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Bevel: Hemau Meeting

We had parked on a Stellplatz just out side the town walls and shortly after returning to Priscilla a group of gipsy caravans arrived. They were a pretty rum bunch and are not permitted on Stellplatz as Stellplatz are solely for motorhome use. Despite the fact that it was now late afternoon we decided it was prudent to move on. In the Caravan Club book we found a campsite nearby (Ringlesmuhle). When we arrived on site we were confronted by a large marquee and a pack of German motorhomes. We were in the midst of the ‘RMC Ostalb’ rally. They were a local club based in Aalten. However, they made us feel really welcome and invited us to join in all their activities. One of the activities was to christen 2 new motorhomes. The ceremony consisted of much drinking and a member dressed up as a priest splashing water from a bucket with a loo brush all over the front of the new motorhomes. In the evening we were  treated to a hog roast in the old stables and free ‘dunkles’ beer from the local brewery. It was great fun and we enjoyed a couple of nights on this site. We have been invited to join them next year and bring some friends—interested?  Imagine this happening in the UK!


On the Saturday we cycled back into Nordlingen (about 45 minutes ride on cycle paths) as George wanted to visit the railway museum in Nordlingen.  It was still rainy but we managed to miss the worst of the showers, most of the time!

South again to Schmalegg, near Ravensburg, for a visit to the Carthago factory. We had a few minor repairs made that were needed.  We met up with a couple from UK who had been with us in Hemau and after our work had been completed we joined them at a nearby campsite, that we had been to last October.

Whilst at the factory we mentioned that we could feel some springs beneath the fabric of our driving seats and were concerned, that at some time in the future, they may break through the fabric. It was arranged for us to visit the seat manufacturer the following day where the seat squabs were replaced—no charge. Excellent customer support. The man at the seat factory looked like John Denver and we half expected him to come out with his guitar and sing a rocky mountain song. We also managed to purchase an additional 2 metres of matching fabric at wholesale price! Very handy.

That evening we stayed over at a Stellplatz in Aulendorf. A pleasant small town with a very large thermal pool and sauna complex. The swimming pool was huge and in a circular glass house. The southern wall and dome roof rotated to make it open air when the weather suited. From the Stellplatz you were permitted to use the loos and showers in the pool complex. In the evening we met up with Jurgen Schwinn from Womo-World who we had seen in Dussledorf in August. We had agreed to buy a set of stainless steel hub caps from him and so the deal was done on the Stellplatz. Priscilla now looks very smart!

For several days now Desnée was becoming increasingly concerned about the children who were finding it hard to come to terms with their father’s terminal diagnosis. It was decided that it was best for Desnée to fly home and so we left Aulendorf the following morning and headed for Munich airport.  With the help of our friends Malcolm, Anne and Kate we had booked an Easyjet flight and Desnée was at home in Worthing by 7pm that same day. Meanwhile, George and Priscilla were left to make their own way north and home one week later via the Esbjerg—Harwich ferry.

George travelled north again and back to the Altmuhltal stopping this time at Kipfenburg. It was very cold today and had been driving through snow storms most of the day. The campsite was open but deserted. There were over 100 pitches but there was just Priscilla and one other motorhome on site. Not a very exciting town and glad to move on again next day.

Next stop was at Jena which was formerly East Germany. It was noticeably different. The people were not so friendly and the town buildings were drab and uninspiring. It was sleet and heavy rain all day. The campsite was really quite different. The facilities were in portacabins and wooden shacks and the reception office was an old tram, still on it’s wheels. All very strange but served its purpose as an overnight stop.



Next day was a journey through some very narrow back roads to a small village of Wiehe. Still in former East Germany. In Wiehe was a model railway centre called MOWI World which was mentioned in the German tourist board web site. It was the most amazing place. The model railways were so extensive that I have never seen the like of before. Photographs do not do justice to the huge amount of work that has gone into this. Even for non model railway enthusiasts you could not help but be impressed.

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On the last day of September ( Desnée’s birthday ) we went north to Regensburg to rendezvous with the German Carthago owners club.  On the way we had an anxious hour or so when Priscilla had an electrical error on the automatic gearbox. It would change down but not up. We spotted that there was an Iveco service station in Regensburg and so crawled in 4th gear for 50kms at a maximum of 50 m.p.h. with the Germans in their Mercedes whizzing past at 100 m.p.h. plus! We just prayed that there wasn’t going to be a hold up because we would then be stuck in 1st gear! We limped into Regensburg, the GPS took us directly to the garage and when we got there the fault disappeared. It hasn’t happened since.

Our final destination was beyond Regensburg at a small town called Hemau. Here we met up with 18 other Carthagos from the UK and 80+ from Germany.  The Bavarian welcome was just amazing and we had a wonderful week in Hemau.  For photos of that week please click on the button below.

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From Hemau we set off for the Altmuhltal. This is a beautiful valley with limestone cliffs and a pretty river which has numerous old watermills on its route to join the Danube. We stayed over in a small campsite at Pappenheim. Although it was October the weather was really warm and at 8:00pm we were sitting outside in our shorts and tee shirts enjoying a barbeque and some peace and quiet after a hectic week.

Pappenheim campsite (Priscilla in centre) from the castle —>

The next day the weather changed and it was colder and raining and this was to continue for several days.

After 2 days in Pappenheim we moved on to Nordlingen. Nordlingen is one of the few towns with a fully intact circular wall which you can walk all the way round. It is about a 4km walk and all covered by a pitched roof. It was still raining and we were glad of the shelter.

Nordlingen Walls. You can walk right round with the stone wall to the outside and a wooden railed balcony to the inside. It is all covered by a timber and tiled, pitched roof.  Very nice for a rainy day!

The Baptism. One of the motorhomes (left) was christened Mowe (Seagull) and the other as ‘Hippo’ because its owners felt that the new Fiat cab resembled a hippopotamus. The small, black ‘Hippo’ is their mascot.

Gunther (left) and Hans (right) of the RMC Ostalb club who made us very welcome.

Enjoying the hospitality—buffet night (above) and below Hog Roast night. 

(l-r) Desnée, Helga, Hans and his wife Crystel

Steam nostalgia at the Nordlingen Eisenbahn Museum

This is just one of the halls. This layout was approximately 10m wide by 40m long and was packed with detail. All the work was to a very high standard.


Halfway down the display you can see a gantry which glides above the layout and is used to carry out maintenance from overhead.

(see close up below)

Just one closer look at the standard of detail.