We headed up the A7 in Germany towards the border with Denmark. The 3 lanes reduced to 1, allowing customs to pick off vehicles for random checks, surely a black British campervan would get picked?
No, unfortunately not (we wanted to, for the sake of a story). We’ve only been stopped twice on our travels. The first was speeding in Germany, which resulted in a €25 fine. The second was on the same trip, this one was a little more interesting.
We were heading west from Berlin, a customs car entered our lane, a light board instructed us to follow them. We nervously did so. When we reached the customs area, which I think was the old East German border control, we were asked to produce our documents (passport, driving licence and log book). One of the officers returned to his car, with our papers, presumably to check them over. The other remained with us and asked if we were carrying anything we shouldn’t be. I sheepishly pointed to the crate of pilsner beside me (I wasn’t driving), I don’t know why but I felt I should declare it. The other officer returned, confirming all was ok.
Thankfully, no search was required. Unloading 2 bikes and an excited dog in 25° before you can start on everything else was a pain, trust me. We were sent on our way and told to enjoy the rest of our holiday. Then we remembered, we started this trip in Amsterdam, hm?
So sailing through Danish customs we headed to Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark. Using Camper Contact for our place to stay for the night, we were advised the car park could get quite busy.
We approached the car park and spotted one available space, between 2 great white motorhomes. I squeezed our van in and noticed some movement from the motorhome besides us. It was the Dutch couple which moved places after we parked besides them in Germany!
His reaction was Victor Meldrew like, but then so was ours. Deciding the space was too tight (I don’t think they could’ve opened their door to get out); we decided to move on.
Using Park4Night we found a huge empty car park beside the rail tracks. Within 5 minutes a small car speedily parked next to us. The car park had space for 50 cars, yet they parked right beside us; odd?
Needing a bite to eat before we explored Ribe, we made peanut butter sandwiches (cheap!). Whilst tucking in I noticed the windows on the little car steaming up. Ah, now we understand. They used our van as a shield whilst they practiced ‘Hygge’ (pronounce “HUE-gah”; think John Fashanu on Gladiators).
Shortly after the guy next door, the rain came. So much so, we postponed exploring until the next day and watched a movie before bed.
The following morning we moved the van to Meldrew’s site. Threw a curry in Mr D’s Thermal Cookpot and toured Ribe before the forecasted rain came.
We found Ribe to be a well preserved city and you really can see how the Vikings influenced York (our home town). Unfortunately, the brewery was closed.
The rain never came, but the temperature had dropped. With a slightly bitter taste in our mouths, not like the girl next door! We opted not to stay another night in Ribe and moved on.