2018/09/25 – Germany – Hornbach to Oberbrombach


Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th September

Across the border again with no border checks.

Our campsite for 2 Nights:  An Der Pirminiushalle, Hornbach – N49.183819.   E7.365600

We rate this little CP with a 10.  It is just so well organised and designed by a Moho owner – very obvious as everything you need is here and is so well done.   A really beautiful treed setting and peaceful and quiet.  There is a small sports ground beside the CP which provides several boules lanes, a mini golf course, table tennis, snooker and a small soccer field – all equipment is supplied to play these games and is  gratis and included in the tariff (though you can make a donation).  We spent a few really enjoyable hours in there and sad to say the driver outshone the navigator in every game we played. 

Hornbach Town Hall

The CP hut includes a big covered area with tables and chairs and loads of tourist information.  Beside the hut is a fire pit with seats around it.  Timber can be purchased from the supermarket.  Wifi was great on one day but a bit iffy on day two.

Still showing the signs of war

There are several great walks in the area and the first was to explore the historic town only 15 minutes walk away.   The old church was built in 1573 and is currently being refurbished while the monastery’s (Kloster) interior has been converted to a five star + hotel where we enjoyed a pint served in their own beer stein, in the sunny beer garden.

The Driver with a stein of beer in the Kloster Biergarten

Thursday & Friday 27th & 28th September

Reluctantly we left here, could definitely have stayed on longer as there are so many walks here and it was so beautiful. 

Our campsite for two nights:  Freizeitpark Zweibrucken Wohnmobil, Zweibrucken – GPS N49.253639.   E7.376230

This small town (town of roses and horses) has a proud history despite its nearly complete destruction in 1945 during WW2.  The town was declared derelict by the Americans and plans were to abandon any consideration of rebuilding.

The Castle

The locals got together and held a compulsory lottery, the funds went to the rebuilding of the town and some old buildings were rebuilt to the original specifications including Alexander church, Karlskirche and the Castle.

From the CP you walk along tree lined pedestrian avenues to the Rosegarten – beautiful gardens that are open all year round, though sadly the rose season ends in September, but still a few there now and lots of other blooms and gardens.

A cafe setting in the town square

The town’s sporting facilities are fantastic and we passed by many sporting fields and equestrian centres where horses were being groomed and put through their paces.

The CP again is really well done with excellent bathroom facilities and showers included in the tariff that have no time limit and loads of hot water.  Washer and dryer at €2 a load – took advantage of that and excellent wifi to boot.  Beside the CP was a beer garden and restaurant where we spent both afternoons in the sunshine with the locals.  A great Stellplatz though the €50 deposit for the bathrooms was a bit daunting (key was well looked after).

Government buildings

Saturday 29th September

Our campsite for tonight:  Wohnmobil-Oase Schwarzindersee, Weiskirchen – GPS N49.527168.   E6.831630

Unusual place this which is nowhere near a town but included as part of a hotel and resort.  The CP setting was natural bushland bordering a small lake where there were lots of beautiful nature walks.  Wifi excellent and you could use the facilities of the hotel when it was open.

Wine barrel accommodation set in amongst the vineyards

One section included the most unusual cabins looking like large oak wine barrels.    Separate barrels for each room i.e. one barrel on its side was the bedroom and beside it, the bathroom – all on a small deck with a couple of deck chairs.  If you wanted a two bedroom, then you got another barrel.  The setting was in a vineyard with the grape vines separating the units.

A closer view of the accommodation

Sunday – Friday 30th September – 4th October

Hohenblick, Oberbrombach – GPS N49.694721.   E7.259440

This place is just magic.  Very private on the outskirts of a small village.  It is high on a hill with views forever with several grassed terraces and large pitches.  Wifi again is excellent so taking advantage of this whenever we can.  The property has several rustic timber huts where tables and chairs, a fireplace (with timber) and the most unusual western artefacts create a wonderful ranch style atmosphere.

There we were amongst a group of Germans enjoying pork off the grill and schnapps, of course – the Navigator is on the right

Again there are so many nature walks from here where great tracks take you through forests where quite often the tree canopy is so dense you cannot see the sky.   No sounds of life in any direction with just us, the trees and the birds – thank goodness it is well signposted.  Something we soon realised is that being on top of the hill, all walks go downhill first and then the inevitable – the walk back is all uphill.  Took a few of these walks with the smallest being 5.5kms and each time, the uphill took a lot longer 😅.

One of the many hiking huts on one of our walks

The days have been very cool with overnights at around 3 degrees so walking has been a real joy.  Nights are spent around the fire pit where the owner puts on a great fire where the conversation becomes more lively once the moonshine comes out.  It amazes us that everyone seems to have that bottle of clear liquid in their alcohol stocks and are really keen for novices like us to share it.

One of the fire pits

The owner puts on the occasional BBQ grill where he cooks outside for the campers – only does this when there are enough numbers, and produces the biggest, fattest  and juiciest piece of meat we have had since leaving home.   This comes with cooked potato and you bring your plates and cutlery, bread, salad etc.  Total cost €5 each and the rustic beer garden is large enough to house a large group.  Had a real hoot on one evening but as the Germans began speaking faster and faster and with different dialects, we lost some of the communication.

So many times in our travels we have come across people who really would love to come to Australia but think it is really dangerous with the number of deadly animals and sea life we have here.  Evidently several documentaries shown overseas portray this.  The tourism bureau really needs to lift its game here as our image to overseas travellers is really scary.

The Navigator relaxing at Hohenblick

A really special peaceful place for those that enjoy a rural, rustic, unique and interesting environment.  All services here including wifi with electricity and water at a small cost and camping with the panoramic views only €7 per night.

Loved the meat so much have organised the butcher for some of the same to take with us.

Well done Hohenblick – your property and staff have been 10 star plus.

2018/09/19 – France – Giving it another try


Wednesday 19th September

Decided to give France another try as we have not had great experiences in this country in the past. 

Think any Aussie travelling through France should have clearly marked BIG  stickers on their WoMo stating they are from Australia – the more the better. 

We sit and watch as people in French Mohos look at our GB number plates and then move as far away as possible and as quickly as possible. 

Brexit is a sore point here not to mention the centuries old dislike of the British.  When we make our Aussie nationality clear – the air changes – for the better.

Again we experience a change as soon as we cross the border.  No border checks again. 

The French countryside is really beautiful but once you hit the towns, most are woeful and depressing and have done little or nothing to create pride in their towns or homes – no repairs or paint for a very long time!

Our first stop was to visit the Citadelle Montmedy but were turned back half way up the hill and advised it had closed in August for refurbishment – not sure when it will reopen. 

Had to back down the hill as there was no opportunity to do a several point turn – ugh! – this is our second time past Montmedy and still haven’t seen the Citadelle.

Next we found the prettiest little CP ever.  Parking Quncy-Landzecourt GPS N49.494961 E5.300020.  – it only holds four Mohos but the setting is beautiful. 

Nice arrangement

Just at the edge of the village, colourful flower pots line the bridge at the entry and each pitch is divided by shrubs and flower pots. 

The outlook is across green pastures and a stream.  There are no services here (we don’t need them anyhow).  The village is very small with no shops, only a few houses and farms but all of these well looked after and a credit to this small place.  My driver opted to move on.

Should have stayed here as the next few options were not good and we seemed to drive forever until we arrived at a suitable place.

Our campsite for tonight:  Aire de camping-car, Lavoir du Bourget, Louppy sur Loison – GPS 49.442310    E5.349570

This was smaller again with only two gravel pitches but we had the most magnificent view across to the Renaissance Castle and church on one side and green pastures across the valley on the other side.  No services here.

Renaissance Castle and church

Very small village so only took an hour to explore before the night set in.

Thursday 20th September

A great day travelling today with this CP certainly being off the beaten track taking us though some magic rural countryside.

Our campsite for tonight:  domaine du Vieux Moulin, Lachausse – GPS 49.0355530.   E5.817170

The CP is again gratis with no services.  It is behind a restaurant, a local  produce store and a working farm which is serviced by the handicapped.

Takes only about 5 Mohos but there was a selfish French Moho with trailer and motorbike who parked sideways to the water view which left little or no room for anyone else.  We fortunately were able to squeeze in and had a beautiful view across the huge tranquil lake where fishermen sat and sat and sat for hours without a bite – other later arrivals had to park at the back.

Ventured into the restaurant for some lunch but no one spoke anything but French and the menu was in French only (surprise surprise).  Eager to support the farm and the handicapped, we stayed for lunch.

Using google translate on an Ipad and showing it to the waitress, we ordered one meal to share and two drinks.  Ended up with two meals instead but given the language problem, opted to grin and bear it as we always seem to have to do in France.

Walked around the farm where there were hundreds of chickens and other weird looking fowls in outside coups and then ventured into the small village.

The CP setting was really special so we sat and watched the most glorious sunset across the lake.

Friday 21st & Saturday 22nd September

Our campsite for two nights:  Pont de Plaisance, Pont-a-Mousson – GPS N48.902939.  E6.061160

Had two wonderful days here.

The CP is right on the town’s edge with the Moselle lapping at the front door.  There are two parts, the first being right on the river with the second part on the marina.  We chose the marina as there were only four pitches near the marina office that got internet. 

All services here with great showers and WC facility and one gratis washing machine and dryer.  Couldn’t believe my luck to get one load in before the CP filled up, then there was a queue of baskets lined up in no time.  Internet is provided for one device only and each day you have to queue up to get a new code for the day. (French customer service?)

The Gothic Eglise Saint Martin built at the beginning of the 16th century is the main attraction in the town and stands tall at the end of the bridge that leads to town.  Major refurbishments of the internal statues were underway but we were lucky enough to gain entrance.  Great town to explore with bikeways running along both sides of the Moselle.  Too cold for this little duck to bike it, so we walked forever.

Saturday mornings, there is a local produce market in town until midday.

Sunday 23rd September

Miserable wet cold day today so not much fun travelling today. 

Our campsite for one night:  Aire de Camping-Car, Hombourg-Haut – GPS N49.123890.   E6.778720

This CP is set on a mixed parking area adjacent to a soccer field.  No cost to park and any services required are at a small cost.  Well laid out large pitches with a grass break between each.  There is also a Netto supermarket next door.

Nothing is open today and the showers continued throughout the day.   Mid afternoon the cars started to pile in to the soccer ground car park next door and soon the carpark was full.  Couldn’t believe they would play today but they did and as the squalls became heavier and the wind got stronger, we were not surprised they didn’t finish the game and headed for the shelter of the stands.

Some very cold and miserable players and spectators left the ground later in the afternoon.  Our entertainment for the day.

Monday 24th September

Our campsite for one night:  Aire de Camping-Car, Bitche – GPS N49.054409    E7.433860

This was a great find and so very interesting.  A must to visit.

The CP is set in the parking area for the Citadelle de Bitche.  Separate area dedicated for six Mohos with full services again gratis with a fee for water and electricity if needed.

Back end view of Citadelle

The Citadelle sits high on a plateau with panoramic views across to the North Vosges Mountains.  The Citadelle tour cost is €10 pp and is worth every cent.  You receive headphones (spoken in English???) which lead you through the inside of the Citadelle to 13 stations where stages of the film “Men in War of 1870” are projected onto different surfaces.  It talks of the war between the Prussians and the French (another French loss) and the fight to save the Citadelle from occupation.  Several museums have been set up within the Citadelle and are very interesting.  The views are amazing from the rampart walls.

On the Citadelle Tour

It is a short walk downhill to the City of Bitche to the Garden of Peace.  The gardens and vegetal creations are throughout the city centre and make for a pleasurable walk.

One of the many decorative street art pieces in the town square


Our Hymer 544 Classic Layout “A” Class Motorhome for sale in the UK

We are planning on moving on to the next phase of our extended holidays and so our Hymer 544 “Classic layout” Motorhome named Ziggy is available for sale by either of the two options listed below:-

1                     Hymer only with no accessories or

2                     Hymer “Turn key” approach – where basically we walk away and leave everything behind.

Option 1 – Hymer only – Details re Ziggy

Fiat 2.8 litre JTD Turbo Diesel engine, 5 speed manual gearbox, LHD

BHP 127

Double glazing on all windows except for driver’s cabin

Electric window on driver’s side

6 Seat Belts for occupants

Licensed to sleep 5 persons

2 x 110 AH AGM Leisure Batteries installed 27/7/16

1 x AGM starter battery installed December 2016

2 x solar panels installed 27/7/16

1 Photonic solar controller installed 1/11/17

1 x 200 watt pure sine wave inverter

2 x 11kg Gaslow permanently installed gas bottles with gauges and auto change over system

1 x external gas fitting for BBQ

1 x Dometic 3 way 2 door AES 150 litre fridge freezer

1 x 3 burner Smev gas hob with Ceran top

Rear view/reversing camera

1 x Fiamma multi bike – bike rack

1 x Omnistar 5002 wind out awning and tie down straps

Camos Satellite TV seeker and Cello LED TV/DVD

4 x Michelin Camping M+S tyres 

Security – Cobra 3198 alarm – plus Fiamma lock on driver’s door and an Abus lock on habitation door.

MOT – last inspection done 1/11/17 at DB Autos Sheerness, Kent, UK – will be done again before Nov 2018

Timing belt kit supplied and installed on 17/11/16 by Carl Bowler, May Cottage, Llanfyllin, Powys, Wales, UK.

Full mechanical service last done at DB Autos on 1/11/17 Sheerness, Kent, UK – oil, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter – all hoses, pipes, belts and brakes checked.

Certification/habitation area/electrical/gas etc last conducted on 13/9/16 at Dave Newell Leisure Vehicle Services, Telford, UK

Registration cost and dates  – Due before 25/11 2018 which will be done prior to sale – not sure I think around 165 GBP.

Option 2, the “turn key” approach – Ziggy plus all the accessories listed below.

We couldn’t wait to get started on our European trip and headed off across the channel from the UK to France in a hurry before buying all the kit we needed – however neither of us speak any French and we found it very difficult to find the right stores in the first place let alone the items we needed.

What we can offer is a “turnkey” approach – ie we walk out the door and leave absolutely everything for you so you can take off straight away or alternatively you can just take Ziggy.

We have added all the accessories you will require to enjoy a great European holiday without you having to worry about sourcing them, and at a greatly reduced cost as well – a saving of time and money.

There are many “other” items – included in the turnkey cost, some that I can’t remember so I will just list the main items below:-

To view photos of Ziggy please Click here

To arrange an inspection of Ziggy please contact Mike Steers at UKMotorhomefinder  –  Click here

2018/09/17 – Luxembourg


Monday 17th September

Had a great trip this morning passing through western Germany and some magic scenery – rolling green hills dotted with scattered clumps of stately forest trees and pretty villages.

Autumn is really here now and the Autumn shades through the forests are awesome.

Passed through into Luxembourg without any border checks.

Diesel is so cheap here.  Best we could get in Germany was around the €1.30+ ltr marked up to around €1.47 on the highway or remote places.  Here the standard cost is €1.15 ltr and we were not surprised to see around 10 stations in a row at the border and all with queues waiting to take advantage of the cost.  I believe similar huge discounts apply to cigarettes.

Decided to come in through the north of the country and found the scenery spectacular though the roads were narrow and in bad repair.

There are not many CP’s in this country but nearly all are gratis.  First two we visited were beside either railway lines and/or skate board parks so moved on.

Our campsite for tonight:  Parking, Koerich – GPS N49.670769.   E5.942500

Travelled a long distance today and were happy to eventually find a place to stay for the night.

A small CP with only four spots but newly built and a credit to the community.  Whilst this was not on top of a railway or skate board park, the traffic was quite noisy.  Lovely little town with lots of friendly people.

Tuesday 18th September

Our campsite for tonight:  Parking, Dudelange – GPS N49.471619.   E6.078460

Selected this place CP as the railway line is so close making the trip into the city of Luxembourg easy.


Takes about 8 Mohos, is gratis with all water and electricity provided.  Has a couple of permanents here that take advantage of the free services and CP but they were no bother.


Directions into Luxembourg:  take the steps down from the CP which leads to the platform on the left.  Go under the railway line to platform 2 and take train to Bettembourg.  From here take train to Luxembourg – again down the steps and across to platform 5.   Day ticket is €4 with free use of any train or bus for 24 hours.

Changing of the guard at the Grand Ducal Palace

There is only one station in the city which makes it easy and the information centre at the station has the city map.

Grand Ducal Palace

This is quite a busy bustling fortress city (sometimes called the Gibraltor of the North).  The Old Town is only about 10 easy minutes walk from the station along Avenue de la Gare across the Viaduc onto F.D. Roosevelt into the city centre.

Near the Bock Casements

A city with numerous arched stone bridges providing views across the Alzette river with wonderfully designed colourful and picturesque gardens along the way.

Gardens at the Place de la Constitution

The old Town flanks several large squares where the locals and tourists were in their hundreds enjoying the sun, myriads of restaurants and of course the wonderful old buildings here.

Statue at the top of the Place de la Constitution

Some of the many places of interest we enjoyed  included the 17th century Cathedrale Notre Dame which is open to the public at no cost;  the Royal Palace (Grand Ducal Palace) built in 1573 where we watched “the changing of the guards” (not as spectacular as Buckingham Palace though) and the place we enjoyed the most was the area around Chemin de la Corniche and Rocher du Bock – Bock Casemates where we wandered across the 17th century walls of the ramparts with views across the river canyon – this is not to be missed and was the highlight to us of Luxembourg city.

On top of the Bock Casements
Another view of the Place de la Constitution

We were exhausted after a full day here and ready for a well deserved rest on returning home.

There is one of those man powered people movers again

Note:  Do not be talked into taking a bus at any time as the train is by far the better option – long story, but call it “experience”.


2018/09/08 – Holland – Oirschot and Maastricht

Saturday 8th September

We had wanted to take a boat cruise to Dordrecht but the weather was unkind so opted to stay dry and warm and drive there only a few kms away.

First issue of the day –  we couldn’t find a CP that was suitable – the first was full (only two spaces both taken). The second had the entrance blocked off with barriers and the third had roadworks at the turn off and everything we tried to do took us back to the roadworks. 

In frustration decided to give Dordrecht a miss.

20 kms down the track of the 83 km drive to our destination there were major roadworks and closure of the freeway and not being able to read Dutch, we missed the detour instructions (apparently).  Our SatNav very kindly took us back to Dordrecht and after travelling over 50 kms did a cross country detour of another 95kms to our next CP – a very frustrating driving day. 

Travelling by road in this country has not been fun.  Traffic is congested most of the day and the bikes and bikeways have been a challenge to say the least. We are always very happy to reach our destinations and in many cases could have had a stiff drink to settle the nerves.  Even walking around presents problems with the narrow one lane roads being shared by cars, buses, pedestrians and thousands of cyclists – everything seems to have priority over vehicles.

2 children in this one – we have seen 4 or a couple of dogs or a combination of both

My driver claims he has more chance of being “cleaned up” by a cyclist when walking than being “cleaned up” by a car when driving.

Our campsite for tonight:  Camperplaats Oirschot – GPS 51.499840.   E5.321920

Glad to get off the busy freeways for a while, we travelled down tree lined avenues to an oasis.  What a joy this place is.  Beautiful gardens and shrubs, peaceful and quiet and only a 10 minute walk or shorter bike ride into the village.

Oirschot Town Hall

This is the village where Marie-Louise and Robert lived until they moved to Poland 11 years ago.

We have partial sunshine now so quickly headed out to explore.

Dropped into the tourist office in the old town hall (Oude Raadhuis) and picked up a map “Footsteps around Oirschot” a walking tour around the village.  The walking route took us through the historical centre where all buildings cannot change their appearance and are under strict rules to keep it as a protected village. 

Unusual shop front

The streets are just beautiful from the pavements, the varied tiles, the trees, the lampposts, hedges and walls.  Oirschot is a town with so much character with the renovated shop fronts and buildings keeping the look of the 1300’s.

Our view from Ziggy in the great Stellplatz

Across from the town hall is the market square which is being set up for a concert tomorrow.  Overlooking the market square is the most impressive building, Sint Petrus Basilica originally built in 1238, burnt down in 1462 and rebuilt and restored over many years.

So many quaint shops with olde wares, ceramics, candles and so much more displayed in their picture perfect windows.  Inspiring to say the least.

Inside the brewery

Our last stop for the day took us to Brouwerij Vandeoirsprong (Oirshot Beer Brewery) – what a remarkable old building and the busiest place in town.  The outside courtyard featured tables made out of old beer barrels and a mixture of flower baskets and every old container you could find turned the area into a cool shaded place for those rare summer days!

Inside, beer barrels of all kinds made up walls, bar areas and even the light fittings were glass beer barrels – so much interest and charm.

The place was packed and after having a couple of their own brews we had dinner – delicious three course dinner – soup, meat dish and creme brûlée – for only €10 and then waddled back home.

Guess which one was mine?

Sunday 9th September

Headed back into the village this morning to check out the fun activities in the market square.

It is Monument Day today with lots of activities happening all around The Netherlands.

The market square was cordoned off and stalls erected.  Bit like a country fair with jumping castles for the kids and all the restaurants packed round the square listening to the jazz bands playing throughout the square.  The party finishes at 8pm tonight but we did not stay that long.

The lonely fisherman in front of Ziggy- he has all the gear including a tackle box that converts in to a seat

Our campsite for tonight:  Camperplaats Ittervoort – GPS N51.175789.   E5.822250

Interim stopover before spending time in Maastricht.  Great little CP in a rural setting with all the trimmings including Internet.  Very peaceful and quiet so enjoyed just sitting, relaxing and reading in some sunshine which has been rare during our stay in The Netherlands. 

Neat little town but no historic buildings but great stopover for the night.

Monday 10th September

Lots of new roads which were not on our SatNav so driver and Ziggy had a few moments of anguish. 

Saw an accident for the first time in a very long time.  A truck moved over a lane on the freeway but obviously did not see the little red car beside it.  Took the red car with it sideways for what seemed forever.   Happened right in front of us and I held my breath hoping the car would not roll.  Fortunately there was a paddock on the side which the car eventually got pushed into but still on four wheels – certainly takes the wind out of you for a while.

My driver sensed it was about to happened and had started braking before the two vehicles had even made contact otherwise the results could have been different.

Finally found the CP we were looking for but opted not to stay – it was too far away from the sights we wanted to see in Maastricht.  Maastricht is a massive town with only one point of interest for us to visit and explore so went straight there.

Maastricht Underground:

Bought a combined ticket to see Fort Sint Pieter and the Fort Caves and Tunnels.  Our English speaking guide Wilhelm was super and would suggest if you visit here to make sure you ask for him. 

Wilhelm leading us through the tunnels

So energetic, funny, entertaining and passionate with so much knowledge to share with us which made this visit unbelievably fantastic.

A map of the tunnels in the underground

The city has over 8000 underground limestone passages along a 14km long network of defence tunnels.   Artists have created charcoal paintings on the limestone walls along the way. 

One of the charcoal paintings on the tunnel walls

These tunnels run into Belgium and were used to escape from Holland during WW11.    The Fort is well preserved and parts have been restored to its 1701 appearance.  There is so much history here to see.

The Fort

In summary Holland was an interesting country with many sights to see, very friendly people, but overcrowded and seemed to be about 25% more expensive than Germany when buying food, drinks and staying in Stellplatz – but certainly a must to see.

At the top of the Fort

Thank you Marie-Louise and Robert for all your help.

2019/09/05 – Holland – Leiden, Gouda and Kinderdijk

Wednesday 5th September

Our campsite for tonight:  Parking, Leiden – GPS N52.159592.   E4.478440

Not the best CP we have stayed at but it gets a 10 for location to the heart of an amazing town.  It is a mixed parking area with an allocated space for Mohos – but right next to a road (though not busy) and beside that a train track with regular high speed electric trains doing regular runs.  Didn’t interrupt our sleep though so was quiet during the evening.

They provide free shuttles right at front gate into anywhere you want to go in the city – a real bonus.  Took the shuttle into the heart of downtown where the Wednesday markets were in full swing.  

A cheese stall in the market

Mostly fresh fruit and of course cheese, fish and other fresh items for sale.

The Central Market

Believe there are 28kms of canals in this town and numerous boat companies eager to take you for guided canal tours. 

A bar restaurant in one of the canals

We opted to walk it and crossed so many canals, over quaint little bridges and along street after street of interesting apartment blocks and houses. 

It amazes us that in any one street one finds it hard to see any three storey building that look similar.  All different shapes and roof lines make for some wonderful pictures.


Stopped in the heart of downtown at a cross street for some lunch and watched thousands of bikes pass by – all heading in different directions and competing with cars and buses – “organised chaos” my driver said.  So many different types of bikes here and the most interesting are the three wheelers where there is a child cart at the front on two wheels with the third wheel at the back.  Here the children sit – some with seat belts and we had seen up to four children in one cart, some with dogs as well.  Did not see one accident or near miss – everybody just seems to know what they are doing?

A typical street scene – bicycles and no cars

The weather is still not great with constant showers throughout the day but happily staying away long enough to be able to venture out. 

Loved the Molenmuseum de Valk which is a large windmill museum towering over the city and the historic 12th century Pieterskerk in the Latin Quarter – really worth a visit.

Molenmuseum de Valk

Thursday 6th September

Rained throughout the night and the weather was just awful.  The road systems are great but they have to be to accommodate the number of people here.  We have found this country to be way too busy and cluttered and at times scary on the road.

Our campsite for tonight: Klein Amerika, Gouda – GPS N52.011822.   E4.715400

The CP again is a mixed car park but quiet with an area set aside for Mohos.  This one has services for waste and water (Leiden did not) and some pitches (about 12) even have electric points (for the early birds).

A peaceful canal scene in Gouda

Today is market day in Gouda and with the market closing at midday, we quickly put on the rain gear and walked the short few minutes into the square.  A large market with not only cheeses, meats and food stalls but lots of clothes stalls as well.

Soon got drenched so headed back to change, warm up and then try to venture out again. 

Rain squalls began to clear mid afternoon so headed out again – warmer this time and armed with more rain gear. 

Another great town to visit with picturesque canals and cobble stoned streets and wonderful ceramic shops.  

Another peaceful canal scene

The Town Hall is a feature of the square.  Originally built in 1438 and rebuilt after the great fire of 1552, it is an amazing building which now features a carillon with mechanical puppets added in 1961. 

Almost directly behind the Town Hall stands the magnificent Sint Janskerk originally built in 1552.  It is the longest church at 123 metres and is really worth a visit.

After an hour or two our exploring was cut short again with rain sending us scampering back home.

Friday 7th September

Travelled through more rain for most of this journey.

Our campsite for tonight: Camperpark Kinderdijk, Alblasserdam – GPS N51.859711.   E4.658160

Great CP right on the waters edge at a small marina.  Good facilities and only a short walk across the pedestrian bridge to the town.

Our CP at the marina near Kinderdijk

Rain had cleared leaving a typical European day – dull and overcast with the wind blowing a gale.

Ventured across the pedestrian bridge into town.  Very little to see or do here but we stumbled across the A/V guys setting up a floating stage on the canal which would host a concert on the following evening.  Huge amount of audio was being set up so can imagine it would have been a blast.

Waited a couple of hours hoping the wind would subside – it didn’t so headed off on the bikes anyway a few kms away to the windmills of Kinderdijk.  

These can be reached by foot, bike or boats and are the largest number of working windmills in any one place in this country.  

We have now seen many of the things Holland is most famous for – clogs, cheese, windmills and ceramics.






2018/08/31 – Holland – windmills, clogs, cheese, bicycles and dykes

Holland – The Netherlands

Holland has a population of around 17 million people but has only a small land mass of 41,526 sq. km a large percentage of which is very flat and below sea level.

Beautiful clogs for sale everywhere

The official language is Dutch, however most people speak very good English as it is taught from an early age at school.

The currency is the Euro.

Wild camping is forbidden, however, several motorhome friendly municipalities have regulated facilities where overnight parking is allowed.

Ready-made joints, cannabis related products, rolling papers, pipes and bongs can be ordered legally in coffee shops, however we decided to stay on our natural high of just being with each other.

Bicycles can be seen in their millions and the Netherlands has more than 32,000 km of dedicated bicycle paths.

The Dutch are the most prolific travellers of any country we have encountered whilst travelling – whether it be NordKap in the far north of Norway, Sounion on the southern tip of Greece or anywhere in between we always saw the yellow number plates with NL and knew we would be able to speak to them in English and get a smile and help in return.

We were not sure where we wanted to go in Holland – we first visited Holland in 1978 but travelled by EuroRail so we were restricted to cities and towns on the rail network – we were not keen to travel to some of the  larger cities we had visited previously, including Amsterdam so decided to ask for help.

Unfortunately the wrong time of the year for the tulip festival

We sent an email to our friends Marie-louise and Robert de Reuver for their assistance – they had lived in the village of Oirschot near Maastrict Holland until they moved to near Skierniewice, Poland around 11 years ago.

They suggested around a dozen places to visit – thank you Marie-Louise and Robert.

Friday 31st August

No sign of any border gates and breezed through into The Netherlands from Germany for the first time this trip.

No toll roads which was a huge plus for Germany and now The Netherlands.  The countryside is very flat and green with lots of wind turbines and solar panels in use to store energy.

Our campsite for tonight:  Camperplaats. de Huurne, Wierden – GPS N52.349861.   E.6.574310

A little country village which borders onto the National Park.  This CP has all the services included in the fee of €10 – electricity, water and wifi a bonus inclusion.  Don’t need electricity because we have super solar panels and leisure batteries but is good to give the leisure batteries a full charge from time to time.

Beautiful rural setting with heaps of space between Mohos.  Even have a fire pit with timber cut and ready to use.  What a temptation as we love nothing more than sitting by a fire under the stars.  Still very wet under foot so this was not a possibility – shame, shame, shame.

Not too crowded at this Camper Stop – don’t have to fight for sites now that summer is over

Chickens were roaming about and even saw the largest hare we have ever seen, scooting across the paddock beside the CP.  A really peaceful, quiet setting, well laid out with tourist information and even offer free parking if you eat at one of the local restaurants in Wierden – a wet 2 km hike through the countryside so opted not to do that this time.

Saturday & Sunday 1st & 2nd September

❤️❤️❤ ️Our campsite for two nights:  Camperplaats Haamstede, Giethoorn – GPS 52.728649.   E6.076620

Giethoorn is affectionately called “the Venice of The North” for very good reasons.  Just an amazing village and a “must see” on your bucket list.

The CP is just great and is set between green pastures and the canals with a bikeway on both sides of the canal.  There are several CPs in the area, but we found this the best as far as location and services – amazing bathrooms.

Gets a bit tight under some of the bridges

Sunshine on both days which made the exploring just wonderful.  Day one we took off on the bikes along the canal where fisherman sat shoulder to shoulder with the longest rods we have ever seen – bit of a hazard for the passing pleasure craft but everyone seemed to work it out.

With the Mecca of canals, comes the draw bridges which have an operator opening and shutting these all day to allow the craft to pass under.  Being a weekend and with a bit of sun, the canals were packed with day trippers in all sorts of weird and wonderful water craft.  The bikeways were really busy and we passed by many marinas in the canal system and small villages along the way.

One of the many draw bridges in the area

Sunday we walked across the drawbridge into the touristy area where there were hundreds of people walking along the waterfront canal area and as many boats were lined up all eager to take the tourists on a canal tour.  Restaurant after restaurant was packed with people and souvenir shops selling clogs (even saw slipper clogs).

On our canal boat tour

You can be part of a canal tour where the boats seat about 30 people and provide a guide giving a commentary or you can hire an electric boat and do the trip yourself.   We elected to do the tour for €7.50 each and sat back and were just totally gob smacked.   The hour trip took us through narrow canals where the beautiful homes all featured thatched roofs and country gardens.  Many of these homes are on small islands with the only access to them via small pedestrian bridges. Many have no cars but a garage that houses a boat – the only way to get to these homes. 

Lovely homes along the canals

People were meandering through these canal streets and enjoying the many trendy restaurants in and around the canals.  Our guide told us there are 1100 boats that use the canals daily – 600 of these are tour boats – the others being home owners and locals.

One of the restaurants on the canal/lake system

After the canal tour the boat headed across the massive lake system here.

Give this area a five star for interesting spectacle.

Monday 3rd September

Our campsite for tonight:  Almere-Haven. Almere Haven – GPS 52.333691.   E.52.221710

Passed over many of these canal drawbridges along the way to our next interim stop over.  This is not one suggested by our friends but a stop on the way to the next one they suggested.

Lots of roadworks gave my driver and NAVIE a head ache but finally got around these to the harbour.

Only two Moho spots available here but we are directly on the harbour front overlooking a sea of yachts and large cruisers.  Restaurants again line the foreshore, but the harbourmaster informed us they had just finished a harbourfront festival yesterday (the last for the season we think) and most of the restaurants would be closed today.

Forgot to take photos in Almere – except this street art shot

Took a long walk around the harbour and into the village centre where the pedestrian mall was busy with many of the shops open.  All very trendy but once behind the mall area there were only very run down and empty shops and buildings.  Apart from fabulous harbour front and town mall – not a lot to see.

Tuesday 4th September

Dropped into Kaasboerderig Simonhoeve in Katwoude –  GPS N52.486580  E5.032450 which is a trendy clog and cheese factory.  It is also a gratis overnight place for Mohos but we opted not to stay here as the weather was not great and though only a 1.5km bike ride to Volendam and a further 2kms to Edam, thought it best to find somewhere closer to stay. 

Demonstration of how clogs were made manually

Saw a demonstration on cheese making and clog manufacture which was really great and then visited the shop on the way out. 

Now there is a different sort of cheese?

Really enjoyed the cheese tasting – they even had one named “Cannabis”.

Fancy a cheese?

Visited Volendam and Edam – both great little towns (though extremely busy with bikers).  Didn’t like any of the CPs here so moved on.

Our campsite for tonight:  Jachthaven De Grashaven, Hoorn –  GPS N52.633930.   E5.057290

What a little gem.  The CP is great and right in the yacht harbour grounds where hundreds upon hundreds of yachts lined the foreshore.  Could have spent a day or more just walking along looking at the boats but opted to head along the seafront today followed by a walk into the village.  This CP is right on the point of a peninsula in the Markermeer – a huge expanse of water, ideal for sailing.

Hoorn city square

Cobble stoned narrow streets made it difficult for cars to get around but had to watch out for the bikers.   The village square is wonderful and we did our usual trick of people watching with a half litre or two.

Hoorn city centre

They even have a convention and exhibition centre here on the harbour – we shuddered at the memories it brought back.

2018/08/26 North West Germany

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.

Grosses Meer (Big Lake)

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.

The Navigator checking out the village

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.

Part of the fishing fleet and museum

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.

One of the Lock Systems near Haren

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 Navigator checking out the Nuclear Power Plant on our bike ride

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.

Our Stellplatz in Geeste

Weather again overcast with some showers so not ideal to venture too far.  Highly recommended for summer.


2018/08/19 – Germany – Bremen to Wilhelmshaven

Sunday 19th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Reisemobilstellplatz am Kuhhirten, Bremen – GPS N53.064499.  E8.819340

The Stellplatz itself was very crowded with very tight spaces (about 100) however in a lovely treed setting.   Very expensive with the bathroom and WC facilities available at an additional cost.  Wifi is included but when the park was full, virtually impossible to get even connected let alone send or receive an email.  There is no TV reception because of the trees so all the locals switch to Internet to stay amused and compete with each other for reception.

The huge plus here is that a pathway runs beside the Stellplatz and within a couple of minutes walk you arrive at the Weser river where a small passenger ferry takes you to the other side.   A further ten minutes scenic walk along the riverbank takes you to the beginning of the Aldstadt.  You can also bike it as the path is shared by everyone – today we opted to walk the short distance.

The Navigator with the Bremen Old Musicians

We rate this old town highly and it is amongst some of the best we have seen.  There is so much to see here, it took us all afternoon into evening to see everything we wanted to see.

Bremen Markt Platz

The Schnoor quarter is Bremens oldest district and is a maze of 15/16th century houses lining the cobble stone alleys and is now home to artists and goldsmith workshops and galleries.   Took time out to visit a lollipop shop to see how they are hand made – yum.  Saw lots of tourists eating these huge lollipops.

Bremen Markt Platz

Bottcherstrasse, a pedestrianised arcade, is Bremen’s “secret high street” with a gilt relief called “Bringer of Light” and a carillon made from Meissen porcelain.

Roland Statue

Next to the Market Square is the home of the 5.55 m Roland statue – the most famous of the 26 Roland statues in Germany.  Here also is the Gerhard Marcks bronze statue of the Bremen Town Musicians.   This is a Grimms Fairy tale of four ageing domestic animals mistreated, who run away and become musicians in the Bremen. 

Gerhardt Marcks Statue

It is believed that if you rub the donkeys legs your wish will come true.   Both statues are well photographed by tourists. 

Entrance to Bottcherstrasse

The whole area is gob smacking with street after street of cathedrals and churches and the amazing town hall (Rathaus).  Schutting (guild hall) built in 1537 is now the chamber of commerce.  All have a huge “wow factor”

One of the many lollipop shops

Really should be included in the “must see list”.

Enjoyed a lunch and a cool drink in one of the market square restaurants and people watched and rested before returning back along the riverfront, across with the ferry and home.  There is a man made beach and café the  “Sand Cafe” on the campsite side of the river where hundreds of locals were sunning and swimming.  Could not get a seat in the overcrowded restaurant so back to Ziggy for a quick snack.

Bremen Markt Platz

Had a really super day in Bremen.

Monday 20th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Schaufenster Fischereihafen, Bremerhaven – GPS N53.526531.   E8.577130

This port is home to all sorts of ships including a submarine in the harbour.   Some very modern high rise buildings are on the waterfront with a massive museum that houses maritime memorabilia.

There are two other Stellplatz closer to the centre but chose this one because it had spectacular views of the harbour and uninterrupted breezes which the others did not.   The waterfront hub just a few minutes walk away has a trendy area of restaurants and shopping areas made by using the existing old warehouses and buildings.  Very trendy and much like Fremantle in Australia though a smaller version.

Dropped into the local tyre place and ordered a new shoe for Ziggy (arriving tomorrow) and then spent a pleasant afternoon walking around the harbourfront.

Tuesday 21st August

Ziggy is happy with her new shoe and my driver booked her in for a wheel alignment and balance (tomorrow) so we stay close to Bremerhaven for another day.

Our campsite for tonight: Parking Dedesdorf, Dedesdorf – GPS N53.444061.  E8.499520

Great little Stellplatz taking only five Mohos (each space clearly defined by lines) and we were lucky enough to be last in.   Beautiful location right next to the river with a long beach which is great at high tide, but mud flats at low tide.

Off with the bikes for a ride through the countryside which is now very flat with little or no mountains anywhere in sight.

Arrived back to find a small Moho (Van conversion – we call them door slammers) that had squeezed in between us and our neighbour not leaving even enough room for us to open our habitation door – “not happy Jan”!  Waited until they came back and then politely asked them to move on as we had paid for the pitch.

The night concert at Dedesdorf

There were two small cafes on the beachfront with a large car parking area for cars only.  The carpark was full and soon we were told that a musician was booked for the night.  After dinner we carried our deck chairs to the beach and sat and listened to the music while the sun went down.  This spectacular sunset, a couple of drinks and some great music to listen to made it a great night.

Great sunset at Dedesdorf

It finished quite early at around 9.30pm so back to Ziggy for a coffee.  We were greeted by a young lady armed with a microphone who began to ask us questions about why we had visited Dedesdorf.

She said she was interviewing people for her radio station – The Driver said we were from Australia and that our German was not very good and that she may be better off interviewing someone else.

She said his German was fine and so she recorded an interview – forgot to find out which station she was from so didn’t get to hear the interview on air – but it was all a bit of fun.

Wednesday 22nd August

Started the day by returning to Bremerhaven to have a wheel alignment and balance done  after Ziggy got her new shoe yesterday.

Our campsite for tonight:  Altes Faehr, Kleinensiel – GPS N53.443199.   E8.484450

Small gratis campsite that is advertised as taking 5 Mohos only but at day’s end we managed to squeeze in double that number.

Very quiet spot directly opposite side of the river to Dedesdorf with views across the river.  No services here but very peaceful so took the opportunity to do a few chores including clothes washing and spring cleaning in “pink zone” while my driver attended to some items in the “blue zone”.

We are at the mouth of the Weser River now and there is a huge amount of boat traffic passing by and so there is always something to see.   The locals come here and spend time on the beach (not one we can appreciate as we have some of the best beaches in the world at our back and front door at home).

Thursday – Saturday 23 – 25th August

Our campsite for three nights:  Schleuseninsel, Wilhelmshaven – GPS N53.516621.   E8.149680

Great Stellplatz with only the grassed dyke protecting you from the strong sea breezes (or was that tempest) coming off the North Sea.  There are three Stellplatz along the North Sea front at Wilhelmshaven – all with great aspects but this is a lot more protected, yet close to everything.

Wind brake 2 seater chairs

Ventured up the grass dyke in front of us and walked for miles along the Seafront.  Views forever out to sea and passed by some magic little seafront holiday bungalows nestled in amongst the trees.   Little passenger boats taking tourists for trips around the harbourfront were packed. 

There are bikeways across the top of the dykes that run forever but too cold and windy for us so walking was the choice for today.

Ventured back towards the harbour and walked along the touristy waterfront strand.  This is a pedestrian mall that runs along the top of the dyke for a couple of kms with the beach on one side and restaurants and funky shops on the other.  The beaches are lined with rows of two seater white wicker cane chairs and look like soldiers ready to go to battle and for a mere €9 you can hire one for the day – did not see many occupied!

From there we visited the Deutsches Marinemuseum on the river front where there were submarines, destroyers and many other ships and marine equipment on display.  It was late in the afternoon so opted to go through thoroughly tomorrow.

Deutsches Marinemuseum

Woke up to a miserable wet and windy day so bunkered down for some reading and Internet – a bonus this Stellplatz has a Wifi network but the other two don’t. It is times like this that we really appreciate Ziggy for the huge amount of habitation space and windows she has, compared to other Mohos.

Weather on day three was a little better though still windy with scattered showers.  Made a move towards town around lunchtime when some patches of blue appeared so packed our wet weather gear in the backpack, dressed in winter gear now as outside temps were around 20 degrees in the middle of the day and walked the three kms into town.

One of the few remaining WW2 bunkers

80% of this town was totally demolished during WW11 and they don’t appear to have rebuilt it.  One section of ruins and a few bunkers remain as a reminder.  Great shopping mall that runs forever but not much else to see.

Dark heavy black clouds were creeping in on the horizon so our 3km walk home ended up being almost a run.   We made it home with a minute to spare before the heavens opened up and it pelted down hail for about 20 minutes.

2018/08/14 – Germany – Now we have found The Pied Piper

Tuesday to Thursday – 14th to 16th August

Our campsite for three nights: Grohnder Fahrhaud, Grohnde – GPS N52.019440 E9.177460

This Stellplatz was one of the most well kept, organised and with the best bathroom facilities by far of any that we have stayed in.

Our view from Ziggy

The Stellplatz is fully automatic – at the entry gate you take a ticket which grants entry to the site and you use that ticket to gain credit for electricity, should you want it.

The ticket also grants entry to the toilets and showers and rubbish disposal areas.

On departing the ticket is inserted in the machine again and you insert the required amount in the machine – the machine also grants a credit for any unused electricity – have never seen that before.

The Stellplatz has two parts, the first being at the entry to the resort with only mountain and rural views, while the second and smaller area around the corner from the resort, was directly on the Weser River.  Here we scored the prime corner position which gave us both the rural and mountains view on one side and the river, parklands and the village on the other.  Primo!!

The bathrooms as mentioned before were equivalent to those provided in a five star hotel and as much hot water for as long as you wanted – very rare to find and took advantage of this for a few LONG HOT showers during our stay.

The resort itself included a camping area, Stellplatz for us, cabins as well as large grassed areas for tents on the river with huts and fireplaces for use in the winter. 

Placed mid way between Hamelin (the Pied Pipers home) and Bodenwerder, it was ideal as a central point to visit both towns over the next few days.  The Weser Bikeway passes through the middle of the Stellplatz so was ideal to head off in both directions.

This Stellplatz really caters for cyclists – they have a “Bicycle service station” where electric bikes can be charged, a pneumatic pump with guage for pumping up tyres, a vending machine dispensing tyre tubes of various brands and lockable cages for bikes overnight.

Bike (Rad) Service Station with bike pump (Blue colour) & tube vending machine

We cycled 60+ kms over two days on the bikes with the bikeway being so great, we did not need to use the batteries at all. 

Lockable bike garages

At the end of day two – found sore muscles where I didn’t know there were muscles.

Electric bike charging station – one of many

On the bike trips we passed through fields of corn, fruit groves where apple, pear and peach trees grow wild along the bike path, various vegetables, shady forests and sleepy little villages and a Nuclear Power Station midway between Grohnde and Hamelin.

Nuclear Power Station on bike track to Hamelin

Hamelin was a real treat with the Aldstadt displaying so many beautiful old buildings.  Certainly should be on the “to visit list”. 

Wind Mill on bike track to Hamelin

Here you can find the Pied Piper Museum (he stands guard at the entrance), souvenir shops eager to sell you rats in all shapes and sizes from cuddly stuffed ones to those made of wood. 

Pied Piper Museum

The Main Street even has rat tiles strategically placed on the cobbled stone street.  These tiles lead you to the river.

You big rat you
Intricate work in Hamelin

On the hour, the Rathaus (town hall) about 15 bells of different sizes begin to chime and high up on the building, large metal doors open then the Pied Piper appears leading the children away.

The Pied Piper Statue

There is a large Turkish community in Hamelin.

Nice architecture

The bike trip to Bodenwerder next day was equally special where we passed by similar stunning scenery. 

Bodenwerder is famous for their Baron Munchhausen who told lots of “porkies”

Not a patch on Hamelin but still worth seeing.

Statues on the bike trip to Bodenwerder depicting how boats were moved up the river before they had engines – by pulling them with ropes

Friday 17th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Marina Mehlbergen – GPS N52.687351.   E9.177460

Very quiet peaceful location at a small marina in the middle of nowhere just off the Weser.   The harbour housed about 40 small boats where there was a bit of activity with owners coming down to have a drink on the back decks when the sun went down.  Brought back a lot of memories of our boating days and with it the longing and desire to again set out to sea on our return.

A little cafe at the end of the marina became the focal point for happy hour.

Saturday 18th August

Our campsite for tonight:  Wohnmobilstellplatz, Bruchhausen- Vilsen – N52.826752.   E8.995330

Grassy and open area surrounded totally with large trees and scrubs.  The campsite is very tranquil with a good amenities block which is shared by the children’s playground next door.   Wifi is provided compliments of the tourist bureau but for one device only (we got caught having turned Wifi on our Iphone when in the tourist office and then on returning to Ziggy could not turn Wifi on our laptop.)

Town famous for steam train history

Typical tidy German town but with no Old Town however lots of great Fachwerk houses.   Steam trains are a feature in this town with lots of old ones to see at the railway station.  The train leaves regularly for joy riders.

Very quiet and peaceful until the fireworks started at about midnight.  Some of the local lads letting off steam no doubt, but only lasted for a few minutes and all was quiet again.