We dragged ourselves out of bed at 4:30 and got the last bits of packing and preparation done and managed to drive away promptly at 6:30. We weren’t far past Ulm (about 45 minutes out of Augsburg), and the traffic on the A8 came to a screeching halt. We made a spontaneous decision to bid farewell to the autobahn and take the scenic route via the Black Forest.

It was long day on the road, including stopping at a rest stop somewhere in northeastern France for a nap and finally arriving at our B&B just outside of Gien at around 6pm. Our B&B was an old farm manor full of antiques and charm, situated on a teeny country road.

After a short rest and then quick dip in the pool we headed into town for a bite of dinner. As irony would have it, the one restaurant that appealed to us was Moroccan, so on our first evening in France we dined on merguez and couscous and even drank a Moroccan Rosé.

On the way into town we were so enthused about getting into town and finding a restaurant that we hadn’t paid much attention to the route (after all it was only 2km out of town…). Well… by the time we were heading back to the B&B it was dark and the streets were very unfamiliar. After ten minutes zig-zagging on the dark streets to the edge of town we thought to turn on the navigation system and enter the B&B address. The problem there was that the B&B didn’t have a street address as such, just a name. The navigator found it but took us on such a roundabout way that we eventually ended up driving on a dirt farm road. Werner stopped and said “this can’t be right!!” and proceeded to back up and turn around.

Finally Google Maps came to the rescue – I pulled out my smartphone and found the B&B over “Places” and good old Google found us real roads to drive on. We really weren’t far away, but in the pitch blackness (no streetlights out there in the countryside) and in our tired condition it all took on exaggerated dimension – we had actually considered spending the night in the car! An hour after leaving the restaurant we thankfully reached our B&B.

Boy, did we sleep well!

Day 1