2nd January 2023 Drive to Apeldoorn, Netherlands

We set off from Bad Rothenfeld at 09:30am for a stopover in Apeldoorn we found on our satnav the Camperstop

A miserable day for driving what with windy conditions and occasional rain. It did improve towards the end of our journey.

As we were nearing the chequered flag on our satnav were looking for the motorhome signpost and eventually found it. Our first impressions were that it was closed or no longer existed as the area we were supposed to park in looked narrow. I stopped and Angela got out and went to have a look before I committed ourselves to a narrow road and potential trouble.

I was very relieved when I saw her beckoning me to continue on my way and at the end of a car park was an area designated for up to eight motorhomes. I manoeuvred myself across two car parking bays and then we went to pay.

Unfortunately the motorhome payment machine was not working so we could not get a ticket to display. I tried the car meter machine by paying ten cents on my card and it worked so then payed the full amount (€10) and got our ticket to display.

As we were right in the centre of Apeldoorn we walked into the shopping area to stretch our legs and have a quick look around. We found a supermarket to get a few provisions before going back to the van to chill.

I really thought that we would be the only motorhome there so was surprised when another turned up a bit later. I saw them struggling with the payment machine and one of them came to see if we had a ticket. They were not very good English speakers but I managed to explain what we did and she replied that they had paid on the motorhome meter but it didn’t print a ticket.

Driving time = 2hrs 15mins

Distance         = 180 Kilometres

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30th December-1st January 2023 Bad Rothenfeld, Germany

We had stowed most of our things last night so we could have a lovely last breakfast with Brian and Heike before setting off.

We are going to back to a place we last visited in 2009 on our year off.

We were on the road at 09:45 am and the weather was great for driving. An added bonus was that there was not much traffic on the road.

We stopped for a couple of comfort breaks and eventually arrived to find the site quite busy!

Total driving time = 3 hours 21 Minutes

Distance                  =  252 kilometres

Campotel Bad Rothenfeld (Stellplatz).

€15.00 per night

Free WiFi

Water = 1 cent per litre. (10 cent coin minimum)

Electric = 60 cents per Kwh

Toilet and showers all included.

I began to fill up with fresh water and Angela wandered off to look for a suitable pitch and to find the kiosk to pay. I like that you can fill up with a 10 cent coin. Other stellplatz we’ve been to is €1 for 100 litres.

Once parked up I plugged in the electric cable and fed the meter with a few euro coins. We both went for a shower (very clean facilities) then chilled for the rest of the evening.

During our short stay here we had planned to do some walking and cycling through a wood to Bad Laer. We decided to give it a miss as we had both been doing plenty of walking recently. Apart from going into Bad Rothenfeld on the 31st December to get a some bread rolls (before one O’clock due New Years eve) and to visit the Altes Gradierwerk we stayed in the van.




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11th–29th December Schneverdingen, Germany 2022

It is so good to be back here again with Heike, the dogs and occasionally (due to work commitments) Brian.

Our last visit here was the winter of 2018. We would love to have been back sooner, but the pandemic as you all know stopped everything.

We were here for just under three weeks and in that time Angela and I spent a lot of quality time with Heike and the three lovely dogs Murphy, Piper and Meghan. It was also good to spend time with Angela’s brother Brian at the beginning and end of our stay. We see him occasionally either in Oxford or if we travel into London, for a coffee and a catch up.

It’s sad that this will be our last visit to their house in Schneverdingen as they are moving at the end of February.

They, along with two friends have bought an old farm (no longer working) and have, since March been working on it ready to live in. The main house has been divided in two. One side is finished and being lived in by their friends but theirs will not be ready until the end of March.

This farm comes with quite a bit of land and has many barns and outbuildings, which is going to keep them busy for ages converting them and making good use of them. The main priority at the moment is to crack on with getting their side of the house finished.

We visited the farm (or building site as Heike calls it) a few times and were introduced to their friends as well as the five sheep they already have. We are looking forward to seeing the progress either in the coming summer or next Autumn/Winter. Being in a more rural location there are some lovely walks to be had. We did one lovely walk from there on a visit.

Until Heike finished work for the Christmas break we amused ourselves by taking the dogs out walking and occasionally wandered into Schneverdingen.

We shared the cooking and had some lovely, healthy vegetarian food but ruined it by eating lots of crisps, chocolate and drinking beer and wine. It is Christmas though!

We decided to leave before Sylvester, the German name for New Year’s Eve. Named after Pope Sylvester 1 who died on December 31st 335. Legend has it that non-believers around him choked on fish bones. Some superstitious people therefore state that one should avoid fish that night, or at least eat it very carefully!

In Germany it is the one night of the year that fireworks are allowed and they really go to town. The last time we were here we were so stressed that our van would be damaged by falling debris. Especially with the amount of rockets going off in all directions. They can go on for a couple hours!

Some of the highlights of our stay are below.

15th December 2022 Heidegarten and Cafe

Heidegarten Schneverdingen

Pictures to follow

16th December 2022 Harburg/Hamburg Christmas Market

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17th December 2022 Oak leaves and Walk around Shwitschen

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18th December 2022Borsteler Schweiz walk and Cafe Schmucke Witwe (Bispingen)

Pictures to follow

19th December 2022 Shopping outlet Soltau. Angela sliped on ice and damaged wrist!

20th December 2022 Farm visit then train to Bremen. Christmas Markets then meal in Standige Vertretung

Pictures to follow

21st December 2022  Dodenhof shopping centre for furniture

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23rd December 2022 Christmas food/Tree shopping

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24th December 2022 Farm visit. Simones birthday. Dressed the tree (Bernard). Raclette dinner

25th December 2022 4 mile Walk Estewanderweg then dinner

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26th December 2022 Boxing Day breakfast @ Schmucke Witwe

28th December 2022 Luneburg. Tea & Scones at Mum and Me

Pictures to follow

29th December 2022 Lesuirely morning breakfast. Long chat. H studying so we walked (5KM) the dogs. Collected Brian from the train station and went for a chinese as we were leaving in the morning.

Pictures to follow

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11th December 2022 Driving to Schneverdingen

After a quick breakfast we stowed things away and were on the road at 8am.

It was a stress free driving day stopping a few times on the way. The weather got better the nearer we got to our final destination.

After 4 hours and 311 Kms we finally pulled up on Brian & Heike’s drive.

We hadn’t seen Heike since our last visit in 2018 so first thing was to have a great big hug.

We went in for a brew and met the three dogs. Murphy, Piper and Meghan. There was another dog we were hoping to see once more and that was Tessa but unfortunately she passed away recently.

While the dogs were taken out for a walk we sorted our van out as we were going to be here for the next few weeks.

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10th December 2022 Driving day.

For those of you that know us it is not uncommon for us to make a plan and then change it. Today we were due to go to Antwerp but found out that Angela’s brother is going to be home. We are now heading to Schneverdingen (Germany) to spend time with him. We were going there anyway to be spending Christmas with Heike (his wife) anyway but not just yet.

We set off from Camping Memling, Brugge at 09:30hrs and our first priority was to fill up our gas bottles. The first fuel station we found displaying the LPG sign unfortunately was not working, apparently due to the freezing temperatures. Not long after we found another one and all was in order.

LPG 18.76 litres @ €72.9 =€13.68                      

The drive was fine until we came to some major roadworks around Essen and I missed the diversion sign!

I was getting tired at this point and also a bit stressed as we needed fuel as well.

We pulled in at the next fuel station in Bottrop, filled up and then looked on our satnav for somewhere to stay for the night in the area. We found a place on Camperstop not too far away in a car park next to the cemetery in Bottrop.

Today’s drive was 315 Kms in 4 hours, 36 minutes.

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