Marg and Leigh's travels around the world

We are two retired women from New Zealand, busy travelling the world. Our quest is to experience other cultures before they are changed beyond recognition, and see endangered animals and environments before they disappear. We hope you like our blog and enjoy our exploits. We sure have had fun getting here.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Back into Germany

Leaving Poland, we drove the minor roads heading for Germany. We crossed the border east of Berlin and drove through some very lovely Berlin suburbs to reach our campsite. This is our second time in Berlin and once again, we found it very attractive with many vibrant suburban centres, grand houses, trees and green spaces. We found our busy Stellplatz and settled for the night.  

Simona & Marg-Berlin
We had hoped to catch up with a German couple we had met in Latvia but communication proved to be tricky so we didn’t get to see them. However, we did get to meet up with our friend Simona again. She came to our campsite armed with a picnic basket and took us in her speedy bright red Mini to a local lake, where we sat happily chatting, eating and drinking wine. It was so lovely to be able to see her again and we do enjoy her company.  
Halberstadt Monastery
Our next mission was to get to Palmowski’s campervan dealership in Bielefeld where we bought Vanni, to get a few things sorted. So we trekked west across northern Germany - again keeping to the minor roads - stopping at the cute little town of Halberstadt 

This proved to have a very attractive old village with amazing churches, old buildings and a lovely town square.

Goslar-all roads blocked
After treating ourselves to a slice of amazingly wonderful chocolate cream cake and a wee walk around the village, we drove on to Goslar. However, there was a major festival or something on there, and cars parked absolutely everywhere, streets closed, and definitely no Vanni sized parks anywhere! 
So we drove onwards to Hameln where we saw a monument to the Pied Piper J 


Eventually, we found our way to Bielefeld despite the fact that our GPS had decided to throw a wobbly and not charge up and therefore not work!  

We spent the night at Palmowski’s so that Leigh could get in early with our list of things to be sorted. We were delighted when they quickly dealt with our list, repaired the GPS, and also upgraded our audio system!  

Suburban house north Germany
After spending another night there we set off north to Lübeck. Once again, we used the minor roads driving through wee villages with names such as Pallingbostal, Schneverdingen, Bispingen and Laüenburg. All lovely places with tidy town centres, solid looking homes built in red brick and with flower boxes and beautiful gardens; all very neat, clean, tidy and pretty. 

Arriving in Lübeck, we found a pleasant campground with plenty of trees and lots of grass. 
The Holstentor- Lübeck entry gate
We went out for dinner to a local bar/restaurant while there and meet a Dutch couple who were mad about NZ. They have friends in Christchurch and Auckland and have visited seven times! They were lovely to talk to and said that if they didn’t have grandchildren in the Netherlands they would live in NZ.  

Unfortunately, Leigh got a bad chest infection at about this time, and was most unwell, so we stayed in Lübeck a lot longer than planned. It was OK as the facilities were good. But because she was tucked up in bed, Marg had to go solo on the sightseeing.  

Lübeck-Trave River
After an easy bike ride in, she walked around Lübeck’s beautiful old city. It has survived from medieval times (1143), and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.  

It is located on an island and is full of quaint buildings and meandering cobbled streets.  

After a lovely walk around, she headed back to camp with rather tired feet but lots of photos to share with Leigh.  
Ship at Kiel Canal lock
Several days later, we continued to move north, stopping at Kiel and the North Sea Canal on the way. The North Sea Canal, also known as the Kiel Canal, is the world's busiest man-made waterway. 
It runs for almost 100 km across the top of Germany, connecting the Kiel Fjord on the Baltic Sea, to the mouth of the Elbe on the North Sea, passing through towns and pastures on the way.  

Rendsburg houses
In Kiel, we stopped in several places to view the shipping traffic and saw a huge container ship waiting to go through one of the Canal locks.  

Then we decided we wanted to see more of the Canal, even though it goes west and we were headed north.....so headed for a nearby town that straddles it, called Rendsburg. That turned out to be a delightful little town so we stayed overnight.  

Kiel Canal houses & ship
Making our way to the Canal the next morning, we were amazed to see a big cargo ship glide by. We were even more amazed when a very, very large ship hove into view and just glided past in a very up close and personal way! This remarkable waterway goes right through towns and is virtually at the bottom of people’s back gardens. What a view having that out your kitchen window! We were so pleased that we had ended up in this interesting little town on the canal. 

Lake town Schleswig
The next day we drove further north stopping in Schleswig. We found this to be a very lovely large town on a lake. Leigh was still unwell and it was still raining heavily so we did not get out of the car. We did however, spot the impressive palace there.  


We then drove on to Flensburg which is on the north-eastern coast of Germany near the border with Denmark.
While it had a fairly commercial feel to the surrounding areas, the centre included some lovely old buildings and old houses, with a bustling harbour.  

As it was still raining, we didn’t stop but drove onwards toward our next destination - Denmark.

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