Wednesday 31st May – Szczecin, Poland
Stayed in the camping spot at the Panorama Hotel just outside of town. Very secure with security guards at the gates. Very expensive at 70 zl ($25 approx) but had water and power included.
Arrived here as some of the blackest clouds and strangest cloud formations we have ever seen loomed overhead. Just managed to park in time before the wind began howling and the storm hit. Only lasted for a couple of hours and now we are back to full sunshine.
Only reason we stopped here is to stock up on everything in Poland before we go back to Germany tomorrow and then to Scandinavia. Ziggy will be feeling unhappy with the extra load she has to carry but the driver and his bride will be happier at the lower cost.
Spent a peaceful afternoon writing the blog and doing some chores.
Wednesday 31st May – NeuBrandenberg, Germany
Before leaving Poland, we stocked up with supplies at Lidl and then Kaufland for some things Lidl does not have. Finding it really difficult to find the range of herbs and spices we have back home (particularly hard when you can’t read the labels).
The rough Polish roads have finally taken a toll on Ziggy. I guess this is the punishment for taking backroads to go through wee villages rather than zooming down motorways and not seeing anything but cars, trucks, trucks and more trucks.
We travelled on one section of about 70klms where every 2 metres there was a join in the concrete but with no filler in the expansion cracks or if there was a filler it stood proud above the concrete causing quite a jar.
When we stopped we couldn’t open some of the pantry sliding drawers – some of the screws had started to loosen just enough so the screw head would not allow the drawer to open – a couple of minutes work with a screwdriver and we were back in business.
Next time I went to start Ziggy – turned the key and nothing – and we were in the middle of nowhere – my Navigator was urging me to contact ADAC whom we have breakdown service with but as all the contact information was in another language thought I would lift the bonnet and try to fix the problem myself.
Well I must admit my knowledge of Fiat Turbo Diesels is extremely limited (zero) but thought it might be a dead short to the battery after all the bumps we had encountered.
Found that we had a loose connection on the positive battery terminal – unfortunately this terminal post is the one right at the back and with my limited tool kit was not able to organise a proper repair so just wiggled all the connections to the positive terminal a bit and we were under way again.
Found a battery supplier in the next town (he was trained in London and therefore had some English) who fixed the loose connection by replacing the clamp. Two guys took nearly an hour to remove and then replace it – total cost 40 zl , around $14 – unbelievable service.
All fixed and stocked up now we headed out of Poland and crossed the border into Germany. Back to the land of wind turbines and solar panels and beautiful roads. Good roads are to be expected as Germany is a very prosperous country and Poland whilst being a very beautiful country, is still recovering from the Soviet era and does not have the funds to fix its minor roads.
We arrived at our Campsite – Yachthafen NeuBrandenberg – very late in the afternoon and opted to spend the rest of the day sorting out our shopping and finding places for the extras we bought. Every nook and cranny was utilised , though we did find some extra room that we can fill before going into Denmark.
Thursday 1st June – Schwerin, Germany
Another beautiful day, so off we went on our bikes after brekky. This campsite is part of a yacht club and sports centre and the bikeway went along the waterfront and around some beautiful parks. Headed back by 11am as this is checkout time at these campsites.
We travelled through the beautiful hills and valleys and thought at any moment Julie Andrews and the Vonn Trapp kids would appear over the hills and start singing for us.
A really fantastic drive along the motorway and both Ziggy and my driver were ever so happy. There were beautiful red poppies and purple and white flowers scattered along the side of the motorways for miles and miles – pretty as a picture.
We arrived at Sportbootzentrum Ziegelsee Schwerin. This is a marina and has about 10 waterfront spots. We were a little late and did not get any of these. The harbour master ushered us to a spot around the corner – ugh – view was of old boats on hard stands in different stages of disrepair – though we had glimpses of the sea.
We had heard what an excellent little town this was and as we were only 2kms away, we hopped on the bikes after a late lunch and rode into town central. Beautiful cobbled streets and again a stunning Old Town with cathedrals and town halls and restored old buildings set around the town square. The area is a “bike free”” zone so we walked the bikes up and down the many streets in town. The city is surrounded by a lake and in the middle of the lake is a huge fountain. We rode around the lake and then headed uphill back to our camp.
Armed with a beer and wine, during our walk around the marina, we came across the first British registered Motorhome we had seen since we left Dunkirk. Lovely couple who we shared an hour or so with before starting dinner.
Went to bed around 10pm and it was still light outside. The further north we go the longer the daylight lasts.
Friday 2nd June – Sehestedt, Germany
Because we had missed out on a prime waterfront spot the night before, we decided to head off early this morning around 7am.
Within a half hour we struck a traffic jam and slowly inched our way towards the motorway. We saw in the distance, traffic at a complete standstill both ways on the motorway. We were not far from the entrance to the motorway when we saw several fire trucks and then the partially burnt out carcass of a truck, now completely blocking both lanes of the motorway and fortunately on the other side of the motorway. Our side was slow because everyone was gawking at the sight. The other side was complete chaos and for the next 20kms people were standing and out of their cars wondering if they were ever going to move.
We were rewarded because when we arrived at Stellplatz Nord-Ostsee Kanal, there were only three waterfront spots left and within 15 minutes the place was fully booked out.
We are on a canal which in fact is a large vessel shipping lane. As we were parking Ziggy, a massive cruise ship followed by a huge container ship passed less than fifty metres from where we were parked. There was also a ferry right in front that continually took cars across to the other side. We watched the massive ships and other pleasure vessels pass by.
There is a bikeway that runs all along the waterfront to the next village, so we took advantage and off we went biking again.
Happily exhausted, we then sat and enjoy our wonderful view. Would be time soon to crack a bottle of vino and ponder on what a wonderful experience we have had so far.