Our new residence

1 12 2015

This is our home for our second month in Geelong. Thanks to the family here for letting us use their beautiful caravan! And for enduring the German invasion of their house for the first four weeks of our stay.


A new bus tent!

23 10 2015

With now two small kids, we decided the kombi alone would be too small for camping with the family. So we bought a very big new bus tent. The first camping trip in early August was a one week visit to our favorite local camp site (at Schwielochsee in the Spreewald, about 100 km south east of Berlin). The new tent (Reimo Tour Family Thermo) is huge and comes with two separate sleeping cabins. They fitted perfectly as parent’s and kid’s bedrooms. The bus is meant to park on the side so that one can enter the tent via the sliding door. But we used it this time as a stand-alone tent and used the kombi only for transportation. The weather was very hot, with temperatures touching 40°C, but it was a good break from everyday life. We should do this more often!



Holiday at the Baltic Sea

17 11 2014

We spent our autumn vacation in early September on a camp site in Born on the Darss, at the Baltic Sea. We did not stay in the kombi but booked a mobile home. Just that bit of extra space that makes life with a three-year-old more relaxing. And our wonder-daughter did turn three while we were there! Big changes happening in her life at the moment. Potti training completed, and the dummy fairy took away the last dummies/pacifiers. Our little one all of a sudden turned into a big girl! Pony riding on a local horse farm in Born also unleashed the full-blown horse fascination that young girls seem to develop at some point. One of her current plans for the future is to become a “rider of all horses”.

PS: A bit of a worry two days before the end of our holiday. Taiga Lily’s engine stopped running while we cruised through a neighboring village. Good that we did not use the car as campervan – a friendly mechanic from the ADAC (the German automobile club) arrived 45 min later and tracked it down to the ignition distributor, but did not get it running again that evening. He towed Taiga Lily to a garage in our village. Turned out the contact-breaker point in the distributor was faulty and had to be replaced.

Campsite in Born on the Darss.

Campsite in Born on the Darss.

Beach close to Prerow  on the Darss.

Beach close to Prerow on the Darss.

Beach close to Ahrenshoop.

Beach close to Ahrenshoop.

Taiga Lily getting a lift to the local garage.

Taiga Lily getting a lift to the local garage.

The broken part, contact-breaker point  (German Unterbrecherkontakt).

The perpetrator: Contact-breaker point (German Unterbrecherkontakt).

Summer Camping Weekend

8 08 2014

Berlin is famous for the many lakes in its backlands, and on a beautiful summer weekend in July we packed our camping gear and headed north, with the general aim of Bernsteinsee (lake amber) in the Schorfheide nature reserve. Realized again we should do this much more often – just 1-2 hours out of Berlin and one is out of the big city and quickly in holiday mode. We ended up on a campsite on Ruehlesee, just next to Bernsteinsee: Beautiful low-key campsite in a pine tree forest with its own lake. The backlands of Berlin all belong to former East Germany, and 24 years after re-unification it seems the camp sites are often still run in a different way to West Germany: Lots of space, landscape mostly left untouched, everything a bit low key, but the necessary facilities in place and very friendly and unpretentious people. This one comes with its own diving school, and a cable waterski facility on an adjacent second lake – not really our thing, but amusing to watch for a while. In addition to their German web site I found this English site, both also a bit out-dated.
Thanks to Wikipedia I’ve just learnt that parts of the Schorfheide nature reserve are actually a UNESCO listed world heritage: Protected since 2011 as one of the last surviving ancient beech forests that probably covered most of middle Europe some long time ago. It is also home to the lesser spotted eagle, which we actually saw when we meandered through the forests on the way back to Berlin!