Hannah here: So far, I have covered our adventures in discovering Antwerp and Amsterdam, the shade sail I made for the trip, and some ponderous ruminations on the pleasures of road tripping. For my next trip instalment, I wanted to tell you about the next leg of our adventure- rural Netherlands and Germany.
Fresh from our exploration and subsequent breathless romance with Amsterdam, we set off toward rural Netherlands. We drove to huge open grasslands studded with great herds of cattle, interspersed with grid-like river estuaries. Gaping wide skies stretched around us for miles, unimpeded by hills or mountains, giving us the unnerving feeling of driving within a snow dome. Our eco campsite, Thyencamp, found via “Cool Camping”, was in the middle of one of these flat expanses of grassland in a truly idyllic and utterly peaceful spot (bar the odd braying cow and shrieking cockerel). Spacious pitches, local animals, internet on site and a recreation room to hide from the rain were all very welcome. Here we saw huge, bright, cartoon-like rainbows, enormous Moon's, endured rain storms, played in the willow arcs and beautiful playground on the site and spotted some dreamy retro caravans and camper vans. We didn’t do much here other than rest at the tent and read, which was welcome after the preceding week.
Germany beckoned next. We arose early and hurried to pack the tent before the promised rain came, bade farewell to Paul and Marjo, the friendly campsite owners, then drove on, encountering yet more idyllic driving. The scenery gradually changed from wide flat grazing land to densely forested, slightly hillier, terrain. We were destined for another “Cool Camping” site, Uhlenkoper which is also an eco site (we went for small, eco sites where possible) complete with a natural (if chilly!) swimming pool, well stocked ethical shop, and more activity options than you can shake a stick at. We actually found the tent field way too cramped, it felt more like a festival field than a rural campsite, but the rest of the site was lovely. The best part of this section of the trip was being able to hire bikes to explore the nearby forests. It felt so good to stretch our legs on our bikes, whoosh down sleepy German lanes, stumble across a wooded mini farm and get lost amongst the towering trees of the woods. Frankie absolutely loved riding in the trailer and we now really want to get bikes for all of us.
The time spent in these campsites gave us some welcome time to relax into the trip a bit and spend time pottering at the tent. By this point Dave and I took stock and allowed ourselves a cautious high five. Because, by jove, it was working! This trip was working! Our stuff did fit then re-fit into the car, Frankie did thrive amongst all of the changes, Dave and I did not scratch each others eyes out in a mess of canvas and tent pole when putting the tent up (-all things we were quite worried about before we set off!). Hurrah! Pats on the back, and congratulatory drinks all round. It was, however, at this point in the trip that I realised we had slightly overbooked ourselves. Three nights in each place isn't enough when you consider that most of two of those days are spent travelling. So we made some changes to the rest of our trip.
Next up, Denmark, baby!
P.s It's therapeutic to be immersing myself back in this wonderful adventure when the reality of my life right now is so chaotic. How i’m longing to be back on those bikes, flying through the forest.
P.p.s We move into our new rental in Kent in October but we're doing some work to it first. Expect some new-house-spam in the coming months! Sooo looking forward to being settled now.