Germany
Lower Saxony

Here you’ll find travel reports about Lower Saxony. Discover travel destinations in Germany of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

645 travelers at this place:

  • Day826

    Westerstede Boulodrome

    September 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.
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  • Day732

    Shüttorf Freibad, Germany

    June 28 in Germany

    Making an earlier start than yesterday, we stuck to the motorway, passing out of Belgium and into The Netherlands, where we stopped for lunch at a rest area. We needed fuel, but bought just €20 worth as it was an average of €1.45 here compared to €1.20 in Germany. An hour or so later we crossed the border where a search of all cars was being carried out. We don't know what they were looking for but were relieved when they waved us through with the lorries.

    Our destination was the freibad (open air swimming pool) in Shüttorf. It had van facilities and a car park whose leafy Plane trees offered much needed shade. We sat with the windows and door open to try and keep the van as cool as possible for Poppy. As the day's heat began to subside, Will escaped to the pool, set within grassy grounds and Vicky later followed when she was sure Poppy was comfortable. It was only €3 each and the price dropped to €2.50 after 5pm. There were a lot of people in there but it didn't feel crowded because the pool was large and there was so much space to sit or lay around it with a towel. The water was a refreshing 26°C and it felt great to relax in the warm evening air. We even had a few goes on the wide metal slide! Back in the UK Vicky had bought a Soul Cap online. It is a swim cap designed specifically for people with lots of hair, including dreadlocks. She was really pleased with how well it worked and is looking forward to swimming lots more places now that she doesn't need to worry about rinsing and drying her locks!

    Later on, once Vicky was in bed, Will had a stroll around town, with its Aldi, Lidl, butchers and bakers. We planned to stay 2 nights so when he returned, he moved the van to what would be the shadiest spot on the car park. In the morning, Will had a lie in while Vicky went for a dip. During the day, she finally completed the cover for the seat cushion - yey! It had been a long slog and it isn't perfect but it is useable and not bad for a first attempt!

    After 5pm we enjoyed another hour in the freibad, then settled down happily to pizza and a bit of Chianti Classico in the van.
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  • Day800

    Now this is more like it! While the 6 places we've stayed since setting foot back on the continent have all been good, we feel we've really connected with this spot, on the shore of See im Großen Moor, a lake near Meckelfeld. Parked up beside a single track dead end road, the layby of hard packed earth we are in is plenty big enough for the van, but not so big that other cars can pull in along with us. Through the trees to our left we can see a grassy field and to our right, a narrow path has been cleared between the foliage and leads from our door, over a walkway and to the water's edge just 15m away. Whilst the area feels very rural and has a sense of peace, it is in close proximity to Machen rail terminus, comprising over 100 train tracks and surrounded by many urban areas, not to mention Hamburg just to the north.

    The sun was shining brightly when we arrived so Will soon joined the other people splashing about and cooling down in the lake. The bed was sandy with a few large rocks at the edges and it became deep quickly so it was ideal for wild swimmimg. He returned later with his snorkle, exploring the fronds of yellowy green weed and the fallen trees, their submerged trunks reaching out branches like fingers. Vicky waited until late afternoon before getting her cossie on. Although it felt cold, it was in fact warmer than the freibad we swam at a few days ago and she soon acclimatised. We swam nearly 400m to the opposite bank, then around the head of the lake and back to our little entry point. Immature Perch darted along beneath us while Coots and the occasional Great Crested Grebe bobbed on the surface. We were pleased to see two other pairs of swimmers making their way up the lake. Vicky watched in awe as one pair passed by in front crawl, their face immersed for several strokes before they drew breath. She was used to doing this in heated pools but found the breath went out of her when in cold water, forcing her to take the air every stroke. She spent some time practicing and found that after 20 minutes she was able to swim as they had been, albeit over a much shorter distance!

    As the light began to fade, Will spotted a few hares in the field opposite. From the cover of the van we were able to watch them quite naturally lying down, their long ears pinned back, almost reaching their tails. Evening brought an intense sunset over the water. Rich warm hues backlit the woodland skyline, transitioning to cool blues in the higher echelons of the atmosphere before being capped with inky blackness. Once darkness fell and Vicky had gone to bed, Will went for a quick dip under the twinkling stars.

    Morning light revealed dense mist blanketing the area, turning the world black, white and shades of grey. The air and water were still and Vicky took her yoga mat to a small wooden platform on the lake shore for her morning session. All was calm, but for the occasional 'Splosh' from a large fish jumping above the surface and creating concentric circles of ripples. It was a relaxing 30 minutes.

    Before leaving we took the 2.4km track around the lake, coming close to the train tracks at one end. The sound of metal on metal as engines screeched to a halt, wrenched the air like some sound effect from a horror movie, but in contrast, the 3 people we met along the way were remarkably friendly, with one even having a good natured laugh and joke about Will's kilt, which of course Will loved!

    We have been on this tour for 800 days now. The time has whizzed by! Our health issues have meant we've needed to be flexible with our itinerary in the past 8 months in order to attend UK based appointments but this in turn has meant we've enjoyed more time with family and friends. Many of our plans have worked out and we've clocked up a total of 56,200km; that's 1.4 times around the world! We've visited 20 countries and toured 15. Vanlife isn't without its challenges but we are having a blast living the lives we do! Thank you to everyone who travels vicariously with us and who like and comment on this blog, it is wonderful to have your company on the road.
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  • Day332

    Helmstedt, Germany

    May 24, 2017 in Germany

    It was Day 4 of our 'Flight up North' and there were 1500km left to Gothenburg.

    We'd had a peaceful night and had planned an early start but the GoPro camera we'd bought yesterday had started malfunctioning. We were already quite a way from the shop where we'd bought it and didn't relish the thought of taking it back, so we turned to the Internet for solutions. After having tried the recommended cure without success we called the GoPro UK base and were told to download some software. Will got on with this while Vicky started emptying and filling the van. Thank goodness for our new fast access to the Internet and unlimited calls - the problem seemed to be solved and Will was available to empty the toilet just in the nick of time!

    The journey was all on the motorway today so we managed 500km! The land became flatter and flatter and we passed huge agricultural fields of Oil Seed Rape, hay and grain. There were also a number of solar farms and lots of wind turbines.

    Helmstedt wasn't far off the motorway and its free stopover was a gravel car park with a section of cut grass that we chose to park on. There were some kids playing around, a border of mature trees; Willow gone to seed and flowering Elder and Hawthorn. Behind the trees we discovered a small lake covered in Water Lilly pads. It looked idyllic.

    It was a quiet night but with our rapid progress North we noticed a huge difference in how light it was- at 10pm it was still dusk! It is to think that daylight hours will continue increasing until in a month's time we should be experiencing 24 hours of daylight in the Arctic circle!
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  • Day798

    Bramsche swimming baths

    September 2 in Germany

    Summer is letting us know it isn't ready to go just yet, with an evening temperature of 24°C. Not quite the intense heat we endured early and mid season, but enough to open the windows and pull up the reflective blinds. Continuing our journey north to Denmark we pulled into the paved car park of Bramsche swimming baths in the late afternoon. The establishment provides a small amount of space for vans, as well as electric, filling and emptying facilities.

    We'd already been swimming earlier in the day so were planning to wait and see whether we felt like a dip the following morning. The place looked interesting with two pools heated to 30°C and 32°C, a sauna, a salt cave and outdoors there was access to a natural lake. Unfortunately Mondays were the only day they were closed, so we instead planned an early set-off.

    The night was quiet enough, then from 7:30am walking trains of middle school children came marching down the highstreet and over the car park, brimming with energy on what we assume was their first day back after the long holidays. It is at times like this we remind ourselves how very fortunate we are to have the freedom to continue travelling.
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  • Day734

    Ottersberg Sports Centre

    June 30 in Germany

    After emptying the toilet and waste water and filling with fresh water at the friebad's free services, we bought a tank full of diesel and got underway. 200km was greatly extended when roadworks meant we took a wrong turning off the motorway. More traffic jams saw us dawdling along at 5kph for an hour and eating lunch on the go after a quick pitstop to let Poppy pee.

    Nearing our overnight stop, we dropped in at a getränkehaus (a drinks supermarket) and bought a couple of crates of alcohol free beer. Other countries are beginning to sell it, but nowhere makes it as well as Germany. Vicky was knackered by the time we pulled up outside the quiet sports centre in Otterberg. There was only a few cars and one other van there and although no signs advertised it, we found the service point and electricity stanchions that told us the area was meant for motorhomes.

    Will walked to the shops and found a nearby Rewe supermarket, where he bought BBQ supplies. Later he fired up the small folding BBQ we keep in the boot and we sat out beside the van watching people go by.
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  • Day783

    A metre seperates Martha Motorhome from the 6ft tall field of sweetcorn to our left and our windscreen view is of the Osnabrück canal and its loose gravel and grass towpath. The narrow country road behind us is just an access route so only a few vehicles pass by while we are here.

    As Vicky started the engine this morning, Will was looking even more pleased with himself than usual. He eventually pointed out that the oil warning light was no longer flashing on the dashboard display. We had recently filled the oil tank but the warning light needed to be reset. We were going to wait until we visited our old garage when we returned to West Midlands in December, but instead Will had spent hours researching how to do it and after following several bits of advice that didn't work, he carried out the following set of instructions:
    1. Turn ignition key
    2. Press the gas pedal and hold it
    3. Press the brake pedal 7 times without releasing the gas pedal
    4. Keep pressing the gas pedal for 60 seconds
    5. Release the gas pedal and turn off the ignition
    6. Wait for 60 seconds
    7. Turn on the ignition and start the engine.

    It reads like some practical joke that would get you looking round for hidden cameras but sure enough it worked! One less thing to worry about- well done Will!

    The distance we covered was shorter today than yesterday so despite the continuing congestion, road works and traffic jams we arrived just before 1pm. Following lunch we spent some time sorting out travel arrangements for Will's visit to Croydon hospital; we can't thank Will's sister and brother in law enough for their help with this - the van wouldn't exactly fit into a hospital parking bay.

    After watching dozens of cyclists pass by on the towpath, we worked up enough enthusiasm to get the tandem out and managed 6km along the countryside waterway before the track turned to grass and we were met with a large gate and fence surrounded by razor wire. We took it as a sign it was time to turn back but nevertheless really enjoyed our excursion.
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  • Day782

    Ottersberg Sports Centre

    August 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.
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  • Day799

    Harpstedt Park (2nd visit)

    September 3 in Germany

    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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  • Day797

    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.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Lower Saxony, Niedersachsen, Nedersakse, Niðerseaxland, سكسونيا السفلى, Ніжняя Саксонія, Долна Саксония, নিডারজাখসেন, Saks-Izel, ساکسۆنیای خواروو, Dolní Sasko, Dolnosakska, Κάτω Σαξονία, Malsupra Saksio, Baja Sajonia, Alam-Saksi, Saxonia Beherea, نیدرزاکسن, Ala-Saksi, Basse-Saxe, Niidersaksen, Nedersaksen, An tSacsain Íochtarach, Sagsainn Ìosail, Guy Sahoña, Leegsaksen, Hâ Saxony, Donja Saska, סקסוניה התחתונה, निचला सैक्सोनी, Delnja Sakska, Alsó-Szászország, Infra-Saxonia, Neðra-Saxland, Bassa Sassonia, ニーダーザクセン州, ქვემო საქსონია, Төменгі Саксония, 니더작센 주, Needersachse, Saxonia Inferior, Niddersachsen, Žemutinė Saksonija, Lejassaksija, Доор Саксон, नीडरजाक्सन, Sachsen Hilir, Tlani Saxonia, Neddersassen, Дæллаг Саксони, Nidasaksä, Dolna Saksonia, تھلواں سیکسنی, Baixa Saxônia, Saxonia Inferioară, Нижняя Саксония, Lawer Saxony, Dolné Sasko, Spodnja Saška, Saksonia e Ulët, Доња Саксонија, Läichsaksen, Saksonia Chini, รัฐนีเดอร์ซัคเซิน, Aşağı Saksonya, Neersassen, Нижня Саксонія, Quyi Saksoniya, Sassonia Bassa, Dona-Saxän, אונטער-זאקסן, 下薩克遜, 下萨克森

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