Sunday 26th August
BRRRRR!!! Summer is over, we think, as we woke to a cool 14 degrees this morning (inside Ziggy), single figures we believe were reached overnight. Did we miss the rest of summer?
Our campsite for tonight: Grosses Meer, Sudbrookmerland (near Bedekaspel)
Such a shame the weather was so awful with cold wind and very regular showers. This Stellplatz sits on a large lake which has all the facilities you would want to hire and have a super day on the lake. A few brave sailors are on the lake and those more energetic hire the pedal boats. Super children’s play ground though it seems the holidays are over as no children are around now.
Took advantage of some breaks in the weather and walked part the way around the beautiful lake but the cold and rain brought us back to the warmth and dry comfort of Ziggy. Great location for bike riding – but not today.
More rain through the night but by mid morning – sun and blue skies
Monday 27th August
Had some quite heavy rain throughout the night and with no prospects for a fine day here, we moved on soon after brekkie.
Our campsite for tonight: Lebensmittelmarkt Blank, Ditzum – GPS N53.315399. E7.276730
Small Stellplatz right behind a small supermarket. No view here but it’s location near to a fantastic small fishing village on the Ems River made it a great stopover.
The village is picture perfect with houses with manicured lawns and magnificent colourful country gardens that anyone would be proud to own. They are nearly all made of flat red brick and flush mortar, white window trim and white shutters.
A couple of minutes walk from the Stellplatz takes you to the harbour where pleasure craft and large fishing boats are lined up (these too are too pretty to be fishing boats and are well cared for). The ferry does regular trips across the harbour to the town of Emden. The weather was too foul to take the trip across today. We found out a few days later that this town has lots to see and has a great Stellplatz. Sadly we missed this one.
Dykes surround the foreshore and a walk along here where markers certainly showed us just how high the sea rises.
A really wonderful little village to see and worth an overnight or two if you go across to Emden by ferry from here.
Tuesday and Wednesday 28th and 29th August
Still overcast and showery so choice for next two days was based on being in a town or village large enough to have a choice of restaurants and must have a good view and location to the centre of town.
Our campsite for two nights: Parking Amisia, Haren – GPS N52.788830. E7.247120
The Stellplatz was situated right on the Ems river with a front and second row view to the river – again got one of the last ones. This Stellplatz is also gratis and though it has no facilities (which we don’t need anyhow) it has everything else we need.
Still bad weather but we headed off to the centre of town (only a couple of minutes walk) to check out the town and the restaurants. The tourist bureau was very helpful and gave us information on bike ways around the area (Emsland) and recommended a couple of great restaurants.
Great town with lots of development happening. The cathedral was closed as it was having major restoration and many new buildings were under construction. These were mainly for seniors living and our feeling is that this town with all its flat walking areas, malls and shops and restaurants will ideally cater for tourists as well as older people looking for a great place to retire to.
Sat on the deck chairs on the riverfront for the rest of the afternoon and had dinner under the stars. We were lucky to have had a slight break in the weather and enjoyed some rain free time outside. Watched the river barges going up and down the river, some barely making it under the town’s bridge.
Woke up to a beautiful sunny day – at last!! and sang “happy birthday” to my driver, best friend and love of my life. The birthday brekkie with fresh berries (they have been wonderful over last couple of months) and yoghurt, ham and eggs hit the spot.
Off on the bikes along the riverfront, through rain forests and farmland which took us through the small village of Huntel. Then by mistake we took a wrong turn and visited Hemsen. Here we discovered our mistake and backtracked quite a few kms to the bikeway and then all the way to Meppen. Had travelled about 20kms by this stage so hot and hungry stopped at a riverfront Beergarden for a great lunch and rest.
What a super day it had been and great to have some sunshine for a while. Headed back along the river this time the trip being a little shorter without our mistaken detour and arrived home very happy but with sore muscles (in legs and bottom in particular).
The sun disappeared and soon heavy clouds appeared – end of a super sunny day. Headed indoors had a few predinner drinks, showers and headed into town in raincoats and umbrellas.
Trattoria Italian restaurant was the birthday boys choice and we were not disappointed. Super meal of calamari in a tomato and pepper sauce for my driver and scallopini in a creamy green peppercorn sauce for me was delicious. Fresh salad and German roast potatoes finished off our mains. The owner gave us some of his home made grappa which warmed the insides before our trip back home in the rain.
Poured all night so we were so thankful for such a wonderful sunny day
Thursday 30th August
Our campsite for tonight: Am Speicherbecken, Geeste – GPS N52.594151. E7.274150
Our last stopover in Germany now heading towards The Netherlands.
Great huge summer Stellplatz set beside a large lake. Only permitted to stay here for 24 hours but it is gratis with a great WC. No neighbours here as it is parallel avenue parking and there are acres of trees and scrubs providing privacy between the avenues. Really wonderful and cool for summer stopover but a little cool now that the temperatures are dropping.
Weather again overcast with some showers so not ideal to venture too far. Highly recommended for summer.