotter.

The bikes are released off the back of the van and went off on a short bike ride along the river.

Down by the riverside

The Germans are very good at providing good bike lanes, you can cycle for miles and miles on one lane and are very well used by the locals and tourists alike.

We only manage 10k today but it’s better than none at all. It’s too hot so we get back for a cold drink and shower, setting us up for dinner tonight at a local restaurant which is owl mad. Everywhere you look there are ornaments of owls. There must be over a thousand “pot” owls. Very un-nerving.

You cant move for owls

After dinner, its back to the van for a nightcap or two wrapped up in the candlelight and the gentle gurgling of the stream below.