It was so nice to have an air conditioned room last night. I set it to the lowest temperature possible. Germany is baking at the moment. Temperatures have above 30°c, with very little cloud.
The 10 day forecast shows there being little chance of the daytime temperature dropping below 20 for the forseeable future. There are some small thunderstorms forecast for tomorrow but not everywhere will see anything.
A buffet breakfast was on offer at my hotel in Central Duisburg this morning. I had bread and butter with home made jam, Greek yoghurt (and honey) and fruit juice. I checked out of the hotel soon after and re-loaded the car. That is the one annoying thing about staying 1 night here, 1 night there: I never get settled in any particular location because I’m always on the move.
Before leaving Duisburg I had one important task: Buy a USB cable. I only have one with me at the moment which means if I want to charge anything overnight, I have to remember to bring my cable in from the car each night – and to then plug it back in to the car when I get going again. Duisburg being a large city, I was within walking distance of the shopping centre where there was a branch of Saturn (a German electronics store) so I could get myself the cable I needed. Problem solved!
I took a stroll down to the harbour and then walked back up to the main city, stopping at one of the many Eiscafés which line the pedestrianised zone, before returning to the car to set the sat nav for my next destination.
I’d not be able to check in to the hotel until after 3 so instead of going straight to the hotel I decided to go in to Münster itself first. Münster is a university city and is often called the bicycle capital of Germany – cyclists were everywhere while I walked through the city centre…It was like being back in the Netherlands!
I parked close to the centre in the Schlossplatz car park and took some time walking through the Schlossgarten and the impressive Botanical Gardens, then stopping for a drink and wandering in to the main city for a quick lunch.
After a couple of hours I returned to the car and headed for the hotel. A good 10km South of the city, the hotel is in the countryside with access to the Autobahn. It is owned by a charity which looks after vulnerable people and the hotel is on the site of the hospital run by the charity. The hotel’s website explains that as an “Integrationsbetrieb” (integration company), people with and without disabilities work side by side: “Menschen mit und ohne Behinderungen arbeiten dort Seite an Seite auf dem sogenannten ersten Arbeitsmarkt.”
Being in the middle of nowhere is quite enjoyable. I took a walk through the German countryside – the hotel also offers bike rental – food is served in the evening (I had a schnitzel tonight), and the room itself is probably the best I’ve had all week. It’s massive, very light, tea & coffee making facilities, air con, and nice comfy chair to sit in while I watch Sky TV (that’s German Sky, not British Sky – same company and logo, but with German channels).
I’ve calculated that I’m slightly over half way to Hirtshals, from where on Thursday evening I’ll be getting the ferry to Norway. I need to pick up the pace now though: It’s taken me 5 days to get this far – and Thursday evening is only 3 days away. Tomorrow there’ll be a fair bit of driving to get North of Hamburg, and on Thursday itself I’ll drive straight to the ferry from Germany.
Before I go to bed, I’m going to plug my laptop in to the TV and find something to watch on Netflix.
Today’s Mileage: 69.9
Accumulative Mileage: 570.8