Owing to our delayed departure and a pressing need to ‘Rush to Russia’ to maximize our visa validity we motored the first part of Europe- England to Denmark- at quite a pace. Our passports were literally swept from the postman and into our rucksack on Thursday then we hot-footed it down to Dover and watched the white cliffs fade into the distance as we sailed into the channel towards the French coast. On arrival in France we instantly went the wrong direction (possibly not a good omen) but were soon back on track and settled a couple of hours later in a layby nestled amongst a row of camper vans.
A quick diversion into Blankenburg to start the day Belgian style with a hot chocolate sat on the square of a wonderful bustling market. Belgian and Holland were raced through on motorways (a few windmill pics taken at 60 mph) and our second stop for the night was in the ‘Wilderhauser Geest’ woods in Germany.
A glimpse at a sunny Saturday in Germany made us want to temporarily take root in Bremen- rows of tables in beer tents along the riverside with bands playing and Bratwurst vans sizzling but we had culture to absorb and it was in every direction in this city. A staggeringly impressive cathedral and town hall around the main square and a maze of tiny streets packed with haphazard, Lilliput-style buildings housing art galleries, cafes and shops selling kitsch statues of the classic ‘musicians of bremen’ animal ‘stack’. With time to make up we travelled north into Denmark and settled in what can only be described as the most orderly, scarily sterile ‘glamping site’. Due to long days behind the wheel we have been alternating our camping spots between proper camping sites and wild locations.
A meander all the way along Denmark’s stunning sand dune and moorland west coast brought us to Thy national park where we camped more comfortably in silent forested wilderness. To round off our final day before crossing the water to Norway we visited Grenen, the most northerly point in Denmark where a sandy beach tails off into a sandy spit at which point you can stand with one foot in the Skagerrat and one in the Kattergat sea. A Wadden Seal bobbed in the calm waters as we walked back down the beach and headed for Hirtshals and our ferry to Norway.