The last days of Deutschland, from the sweet beer belly of Bavaria to the cycle-crossed, graffiti-daubed friendly-faced shenanigans of Hannover, all rounded off with a search for Jurassic Park. This is the tale of old friends and new, adventure and disappointment, and how Jurassic Park became the Lost World. And, of course, more highway weirdos.
After finally falling for Frankenjura, we left rather sadly and undertook a drive of epic proportions to Hannover (despite the open speed limit on the autobahn, we stuck determinedly to a petrol-saving 65mph). On meeting our friend Pete our woes were forgotten as we begun a whirlwind of activity: late night beers; long lie-ins; awesome indoor bouldering sessions (oh, how we missed you...); volleyball; a cross-continental dinner party; beers in the park at sunset; beers with kebab; beers... Although we have for the most part avoided cities, this was a hellish fun and we couldn't have asked for a better host(s). Vielen Dank Peter, sie waren ein guter Junge.
As we neared a week in Hannover, the temperatures began to soar, and it was time to head for the hills. In particular, the region of Pfalz, a natural park adorned with a multitude of sandstone towers many of which are climbable. Naturally we left late and found ourselves approaching another night on the autobahn. The temperatures stubbornly refused to drop in the evening, and we couldn't open the car windows due to the nefarious stareyness of the other car park patrons, so we slept in a sweat box. If it sounds like we're complaining, we are. It's not much to ask for something in between 10ºC and raining, and 40ºC+, is it?
In this raging inferno, our plans evolved from rock to water and we spent a happy afternoon swimming in the Rhein, hoping that it would leave us cleaner than before. Meanwhile, the swiss roll we bought turned into lemon drizzle cake, and all our fruit cooked. As it 'cooled' in the evening, we went to the Pfalz on the hunt for a climbing site called Jurassic Park and some bouldering of dinosaur proportions. Sadly, it proved elusive; after a couple of hours of driving up and down the same road and wandering around the forest finding nothing interesting but biting insects, we declared Jurassic Park extinct.
Indeed, despite the abundance of climbing said to be in the region, we couldn't find any of it. We suck. More importantly there is no water marked on the map. Henceforth, after another fairly grim night in the car (and more 'interested observers' watching us try to sleep, repeatedly) and with a distinct yet familiar air of failure, we fled to France. Bonjour France, and here's to a relaxed drive to Annecy with midday swimming and cool evening climbs...