Monday, 12 June 2017

Monday 12 June - Varnæshoved, Denmark

Where’s Bertie? He’s at a picnic area at Varnæshoved at 55.0406, 9.57633.

On arriving in Kaltenkirchen yesterday, our intention had been to reward ourselves for the long drive by staying put for two nights, spending today looking around the town. However, whilst the Stellplatz there was pleasant enough for one in a town (situated across the road from a huge swimming/spa complex whose delights we could have sampled), it was a busy place and I felt that we could do better in terms of a nice spot. A new plan was formed: we would spend the morning looking at the town, then go shopping, then drive up to either the Danish border or just beyond.

We'd walked less than half way to town when we decided that the clouds looked a bit too threatening and I suggested that maybe we should drive to Lidl, do our shop, then take a quick look around the town from the nearer starting point of Lidl's car park. Our about turn was not a moment too soon; by the time we got back to Bertie it was raining and minutes later it was lashing.

Off to the shop we went. Ordinarily, we don't stock up with food, preferring to buy fresh every few days. Our trip to Scotland in April/May was a bit of an exception, as we came to realise that, due to our route and the time it was going to take us to get from Glasgow to Oban (both dictated by the hills I was going to bag in between), we might have to go three weeks without seeing a shop. As it happened, we did pass a good Co-op in Inveraray, and as the weather allowed me to speed through my hills, we got to Oban earlier than expected. Planning for the worst case, however, we did a mega shop when we backtracked to Glasgow for LPG. I considered it good practice for this trip as all advice I'd read told us that the price of food in Scandinavia (and Norway in particular) made it worth being a bad motorhomer (i.e. not buying locally) and stocking up big time before arriving.

Accordingly, we did a big shop before we left home, another in Belgium and another today in Kaltenkirchen (a month and a half's food budget spent in a week and a half!). The fridge is fit to burst and we have five crates of food in the garage, and I can report that achieving that has been quite hard work. Harder than provisioning the resupply for a long walk.

Not that we are chocoholics but the 16 bars of chocolate in this trolley were in addition to the 17 we already had on board.

And so, it was a lengthy shop in Lidl today and it felt like almost the same amount of time was spent working out where to store everything (I'm thinking an inventory and numbering the crates would have been wise). By the time we had done all that it was half past noon and our enthusiasm for looking around Kaltenkirchen was around zero. Instead we headed north and stopped at the first motorway picnic area for lunch.

The one thing we'd not been able to get at Lidl was boxes of wine for Mick (on this occasion, much more practical than bottles) so another stop was had at Scandinavian Park, just on the German side of the Danish border. It's an odd shop, with probably two thirds of its area being devoted to alcohol, and a huge chunk of the remainder devoted to sweets, with the usual supermarket stuff taking up the rest.

Our two boxes of wine paled into insignificance compared with the crates and crates going through the tills around us as Danes took advantage of the lower prices in Germany.

We then had a choice: to go to a Stellplatz 11km away across the border town of Flensburg, or to go 45km to find a spot on the Baltic coast in Denmark. As the Flensburg option was out of our way, and as the SatNav told us that it would take us 25 minutes to get there, compared with its estimate of 30 minutes for the Danish option, we went for the latter.

The Danish border was manned and the car in front of us was stopped. We were waved through and after a distance on motorway we started sampling progressively smaller roads. In fact, the last 850 metres to get to where we are parked was on a single-track unpaved road (and yep, we did meet someone coming the other way; only one other vehicle has been seen since, and I'm writing this four hours later).

This photo doesn't do the spot justice!

We had looked at another spot on the way here, having been put off by the SatNav's warning about this unpaved road. That other spot would have done, but it was right next to a road, within sight of houses and the lie of the land would have required us to park with our windows away from the view. Thus we decided to see how accessible this spot was and we're glad to have taken the trouble.

Looking back at Bertie, with the sea behind me

As well as having a sea view, there are some facilities, in the shape of a tap and some bins, as this is also the parking for an official 'rustic campsite' (i.e. a couple of flat spots of grass with picnic tables down by the sea). The only shame is that the wind is fair blowing (that didn't do our impressive MPG stats any good today!) with showers passing through. Hopefully it will perk up by morning so we can go and investigate one of the waymarked walks that starts from here.

I'm pretty sure I saw this signed as a swimming spot on the drive in. Certainly not the weather for a dip in the sea today.