After so very many false starts it hardly seemed possible that this day would ever happen … but happen it did. Shortly after 5 a.m. Dan and Dominic set off into the dark and gloom of an autumnal London morning bound for the Eurotunnel and France then Belgium, Holland, Germany and Austria.

Awaiting the green light to drive onto our train

At least that was the plan. We decided that we would have a cut-off on driving of 9 p.m. This would give ourselves time enough to find our hotel and get something to eat. 15 hours of driving felt like quite enough! As a result we’re staying in Passau, just short of the border with Austria.

That feeling that you’re going to be on one road for a long time! The distance to go and ETA were for the rather ambitious “stretch” target of Vienna …

It was often a gorgeous day of driving, especially through the forests of Bavaria. It was also a day of crossing major rivers – the Rhine, Main and finally Danube (on the banks of which Passau sits). Less positively the driving seat is oddly uncomfortable. It’s a mystery that it is difficult to construct a good driving seat but that certainly seems to be the case. Still, at least it keeps us awake! The other thing that keeps us awake is navigating Germany’s seemingly endless roadworks (including one that sent us off on a lengthy diversion through several German villages that absorbed the traffic of an entire autobahn!).

Crossing the Main – the leaves on local vines looking distinctly autumnal

We booked into an hotel in the centre of Passau. The most remarkable thing about it is that all of the keys (including to the front door and room door) are bars that you swipe on a smart phone! It’s quite the weirdest thing to stand outside the hotel, swipe your finger across a screen and have the doors open. Is this the future?

Donations are still hugely welcome! If you would like to donate please do so using the links in a previous post (that will be copied here once we’ve worked out how to do so!).

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