So I’m sorry I didn’t blog over the weekend picking up our roaster from Germany. There were many reasons but mainly because of lack of time. I have lots of photos to run through and I will try and post some early this week. But Christmas is kicking in and I’m trying to keep up the momentum of In my Mug.
So Thursday straight after work a drive to Dover. From my house to Dover is 250miles, I left at 4:30pm and should have made it in very good times. But Birmingham at 5pm and the M25 in the 21st Centaury meant it was a little tighter than I would have liked.
I meet up with my travelling pals Joe, John and Jess who are also picking up their roaster at the same time in Dover. Because there was four of us it meant, one car (mine) and a large Van hired by Joe.
We arrive in Dover at 1am local time, so its late, and I’ve been roasting all day. Joe has kindly got us some accommodation in a Formula One hotel in Dunkirk. For those who do not know formula one is very cheap and clean accommodation all over France. Joe describes it best as “like sleeping in Tupperware”. But a night in Tupperware (well three hours) were back on the road to Emmerich which is where probat are based in the north of Germany. To get there we drive through Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany, and 250 miles. Unfortunately the truck Joe hired was limited to 56miles mph. Not so good for time but great for fuel consumption. Half as much fuel used on the German 500 miles as the UK 500 miles.
So 7am we set off and arrive in Emmerich 1pm with very few stops. It tough and long and but all I have is the eye the prize. Were a little late, and I can see its not gone well, but we had tried as hard as we could to get there as quickly as we could.
When we arrive they have very kindly put on some food for us (very welcome food) and we are taken to the café area and museum. Kiddie in the sweet shop took over, and I think they thought I was quite crazy. Then we have some news that the Truck we have come in is leaking oil, and a few people are quite annoyed. Joe goes to check it out.
I selfishly decide its time for coffee. Then I get a frantic phone call “they’re loading them on the truck!”
One of the many reasons to go was to see them being loaded on, so a run across the car park and I got there just in time. The fit was so tight but the men spurred on by the desire to go home ploughed on and got them loaded onto the truck. At this time it’s a truck that was leaking oil everywhere.
Some phone calls get the truck checked and a lovely German man comes along and fixes it. While on that point I must say that every German person I met the whole weekend were REALLY lovely, mass generalisation but it was true.
So truck fixed and a full tour of the factory and the Museum we head for our hotel, to change and refresh. That evening we are taken for a meal by Antje German food, which is most lovely.
After the meal we leave Antje and explore the town of Emmerich and the delights its bars have to offer. The strange thing is the smoking ban in the UK has become so natural to me now it seems strange to see people smoke in a bar. The beer flowed the strange bikers made friends with us, and the night was long. One of the bikers we met spoke amazing English and kept buying us drinks, don’t think that has ever happened in Stafford to me.
The journey back long and we missed the ferry back, which meant another night away from home, and Joe brought the roaster up Sunday. Then the truck broke again ruined Joes weekend and meant I didn’t have chance to do squat.
But the journey meant we save a few hundred pounds, I got to see a wonderful Factory and got to spend a weekend with some good friends. Would I do it again? No no no. Am I pleased I did it, yes yes yes.
Photos to follow I will sort through them, and I will try and see if any of the video works, the quick look I have had it they are not so good.
But a great weekend and a great experience, but I need a few days to catch up with myself.