I find it strange how a line in the land that creates a border to a country changes so much. We stayed in the border town of Bunte last night which served our purpose of crossing into Germany and getting electricity to charge our bikes up. At 3€ for the night plus a couple of € for the electric it was ideal even if the town was a little souless.
It’s evident immediately the differences between The Netherlands and Germany. There are very few bikes, the road signs speak a different language, no canals, no houseboats and the houses in the countryside have their barns attached. Even the atmosphere is different and all because you crossed a line.
And so it begins, you miss where you came from until slowly things become familiar to you and suddenly you have fallen for your new surroundings until you move on again and go through the same feelings all over again. All because of a line in the land.
There are a few things that I have learnt in the last few days.
1) You don’t need 100 acres to farm cows. You just need a barn because ALL the cows here live inside. Just down the road from me is a farm of maybe 5 acres max set on a lake in a residential village with 100 plus cows all living inside. Only downside is they absolutely pong.
2) Autobahns are scary. Those German cars just fly past us at a great rate of knots. There really do have no speed limit. And those trucks ….. Never have I seen soooo many trucks ANYWHERE.
This is us heading to Denmark avoiding the Autobahns. Should be there in a couple of weeks….
3). Everyday there will be some melt down on the motorway somewhere at some stage or alternatively finding parking. Everyday I have accepted that one of us will be catching a flight home from some destination due to directional issues.
4) Leave your husband in the car when shopping at at the supermarket because supermarkets here carry tools and we now have 17 allen keys and 70 spanners to undo the gas bottle.
5) Hamburg is the city of containers. Containers and trucks to deliver the containers so don’t pass through in peak hour traffic because it’s a nightmare. Also just up from Hamburg is Hamburger, yes there is such a place.
6). Wine fixes everything. We are currently drinking a lovely french drop at the bargain basement price of 1.99 €.
7.) Buyer beware things here are not sold by the kilo or by the package but by obscure amounts such as 250 grams. Yesterday we purchased this delicious raisin cake, (you know the very dense variety), it was just a small slice for what appeared to be the reasonable price of 1.99€. Turns out that’s per 100g so my very dense but small slice cost us over 5€.
The new GPS lady Bridget, (took me a couple of days to remember who she sounds like and then I remembered – Bridget Jones), has sent us on a few loops lately just to keep things interesting. Douglas hates the name because he has a much classier image in his mind although he doesn’t call her sweetheart anymore. Still we managed to navigate our way to The Wadden Sea which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, sorry guys I still can’t figure that one out. It’s pretty and we sat in our motorhome in the rain eating German Apple Pie on top of a dike looking out to sea. Apple Pie has taken the place of beer in my budget, although so far the Dutch kind is the winner.
Our night was spent further up the coast with a spectacular view of The Wadden Sea as the tide literally disappeared before our eyes to as far as the eye could see. Funny story here. So a massive storm erupted out of nowhere. Here I was one minute sitting in my deck chair in the sun when suddenly the sky turned an angry black and the heavens let loose. There was thunder and lightening and the heaviest of downpours.
When it finally stopped, I could hear someone yelling “Help Help” so we opened the door to discover this lady who looked very much like Doug’s sister Lyn, (so the whole time I’m imagining it’s her), waving her arms and yelling “Help Help”. Anyway there were a couple of young surf life savers canoodling in the car infront of us on hand to help so they wandered over to see “Lyn”. She’s yelling away and waving her arms around but we don’t speak German so have no idea, but finally a car arrives and whisks her away. Turns out, she had had a fight with her husband and had left, coming to stay on their boat or a boat, (that bit was just a guess), here in the harbour for 3 days drinking. When the storm came she freaked out but her phone battery was dead so she couldn’t ring her husband to rescue her.
Bremen was (after the finding parking issue) was defiantly worth preserving with. The little tourist area of Schnoor is super cute even if it was just a tourist area but what really took my breath away was The St Peters Cathedral. In fact all of the architecture in the Market Square is spectacular and totally worth a visit even if you have to park 10,000 miles outside of town where it still .50€ per half hour and you are too stingy to pay more than 2€ so you panic the whole time your gazing at the amazing architecture that you are being towed away.
Tomorrow we are stocking up on loads of groceries and petrol for our trip to Denmark and Norway. I saw Mrs Claus today and she looked spectacular so I can’t wait to meet Mr Claus and his reindeer.