Ottersberg Sports CentreAugust 17 in Germany
The sports centre on the outskirts of Ottersberg offers facilities for vans and is close enough to the motorway to make it a very convenient stopover on a journey between Denmark and Dunkirk. Because of this, it is the second time we have stayed here, having visited on our way up to Scandinavia in late June. A patch of grass and low shrubs seperate us from a closed off single track road so there are no passing cars. Walking a hundred metres up this road brings us to wide open farm fields and in the other direction there is access to the centre's outdoor football pitch.
We have covered just over 200km on our drive south today. It took more time than we'd hoped because we got caught up in a series of traffic jams on the motorways, especially around congested, industrial Hamburg. We split the journey into two, stopping off midway at an Edeka supermarket for a car park lunch and some shopping. We are only just appreciating what a chilled out and relaxed country Denmark is, now that we have left and are noticing the stress and business of people in Germany. It is something we will adjust to quickly, but compared to the last 6 weeks in Danish supermarkets, today's shopping trip seemed to be full of people in a rush, unwilling to make eye contact, pressuring us to get out of their way etc. It is funny the way the human brain often works, only really appreciating how good some things are when they are gone!
We were able to deposit the two small crates of empty alcohol-free beer bottles into the reverse vending machine, earning us a return of nearly €5. In his head, Will put this amount towards buying more alcohol-frees, whereas Vicky allocated it to the cakes we bought! We obviously have different priorities! We got caught out when paying for the sweet treats at the supermarket bakery, Will had used contactless to pay for our groceries but the bakery was cash only and we hadn't yet changed the kroner in our wallets for euros. Luckily Vicky had an emergency note in her phone case so all was not lost. We found the no cards policy within the supermarket a little strange after Denmark, where market stalls advertised 'mobile pay' and even the little catering van at Sletterhage lighthouse, miles from any village, had contactless!
Completing the second leg of our journey and pulling into the stellplatz was a good feeling. Vicky can find covering long distances day after day and staying new places each night a bit disorienting so returning to somewhere familiar really helped. There was only one other van when we arrived but the place soon filled up. A British family pulled into the spot in front of us and we got chatting. The two parents, three primary school aged children and Willow the spaniel were touring for the summer holidays and had spent a little time in Denmark. We swapped stories and Poppy glared warily at Willow before they went to fetch a takeaway pizza and Will finished cooking ours.Read more