DAY 7, DAY 8 and DAY 9

September 14th-16th Germany, Luxembourg and France

Prüm to Luxembourg to Trier to Bergheim

James and Amy have had better sleeps; their one and a quarter-man tent meant that James spent most of the night with two limbs hanging out the side and both suffered the Richter scale 7 tremors of Rachel and Bharat’s interminable snoring. Tents down, coffee drunk and we were on the road again through the German forests before dipping back into Belgium briefly and then down into Luxembourg.

We drove through La Petite Suisse in Luxembourg which prides itself on being as picturesque as Switzerland. It was a lovely drive, but not as dramatic as we are hoping our Swiss leg will be. We had some sandwiches overlooking the waterfalls of Schiessentümpel before crossing back into Germany and arriving in Trier, the birthplace of Karl Marx and the oldest town in Germany. Amy, of course, missed most of it fast asleep in the back of the tuktuk, which is no mean feat given how noisy and windy it is – camping must have really taken its toll.

Sleeping Beauty in the Tuk Tuk from Tuk Tuk to Turkey on Vimeo.

Waterfalls at Schiessentümpel, Luxembourg

Jon Moore, brother of a family friend, hosted us for the night in Trier and took us to try the traditional dish of wurst and sauerkraut. After the trials of camping we were very grateful for a proper bed to sleep in and it was an early night for us all so that we could sneak into the center of Trier early morning before the tourists arrived for some good photographs.

Early morning in Trier, Germany

Mid way from Trier to Strasbourg we were worried we’d have nothing to write for the blog – it had been quite an uneventful drive and there’s only so many times we can talk about the scenery. But then drone-gate happened. We pulled over on a road lined with a lovely avenue of trees and decided to film the tuk tuk driving up the road with the drone. A number of things went wrong: first, James managed to snap a wing off the drone by failing to put it on correctly; second, the drone didn’t track the tuk tuk so Amy tried to manually take control which resulted in the drone nose diving to 1 ft above the ground before spinning upwards and sideways into (luckily) no oncoming traffic; third, the drone battery started to fail mid-flight and so a flapped, very stressed Amy had to emergency land it in the middle of the A road (we had not appreciated how busy it would be until it was too late); fourth, after all that Amy hadn’t even been filming. We’re sure you can imagine the heated “discussions” afterwards, but that was not the end of our technical glitches – Bharat tried to test the gimbal on a quieter road in France and had to eat his own words when, for every single one of the 10 attempts he made, he had not pressed the record button. Luckily however, James was in control of the drone at this point and filmed the hysterical clip below of Bharat and his “gimbal-ing” antics.

Bharat chasing Tuk Tuk with the Gimbal from Tuk Tuk to Turkey on Vimeo.

We’d love to tell you this was the end, but Amy fell asleep, yet again, in the back of the tuktuk and mid snooze her phone fell from her hand and promptly flew out of the tuktuk bouncing onto the road and narrowly missed being run-over by the car behind.

Rachel reached new levels of frustration with Bharat after he decided to deviate from our planned route and directed her straight into the one-way pedestrian zone of Strasbourg. Safe to say that they will not be allowed to drive through city centres together again without supervision! However, we arrived in Strasbourg just in time for sunset over the cathedral and a quick stroll around the old town.

The drive from Strasbourg to Bergheim in the Alsace region of France was absolutely amazing – you can see why there is a specific route dedicated to the “Route de Vin”. Believe it or not, we were undeterred by the previous day’s drone-gate and managed to snap this of Sumo. We will be back another time, that’s for sure.

Sumo in the Alsace vineyards


Memory of Emily: When Emily died we had to collect her belongings from Leeds and, amongst other things, we found a packet of cigarettes with 3 left in it. Rachel and Bharat had given up smoking 20 years before and Amy had never had a puff in her life, but we felt there was meaning attached to there just being three left. So, we agreed that we would all have one of Emily’s cigarettes and a toast to her when we felt the time was right. When that time eventually came, we went to retrieve the packet, only to find an empty box which Bharat had clearly raided (but still denies)…We won’t go into what was said at the time, but as we spoke about Emily and recanted this story to James in a pretty little French town we decided we should take the time to do what we hadn’t done before and we each smoked* a slim French ciggy with a coffee toasting our beautiful Em.
*Amy coughing and spluttering.

A tobacco toast to Emily!

Sponsor for Germany: Beatrice von Tresckow 

Beatrice von Trescow designs and sells the most beautiful, colourful, textured clothes hand-finished with embroidery and beading and has shops in London, Cheltenham and in Berlin, Germany. Beatrice has drawn from her exotic upbringing in Afghanistan, Africa and India then fused flair, talent and years of design experience to create a look that is truly unique. Her daughter, Freddie now has her own fabulous new range too called FREDI von Trescow.

BvT and FvT in Trier, Germany

Sponsor for France: iSIGHT Clinics

iSIGHT  was established in 1993 as a Specialist Day Case Eye Hospital based in a beautiful, Grade-II listed building in Southport, Merseyside. They are a consultant-led practice focusing exclusively on the treatment of eye conditions.  Their highly-qualified medical team includes some of the most talented & highly regarded Ophthalmic Surgeons working in the UK today, all of whom are on the Specialist Register of the General Medical Council (GMC). iSight Clinics

iSight with my little eye something beginning with ‘t’

Low Point: Rachel almost killing Bharat by forgetting what country she was in and failing to look left before pulling out at a roundabout. Luckily the Porsche had better brakes than the tuktuk and managed to avoid us.

Funniest moment: Bharat saying “Let me use my Dingle” over and over again, which, when we lacked the context of whatever was going on in his head, just sounded dodgy. Our Bharat-translation tool eventually worked out he was referring to photography and the “GIMBAL”.

Highlight of the day:

  • Day 7: Meeting the mad, effervescent, Trier Professor who swerved up to us on his cross-trainer bike and gave us some Afri-Cola bonbons for the journey. We had our suspicions about the boiled sweets after he’d said they would keep us awake on the journey and said “coke” twice, but we’ve had a Google and can confirm that they’re just high in caffeine and related to Germany’s coca-cola.

  • Day 9: Driving in the Alsace wine regions and being able to try a glass or two (or three in Bharat’s case) of the local wines. It would have been rude not to…

Dunce of the Day:

  • Day 7: James – (1) he farted so loudly in the tiny tent (with Amy in it) that Rachel shouted “I heard that” from the depths of her palatial tent. Also, very negative vibes given how small Amy and James’ tent was. (2) turns out James actually bought the tiny tent himself (!) but let his parents take dunce of the day for Day 6 by fooling everyone into thinking it was a present from them.
  • Day 8: Amy – see Tuk Tuk dramas above and for not keeping her cool.
  • Day 9: Bharat – going missing for 30 minutes at the start of the day and going through more red lights than the whole of Amsterdam has to offer.

Interesting fact: The tax in Luxembourg is much lower on cigarettes and petrol so just before you cross the border into Germany there is a road lined with petrol stations with people coming to fill up on the cheap before heading into Germany. Such a strange concept, for us Islanders, to cross a border to fill up your tank!


Early morning in Trier, Germany

Early morning in Strasbourg, France

The Market Square in Trier, Germany

German-Luxembourg border

Bye Bye European Union! Strasbourg EU Parliament Building

The tuk tuk team go to great lengths for the perfect shot!

Sumo meets her little brother in Trier, Germany