Before breakfast this morning I took a walk in the countryside surrounding the hotel. A long drive lay ahead, on what could be a busy Autobahn, so I wanted to make the most of the fresh air while I could.
I left the hotel not long after breakfast. I had no real plans set for today as I didn’t know how long it would take me to get to Itzehoe. 3 hours minimum was my guess – but that would have assumed no stopping, no traffic. In the end I did it in 3hrs 45mins including one stop of about 20 mins.
In the high temperatures my car is not pleasant to be in. On what has been the hottest day of the year in Germany (according to Tagesthemen), I spent the hottest part of the day in what is essentially an oven with an engine. I have no air con in the car and when the temperature gets above 10, I notice it. I did have to stop after the first 90 minutes to get a cold bottle of water and a much needed ice cream.
Traffic in Nordrhein-Westfalen was slow because there were lots of roadworks – but things were better once I got in to Niedersachsen. Once I got past Bremen it was quite a fast run to Itzehoe (top speed 160km/h), except for a small Stau (that’s German for traffic jam) from after the Elbtunnel until the start of the A23.
I passed the time by turning the radio up (in part so I could hear it over the noice caused by driving with the window wide open) and trying to spot how many different numberplates I could see. There were loads of Dutch cars, the Danish were out in force, there were a few Swiss, Italian, French, Polish and Swedish cars, 2 Norweigans and 2 other Brits as well.
It took me a while to work out why many of the cars and caravans – including the other British car I saw – had the letters W.O.A. in big text in their back windscreens. It wasn’t until after I heard a news report on the radio that it clicked. W.O.A = Wacken Open Air: The big heavy metal festival which takes place in Wacken, about 15-20km from here, at the beginning of August.
After I arrived in Itzehoe I needed some fresh air so I went for a walk, only in to, and around, the town centre. Another ice cream helped me get back to the hotel.
This evening I met up with one of my German friends from Itzehoe. I stayed with Petra when I came to Itzehoe with the twinning association for the Christmas Markets in 2016 – tonight we went to the Dubrovnik restaurant for a meal.
I’m staying tonight in a hotel in Itzehoe – it’s almost self catering with a fridge and an electric hob. No air con but the window is at least big enough to open and let some air in. I’ve made use of the fridge by filling up every available bottle with water, and leaving them in the fridge – better not forget those tomorrow!
Before I go to bed, I’m off to the bar for a quick drink. Aiming to leave after breakfast tomorrow – Kiel is my destination which isn’t too far from here. On the way I will go to Schloss Eutin and then I’ll potter over to the island of Fehmarn before I head for Kiel.
Today’s Mileage: 209
Accumulative Mileage: 779.8