We finished up our eight day stay in Hamburg on the Elbe and got our 10,000 mile service at the Hamburg Sprinter dealer, which is what we were waiting around for anyway, and struck out north up the A23 motorway, which follows the North Sea coast up into the part of the Jutland Peninsula that is German, Schleswig Holstein. The terrain was flat coastal plains with grazing for cows and sheep mostly, We crossed a huge canal that allows ocean going vessels to transit between the North and the Baltic Seas, avoiding the long trip around the top of Denmark. The locals call the Baltic the East Sea, so the canal is prosaically named the Nord-Ostsee Kanal. It was started by the Danes back when they controlled this territory, and became a matter of strategic importance for Germany to move their World War I battleships around.
Since we got a late start, we pulled in for an overnight stay at a campground on the North Sea that’s still in Germany. The campground was on the Nordstrand peninsula, near the town of Husum. It’s not the scenic seaside tropical denizens like I am expect -there’s a huge dike covered with grazing sheep, and a strange coastal area with the shallows divided up into rectangular areas of mudflats. Even stranger, the seaward side of the dike is all part of a national park, so all this sheep grazing and aquaculture is going on inside a bioreserve. We packed up the next morning and drove north toward the Danish border.
We had befriended a Danish couple, Jens and Joan, at our Hamburg campground, and they recommended a visit to Rømø Island, which is off the coast on the western (North Sea) side of Denmark. We drove out over the causeway linking it to the mainland, seeing even more sheep and rectangular enclosures out in the mudflats, and settled in at the Lakolk Strand Campground near the beach. The campground is huge, a bit pricey at a little over 30 euros a night, and full of people from all over, mainly Germans who had driven up to get a little beach driving in. The beach is also huge, with very fine sand that’s impossible to get stuck in, and covered with vehicles from 6 AM until 10 PM, at which time they kick everyone out. This is such a high traffic area that allowing boondocking on the beach would get ugly fast.
The next day we Googled around to see what else we could do in Denmark, and found out the limits of touring the continent in a five ton chassis – the toll for the 18 kilometer bridge going to Copenhagen was 37 euros for cars, 50 euros for RVs 3.5 tons or less… and $100 for us. Each way. We really didn’t want to see Copenhagen that badly, so we headed out down a different road, back to Germany. On the way we went back though Hamburg on the main north-south road (E45), which has a long tunnel under the Elbe, and when you pop back up you think you’re in a Star Wars battle – all these huge machines surround you. It’s a very, very busy port.