When I went to the reception of the campsite in Borgdorf-Seedorf this morning to pay my bill, I owed 4 cents on top of the deposit of €10 that I had paid for the card that recorded how much hot water I had used when showering. Non-showering costs came to €9.50 which meant that 54 cents had been spent in the shower. That equates to 64.8 seconds in the shower. Either I’m getting quicker at washing myself or there is something seriously wrong with the campsite’s measuring device. I believe it’s the latter. The guy serving me – the same chap who admitted me into to the remand centre last night – looked a bit bemused. 64.8 seconds is a very quick shower. Perhaps he thought I was trying to save money.
Coffee and breakfast was back in the small town of Nortorf. The Germans have mastered the art of smothering already very calorific breakfast snacks in chocolate. I’ve mastered the art in fighting the temptation to refuse to eat such things and promptly order a croissant and piece of cake… smothered in chocolate. Delicious.
The day panned out in a similar fashion to yesterday. For most of the cycle I followed the Ochsenweg route, the old cattle route if you remember, before missing a sign and abandoning it. The inadvertent strategy worked well as again I benefited from a round the houses (well in these parts farms and fields) cycle for the first two-thirds of the day followed by a ‘OK, let’s just get to the destination’ last third of the day. I like that. I have to say however that I’m struggling to believe that the cattle followed the same route as I’m trying to cycle. There are lots of twists and turns and if I’d have been a cattle herder back in the day (whenever that day was), I’d have at least taken a more direct route. I suspect this more direct route has now been built upon by the railway, main road or the motorway. A few interesting things en route: a very close up encounter with some enormous newly erected wind turbines (I think they are beautiful but I know others disagree, especially the miserable git who wrote the withering review – the only review – on Amazon.fr as a result of me singing their praises in the first book…), a second transporter bridge (the first one was back in France if you remember) over the river near Rendsburg and lots of pretty views.
The long, straight road that I followed to Schleswig was nothing to write anywhere, let alone home, about but at least I was kept apart from the heavy traffic on a good quality segregated cycle route. Schleswig itself was in a nice location on the banks of what the Rough Guide refers to as a fiord. Already? Aren’t they just in Norway? Clearly not. I ambled around the town looking for the tourist office eventually finding it close to where my ambling had started. The two young girls – I’m suspecting teenage work experience staff – were nice and smiley – but lacked the essential skill required by most tourist offices of knowing about the town in which they work.
“Can I catch a ferry to the campsite at Missunde?”
There ensued a scramble of activity until it was finally discovered that there was only one a day and it had departed about an hour previously.
“There is another one tomorrow” one of them suggested unhelpfully. I had to physically restrain my eyes from looking towards the ceiling.
Having decided to cycle to the campsite along the north of the fiord, I asked if there was a bridge connecting the thin stretch of water near to where the site was located on the opposite bank. There were looks of panic as both girls stared at each other. The situation was saved by one of them coming up with the brainwave of Googling it. She must have been on some kind of course.
“Yes, there’s a ferry. It leaves at 9a.m.” Phew!
“I’ve missed that too then…”
“No; it goes [queue backwards and forwards movement of hands] all day.” Pause. “I think.”
I decided to risk it.
“One last question…” It was an easy one to end with and shouldn’t cause them too much anguish. “Is there a supermarket in the direction of the ferry?”
I left the building none the wiser.
I had ringed the Campingplatz Haithabu on my map when back in Hamburg. My own bit of Googling had suggested it would be a good option and it was recommended by the ADFC, the German version of the CTC. It sounded just perfect so off I set.
Via an industrial estate (no supermarket) and about 10 km of rural road (small supermarket finally located) I eventually arrived at the ferry. It did indeed move backward and forward continuously all day (after 9a.m.) so I wheeled Reggie on board and after just a few minutes we were being pulled across by the cable attached to the boat and each side of the fiord. Upon arrival I searched for Campingplatz Haithabu online… Oh dear. I had utterly cocked up its location. It was about 2 km from Schleswig on the opposite side of the water. I felt a real idiot. That said, a campsite was marked on my map as being in the place where I had just cycled to. Should I check it out or just cycle the 10 km back in the direction of Schleswig? There was no harm in at least having a look… I’m so glad that I did.
Campingplatz Wees am Ostseefjord Schlei is everything that last night’s site wasn’t. Friendly welcome, no riff raff, well stocked shop, free shower, great view (see previous post). Even the wash block has soft lighting. Brilliant, just brilliant. It gives me the sense that finally I’m getting close to Scandinavia. Only one more day of Germany remains.