Pitching Up

I really have no recollections of how camping in Germany was when we last tried it about 30 years ago.

Shanty TownOur first experience on this occasion with the genial Herr Wolf was a delight: hedged marked pitches of about 10m2, each with water, waste and electricity. Our next experience at Hohenfelden was of a large campsite which, at first sight, looked scuzzy, with vehicles crammed in beside a lake and many static units taking up much of the centre ground giving the appearance of a sort of shanty town. We did, though, find a marked pitch of adequate size, with pleasant neighbours, further from the lake (and shanty town).

Then we moved to Pahna, again beside a lake which used to be a surface coal mine. I had made a booking, which mentioned pitch A107, and we were directed to our area. A107 was misleading because there were no marked pitches; you positioned your van/tent where you wanted and a man came to hook up the electricity, which was metred. We found what looked like a very pleasant spot with natural shade from a tree and no nearby neighbours. Until the evening, that is. Another caravan arrived and, ignoring all the free space before us, proceeded to position itself aligned with us and only about 2m from us. It left masses of empty space on its other side. The reason became clear the next day when more family members turned up in other camping contraptions, one of which was a converted fire engine, and proceeded to circle the wagons. Help! Actually, they were quite friendly and reasonably considerate save for one evening when the noise went on to 23:30.

CrowdedIt was a holiday time and area A became very full. There was no attempt at any pitch control, nor concept of personal space. A campervan behind us positioned itself less than 1m from the draw bar of a Dutch caravan. Two tents pitched a similar distance from another German van. We began to hate the site but could not move on given our visiting agenda.

Almost BlissThen things began to change; units started leaving. The site was beginning to feel more comfortable again. Units continued to leave and no new arrivals came in. Bizarre. Eventually, we were left with just one other remaining unit far away. We were supposed to be here for one more night and I went to reception to check that this was OK. It was. Apparently the Fire Brigade had the entire area booked for a children’s outing from Wednesday, complete with a huge marquee. We were leaving on Tuesday so all should be well. We were, indeed, the last to leave when we had the entire area to ourselves. Bliss! Well, it would have been bliss had there been much grass. At least it was now very peaceful.

64 square metresWe have now moved about 180kms to a new campsite in the back of beyond, in the Franken Wald. Given our earlier experiences, we are now trying to avoiding camping sites beside lakes, which are magnets for Satan’s Little Disciples. Though this recent particular German holiday time is now over, it is still important for weekends. The heat is rising, with temperatures hitting 40°C being forecast. We wanted shade and found a pitch beside a tree. It gives us midday shade but the sun moves and in the evening we will need the shade cast by our caravan. The pitch is hedged on one side but very small, only about 8m x 8m, just 64m2 – there’s just about room for the van and car but forget about having an awning, too. Forget about swinging a cat, come to that. [We don’t have one with us, neither awning nor cat.] The caravan’s services are right on the edge of the pitch. We are used to a 100m2 minimum in France, the centre of the camping world. 😀 At least it is a marked pitch, even if small. Other pitches are certainly a little larger but we were attracted to the shade. Hopefully, no one will be attracted to the space beside us. Oh, and the electricity is 16amp – sheer luxury.

Posted in 2019 Germany

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