We took all day again to travel up to our next stop of Travemunde where we met up with an old friend. Again the countryside was full of hay bales or fields of crops either being harvested or waiting to be harvested.
The only drawback of travelling on the country roads was the likelihood of meeting up with tractors or farm machinery being driven on the rather narrow roads. We luckily were only stuck behind a tractor or truck for a short time. We arrived into Travemunde at 7.30pm and it was still a pleasant 27
degrees and sunshine.

We met with Baerbel and had a nice fresh fish meal at a very good, local restaurant just down the road from where she lives – being on the Baltic meant fresh fish!
We did a bit of shopping and then had the compulsory German tradition of coffee and cake later in the afternoon before catching the bus back to our campsite which was filling up. There must have been about 300 campers in caravans/motorhomes and tents. The next day,the 21st July was the start of the “Travemunde Woche” now a 10day event which has been a tradition in the town for 128years.

It involves sailing competitions with young to old sailors and all along the Baltic were more campers from the sailing fraternity.
There were many stands along the waterfront selling all sorts of food and drink and it turned into a sunny,hot day. We caught the passenger ferry
across to Prival. There was a lot of new development of blocks of apartments.

We had more fish for lunch (pickled Matjes herring for me) and walked to the “Passat” a steel barque Windjammer dating from 1911. Our friend Olaf in Norway sailed on her for 3months in 1961 when she was a training ship.
She now is a tourist attraction and stands in the harbour and cannot sail any longer. We caught the ferry back across the river and then went for afternoon coffee on the 35th floor of the “Maritime hotel” where we got a great view of the whole area. There were thousands of people enjoying the festivities down below.

The next day was a different kettle of fish with steady rain from 12noon. We managed with our friend to get a walk in along the rocky coast before it started. After lunch there was no point in staying in the rain so we caught the bus back to the campsite and chilled for the rest of the afternoon. We felt sorry for the poor stall holders.

On Sunday we left and made our way to the Schmidt hotel in Hamburg where our friends from Lohne – Marianne and Franz were staying before leaving for France the next day. It was great to have a catch up with them after a year.
We then went back up to Lubeck to stay with our friend Ruth and her family and catch up with more friends there. We had a week of eating, drinking, shopping, a cruise down the river and a visit to the “Hansa” museum, an extensive and very interesting multi level museum describing the trade and movement of people around Lubeck and the Baltic area over hundreds of years.
Lubeck is a beautiful city with many original and renovated old houses with a very particular style and there are many lanes and small streets to explore.

Unfortunately for us and many other foreign tourists, many shops and establishments do not take any credit cards other than a German EC card. Some shops traded in cash only and receipts were issued sometimes still using carbon paper! This meant frequent visits to the ATM which was sometimes a real nuisance. We even went to the trouble a couple of years ago to get an Irish bank account with an Irish debit card but that wasn’t accepted either. Shops other than the bakeries are all shut on Sunday and even service stations. A lot of shops in towns also close from 1-3pm on weekdays as well. Very frustrating at times when you forget and are not used to it.

Our next stop was Dollern to our old friend Helga who at 82 and after breaking her shoulder in three places and her wrist was back in top form and she still drove extremely fast and well. We had a lovely five days there and visited the other three generations of her family as well as our other friend Helmut (a former ship’s captain) and his family.

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