Day 8: Erfurt to Cochem – via the Thüringen Forest
The TV weather forecast last night showed temperatures in the East of the country to 34 – but also issued a severe weather warning for heavy rain and thunderstorms, for a large part of the country.
The day started off dry and very warm. For breakfast, I found a bakery just around the corner from the hotel and had a croissant and a cold chocolate milkshake (too hot for a hot chocolate). After walking around the city, through the shopping district and then back to the Domplatz (Cathedral Sq.) a different way, I needed another drink.
The market was on so I had a walk around that, and I went up to the Cathedral to investigate inside that. Yet another drink – the Cathedral Café served me with my favourite cold drink: an Eisschocolade (effectively, a chocolate milkshake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream) which I drank while sitting on the steps of the Cathedral.
I wanted to stay for longer but had another long drive ahead of me. So not long after midday I had paid the fee for parking in the multi-storey and was on the road. Before leaving the region, I drove in to the forest to visit the highest point in Thüringen.
The drive from the Autobahn up to the forest had some very interesting scenery, but by the time I had worked out where to park to visit the highest point of the region, it was apparent that the forecast last night was correct.
The storm was coming in fast. On one one side of the road, it was still Sunny. On the other, it was raining. A loud rumble of thunder and 15 minutes later, the Sun was nowhere to be seen. But by the time I was a 1km walk from the car, taking shelter in a café along with, it seemed, the rest of the world.
Back at the car, my coat had kept most of me dry but my shorts were soaked, as were my feet. I changed my shoes and socks easily (I keep my posh shoes in the car for occasions when I need to be smart – not great for driving but they’ll do). There wasn’t anywhere near the car park where I could change that easily – so to dry my shorts, I sat in the car for about 5 minutes, with the fan vents aimed at my leg.
I set the sat nav for Cochem and got on the road. Needless to say that it stopped raining soon after. The journey to Cochem went through all types of weather – One minute it was dry, the next minute it was raining a little, then there was some forked lightening and the Autobahn was more like a river.
Despite the horrible weather which slowed me right down in places, it was a fairly clear run and I did find a few spots where I could put my foot down. At one point, I was doing about 157km/h and a Porsche overtook me – I might as well have been standing still.
By the time I reached Cochem in the late afternoon (it was around 7 by the time I left the Autobahn), it was hot and Sunny again. I found my hotel with no difficulty, collected my key and went to find something for dinner.
It was 20:45 by the time I went out; the trouble is that outside the big cities, restaurants in Germany tend to close quite early – I don’t know why… 9pm is nothing, really. It’s about the earliest I’d consider eating normally! But I managed to find somewhere still serving food.
Tonight is my last night in Germany – the last week has flown by… but it’s only 2 months before I’m back on the road again heading to Norway, with plenty of stops in Germany too.
I’ve got a long drive tomorrow – so I’m off to bed.
Today’s Mileage: 271
Accumulative Mileage: 1500.6