Once a yachtie always a yachtie

We were driving our newly purchased camper van through Germany en route to Scandinavia and looking for somewhere to stay the night. The call of the sea meant that we were inexorably drawn to Flensburg, a bustling port on the tip of Flensburg Fjord in Northern Germany.

Flensburg here we come…

Having been away from the sea for more than a couple of months we were both longing to smell salt in the air and be around boats again.

Despite there being some threatening dark clouds lurking above us, we had a great drive through the back roads from our stop in Winsen Luhe to Flensburg. We were impressed by the well made roads, every one of them correctly cambered and no potholes.

Horses grazing on the way to Flensburg

We had found a free camping spot right on the fjord and really close to the centre of Flensburg situated amongst warehouses and workshops.

So good to be around boats again

We could see a variety of boats from our overnight stop

It was wonderful to sleep to the sound of the wind in the rigging of the yachts moored close to us and to hear the rhythmic splash of the waves on the shore and the calls of the seabirds as we woke up in the morning.

Lovely to watch this graceful old girl sail past us
An Italian ferry was moored nearby

We took our electric bikes for a good ride along the waterfront. Being the weekend it was very crowded in places and sometimes easier to hop off and walk. There were some lovely boats to look at and some nice bars and restaurants along the way.

Down at the quayside there were more boats of all kinds to see
It was great fun despite the drizzle

A view across the top of the fjord
I think Jonathan was hoping to trade his electric bike for a sail!

We decided to take a look at the maritime museum but our timing was out and it was about to close so resolving to return on another occasion we made our way into the pretty centre of the town where we found a nice bar to sample the local beer.

Entrance to the maritime museum
So beautiful in Flensburg

Time for a local beer in one of the many outdoor cafes and bars

Heading off the following day we hugged the coast and rounded the tip of the picturesque Flensburg fiord. It was so lovely that we agreed that a return visit would definitely be on our “to do” list.

Sunset at our stop for the night
Auf Wiedersehen Getmany, Hej Denmark
Rounding the tip of the Flensburg fjord

From Flensburg we continued our journey northwards heading for Esbjerg – another seaport – in Denmark. The journey was delightful, and we enjoyed driving along in our campervan past flocks of geese, horses, cows chewing the cud, beautiful villages, rivers, and farmland.

A lovely drive out of Germany

Having had such a pleasant experience in Flensburg we were looking forward to visiting Esbjerg but unfortunately it was a far cry from what we had imagined. Instead of pretty yachts and colourful fishing boats there was a large container terminal. It was extremely difficult to find somewhere to park the camper van and after a while driving round the one-way system we decided to give up and look for a place to stay somewhere out of town.

At the border with Denmark

We quickly found a couple of options in the ACSI (Auto Camper Service International) app and decided to try a very small private ground in the tiny village of Vester Nebel not too far from Esbjerg and close to our next destination Ribe.

Back in the country after a fraught time in Esbjerg

The camping site centred around a series of small fishing lakes and consisted mainly of small cabins for fishermen and their families to sleep in. We were able to plug into the electricity supply of one of the huts as there weren’t any dedicated sites for campervans.

One of the fishing lakes at our first Danish camp site
Parked in front of the cabins, along with another campervan, so we could get electricity

The site was pretty, very quiet and uncommercialised and set in the depths of the Danish countryside. There was a large and busy horse riding stable just down the road with some of the stables facing out into the lane so we could give the horses a pat as we went by. The one downside was that there was no place to empty the chemical toilet but on the upside it only cost 14 Euros to stay there.

A gorgeous thatched house near our campsite in Vester Nebel

We had a lovely cycle ride into the village where there was very little going on in terms of shops or cafes but there was a lovely white washed Medieval Church.

The ancient church

The graves were extremely well tended

Our next destination was only about 40 minutes away. We were heading for Ribe which promised to be interesting as it is the oldest town in Denmark and home to a famous reconstructed Viking village.

Riding through the lanes of Vester Nebel
Meeting horses and their riders along the way
Then a short hop to Ribe

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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