The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Saturday 23 June - Stuttgart and Donaueschingen, via Böblingen

Where's Bertie? He's squeezed into a Stellplatz just outside of the town of Donaueschingen (exact location: 47.947451, 8.51218).
Weather: Mainly sunny, but still much cooler than a few days ago.

Last night's car park may not have looked ideal, either on paper or in reality, but it turned out to be the most peaceful place we have stayed yet this trip. An excellent night's sleep was had, until the alarm rudely awoke us just before 7am, so that we could relocate ourselves back to the ParkRun location.

The ParkRun at Stuttgart has only been going for 8 weeks, and today's Run Director explained the reason for the hilly course: they had requested permission to use the park in the middle of Stuttgart, but the authorities had declined not just the request, but any discussion as to what ParkRun was. They did, however, give permission for a lumpy woodland park on the edge of the city - which was a good location for us.

Joining 36 locals and tourists alike (England, Wales and Ireland were all represented today; at least two of the Brits had flown in purely to take part in a foreign ParkRun), I had an enjoyable run and was surprised as I queued to have my barcode scanned to have a lady ask me if I had been in Mannheim last weekend. Considering that I had a different outfit on today, and a hat (but no sunglasses), I was taken aback that she had recognised me.

My intention had been to go straight from the run to a laundrette, but instead we joined other runners for breakfast at a cafe a few km drive away. I wish I'd taken a photo of our breakfasts, which comprised a huge basket of various breads and croissant, a plate of ham and cheese and a couple of platters of butter and jam. That dealt with my hunger nicely!

The SatNav (and an inattentive navigator) took us very close to the centre of Stuttgart on our way to the laundrette and when we finally got there we could see as we drove past that it was busy, so when we couldn't find anywhere within half a mile to park, we abandonned our effort and cursed the distance and time the aborted mission had cost us (I say, as if we had anything more productive to be doing!).

Needing to make a quick decision as to where to go, I reset the SatNav for the motorhome Stellplatz at the town of Böblingen, only about 15km away. We did reach it, but doing so involved us having to go past some 'road closed' barriers, and mount a pavement to get around a railway-track-laying machine that was partly blocking the road at a level crossing. I felt reasonably confident that no work would take place over the weekend, but having established that the Stellplatz was at the end of a dead-end, and not wanting to risk being stuck there for an unknown period, we only stayed long enough to have coffee, decide where to go next and to use the free service point.

Donaueschingen (you should hear our SatNav's mangling of that name, particularly when 'Mitte' is added to the end, denoting that we should follow the signs for the town centre) was the next place I chose, through no scientific, or even informed, means. A 115km drive, almost entirely on Autobahn, ensued.

The bigger Stellplätze often seem to be busier than the smaller ones (I have a couple of theories as to why) and we arrived here to find this one full (although if everyone parked more tidily, at least 2 or 3 more would fit). We didn't drive off, however, but decided to shoehorn Bertie onto a worn-out verge in a position we adjudged would still allow the motorhome behind us enough room to exit.

Mick has walked into town since we arrived. I've turned a heel and picked up stitches for a gusset (I'm knitting the second trainer sock). In a little while we will walk back into town again and maybe see a bit of tonight's Germany game.

No photos today. I've not taken a single snap.


  1. How did you go on in the run. It’s going to be upsetting where you are if Germany lose.

    1. I enjoyed the run and was quite pleased with my time: 28.23, which was 1 minute 15 slower than last week, but last week (Mannheim) was a dead flat course. We will aim to go back through both Stuttgart and Mannheim on the way back to the UK to run both events again.

      As for the Germany game last night, you'd have thought by the behaviour we witnessed around the town after the match that they'd just won the World Cup rather than just a group game! We're now back sitting in the same bar as last night, watching the England game (on mute). We're the only people in here.

  2. "Turned a heel" - thought you'd had an injury!

    1. Well, turning a heel (on a sock) can be a painful business, particularly when you manage to keep count all the way through only then to realise you purled a knit row and then have to rip the whole thing back out and start again!

  3. Oops, I blogged on the wrong blog; this was meant to appear on I'd best replicate it over there or at some point in the future I'll wonder what happened to this day.

  4. Are you going to walk The Danube to The Black Sea now you at the starting point :-)

    1. We did pause to look at a map of the route whilst in the town today, but I wasn't tempted by it!