Tuesday, 29 May 2007

From Sweden to Denmark to Germany

This post covers our journey from Sweden to Denmark to Germany with birds galore and a tale about Sarah wearing my boxers on her head.


On Saturday 26 May we set off from Gothenburg on the motorway south towards Ystad, a small market town on the south Swedish coast . This was a long 3 and a half hour drive on a fairly boring stretch of motorway, the only points of interest being windmills (modern type, not old ones!). Closer to Ystad there were lots of deer signs, I’d been wanting to get a photo of one since Norway but there is never anywhere to stop near them!


Above: Ystad
Below: Swans in Copenhagen



We arrived at a campsite 3km east of Ystad which was packed with Swedes. We were told to find our own pitch which was very strange. We drove around looking for one and all the other campers kept staring at us. Maybe because we were the only Brits, maybe because we are very young for motorhomers, maybe we’re just freaks! We eventually found a flat spot amongst the trees and decided to go for a bike ride.



On the short journey into town Sarah was racing ahead of me and I was having to really pedal hard to keep up. It wasn’t until we got into town and I got off my bike that Sarah noticed that a silver lever had become loose which meant my rear brake was permanently on. After fixing this, cycling was a breeze!

We rode around looking at the half-timbered houses and just as we pulled up at a railway crossing to watch the purple trains chug past, a passing bird crapped all over Sarah’s lovely fleece! I consoled her with some of our homemade trail mix – M&Ms, nuts, sultanas and raisins. Yum!

The next day we spent our remaining Swedish Krona in the supermarket (another hot chicken!) and then headed towards the Oresund Bridge which links Sweden to Denmark. We missed out on the cheap rate of 34 euros by 6 centimetres! Motorhomes under 6 metres pay the cheap rate, we had to pay a whopping 68 euros! After the bridge part the crossing turns into a tunnel just after you enter the territorial waters of Denmark. We drove through the city up to Charlottenslund Fort Camping.

Above and below: Charlottenslund Fort Camping, Copenhagen (Our motorhome Ace is to my left below)

This campsite is set around the former fort which used to defend Copenhagen until the mid 20th century. The basic facilities are located in the former armoury of the fort. There were always lots of people exploring the fort and admiring the seaside view. On a lake nearby we saw some beautiful fluffy grey cygnets and one white cygnet.






On Monday we headed into Copenhagen, it was pretty dull and overcast at first and very quiet as it was a bank holiday. Stepping off the bus, we immediately saw, in Sarah’s words, “the most sweetest and amazing thing”. (Boy, did I hear about it all day!) A mummy or daddy duck was leading 7 fluffy ducklings across busy city streets. We watched them for a while, then fearing for their safety, we decided to watch over them all the way to the nearby Botanic Gardens. Their safety was at risk not only due to the traffic – a magpie hopped along the street eyeing up the ducklings for his dinner.

Above: Ducks on parade, Copenhagen

After half an hour and a few wrong turns (Mummy / Daddy duck had been to the Sarah School of Map Reading! Joooke! No joke really…) we saw them safely to the park where the ducklings jumped into the pond for their very first swim. With all this bird spotting I’m starting to feel like Bill Oddie

We then headed towards the National Museum of Copenhagen where we spent an hour looking at the history of Denmark and lots of exhibits about the Sami (people from Lapland) and the Inuit (Eskimos) of Greenland.




Above: Munching "Ice Queen"
Below: Copenhagen

The sun came out as we walked along the canal where all the boat tours departed from. I got a bit sunburnt yet again as we enjoyed an ice cream. After getting back to the campsite we spent 2 hours walking around looking for an internet hotspot at a McDonalds our GPS informed us about which it turns out doesn’t exist! Three times we tried to walk back along the sea front only to realise there was no walking path yet again. Our feet were killing us!

At 4am this morning we awoke to the sound of rolling thunder which lasted 10-15 seconds at a time. For a few minutes we were a bit worried about our motorhome getting struck by lightning, but he’s a survivor!

We left the fort around 10 and headed to the ancient Danish capital of Roskilde where we enjoyed a Danish from a local bakery. We then headed south towards the ferry at Rodby and took the 45 minute crossing to Puttgarden in Germany. A rather funny incident happened during this journey. Our dirty washing is positioned in a large plastic bag in an alcove above Sarah’s head. As I stopped at a traffic light, I looked round to see a pair of my boxer shorts and socks on Sarah’s head. She wasn’t very impressed! As Bart Simpson would say, eat my shorts!

We are now in Germany, a few kilometres south of the ferry dock. Our pitch is just metres from the beach. The only problem is it’s raining and grey! Oh no, here comes some more thunder and lightning…

We are now 10% and 1200 miles into our journey across Europe!



Above: Copenhagen


7 comments:

dwozz said...

Germany already - i can't believe it. I can't resist asking....what hasn't been on Sarah's head? Do you think someone is telling her something?
Love the duck tale. Kay and I have done exactly the same!- so it's really nice to know we aren't the only soppy idiots to come from Walsall!
You are both looking really well. Just shows you what work does to you.
See you both soon

MERVYN said...

Wow ! Just caught up with your pages again after some days away. Great pics - and I am certainly envious.
Thanks for keeping us up with the travels - it is genuinely interesting. Not just because we are interested in what you are experiencing - it is great as a tourist guide.
Tell the story, write the book, video the experience and travel the world doing it !
Just a thought !
Cheers and love from Mervyn E

MERVYN said...

WOW!
I have been away for a few days and not taken a look at the postings. You re4ally are having an interesting time. I find it very interesting myself - boith as an uncle - and also as an armchair tourist.
Just placed a bid on ebay for a ten day package to France for the World Cup - probably won't get it - but I at least feel involved. Please continue to write the story and show the pics - Maybe there is a book or a travelling video show in this !
Cheers and Love from Mervyn E

MERVYN said...

Wow ! Just caught up with your pages again after some days away. Great pics - and I am certainly envious.
Thanks for keeping us up with the travels - it is genuinely interesting. Not just because we are interested in what you are experiencing - it is great as a tourist guide.
Tell the story, write the book, video the experience and travel the world doing it !
Just a thought !
Cheers and love from Mervyn E

daveh said...

Hi Sarah and Matt. Glad you are having a good time. Carry on camping. Love Nan and Katy

Big sis said...

Good old ace keeping you safe!!! Love the little ducks will they be a regular feature in the story??
Matt why do you always have to brag about those extra few inches i thought we had been through this before you left!!!!! And sarah i think you may be taking scratch and sniff a little too far now!!!!! Loving the site miss you and love you loads big sis x

ray murray said...

I was feeling a bit down in the dumps until i started to read your story doted with the usual clever matthew humour , which has only resurfaced in the last year , good on you Sarah . Anyhow I will know where to come for an uplift its terrific . Thanks RVM