Clara At Folkestone

At last the trip for which we have been making plans and getting as many things fixed as possible is about to happen. A 1500 mile round trip in a 29 year old car with an oil consumption issue. Ok, I have been using her as my daily driver for 11 months on a round trip of 100 miles three times a week, but this feels like quite a big adventure! Could be a lot of fun or a nightmare...

Wernigerode is too far from Calais (for us, anyway) to do in one day, so we usually split the journey somewhere a bit over half way. We have stayed in Wuppertal before and seen the amazing Schwebebahn but we wanted to stay somewhere different so we chose Düsseldorf this time. Sadly we didn't get as much time in Düsseldorf as we should have liked as the channel tunnel was running a couple of hours late.

Calais To Dusseldorf

We took the route in blue and arrived tired and in the dark.

What we didn't know was that we had arrived during Karneval - which meant, among other things, that the parking at the hotel was full! On the advice of the receptionist we drove round to the multi-storey car park behind the hotel and left Clara there. The trouble was it didn't look very salubrious! If you have ever watched a film where spies are exchanged between east and west under cover of darkness and in an anonymous, non-descript car park you will know just what this one was like. Well it was cheap...

Being tired and prone to worry about where I leave my car I got cold feet about this car park after about half an hour and decided to move her. Thank goodness there was a brightly lit, staffed car park over the road. We moved her to this one and left her in the company of an AMG of some description and a couple of other very expensive cars. It felt much safer and I felt much happier. More expensive but worth it for the security!

A quick trip to the Asian supermarket three doors from the hotel and we have beer and crisps to fortify us.

The next morning we got up and got on the road: we were due in Wernigerode that evening.

Can't resist a picture of a tram though - it's just a shame that it's standard gauge. I much prefer the metre gauge trams in Belgium.

Tram In Düsseldorf

Knowing that we would be coming back via Hanover and down the autobahn past Bielefeld we took the nicer route via Kassel.

Düsseldorf To Wernigerode

Another pretty uneventful trip, I'm pleased to say! Averaged 30mpg between fills at one point and saw 135mph (probably a true 128 mph) on the speedometer. Not at the same time as the 30mpg bit, obviously!

Arriving at our hotel in Wernigerode, we parked up and went to meet our ever charming hosts. (This is our third visit to this hotel!)

Clara At Schlossberg

It has been a great couple of days and a lot of fun so far! Clara has run without a single issue and she didn't need any oil when we checked in Düsseldorf. That's 675 miles without adding any oil. I'm very pleased, given that I have been worried about the oil consumption and Clara's potential as a long distance car.

10 Germany Two