... to Paris 'I Drove All Night (well day to night) To Get To You'
Quite quiet on the banks of the River here and after hearing the rain stopping early doors i was hoping that we'd at least got some sun in today...and i woke up before 7am as there was light peaking on through the blinds. Could it be, could it be the sun?! And there it is, the sun on a cloudy, but not rainy cloudy, day....time to do the Romantic Rhine. Well i'm guessing as romanic as it can be with having Ellie for company, not sure its gonna have quite the same effect! Couple of more blogs done, breakfast consumed, Ellie has a walk on the riverbanks and we are ready for the off. There was a shower i could have used today but i wasn't feeling the look of them, baby wipes will do until the next stop. Still haven't quite figured out where that next stop will be though as i don't know if to stop half way to Paris or just go the whole hog...i'll see how i'm feeling whilst driving.
So the Romantic Rhine is the most famous section of the Rhine, running between Koblenz and Bingen...yes i'm going to Bingen again, for the third time, well second time as the first wasn't the real Bingen!! Thought i would do it once and for all and finally get it ticked it off my list. The river Rhine carves its way here through steep vineyards-covered hills topped with countless castles and ruins. This river, as i think i've stated before, was an important trade route into central Europe as it stretches from Switzerland through Germany and all the way to the Netherlands, and so its been important since the ancient times with a string of towns grown up along the banks.
Koblenz first and we park up to take a quick tour of the town but we can't linger too long as its an hour to get to Bingen and then we need to see how long its going to take to get to Paris...as i'm not exactly sure how far away we actually are. I have a guess at near on 5 hour drive but that's a guess from just looking at the map...i'm waiting until i'm actually in Bingen for TomTom to tell me, bit of a surprise for me to wait upon. Photos taken and then we head off down the river and stop, and stop, and stop, and stop some more to take more photos with a quick walk down one bit for Ellie to stretch her legs. Now this one hour road trip is taking nearly two with all these stops in tow!
Finally we make it to Bingen and i input Paris into TomTom...what is it going to be. Its like the Wheel of Fortune as to wonder where it'll stop....and it stated 523km with a 6 hour drive, gonna be a long afternoon and evening for us Ellie! It could have been an hour or so quicker, but with the same km's, as one route was taking us via the tolls and i ain't going on any French toll road as they are expensive i seem to remember! Been a while since i had to put in no toll roads into TomTom as Germany and the Netherlands don't have any. So not knowing how long i can drive for i just whack in a nice looking campsite about 45 minutes out of Paris and see if i need to stop before then...take it as it comes.
Germany vacated, Luxembourg we get the cheapest petrol ever (!!) passing on through, via part of Belgium and then finally we get to see the France sign...well at least we're in France although the rain has been constant since we crossed the German borders. That's a bonus for me as we're inside driving and its not fun being outside in the rain, but i think of Mel, Wendy and Michelle cycling with a flicker of lightning i see and feel for them! Therefore i think that's what made me not notice the 5 hours i've been driving, its gone kinda quickly so i decide just to make the extra hour all the way into Paris but i change the campsite instead.
As it was getting late, and probably 9pm when i get there, there's no point staying at a campsite for the night and one in which i don't know if i can leave my van there to get the public transport into the city tomorrow as it will be better to do that than to park it and wait to see them at the finishing line with not knowing anything of timings of them cycling or where to park. So i input the one i stayed at on nights 2 and 3 of the trip as i know that there is a bus which takes you to the metro and from there into the centre of town. Into Paris and i remember its a Friday night...as for the traffic!! It was so so slow but mind you it was for an accident in one of the tunnels the delay so i could have made it a bit quicker as i was stuck there for 30 minutes when i've already had enough of the 6 hour drive now!
So over 6 hours and 4 countries later (!!!!) we are parked up outside McDonalds as i just need something to eat after being on the move non stop, and a quick check on Facebook that they are on schedule to get to Paris by tomorrow! I head to the campsite but i don't park on up in there as i find a well lit residential street, round the corner, which is off from the main road so it'll be quiet too, At 8am tomorrow i'll be through those campsite gates to use the showers and to wash my clothes, as its that time, instead. Whats the point of paying for the night when all i'm paying for is the bit of grass to park up to sleep on as i can use the facilities tomorrow for paying for tomorrow nights stay instead! So after all that my bed is made very quickly and i'm off to sleep. Tomorrow i just need to figure out when they are due in and where exactly they are riding on through to get to the Eiffel Tower! Nothing like planning!