2020-09-19 (Sat) Heilbronn & Bad Wimpfen

03:00. A group of youths are shouting and screaming on our doorstep. Well, possibly not on our doorstep, but maybe right next to us in the park. Probably a 100 metres away or so. But it SOUNDS like they’re on our doorstep. WTF are they doing at that time of night? This goes on until well after 04:00. I can’t sleep. THE BELLS start at 06:00 FFS.

We go in search of a Bäckerei. Google tells us there’s one about 11 minutes walk away according to Google maps on Joy’s phone. After 10 minutes of walking, all the way up Knorrstrasse and past the huge Knorr Fabrik, we’re now 14 minutes away, yet we’ve been following the route on Joy’s phone. We eventually find it after about 25 mins walk. Shopping done, we head back for breakfast. We decide to walk back a different way and find a flight of steps that leads almost directly back to the Stellplatz, by the Freibad. About 8 minutes away. Thanks, Google.

We’d heard that Bad Wimpfen was worth visiting. It’s about 16km away along the Neckar radweg. We got almost immediately lost and ended up in the centre of Heilbronn amongst heavy traffic. When we found our way out, we then accidentally ended up on a long island in the middle of a split in the river. It was very industrial! Eventually, we managed to get back onto the radweg proper and found our way to Bad Wimpfen.

It’s a lovely Altstadt and we even managed to get an ice-cream there. And, at a different café, a slice of Zwiebelkuchen. TBH, it wasn’t the greatest Zwiebelkuchen I’d ever had. Not by a long chalk. That award goes to the Zwiebelkuchen freshly baked at the Rohrauer hocketse, when we lived there 34 years ago.

It was another hot day, so we were pretty wrecked by the time we got back. Somehow, I managed to get very dehydrated, which bugged me with sore lips for the next few days.

Link to route in Strava here.

2020-09-18 (Fri). Bietigheim-Bissingen, Heilbronn & Lauffen

After a fairly sleep-disturbed night, from about 04:00 onwards (due to traffic), we decided the next stop should be Lauffen – a major wine centre on the Neckar. Lauffen had other plans: The Stellplatz am Friebad was full. Consulting our various apps, we decided to head to Rolf Willy’s Kellerei/winery in nearby Nordheim. This turned out to be two spaces in a small car park, large enough only for VW camper – sized vans. Ho hum.

We ended up at a Stellplatz in Heilbronn. Down Knorrstrasse, past the enormous Knorr factory with the overpowering aroma of Bruhe, down to the Wertwiesenpark or Neckarhalde. Actually, a very nice Stellplatz with lots of trees to give some shade, adjacent to a huge park, and only a 100 metres from the Neckar. And it’s free to stay.

The bad news was there were a couple of obviously gypsy caravans parked up, with their young offspring zooming around in an e-car. A small one, big enough for two kids, and scarily fast. The caravans had UK licence plates. The inhabitants had Irish accents. We found a place as far away as possible and set up under the trees.

Some time later, a police car arrived making it clear to the gypsies that they were to leave by the following morning.

Having missed out of Lauffen, we decided to cycle there along the Neckar radweg; about 11km each way. We thought we’d try to get an ice-cream whilst there. Possibly even a beer. Failed on both counts. In fact, we couldn’t find any shops at all, nor any evidence of a town centre, Marktplatz or similar. So we gave up & headed back to Heilbronn.

About 1km from being back at the MoHo, by a Sportplatz, is a very nice open-air Gaststätte. It would have been rude to pass it by, so we didn’t. Very pleasant in the late afternoon sunshine, which then started to turn rather chilly as the sun set.

In fact, although the days have been blisteringly hot, up to 29 degrees some days, the nights give away the fact that it’s definitely autumn. It’s decidedly chilly in the van getting up in the mornings.

Arriving back at the Stellplatz, we were surprise to see that the gypsies had actually left already.

Link to Strava here.