It has dawned not a bad sort of day in Northern Germany after a little drizzle overnight.
It isn’t all dash across Germany and Denmark for us and although we haven’t got anything of historical importance to go off and take a look at, we have decided to take a bit of a detour off the A7 north this morning to mix up the scenery a bit.
Our atlas has the D199 which travels east of Budelsdorf and then around the coast and back to the middle of this long finger of land to Flensburg the last German town before the border with Denmark marked as a scenic road. So we will give it a try and see what it has to offer other then the flat views of yesterday.
There didn’t seem much difference in the scenery as we headed east, just the same fields of maize, wheat etc and perhaps the countryside was a little more rolling than the rather flat plain of yesterday.
It was a relief in a way not to be driving in highway traffic at nearly double the speed the D199 was limited to and it did make for more time
to see what was around us.
We were starting to figure out that the road was designated ‘scenic’ in the atlas because it gave you time to take in the countryside rather than have it flash by as the A7 did. It really wasn’t anything to do with what was growing in the fields or what was on the horizon.
Then we came upon the town of Kappeln and what a little charmer it was.
We were just over half the distance around the circuit to Flensburg when we came across Kappeln having passed through or near other towns and villages that didn’t have the same sort of appeal.
The wharf area below the town was busy with tourists, many of them getting aboard a paddle steamer for a trip on the river. Oddly the paddle steamer looked a bit out of place with the architecture of the buildings along the wharf area which had a Danish flavour which reflected the closeness to the border.
The bridge over the river was a drawbridge and on the other side from the main wharf area were a couple of original looking sailing vessels that looked like they
had gone anywhere for a while.
Now we were heading west again and we needed to make a stop at Flensburg to buy lunch and see if we could also get a USB stick with as much memory as possible to keep all the data that we would lose if we have to take the laptop back to factory setup at our next stop.
The scenery did change after Kappeln with the houses looking different, perhaps because we were closer to Denmark (?), and the countryside more rolling which gives a better horizon perspective to take in.
We always used to try and stay away from Lidl supermarkets as we had had a bad experience previously when we tried to use our pre paid card only to find that they didn’t accept it as it was recognised by their system as a credit card.However, in Budelsdorf we had noticed a range of card stickers at the checkout so with cash in one hand just in cash and a card in the other we tried the card and it worked! Lidl is now our friend which is good because their prices are often very friendly too!
we got our lunch items including a couple of sweet treats, Berliners (can’t wait for the moment you hit the filling in the second or third bite!)from Lidl and then located a Media Market store nearby.
We started at 32GB which was a good price and then spotted a 64GB for not much more and then the jackpot a 128GB for €25 which to us looked a fantastic offer. We can’t recall having seen a 128GB USB in NZ although we are sure they do exist but not sure what the price of them is.
So we chose the 128GB and took it to the checkout prepaid card in hand. We had bought our electric fondue in Zwolle with a card.
‘Sorry, you can’t use this card ‘was the response from the checkout operator as I offered the card in payment. Apparently no cards were acceptable although we had a sneaking suspicion that it was because we were foreigners rather than store policy. It is hard to argue the point when you don’t speak German let alone understand it. So we paid with cash and went on our way.
We were starting to wonder if we
were being got at although we don’t feel like we stand out too much amongst the other ‘Aryans’.
Our feeling of being got at went up a notch though when we arrived at the German/Danish border a short drive away.
We had spotted a picnic area on the GPS right on the border and thought that would suit us nicely for lunch.
However as we rounded the last corner before the border a road sign indicated the picnic area was closed. And sure enough it was although the space had been taken over by police, customs and the Danish army.
We had been prepared for a border check going into Norway but hadn’t read enough about what to expect leaving Germany and entering Denmark.
Traffic was queued although not that long and we drove slowly up to be inspected by a Danish soldier.
As we thought, our red French number plate stood out, and we were directed over to one side where there were a small collection of cars all with number plates that weren’t German or Danish. A couple of cars had the passengers out, all doors and boots open and looked like
they were being given a good going over.
However, we must have looked innocent enough and after they took our passports away to an office for checking they were returned and we were wished a good journey and away we went.
There was another picnic spot a few metres further on (must have been part of the one that had been taken over by the authorities) and we stopped for lunch. This was probably the best picnic place we have found with lots of tables to sit at and each had hedging around them making the tables quite private.
The area around the E45 was as flat as the E7 had been in northern Germany but the road surface was even better than on the German side of the border and we sped along heading north to Randers.
There didn’t seem to be a stop on the other side of the highway for vehicles going into Germany where we had been stopped which we though a bit odd.
However about 5km into Denmark we started to notice that the traffic opposing us had dropped to a trickle and then the reason became evident. The stop for traffic going into Germany was 5 km into Denmark and the queue went back for several kilometres! We had been lucky. Mind you the queue may have looked worse than it was as 75% of the queue was made up of trucks.
The E45 skirts around any settlement that might have been in its way and so you are able to keep a very constant speed. That is until you come across where there had been an accident.
The first two instances like this the accident had been some time ago and it was just the smashed up car left on the side of the highway with yellow police tape around it. It had the effect of slowing the traffic while drivers and their passengers have a gawk at the scene.
The third accident scene was on the other side of the road and must have happened fairly recently although there were no rescue vehicles on the scene. At this one the queue went back almost as long as the stop 5km from the border our side drivers still slowed down just to see what had happened but once we were past we were away again.
How these accidents happen on such a great smooth road with no hard corners and a median down the middle is beyond us.
We turned off the E45 at Randers and found our Air BnB basement apartment easily in a quiet suburban street on the only hill in the city.
Our abode for the night is below ground which we expect is the way a lot of people in this part of the world probably live. We had a separate bedroom, shower, toilet and kitchen and everything we needed.
Sunset tonight is around 10.30pm so we had plenty of light ahead of us. It had been a good day in the car but we needed to stretch our legs and so headed off for a walk before dinner of lettuce salad with tuna.
We walked further up the hill which didn’t seem so bad when we knew we would be walking downhill to get home.
At a point where we thought we had exercised enough we spotted a park on the other side of the road and thought we would finish off with a stroll around the park.
It took a few metres of walking to start to think this was an odd sort of park with memorial stones lining the path we took. Then it became obvious. This was a cemetery and not a park!
What a beautiful cemetery it was too and so different from the way cemeteries are laid out and look in New Zealand. There was hedging which separated off each family space and paths going in various directions. It all seemed rather nice and less formal than what we have in New Zealand.
Amazing what you find when you least expect it when you are out walking.
Tomorrow we make the relatively short drive to Hirtshals and line ourselves up for the ferry across to Norway.
PS:its amazing what you find when looking for 'road' songs for Blog titles.Check out the different instruments members of the band are playing.Good viewing on Youtube.
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