Cirrus 2
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Truck Camping in Northern Europe

We approached Am Deich campingplatz following small signs and relying on our GPS.  The road was so narrow we had to pull over to allow other motorists and trucks to pass.  At the campground, the host directed us to a site just behind the dike facing the brisk and windy sea under rows of conifer trees.  The nearest campers were a hundred yards or so down the lane.

It was the evening of a lunar eclipse, the “Blood Moon”, and we hoped that clear weather on the coast would allow us to see this remarkable phenomenon.

We were very comfy inside the wonderfully warm Tonke with its Truma heater.  The Dutch and their regard for light was evident as the late afternoon sun bounced from the Tonke’s mahogany walls and sky blue table tops.  I was reminded of Franz Halls and Vermeer and their glowing paintings.

We weren’t exactly “glamping” but it was mighty close.

Around 7:00 pm, we watched the full moon rise from the sea.  We turned in early.

lunar eclipse

Above: The moon rise before the eclipse

We awakened at 4:00 am, dressed warmly, and clambered to the top of the dike, facing into the blustery sea.  Endless clouds of stars shone in the jet black skies, punctuated by an occasional meteor streaking across the horizon.  Ducks and geese resting in marshes behind us quacked and honked drowsily.  Large waves crashed into the rock and seaweed covered beach.

The eclipse slowly revealed the Blood Moon.

Blood moon

Above: The lunar eclipse reveals the jet black sky and stars while the sunlight passing through the earth’s atmosphere turns the moon red.

In the morning we had an early reservation for the ferry at Puttsgarden, so we breakfasted around dawn and moved out at 7:00 am.

The gate was padlocked.

We looked for someone to help.  Around 7:30, a workman arrived.  He spoke no English and we spoke very little German.  He pointed to the opening time – 8:00 a.m.  Offering money for our stay, we made plaintive, beseeching noises.


Am Deich campingplatz gate

Finally, with an exaggerated look at this watch, he opened the gate at precisely 8:00 am.  We hurriedly placed our camping fee with him and left.  A short way down the road we met the operator of the camp who flagged us down to find out if we had paid.  Though he didn’t speak English we convinced him that money was left behind.

Lesson learned: in Germany there are rules and they WILL be enforced!

We skedaddled to the Ferry driving the narrow country lanes like a German, which is to say, very quickly.  Though deep in the countryside, allees of birch trees lined the road.  We saw magpies fluttering and an occasional stork.

We just made the Scandines ferry crossing from Puttsgarden to Rodby, Denmark.  The breezy ride takes about an hour depending on weather.  The cost is US $98.  Though we saw a much heavier presence of border control on the Danish side, we were waved through.

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