Back at Shüttorf Freibad, GermanySeptember 1 in Germany
We are parked once again in the large car park outside the Freibad (outdoor swimming pool) at Shüttorf. We stayed here when travelling to Denmark in June and liked it so much we returned. We were in the midst of the heatwave back then but although there are far fewer cars, there are just as many motorhomes stationed here, despite the fact we are coming towards the end of the school summer holidays and whilst warm, the 21°C air temperature doesn't drive us towards the water in the same way as 27 did a few months ago! There are a few tall trees planted around the gritty hardpack parking area and we've chosen the same shady corner spot as previously.
It was late afternoon when we arrived and the first thing we did was to position the van over the grey water emptying point. Our waste tank was very full and all the sediment had sunk to the bottom creating a blockage that meant it wouldn't drain at the last service point. That one had also served as a place to empty toilet cassettes - not the sort of area you want to get down on your hands and knees and start poking away underneath the chasis! This one was paved, dry and as clean as they come, so Vicky removed the bung and voila, 10 minutes later we had an empty waste tank! This is not one of the more glamourous aspects of vanlife, but it is vanlife nonetheless!
The following morning we slotted €6 into the machine, then scanned our tickets to open the freibad turnstile. We couldn't help thinking that in Denmark any such machine was more likely to be cashless than cardless! On our previous visit the place was heaving, but now there were only a handful of others in the swimming pool grounds. With the water at 20°C Will dived straight in and Vicky did her normal three phase entry; stepping in to her waist, acclimatising then plunging in up to her neck and hyperventilating. It was colder than expected and she now understood why there were only two others in the pool! The digital board displayed scrolling text informing us that the baths would close in just under 2 weeks for the autumn and winter months.
After a several lengths, Will had a go on the wide metal slide, but soon afterwards he hit his head on the concrete wall of the pool when swimming backstroke, resulting in a mild concussion. He lay in the sunshine while Vicky did some more lengths and kept an eye on him. He began to feel a little better, but Vicky didn't think it was a good idea for him to resume swimming, so we returned to the van. It was a good job we left when we did because it took Vicky quite a while to warm up. Thankfully Will was feeling better after a sweet cup of tea and some lunch, so we once again used the van services and Vicky drove us to our next stop.Read more