Drive East from industrial Germany to Goslar in Saxony

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June 10th 2017
Published: June 11th 2017
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Due East today to get to the countryside on the edge of the Hartz mountains in Lower Saxony and away from the enormous industrial sprawl of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Spent a few hours awake in the middle of the night following the election while we had good wifi as I suspected (correctly) that wifi might not be an option at next campsite. Felt rather despondent when we got up as did everyone I suspect as nobody won this one, all losers in one way or another. But quite enough of that, we are on a trip and politics stays at home and by the time we get home the dust will have settled.

We started the day’s drive on the autobahn as too far and long a drive on normal roads. Drove past some enormous industrial conglomerations, this really is the heartland of Germany’s industrial heritage. No holdups on the way, just lots of trucks and vans and cars and not a lot to look at now I’m bored with the country plate spotting game.

We bypassed Dortmund and eventually left the motorway at Paderborn. All or most places we pass are a mystery to me as I have no knowledge of German geography having only visited a couple of times before and on short trips through. Such an enormous country. The part we have driven through so far has been rather flat. Unlike the France we are accustomed to when on Tandy trips, the countryside is not punctuated by little sleepy villages and farms. Here we pass through a town then past another set of cultivated feeds but no farmers, tractors in sight and where the farms are hidden, heaven only knows.

The further along we drove the more interesting the countryside did become and then the houses became much prettier with heavily sloped tiled roofs and a lot of timbered buildings. I snapped away with the camera as we past but will undoubtedly delete most when I sort the days ‘take’ in a minute. It is amazing how many trees jump out of the field and right in front of my lens as we pass by.

The last part of the drive was towards Goslar and on non dual carriageways so we did some slow driving when stuck here or there behind trucks. Our campsite Sennhutte is just 2 miles south of the town and a little unexpected, to us anyway who are more accustomed to the organised campsites of France.

My German is very poor. I know quite a few words but cannot attempt to string any together. My first introduction is generally to ask (in German) if they speak English and then an apology that I don’t speak German. We are getting by !

The campsite lady told me to find a pitch and she would come to sort out the electrics (we pay separately, better make that additionally, here for what we use). We drove up one path but it seemed to be full of permanently sited caravans so we moved back to the bottom and found a spot sheltered by the trees. Actually rather a nice spot and nicely tucked away in a forest, full of birdsong.

Some of the permanents look as if they’ve been here since the 1960s and the campsite lights are surely from 1930, but they do work.

The spaces are not marked out in any way and everything seems exceedingly informal. I translated a sign on one door of the building in the centre of the site where the sanitaires are houses as “shop open 5 – 6” so we went along and found 4 people drinking beer from the bottles in the centre and a rather miscellaneous selection of ‘shopping’ round the edge. Found red wine but not white, full fat milk but not skimmer. We bought 2 bottles of beer, one non-alcholic for me, and it was $2.40 for the two. Excellent.

Showering tomorrow is tricky. Men’s showers are kaput so they have to use the ladies. Rather than all using them together as we so often do without problem on campsites, here, women and men have their allocated shower times. In the morning I can go 9 to 11 but Bob can go 7 to 9. Hmm !

We decided to have an aftenoon day lounging about and settled in the sunshine. Well we did until a large cloud came over and dropped itself on us for an hour or so. I had a nap.

After dinner we took a walk further along the campsite and found, to our surrpise, an enormous clearing, recently mown and with some lights and electric boxes. Reminded us of Camping and Caravanning club rally fields. Maybe that’s what it is but whatever it is it was a beautiful peaceful spot.

Tomorrow we will explore Goslar, a Unesco world heritage site. This blog will be loaded later as can’t do it without wifi.

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