It has been hot outside for ages, at least that is how it feels at the moment. Though we certainly have nothing to complain about, we wouldn’t mind some cooler temperatures either. We are heading north in spring nonetheless!
Our first night in the dark
Our vanlife journey started in Germany last week after our last family visit in Lingen. We took off with some lovely homemade jam for us, and some dehydrated meat for Mojo and Venus to chew on. Which is great to keep their teeth shiny white by the way!
We spent our first night near Bremen, a short 2 hour drive from Lingen. It was just the first week away in our camper van, and we still had to get used to finding a safe spot to park our camper van each night.
A simple solution, or so we thought, was to simply look up a greenish area in the navigation app on our phone and hope for the best. After a bit of searching and driving on questionable roads, we finally ended up near a city park with a nice lake.
When we arrived, it was still relatively light outside. It looked like quite a nice spot at the time. At night however, when it all went dark, things felt very different.
So there we were, in an unknown area, under the pitch black sky and completely alone. Spending just the second night abroad in our little camper van, it was scarier than we dare to admit.
We had previously gone camping in areas without houses or people within miles and miles. During our hike in Norway six years ago, for example. This time, it felt different though, as we were in a city park. It did make us think about all the bad things we have read and heard about in the media.
But we survived, and came out stronger!
After a scary first night in Bremen, we woke up to the sound of countless dogs barking and playing. It turned out to be an immensely popular dog park!
Most people will probably encounter similar feelings during the first few nights away in their new home one wheels. It’s just one of those things we will all get used to over time.
Although Germany is beautiful with its immense forests, we couldn’t wait to get up further north. After a nice morning walk around the lake with our dogs, we started driving again. This time it was just a short drive towards Neumünster.
We currently only have 8 GB of data on our (shared) phone each month. This is great for simple things, but we really wanted to have a good WiFi connection to do some research online and to upload some of our work. Instead of finding another free parking lot, we decided to search for a simple campsite with some facilities.
We found a lovely quiet campsite near a small lake called Brahmsee. It was appropriately named ‘Caravanpark am Brahmsee’. The €12.50 we paid included WiFi, as well as access to showers (which we really needed!) and toilets
. It even had a place to refill our water tank and the option to get rid of our waste water. The camping didn’t offer anything else, but was just perfect for us! Or for anyone else traveling through the area.
Poor Mojo; Mojo scared us
The day started out great. We’d driven up further north and found a nice place to spend the night. Mojo and Venus played in the lake with two other dogs, and we had a Wifi connection in our camper van!
Then, out of nowhere, Mojo started peeing blood. Marijke quickly ran to some bungalow renters further up the campsite to ask where we could find the nearest vet.
We stuffed our camper van with whatever was not secure and rushed to the vet. We were in luck. In Germany, veterinary offices are usually open until 7pm. After arriving, we only had to wait a few minutes before the veterinarian could see us. They did a full body check on Mojo and diagnosed the issue as a bladder infection. We were quite relieved to say the least.
There were some other possibilities, but based on Mojo’s age and body condition, the vet discarded them as highly unlikely. We were sent home with antibiotics to feed Mojo twice daily. We’ve just finished the medication and she’s been back to normal for over a week now. Let’s hope it was simply a bladder infection, and nothing worse!
This time we were just across the border of our homeland in Germany. Marijke speaks German quite well, and the veterinarian could also speak English. This made it all quite familiar and easy. In future emergency situations, things might be a bit bumpy!
To the beach!
The next morning we decided to do some work in our camper van office. We still had access to WiFi in our home on wheels. At the end of the afternoon, we had finally finished updating the design of this website (which we are so happy with).
It was time to move on to a new location. This time we were off to the German-Danish border. We drove to a small place (or rather a street) called Wassersleben, which is located next to Flensburg.
Wassersleben had the perfect spot to park our camper van. A parking lot adjacent to a beautiful beach, which came with a great view! When we arrived it was quite late already, but the weather was still great. Once parked, we jumped out of our van to take a refreshing dive in the sea.
If any of you ever happen to be in the area with your camper, we would definitely recommend Wassersleben for a pitstop when the weather is nice. There is a bakery and a public toilet next to the lot, and you can take a nice walk along the beach through a beautiful forest. There is only one beach in Wassersleben, you won’t be able to miss it!
The next day, we decided to relax for a bit. Instead of driving, we enjoyed a free first row spot at the beach in our camper van!
The island of Fur
We got up bright and early the next day – it was Thursday already – to drive all the way to a Danish island called Fur. We’d read great things about an island so small. It seemed to be too great to be true so we had to check it out before making the cross to Sweden.
It was definitely worth it.
We spent three amazing days on the Island during which we could enjoy all it has to offer. Even without the beautiful landscape, you should visit this place simply because of the spontaneous attitude of its residents!
During one of our hikes we met an elderly couple that lived on the small island. When we met them the first time, the man asked whether or dogs had eaten already, so they wouldn’t eat him. It seemed to be the running joke of the island, as another couple said the exact same thing just fifteen minutes later! The man then kindly shared some information about the area we were walking through.
An hour or so past, and we came across the same couple again. The man simply continued with his story like we had never left. This time he talked about how the area had developed over the past fifty years. He was so enthusiastic about the island, it was contagious! And who wouldn’t want some insider knowledge shared by a spontaneous local?
Great hikes with scenic views; a rich history; beaches spread around the island. Those are just some of the things the island of Fur has to offer. In an upcoming blog post we will dive into all the ins and outs of this small but lovely place. Be sure to look out for that one!
Our final stop before Sweden
We took the ferry back to the mainland on Saturday evening. After having a shower and doing the laundry at a campsite, we drove to Denmark’s second largest forest: Rold Skov. It was such a change in scenery compared to the island! We spent the night on a parking lot next to a large hotel where people were celebrating a wedding!
The parking lot was located directly at the edge of Rold Skov. We only had to cross the parking lot and there we were, in such a large and diverse forest. To enjoy the forest to its fullest we got up bright and early the next day for a nice walk through the forest with Mojo and Venus.
Sunday June 4th, it was finally time to make the cross towards Sweden. Gothenburg, to be precise. To save some money, we chose to take the late ferry at a little past 10pm. If all goes well, we will be in Gothenburg around 2 in the morning!
When we arrive to Sweden, we’ll have one thing less to worry about: finding a spot to spend the night. In Sweden, Norway, and Finland they have something called ‘allemansrätten’. It’s just the best thing ever. It can be roughly translated to all man’s right. You have the right to enter all areas as long as you respect the land you’re on. Beit nature or private land. Neither should you disturb residents in any form – by parking too close to their house for example.
Let’s dive in head first and explore what Sweden has in store for us! We’ll start with Gothenburg.