We are on the last leg of our year-long tour round the European Union.
We have just returned from a two-week break in Malawi, to celebrate the 90th birthday of our dear friend, Homba Mbekeani and to fulfil work commitments. We are feeling just a little tired.
Not too tired to enjoy the delights of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam just after we flew back into Amsterdam, and definitely not too tired to spend the weekend in East Frisia with our good friends Bernd and Anni.
Fun farming fact: For those of you who did not grow up on a farm, as I did, black and white Friesian cows come from East (and West) Frisia.
But we are wondering whether we should spend the next few hours exploring the old harbour in Stade, or put our feet up and have an afternoon snooze.
I have a feeling the lure of an old harbour and glass of cold beer will win…
But however I choose to spend the next few hours, Nigel has to start the serious route planning for our last leg, but one. (We still have to explore England, Wales and Ireland).
We are heading to Denmark, Sweden and Finland, then across the water to Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, on into Poland and through Luxembourg before catching the ferry back to Hull on 1st September, just in time for our MOT.
Just typing it makes me feel dizzy, and no doubt there will be days over the next few weeks when I wake up and have no idea which country I am in, or where I will sleep that night.
But that is the fun of van life. Real van life, not the Instagram version – I don’t have the bikini bod, or the Photoshop software, for that van life..
We can park our van anywhere… a secluded Greek beach, a camperstop next to a metro stop into the heart of a lively capital city, or a car park in the middle of nowhere.
Today we are in a stellplatz (German camperstop), a short walk from Stade’s harbour.
Tomorrow night…who knows?
But don’t just take our word for it. There are lots of people doing what we have done, and many of them have blogs that offer great practical advice on everything from buying a motorhome to how to empty a toilet cassette.
Here are just a few our favourite blogs from the convoy of intrepid motorhomers who are, as I write, criss-crossing across Europe.
Now, is it left or right for the old harbour and that glass of cold German beer?
- Check out our (bikini free) Instagram account here for snapshots from our European tour
- The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam tells the story of Vincent’s life, his art and his legacy. It is one of the best museums in the world
- We didn’t have time to explore Bremen while in East Frisia, but we went to the Beurgermarkt (annual music and beer festival) in Bernd and Anni’s hometown of Wittmund, explored the North Sea coastline, and had afternoon tea in Wilhelmshaven. It is definitely a region worth visiting, and very motorhome friendly (like all of Germany)
- Here’s the link to the stellplatz in Stade where we are right now