Harpstedt, Flecken

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7 travelers at this place:

  • Day799

    Harpstedt Park (2nd visit)

    September 3, 2018 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    We are glad of the shade we have found under mature parkland trees. At 25°C it is t-shirt and short weather (or t-shirt and kilt, if you are Will). We've found a spot on the lush green grass of Harpstedt Park, along with three other motorhomes whose occupants are quietly going about their business. From the left, intermittent calls from kids enter our windows, as they play in the freibad at the edge of the park, shielded from view by trees and bushes. Bird calls predominate from our right.

    Whether travelling back to the UK or returning to Denmark, it feels like we've been 'heading somewhere', taking one night stops for a long time! We spent the afternoon relaxing on our camp chairs or in the van, as a slight breeze stirred the leaves and provided a little relief from the warmth of the day.
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  • Day446

    "So Long Sweden" + video link

    September 15, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We made a short video showing 'Snapshots of Sweden' to share the highlights. You can view it on VnW Travels You Tube channel here:

    In order to get the most out of each country we visit, we like to spend as long a stretch as possible there. Sweden and Norway are each so narrow that it was most sensible to split our time in Sweden into two chunks. The first was spent in Gothenburg with Will's sister Sue and our brother in law John before we whizzed up North to experience 24hours of daylight at midsummer. We then returned months later after touring Norway and spent a fortnight volunteering at Jan-Ols Gården, an organic goat farm North West of Stockholm. The last week or so was taken at our own pace, wending our way south towards the Danish border.

    We loved Sweden when we first arrived. Its excellent roads took us away from the hustle and bustle of central Europe and we found a peaceful and accessible country whose people, although few and far between, were friendly and invariably spoke English to us when we did encounter them. So many of our views are formed within the context of our recent experiences and the stunning scenery of Norway blew us away to the extent that we felt deflated at the prospect of returning to Sweden. However, the beguiling beauty of this vast country soon won us round again and had us wondering how we could ever have downplayed its good points to such an extent.

    As is the case with every place we visit, Sweden had its disadvantages but they were few in number so we'll get them out of the way before going on to wax lyrical about its adavantages!

    The first downside was the cost. While Sweden is a lot more affordable than Norway, we still needed to watch the purse strings and cut back on luxuries such as eating out. That being said, there were fewer shops and markets in which to fritter away our krone. We did miss the interactions we were used to having with the people on street stalls and in small independent shops such as bakeries. Our food shopping was done in supermarkets but if we'd have wanted to stock up on spirits, wine or even beer over 3.5% we had to get it from System Bolaget. These government run outlets were the only shops allowed to sell alcohol with higher percentages to take away.

    We entered via the two stunning bridges, the Storebælt and Øresund and left via the Helsingborg ferry and the Storebælt bridge. The latter was a little more expensive but arrival and departure set us back a hefty £270 in total.

    The other major disadvantage was the weather. Rain was frequent, often heavy and persistent. The temperature was sometimes warm in the south, but rarely in the north. There were lots of chances to explore but the cold and wet conditions often put us off doing so.

    Despite the cost and weather, Sweden has become our 2nd favourite European destination, here's why:

    This country has some of the best wild camping spots we've ever found. We love being by ourselves in nature and Sweden overflowed with opportunities for this. There were excellent rubbish disposal, recycling and toilet emptying facilities. The only thing we could have wished for was more drinking water taps, but this wasn't a huge issue. Many picnic spots we stayed at had public fire pits and some even provided free chopped wood.

    We are lucky enough to be able to travel with our canoe and Sweden comes top of the list for access to lakes, everything from little ones surrounded by nothing but trees to Vänern, the largest in the EU and a centre for sports and holiday homes. Wild swimming is a big thing over here and there were frequently signs for a 'badplass' (bathing place). These spots often had a changing cabin, pontoon and parking. Many were set in beautiful woodland glades in which you had the right to roam, camp and forage. Will took advantage of as many of these bathing places as he could.

    We loved the seemingly never ending views of lakes and forest, interspersed with the traditional red painted wooden houses and barns. We were so excited at our first sighting of reindeer roaming free and grazing. Like in Norway, all reindeer are owned by the indigenous Sami people, who have historically lived nomadic lifestyles, although many now live in more permanent camps. We enjoyed learning a bit about their culture and traditions and thinking about how they are adapting to the changes modern day Scandinavia is going through.

    It took us a while to get a grip on 'Swedish culture'. Due to the low population density we didn't spend as much time alongside people as we had been used to doing in places such as Italy. Unlike the loud 'in your face' Italian culture, Swedes in comparison are quiet and their culture is subtle. We very much liked the second city Gothenburg, especially its slow food movement, which is focussed on simple, locally sourced dishes with a modern twist. Swedes value the outdoors and respect their environment. The air quality, clean, clear water and lack of rubbish were wonderful. We also found the transition to a cashless society was far more advanced here than anywhere else we'd visited, from parking meters to trams, pretty much everything was paid for by cards.

    We were sad to leave Sweden. Other countries had provided a more diverse range of sights but the isolation and nature we experienced both Norway and Sweden had been incredibly relaxing and we felt healthier and happier as a result.
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  • Day450

    Harpstedt Stellplatz

    September 19, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Having decided to get Vicky a new phone we searched Maps.Me for the nearest Media Markt (the German equivalent of Curry's / PC World) and thankfully found one close by. Our first job when we got there was to ask them to have a look at our Go Pro camera that we'd bought at their Munich outlet. It wasn't responding to the voice control and despite not having the receipt they agreed to investigate. After an embarrassingly short 2 minutes, we came away with red faces and functional voice control. The employee had looked up the problem on the Go Pro website and showed us where to turn the control on and off. They were very good about it as we cracked up at our technical ineptitude. Despite our embarrassment we were happy that it was such a simple fix. The specialist who helped us choose a new phone was informative but not pushy and we came away satisfied.

    The town of Harpstedt provided us with a lovely place to park that was in fact, inside its main park! There were a few places to choose from and we stopped under a huge oak tree that rained its ripe acorns down onto the van roof whenever there was a breeze. They landed with an alarming 'BANG' catching us unawares day and night.

    Although we love to travel, driving through the unknown for hours, day after day and staying in a new place each night becomes tiring, so we decided to stop at Harpstedt for two nights. This way, we could have a break from driving, time to explore and Vicky could get her phone set up and begin catching up with the Find Penguins footprints that had been lost when her old phone died.

    A few cars came and went along the tarmaced path behind us to reach the open air swimming baths adjacent to the park. We were tempted but the weather never got warm enough to go out without a warm jumper, never mind in our swimming costumes. We did however, wend our way over the wooden bridge into town, where we picked up some shopping from a small organic store and Aldi. Apart from a working windmill, it wasn't a remarkable town but it was good to have a break and get our bearings on our long journey south.
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  • Day15

    Wieder Zuhause nach 8159km...

    March 9, 2019 in Germany ⋅ 🌬 5 °C

    Nach 8159km wieder heile Zuhause angekommen, sogar ohne eine einzige technische Panne! !! Es war ein wirklich tolles Erlebnis, das man nicht missen möchte. Russland werde ich auf jeden Fall nochmal bereisen!!

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Harpstedt, Flecken

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