1st June 2016. Journey to Harsefeld, Germany.

We were woken this morning at 6.30 a.m by a racket coming from what sounded like hundreds of Canadian geese but when we pulled up the blind and peeped out of the window there were actually only about 16 adults and 12 goslings.  They made a huge noise until all their mates had arrived (for about 30 minutes) then they all shut up and started eating the grass until the Harbour Master arrived with his exuberant little terrier which chased them off.  The Harbour Master then had to go around with his bucket and spade cleaning up all the poo they’d left!  Apparently they’re protected in Holland even though they’re roaming around all over the place.

Before we left I wandered over to look at the water for one last time.  This marina is a place that just keeps on giving,  I could hear some little peeping noises and pootling around at the side of the marina were a family of coots.  The babies were very entertaining for me but not for their parents who were constantly trying to round them up.  I could have happily sat and watched them all day but we needed to move on, next stop Haresfeld in Germany.

On our journey from Zwolle to Harsefeld in Germany we spent a long time stuck behind a very stinky lorry carrying livestock of some sort.  When we eventually got the chance to overtake it we discovered that it was actually empty but STILL exceptionally stinky.

On the way to Harsefeld we decided to have a break at Cloppenburg where we stopped at an aire in the tree lined car park of a museum along with six other motorhomes, it seemed rather strange to be making our lunch in my kitchen whilst parked in the car park.  We had a brief (quite boring) walk to stretch our legs and then carried on driving to our overnight stop which we were hoping would be in the car park of the ruins of a monastery in Harsefeld assuming there were any spaces left.

As we were driving along I had my camera at the ready in case we saw anything unusual to photograph so I was a bit peeved when I realised my camera had turned itself off  and I just missed taking a photo of a huge wooden giraffe that was beside the road as I hastily tried to turn it back on again.

When we arrived at Harsefeld, there are loads of spaces in the car park.  The monastery is in fact the ruins of a monastery next to a large church.  It was surprisingly quiet, there was a stream running along beside the van where we parked up.  We had a walk into town and had coffee and ice cream, we were actually looking for a cake/coffee shop (of which there were many, we later discovered) but again Darren sniffed out the ice cream and we ended up there!  It was very creamy ice cream so actually worth not getting my cake after all.

The weather was nice and sunny so we  looked around the tiny museum (next to the monastery) then wandered around the grounds.  During that time we discovered the church clock chimes on the hour!  Loudly!  They also rang the bells for ages, we assume it’s a call to the church service, it certainly wasn’t very tuneful.   It didn’t occur to us that the chiming of the clock would continue during the whole time we were there.

We noticed another motorhome which kept coming and going for some reason.  We assumed he was staying but he drove off at 10 pm then came back for 20 mins in the morning.  I wonder where he went, perhaps he’d worked out that if you’re in a motorhome you can just move off if it’s noisy.  It turned out they turn the chimes off at 11 p.m and back on at 6 a.m.   It was so peaceful during the night that we slept soundly and woke bright eyed and busy tailed!  I haven’t felt like that in years.

We slept in the front bed last night for a change and after putting the sofa cushions behind us so we could lean back on it to drink our tea I realised we’ve got a mezzanine level where we can snuggle up in the evening to watch TV!

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