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Published: July 29th 2013
We had a wonderful night’s sleep and it took us a while to fully appreciate why.
We had breakfast and packed up ready to load the car for today’s drive. Even as we loaded the boot of Cindy we still hadn’t figured out why there was no traffic noise. It couldn’t have been a pile up last night as that would have been cleared by now and anyway we would have heard sirens.
It was only as we packed the last of the stuff into the car that we noticed a light truck with orange flashing lights go by in the direction we would be taking. And then minutes later the first car sped by followed by an increasing volume of vehicles.
We then recalled that about 5 kilometres before we reached the lay by we had driven through some major roadwork’s around an over bridge and we put two and two together to deduce that the Autobahn, at least between the last on/off ramp and the next one down the road, had been closed for the night while they carried out work on the site. It was nice to have some luck on our side and a
great night’s sleep.
It was another glorious day, again, without a cloud in the brilliantly blue sky.
Hamburg, and its myriad of Autobahns, lay in our path to the North Sea holiday resort at Tossens unless we found a way to avoid it. We didn’t have a lot of confidence in Vicky, who has shown a propensity to take us through city centres if she got half a chance. There was only one thing for it and that was to plan our own route connecting up a series of towns from the atlas.
The more direct way was to travel to the south of Hamburg and then take a more rural concoction of secondary roads westwards.
As it was Sunday the traffic volumes were reduced and it was with some ease that we were clear of Hamburg almost before we knew it.
We had forgotten however that our past experience that should have reminded us that supermarkets do not open in Germany on a Sunday, had gone from our memory and we drove on hoping that we might be wrong as we had nothing for dinner.
Then in a very small town, too small
we would have thought to have a McDonald’s restaurant, we came upon the yellow arches and decided we had better have some lunch in fear that there might not be too many options for dinner when we got to our destination. The place was full with seemingly anyone using the R74 taking the opportunity as there appeared to be nothing else open, even bakeries and local cafes.
When we had booked tonight’s stay we had thought we were heading for Bremerhaven as the resort hotel had come up under listings for the seaside city, although the locality was given as Tossens.
We had no idea where Tossens was when we booked the hotel as it didn’t show on the atlas and it was only when we put the final destination in after clearing Hamburg that we found the hotel was in fact 70 odd kilometres away from Bremerhaven on the North Sea coast in a National Park.
All of this sounded idyllic and we pushed on keen on getting to our destination and exploring what the National Park had to offer around the hotel location.
We arrived at the resort hotel by mid afternoon with the
temperature at 27C and were ready to get down to the seaside and dip out toes in the North Sea to cool off.
The resort and associated guest houses and restaurant’s (we were going to OK for dinner even with the supermarkets closed) were all behind a tall dyke and we had to climb the steps to get our first look at the North Sea.
Where we expected a beach and lapping sea water were mud flats as far as you could see with a hint that the water’s edge did start somewhere a kilometre or two away with people that you could just make out splashing in water.
The mud flats did appear to have a coating of dark sand and were firm as people were out there doing things from throwing and kicking balls to digging to build sandcastles. All the while there was a steady stream of people walking to and from the water’s edge all that distance away.
We thought we would try to make it out to the water’s edge too having checked that the incoming tide was 6 hours away. We didn’t want to get caught out like people have
in various parts of the world with a rapidly incoming tide.!
In the end we didn’t make it all the way as the sand/mud underneath our feet got a bit muckier and when we made the decision to turn back it seemed we had only walked about half way to where the water actually flowed.
While there were plenty of people out on the mudflats there were even more sunbathing(all with clothes on as far as we could make out) themselves on the area of grass above the mudflats, all soaking up the temperature, which with no wind made it feel very warm.
After a walk along the seaward side of the dyke we returned to the hotel checking out the 4 or 5 restaurants for a place for dinner tonight and settled on one that looked like it served some local dishes.
The resort hotel and the area of the National Park is geared to cater for young families and during our time at the beach and strolling the street back to the hotel we only noticed a couple of teenagers. The idea is quite good when you think about what young children like to
do over teenagers although how you would fit in if you had a wide range of children to go on holiday we are not sure.
After dinner of bratwurst sausage(a German favourite and not too heavily spiced)and schnitzel we headed back to our room noticing that at just after 8.30pm there were few people left out and about, time for the young children to be in bed!
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