With another big trip coming up in February it's time for a once over from Silchester Garage to make sure that all is well!

Everything checked out fine apart from discs and pads - replaced all round.

We had some pretty snowy weather at the end of January / beginning of February! Once again I was glad of my all-weather tyres.

Clara In The Snow

On the 9th February we set of once again for the Harz Mountains, this time via Langscheid in the Sauerland.

Oil checked, coolant levels checked, windscreen washer fluid topped up - time to go. This was the mileage at the start of the trip:

Clara's Mileage At The Start Of The Trip
Clara In The Train

This must have been one of the best crossings yet! We arrived very early at Folkestone and managed to get on a train an hour earlier than the one on which we were booked. Great news, as we have a long drive to get to our overnight stop.

Oil level still fine, beam deflectors fitted and we are ready to go. Is the exhaust starting to sound a little louder than usual, possibly?

Clara In The Services

Other than a detour around Bruges to avoid an hour's delay further down the Brussels road our trip to Langscheid was pretty uneventful.

We really like Langscheid: it's a very quiet place on the Sorpesee. It appears to have lots of walking and other activities going on for those who have time, but this was just an overnight stop. We were booked into the Hotel Palatino, which was very nice indeed (and highly recommended!). What we didn't realise was that the hotel's restaurant only served Thai food - and one of us is not that keen on very spicy food. As it turned out, this was pretty much the best meal of the whole trip! All the other places we ate were great - including an excellent Spanish style restaurant in Wernigerode (on which more in a later post!) - but this was OUTSTANDING! If you are in the area, it's well worth your while.

Even in the rain, the view from our room is lovely!

View From Hotel Palatino

The next morning the weather wasn't so good - which was to be the story of the day.

After trying to find a level spot to check the oil (and I'm now sure that the exhaust is getting a bit louder still)...

Clara Outside Hotel Palatino

... and a quick stop by the dam...

Clara In Langscheid
Clara In Langscheid
The Sorpe Dam
Clara In Langscheid

... we set off for Wernigerode via the Edersee. We saw the Möhne dam and the Möhnesee on a previous trip (and obviously we have just seen the Sorpe dam and the Sorpesee) and we wanted to see the other dam targeted in Operation Chastise.

After a drive in the rain across the Sauerland...

A Wet Day In Elleringhausen

... we stopped by the dam. The windscreen wiper - which was being rather overworked today! - had started to make a strange scratchy noise at the beginning and end of the sweep, so I got out and replaced the blade with the one I had brought with us. I thought that the blade was getting a little old anyway.

Sadly, the noise didn't go away - I guess it is the motor then - and we now have a week away with a noisy exhaust and a suspect wiper motor and just over 1500 miles to do for the rest of the week (including the journey home). A certain amount of anxiety is starting to creep in here!

We couldn't see very much of the dam from the car and we didn't really want to get out and walk as it was still raining quite hard. Let's press on for Wernigerode and get the journey over with.

Rather than go all the way up to Goslar and across we took the autobahn which runs to the south of the Harz (hitting an indicated 120mph as we sailed past a couple of other cars before leaving the autobahn) and went up across the mountains. Sadly, all the snow is in danger of being washed away by the rain as it is even raining up at Schierke (the highest point of the trip across the mountains). Oh, well, we saw it in all its snowy glory last year.

Tired, thirsty and hungry we arrived without incident at the wonderful Schlossberg Hotel to be welcomed by the lovely host.

Back in our home from home (this is our fourth visit!)

Clara Outside Schlossberg Again

A short walk down the the Alte Wernigerode Kartoffelhaus soon sorted out the thirsty and hungry problem!

20 Germany Again Two