Day Seventy Seven 

Yesterday’s late rain saw us end the day at Itzehoe. Given how far we have to go, we need to pick up the pace to make it to the Le Havre ferry by the 13th.   All drive and no play makes for some grumpy times ahead I suspect. 

Usually instigated by me; I get a little ratty trapped seated for hours.  I want to stop to look at pretty things, Chris a man on a mission, one goal in mind.  I give it 24 hours before I crack and start grizzling.  12 hours if it’s hot, less if he refuses to stop for photos.  

There is something pretty to look at this morning though, a roe deer startled out of her hidey hole, bounding across a freshly turned field.  She won’t be happy when she realises she’s left the forest and her buddies behind.

Heading south, we’re aiming to catch the Gluckstadt ferry to Wischhafen, crossing the Elbe, saving some distance.  This proves easier said than done thanks to endless roadworks which cut off access at every turn.  It takes 5 passes of increasing frustration via various approaches before we find a way through.   

We’re still in farmland and will no doubt be for a while, but this area is more dairy cows and horses as opposed to grain crops. Land that isn’t dedicated to grazing is under corn.  Endless fields of corn, nestle under blue sky.

We have quite a number of sightings of farm cats today.  These are not pampered hearth cats, no, but sleek muscular bruisers who patrol the fields with intent. These boys probably gang up to sneer at dogs, purr at girl cats and roll their own catnip when the farmer isn’t looking.  Tabbies and gingers are popular.  There was an unusual brown on top/white bellied one that I thought was a giant stoat before I spotted his ears poking up through the long grass. Much excitement and squealing there for a moment.  

The triffids are back.  Wind turbines to other people, they’ll always be triffids me.  They remind me of the menace from the old science fiction classic. Solar panels are very popular too, with many farm buildings sporting them, some covering the whole roof, others in decorative patterns.

We cross two regions today, the Schleswig Holstein and Lower Saxony.   We toured these extensively last year and there are places I’d love to revisit. It’s a bit of a mad dash through Germany this time though, thankfully mostly off the freeways, through beautiful green areas dotted  brick farm houses, thatched cottages and barns. Many of the country roads are tree lined creating cocooned green corridors where the trees meet overhead.  

To my frustration, all the picturesque black and white cows graze peacefully close by on Chris’s side of the car.  I can only look longingly; all the cows on my side are miles away. A bovine conspiracy to avoid being papped out of my window. The horses are more obliging.

We venture onto the freeway once and witness some truly scary speeds.  One guy must have been doing over 200 km per hour, his passing creates a whoosh of wind that propels us forward and across the road.  Aside from maniac drivers, this freeway has an interesting feature, its sound barriers have been planted extensively with creepers, greening the freeway.  It’s an effective foil to the starkness of these roads.

Day’s end sees us at Dorpen, just a short way off the border crossing to the Netherlands.  

Whilst they’re very pretty, these drives through the country, they’re not terribly exciting to write up I’m afraid. 

 Especially when someone, he who shall not be named,  won’t stop for photos and I have to resort to action shots out of my window.

 Not Voldemort, in case you’re a Potterhead, like me .🤗. Maybe it’s time to reread Harry, that’s always good to still the mind. A little Potter magic proves just the thing, out in the late afternoon sun on a deck chair, cocktail in hand. God bless JK Rowling, long may the ink continue to flow from her pen. 

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