Westerstede BoulodromeSeptember 30 in Germany
We are resting beneath tall oak trees, the wind blowing cold droplets of water from their wet leaves onto Martha's roof along with the occasional acorn. The grey gravel pitch of Westerstede Boulodrome sits behind us, abandoned in this inclement weather.
It feels like we've been on the road for a long time today and in a way we are grateful for the foul weather as an excuse to stay inside. We began by driving a short way to the river Elbe, a little distance inland from its Wadden Sea estuary. We'd made the decision to avoid industrial Hamburg whose motorways are so often clogged with traffic. Instead we charted a route further to the west that crossed over the River Elbe via the Glückstädt-Wischhafen ferry.
As is often the way, we arrived at the tiny port with a queue of vehicles behind us. An open topped boat was at the station and those ahead of us had boarded. We stopped at a red light while a few smaller cars and motorbike were signalled to overtake us and join this crossing. We didn't mind waiting as it gave us an opportunity to look round and Poppy the chance for a wee. We could see another ferry hovering in the channel and it powered into dock as soon as the former had departed. The F/S Ernst Sturm's deck was was also fully loaded and in a speedy turnaround we were directed on board with about 50 other vehicles before the engines fired up and powered us out accross the river. Vicky climbed to the middle platform running alongside one edge of the ferry, while Will waited for the ticket master to visit the van before joining her. Unlike the Danish ferry we took recently, where we were expected to pay by card, these tickets could only be purchased by cash, neither were we allow up to the bridge where the captain's cabin was. It did however sell icecreams and würst so Will indulged in the latter to fortify him for the drive ahead. It was a fun ride and for €17.50, feeling the wind in our hair as we sailed across the water was so much better than being stuck in Hamburg's notorious traffic jams.
After disembarking we drove past several kilometres of queued traffic waiting to board, including many motorhomes. It seemed quite a lot of others had the same idea as us! The area is rural so the rest of the drive took us past farmer's fields along tree lined roads. Our stop at Westerstede wasn't far away from the border with the Netherlands so we felt we'd made good progress today.Read more