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Denmark Road Trip 2013 - To Find The Best Campsite Showers


We set off for Dover, 200 miles away, at midnight on the Saturday. Got nearly all the way through the 'check in' system and were then kicked out of the docks area for being too early. Sat in a garage with a coffee for an hour and a half and then tried again. No problems this time, on the ferry and over to Dunkirk by 9'ish their time. It was baking hot. The heat and lack of sleep meant we only got to Turnhout in Belgium that day. The young lady that checked us in could speak English very well but found thinking in English very hard with a 'toasted' brain! Would have been a really nice place if only cooler - swimming pond, bar etc. showers OK.
Across the rest of Belgium, then a bit more of Holland than intended and into Germany. Osnabruck was our only grouchy person of the whole trip. Campsite OK but rundown. Facilities good but he won't get any points for being so miserable.
On again, trying to get North away from the heat. This time somewhere near Kiel, a place called Eutin. Nice site, river full of ducks and kids. We went into the town and that's where we saw a nice pottery shop with the ladies wheel in the window. Jackie bought a jug there and then we had the problem of not chucking anything on top of it every time we packed again.
Still hot, we crossed into Denmark and stayed at a 'Butlin's Holiday Camp' near Fredericia. Far too big and expensive and overly popular. The hi tech plastic cards to work the showers didn't.  The water was cold. After standing there trying every way to make the card work, I dressed and took it back to the reception. They put it in their computer (and probably recharged it) then he marched into the nearest shower block, swiped the card in a cubicle and there was hot water. Well, then I had to have a shower (an idea I had gone off of by now) as I was going to be charged 6 Danish Krone. Jackie had exactly the same problem but she didn't take her card back, just damped off the bits that show and called it quits.
On to the Rally site, near Randers. 350'ish people, 31 from England, most of whom we knew and 180'ish old Indian motorbikes. Facilities were basic but always kept clean which was really good. You just had to pick your time. They did not cater for veggies. Friday night tea was mashed potato (?) and grated carrot! The band that night was really good and apparently we 'threw a few shapes' (?) Both ends hurt the next day, legs and head.
Weather now somewhat cooler but we did have a plague of big biting flies. Allegedly, there was a bit of a thunderstorm on the Friday night - I personally didn't hear a thing. One lady from London way was really scared by it. I rather seriously told her that lightning can sense fear and is therefore attracted to someone who is scared. I'm not sure she knows me well enough to know I was talking complete rubbish! The Saturday pudding made up for absence of veggie options. Not sure what it was called but it was splendid. A well-organized weekend. Sunday afternoon we moved on to the West coast of Denmark, to a place called Ringkobing.
The site seemed rather quiet, but that did mean you could use the facilities anytime you wanted. This place wins the 'Best Showers of the Trip Award' as they were huge. Not just cubicles, a whole bathroom, four times the size of ours at home. The town looked really interesting but we were on the move again. A 20 mile long strip of land runs down the coast (with a road and town on it) and we took that to get back into Germany. Deliberately keeping off the autobahns for the moment.
Good campsite behind hotel in Dagebull. Small but perfectly formed. Apart from the Rally, first time we eat out. I had something called '50 Shades of Herring' or 'Everything bar a Kipper' or it might have had a proper name in German?
On again the next day to a place called Verden, S/E of Bremen. Found a camp site behind a Greek restaurant. An 80 year old English man sorted us out. The owners were out but he told us it would be OK to stay. I think he wanted to practice his English. Apparently he had had no family as a kid. Joined the army as soon as he could leave school and spent all his army time in Germany. Married a German lady and never really went home.
Next day a bit damp but after a bit of drying out on the road and off to Koln (Cologne).
There are reasons why Dorset people shouldn't be allowed out on their own. On the way up through Germany we had called in to a big services on a major intersection South of Hamburg. Pulling in to the petrol pumps we saw an old camper van with love hearts painted on the doors. "Yo, hippies." we said. Coming back down we called into the same place from the opposite direction. "Hey," we said "the hippies are still here." Half a mile down the road and there was another hippy van with love hearts on the door and in the layby on the other side of the road was a van with a naff sun strip saying 'Sexy Girls'. Obviously a screechy girl band. and then Jackie noticed a red strip (?) light in the van window. "I don't think they are hippies." she said. So, no chance to share an Earl Grey tea bag or swap recipes for quiche!
The camp site in Koln was right on the side of the Rhine. It was the only place where we felt a need to pack everything away at night and chain the gas bottle up. Rubbish showers as too narrow and sides cut short so water splashed up from next door. Absolutely huge great barges moving containers up and down the river. Walked over a motorway bridge to get to a church on the other side. Halfway across saw that the church we were walking to was not Cologne cathedral, that was a mile away in the other direction. We did actually contemplate staying here an extra night as the city centre was so near but we were really more concerned to keep the last few days of continental  driving  short.


Road Trip 2013

Road Trip 2013 Road Trip 2013
Road Trip 2013 Road Trip 2013 Road Trip 2013


There is no speed limit on the German autobahns. 60 mph in our car with the roof box on was plenty fast enough. Some cars were coming past in the outside (sometimes alongside) lane at about 140mph. Unless you just permanently watched your rear view mirror you would not see them coming. Consequently, every so often there would be skid marks across three lanes of carriageway and whole sections of new armco barrier.
Crossed back in to Belgium and headed for a place called Charleroi. No obvious campsites so headed South into the 'Bois du Chimay'. Not much Bois and didn't find the Chimay (Type of Belgian beer). Directions from a bar got us to a closed camp site. An old lady who lived in a caravan on the site said it would be OK to stay as the owners were away on their holiday. It had obviously been planning to reopen as there was a virtually new reception building and cookhouse, but the toilet block was only half connected. The showers were part of the half that wasn't. And the sinks in the ladies were the other part not connected. Very quiet night.
Only 50 miles the next day to a place called Tournai. I've stayed there two or three times before but never ventured into the town. Good site and reasonably priced. There used to be the most marvellous bar near there with all sorts of beers brewed in the Abbeys of Belgium. As soon as you take an interest they get excited and want you to try the extra special ones. The trouble is, they are so strong that any more than three would mean never finding the campsite again let alone your tent. The last time we called in there we were told that the following weekend it was closing for good as the land had been sold for redevelopment. It's now part of a supermarket.
So, last night on the road and we hit the town. Presumably the town centre, cobbled streets and wonderful old buildings. Restaurants spread all over the pavements and fountains with kids playing in them. We ordered beer and food and it was really good. The bill didn't exactly come, it was just an electronic device waved in front of you and it seemed to be half as much again as you thought it should have been. And then their English is not so hot anymore. Moral: Make a note of drinks/ dishes ordered and prices up front.
Final day, a short 60 mile trundle to Dunkirk, on to the ferry and then the 200 mile drag back home. Total mileage 2200.

ps Sorry about the story about lightning!!

Brian & Jackie Rose   Brian & Jackie

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