Preparation for Driving Germany to Italy
Maura had spent the previous 5 days in Greifswald, North Germany sorting out the paperwork and insurance for our new car. Our good friend Carola helped us purchase a BMW 320d Estate from a friend of hers. So Maura had done the deal, organised the paperwork, and we became the proud owners. We were ready for driving Germany to Italy, it would be 10 Countries in 10 Nights.
Greifswald in Northern Germany is definitely worth a visit if you want to unwind, go fishing and enjoy long walks. Having the many inlets and islands to explore means fish from the Baltic Sea is always on the menu.
However, the surprise was finding thatched cottages in the village of Gristow near Greifswald. It was so picturesque.
The added bonus was a climb to the top of the 13 century church tower with spectacular views. It was worth every step.
Terry had stayed behind in Water Orton near Birmingham to complete the house sit assignment looking after Darcie, Daisy and Mignon. We were both pleased to reunite at Berlin Tegel airport on Tuesday morning after Maura had completed the 3 hour drive.
Our Europe Road Trip – Ten Countries in 10 Nights Map
This 10 country Europe road trip will be taking us to Berlin (Germany), Wroclaw (Poland), Brno (Chechia), Bratislava (Slovakia), Kittsee (Austria), Hevis (Hungary), Zagreb (Croatia), Ljubljana (Slovenia), San Marino (San Marino) and finally to Moresco (Italy) where our next house sit is located. That’s 10 countries in 10 nights for our road trip driving Germany to Italy. Here is our introduction video on YouTube.
Germany to the Polish Border – Day One
Our Day One plan was to head towards the Polish border to a town called Gablenz, with a stop in the town of Luckau on the way. Luckau is regarded as one of the prettiest towns in this part of Germany, it has been dubbed “the Pearl of Lower Lusatia, and we did agree. Here is a clip of the Luckau town square.
Two kms from Gablenz was Rakotzbrüke a stone bridge built in the 1880’s that creates a perfect circle in the reflection on the small lake the bridge crosses.
Our GPS did a great job getting us to Gablenz, but then we spent a frustrating period of 90 minutes searching the three roads that led out of town for the bridge. The weird thing was, we just couldn’t marry up any of the roads with what was showing on the GPS, arrrggghhh!!!
First tip, don’t ask for help from the guy cleaning up the church yard. Firstly, he doesn’t speak any English at all, and secondly he is bat-shit crazy!
Second tip check to see if there are two towns called Gablenz only 23km from each other. Are you kidding? Why?
We had gone to Gablenz Brandenburg, not Gablenz Saxony! The lady in the butcher shop was a lot more helpful, and way less crazy than the guy in the churchyard. So off we went for another half an hour to our target.
We finally made it to Rakotzbruke around 5.30pm and the timing was perfect as the sun was coming from the right direction for taking photos.
We had seen there was a camp ground in the nearby village of Kromlau, so we headed there with the intention of using our newly purchased small tent. But the ground looked a little lumpy
So when the owner pointed out we could spend €10 on the tent site or €20 on this cabin with access to a kitchen we took the more comfy option. Well we aren’t in our 20’s anymore, or 30’s or 40’s even.
And we remembered to use the One Little Item We Never Travel Without.
Day 2 – Over the Border to Wroclaw Poland via a castle
With Terry having the best night sleep in a long time, we were both awake at 8.45am. We would be leaving Germany and heading into Poland. This would be the 42nd country that we have visited, only 155 to go, lol. As we crossed from Bad Muskau, Germany into Lenica, Poland, we had the feeling we were back in Asia. This was due to the busy roadside market, that the Germans were frequenting for the lower prices.
Wroclaw was our destination for Day 2 of the roadie, with a stop planned at Castle Ksiaz. The drive would be around 3.5 hours. On the way to the castle we took a side road that led to the small town of Roztoka. Photos taken of a big church, an abandoned mansion and some decorated hay bales.
At around 1.30pm we arrived at Ksiaz and had a nice walk to the castle. A very impressive and well preserved building that was constructed in 1288-92, and survived occupation by two foreign countries (Germany & Russia) in the 20th century. We liked the entrance through a gateway into a small path with cafes and bars lining each side – it is very welcoming.
We then headed to Wroclaw, a city of 650,000 residents for the next two nights. We found the campsite on the outskirts of the city, and again opted for the cabin rather than the tent. Was it because the cabin reminded us of Hobbiton, or because we like some comfort. Or was it because the nights here are a little colder?
We now have one full day in Wroclaw to explore the city, then head south to Brno. More stories to follow …..