Week 11 12 13 & 14.

Week 11- Wind, Wind and Even More Wind.

Monday 18th August 2014.

It certainly knows how to rain here at Varberg. We went for a walk around the headland from the site, good job we took coats and brolly’s as three quarters of the way round the heavens opened and down it came.

Tuesday 19th August 2014.

Rained all night and by morning the wind had filled in and was blowing a full gale. Checking the local forecast this weather was due to continue for the next 3 days in fact the wind was forecast to increase a tad, taking it into the realms of force 9 or 10. We were planning to cross the Oresund Bridge on Thursday so we looked at the website which stated that it was currently “not recommended for wind sensitive vehicles”. It’s interesting that although there was a recommendation not to cross it seems that the final arbiter is the individual driver, I know what this driver is going to do or should I say not do and that is cross the bridge in this wind.

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We went for a walk before dinner and discovered that directly behind the campsite, what is now a large holiday hotel complex was once the most respected TB hospital in Denmark. All that is now left to show it’s original use is the cemetery where apart from that of the hospital founder/director all the graves, of which there are hundreds, are for children under the age of 10 years. How sad!

Wednesday 20th August 2014.

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It’s been dryish today but the wind has blown as fiercely as ever throughout the day. We had a wander through Varberg, a very pleasant town when you are not being ripped to pieces by fine wind blown sand. From the high castle mound we watched a large yacht with just a tiny storm jib up sailing through a very rough confused sea at a rate of knots that looked just on the very edge of “in control”.

Thursday 21st August 2014.

The caravan was still rocking and rolling with the wind until the wee small hours and it is still blowing although the hard edge is gone. Before deciding to go we had another look at the Oresund Bridge website which stated that it was “traffic as normal” so by just after 10.00am we were packed and on our way. You could certainly feel the wind buffeting as you drove but it felt controlled and as as we went south it gradually moderated so that when we actually crossed the bridge from Sweden to Denmark it could still be felt but was not a problem.

We are now ensconced on Stevns Camping, ha,ha another ACSI site, some 60 km south of Copenhagen. We plan to stay for a few days to explore the local area.

Friday 22nd August 2014.

We went shopping today, Denmark has a far wider range of items for sale rather than the fairly limited choice in the rest of Scandinavia. Ok I know they all have a hundred different sausages but it’s only the names that are different they all taste the same to us. We only occasionally saw in any Scandinavian supermarket outside Denmark stuff being sold off cheap as it neared it’s sell by date, here at Fotex Supermarket was stacks of the stuff, perhaps from the far greater stock levels or perhaps because they get lots of fresh stock in for the weekend but we bought food for several days and saved a small fortune. The one disappointment was that Fotex like many businesses in Denmark automatically charge a %age for using a credit card which we had forgotten so we paid DKK 2.14 (£0.23) charge for using the card, still we saved a lot more. You may remember we use the Halifax credit card because there are no foreign transaction charges although when you withdraw cash that cash is immediately subject to interest at around 1% per month so we use the credit card for everything and after drawing cash we check every day until the transaction appears on our statement and pay the whole amount owing on the card, so far we have saved something like £2.50 per transaction that our previous bank started charging and with over 80 transactions since we have been away at a cost of just 31 pence interest on the entire trip so far we have made a considerable saving.

Saturday 23rd August 2014.

Back in tourist mode we visited Helsingør in the north of Sealand, Denmark which Shakespeare called Elsinor and every year hosts many of his plays which of course always includes a production of Hamlet. As well as boasting a castle Sue had read of a Saturday market that sold all sorts of local cheeses and other specialities. It was quite a long drive of around 90 km (56 miles) that was made worse by a 25 km (15 mile) stretch of roadworks that the signage said was to continue till autumn 2016 and of course what is in short supply around any Saturday market - PARKING!!!! what a nightmare after driving around the town several times getting more frustrated and snappy with every circuit. In severe grumpy old man mode I had just announced that one more circuit and I was going back to the van when a car just ahead of us pulled out of a space large enough (just) for us to fit.

On our circuits of the town we had seen a market in the distance so made straight for it but on arrival found nothing but stalls selling “car boot” junk. Where were the local cheeses? Where were the local pastries? Sue had the guide book with her so we looked at it’s map carefully and decided that the market we wanted was in the town square several streets from where we were, we arrived to just three stalls, two greengrocery and one fresh fish. We bought some fish from the fishmonger and asked him what his strange looking “pickled” fish were, he insisted on packaging one up and presenting it to us. It was delicious so we bought some for our dinner, they are apparently herrings that are fried and then pickled. The chap did all his own frying and pickling of over 1000 per week as well as cleaning and filleting them all - small wonder he was proud of his product.

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Wandering around the perimeter of Kronborg Castle we were sad to learn that, of the two English language guided tours per day, one had already started based around Shakespeare, the other was several hours away so rather than go in we carried on walking around it.

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There may have been a reason the Saturday market was so poorly attended by stallholders for, on approaching the harbour, we were surprised by the number of old wooden sailing yachts circa 1850 - 1900 with owners and crew in period dress. There was also a small fleet of sailing dinghy’s with strange shaped sails from the same era zipping about the docks and then just up from the docks we spotted an historical market with all stallholders appropriately dressed in period costumes selling food and drink from a bygone age. Fascinating. Sadly the crowds were so thick it was just impossible to take photos so you will, I’m afraid have to use your imaginations on this one.

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From the “medieval” market at Helsingør we went to Frederiksborg Slot which happened to be on the way back to Stevns Camping but when we arrived could not reconcile what we were looking at with what we had been reading until we discovered we were visiting Fredensborg Palace where there is a palace still in use by the Danish Royal family, not what we had wanted to see but still quite interesting.

Sunday 24th August 2014.

Housework day 😖

Sunday roast day 😃 Roast chicken, roast potatoes, roast sweet potatoes, cauliflower, sage and onion stuffing, bread sauce etc, 😄😃😀

We were planning to cook the dinner on the BBQ but realised after the chicken should have been 1/2 cooked that the BBQ was not heating up properly. We assume it was the strong cold wind so finished up cooking everything in the oven. It still tasted great.

Realised the next day that it was the first time I had used BBQ “briquettes” and followed the Cobb instructions on how many briquettes to use not realising they make their own that are nothing like the ordinary kind.

Week 12 - Where Two Worlds Seas Collide.

Monday 25th August 2014.

Just a short distance from Stevns Camping is Stevns Klint a UNESC World Heritage site which was granted that status in June this year and is, according the the UNESCO web site a:

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“. . . . geological site comprises a 15 km-long fossil-rich coastal cliff, offering exceptional evidence of the impact of the Chicxulub meteorite that crashed into the planet at the end of the Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago. Researchers think that this caused the most remarkable mass extinction ever, responsible for the disappearance of over 50 per cent of all life on Earth. . . .” 

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It is though, probably as well known for the Højerup Church which stood happily on the cliff edge until a landslide in 1928 caused the chancel to collapse and fall to the shore below.

Tuesday 26th August 2014.

Housework 😤

Wednesday 27th August 2014

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Back into tourist mode today with a visit to Roskilde Cathedral, a splendid building, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site that holds the mortal remains in superbly ornate sarcophagi of 39 of Denmark’s past kings and queens. There is even a model of that for Queen Margrethe II the ruling monarch whose sarcophagus, designed by artist Bjørn Nørgaard, is already being made and for whom a chapel in the cathedral is currently being constructed. The sarcophagus is a glass see through model that the queen chose herself - weird or what??

Thursday 28th August 2014

It’s moving day today, we had been quite pleased with Stevns Camping until we got the bill. Seven nights at €16 is on my calculator €112 or around DKK830 the bill came to just under DKK1200 or €161 nearly half as much again for electricity. Unfortunately working between pounds, euros and Danish crowns we had managed to get the calculations wrong and so didn’t realise until after we examined the receipt later. We will not be going back there!!

We have moved on to another ACSI site that meters the electricity, you get 4kw per day as part of the ACSI package and then pay for any you use over that. At Sindal Camping not only was this made very clear we were given a price per kilowatt and asked to agree the meter readings on arrival and on leaving. When we did leave having presumably used the same amount of electricity per day we were charged just a few crowns extra.

Friday 29th August 2014

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Just had a wander round the local shops but found an absolute gem of a fish shop where we bought a cold fish platter for our dinner. The local bakery had some Danish type pastries that were absolutely scrummy.

Saturday 30th August 2014

We went to a strange place today where the North Sea meets the Baltic Sea. Its a huge sandy area a mile or so from the nearest road where you can paddle with one foot in the North Sea and the other in the Baltic Sea. We cheated on the way there by getting a tractor bus but we did walk back, quite a trek in the very soft sand

Sunday 31st August 2014.

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Even more weird views today - a desert movie type sand dune. I thought they existed only in the Sahara Desert not in Denmark but there it was Rubjerg Knude. There is an old lighthouse on site 60 metres high and when we visited the dune was as high as the lighthouse.

We bought a nice piece of beef for dinner today and roasted it with all the veggies on the BBQ. It was very good.

Weeks 13 & 14 - The End In Sight.

Monday 1st September 2014.

My sister Marion telephoned last night with the sad news that cousin Doreen had died. Wishing to pay our last respects we spent the evening studying maps and feel that with the funeral unlikely to be before Friday 5th September and more probably the following week we could get back to UK in time.

Today we traveled south into Germany, a distance of just under 500 km, to KlüthseeCamp & Seeblick, a site a little north of Hamburg then tomorrow we would travel right across the remainder of Germany to Assen in Holland where we would be able to visit our Dutch friend Dirkje while waiting to be informed of the funeral date when we would decide wether to continue by road to Dunkirk to cross back into UK or take the quick way back from Hook to Harwich.

Tuesday 2nd September 2014.

We were away almost on the dot of 10.00am looking forward to an easy five hour trot across Germany and into Holland. By 12.30pm we were still not pass Hamburg, in fact in the last hour and a half we have managed less than 6km.

Eventually we get through the road works that was creating the chaos - who said the Germans were good at organising? These road words were a big long term affair but there seems to have been no thought to how to minimise the virtual deadlock they caused. How the locals coped I cannot imagine.

The remainder of the journey went as swiftly as possible when the speed is limited by law to 80kph (50mph), the cruise control went on and mainly stayed on until just a few kilometres short of the German/Dutch border. The E22 goes under a canal for just a short tunnel but it was closed - total, absolute and utter chaos. The detour was short probably less than 10km, it was gone six when we arrived at the site. What did I write earlier about an easy five hour drive. It turned out to be over eight hours. German efficiency my backside!!!

Still at least the reception was still open when we arrived at Vakantiepark Witterzomer (Witterzoer Holiday Park)

Wednesday 3rd September 2014.

We are now on a site we have visited before, it is probably the biggest we have ever been on with over 1000 pitches but is laid out in such a way that it seems small and intimate. From our pitch we cannot see another van and could almost be on our own.

We have learned that the funeral is on 17th September so we have plenty of time to visit Dirkje and have booked a ferry back to UK on 12th September.

Thursday 4th - Thursday 11th September 2014.

We have spent a very pleasant week visiting with Dirkje, we have done little but eaten lots having had a couple of excellent lunches including mussels cooked in garlic and wine. We have been to ’s-Hertogenbosch market to buy lots of cheese from our favourite seller (they vacuum pack it in small potions so that it lasts for months) and visited several touristy gardens, houses etc in the Assen area.

Friday 12th September 2014.

Back to UK day. We got up on time, well we had set the alarm for 8.00 and took no longer than normal to get ready for the road but instead of the planned 9 to 9.30 it was 10.00 before we set the sat-nav for Hoek van Holland. Google maps the night before had estimated the time for the journey to be 2.1/2 hours Desmond Desil our sat-nav insisted it would take 3.1/4 hours. Oh dear that would get us there only a half hour before the check in closed, not much buffer in case of traffic jams, road works etc. Fortunately we had just ten minutes of holdups and we arrived twenty minutes before check-in closed.

Adventure number three was over.

For the sad among you (cos it can’t just be me 😉 ) here are a few statistics : -

Days Away - 89

Total distance driven - 12352 kilometres (7675 miles) the majority with the caravan on tow.

Fuel - used 1529 litres (336 gallons) with an average cost of £1.21 per litre (£5.50 per gallon) and an average consumption of 8.08 kpl (22.82 mpg).

Ferry 1. Harwich - Esjberg. Duration 19.1/4 hours. Cost £354.96

Ferry 2. Lodingen - Bognes. Duration 1.1/3 hours. Cost £62.07

Ferry 3. Hoek van Holland - Harwich. Duration 7.1/2. Cost £175.00

Total cost of ferries - £597.03.

Bridge 1 - Nyborg - Korsor (Denmark) £40.00


Bridge 2 - Oresund Bridge (Denmark to Sweden)  £78.49


Bridge 3 - Oresund Bridge (Denmark to Sweden)  £77.15

Bridge 4 - Nyborg - Korsor (Denmark) £39.60

Total cost of bridges - £235.34.

Roadside warnings for :-

Reindeer, Moose, Bears, Deer, Otters, Snowmobiles, Rockfalls, Avalanches.

Last updated Sunday 14th September 2014                                                                                              © S W Ghost 2014