Act two had always required a camper van. The initial plan was to get hold of one in Helsinki then touring Scandinavia in an anti clockwise direction before heading through the Baltic states, into the Caucuses and beyond. Unfortunately the world is yet to become anarchic and nations still have stupid rules about ownership and registration etc of vehicles so after some intense research we found that the best place to buy a camper van was in Germany where at least one company could also register and insure it for us.
Hence we found ourselves not in Helsinki but in a small town outside Dortmund next to the Dutch border.
We arrived in Helsinki early the next morning and were transferring to another ferry, late afternoon, for our onward voyage to Germany. Helsinki has numerous ports, so, after passing through immigration, it was a tram, train and bus ride to the other side of town and the port we were leaving from.
The port itself was in the middle of nowhere but the bus had passed through, what looked like, a rather pretty seaside suburb. With time to kill, we caught the bus back, bought some picnic food for the voyage and strolled back through the suburb, along its beachside promenade, past its quaint boat club, up its well manicured stream, past its challenging links golf course, through a small logistics zone and finally to the ferry terminal in time to board a much more utilitarian ferry to Germany.
We arrived in Travemunde late evening and as there was no accomodation available there, we caught the bus to a town down the road called Lübeck. We woke the next morning to realise that Lübeck deserved more than a transit stop... but more on that in the next blog... We headed to the station to enquire about tickets for our onward journey...damn its expensive! It was actually cheaper to hire a car, so that’s what we did. For the first time in months I got behind the wheel, for the first time in years it was on the wrong side of the car!! Tentatively at first, ie why turn left when you can make three right hand turns, we headed toward Münster in northwest Germany.