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21st June

Midsummer, Summer solstice Darkness and light balanced it's also a full moon tomorrow. A time for celebration, just for being alive.

We reach Rodbyhavn, fill up with fuel and arrive at the terminal with ten minutes to spare .Once again the crossing is calm and takes about 45 minutes all of which we spent on the outside deck taking the air .

Soon we are in Germany, and its time to plan the route. It is mostly on the motorway but we take a detour into the countryside for this our first night here, and sure enough we find a forest which is quiet. The scent of woodbine fills the air. a perfect place for the 21st. We celebrate the solstice and finish off the day with a bottle of wine watched over by the giant Oak trees.

22 June

Off we go again, our sights are fixed on the Netherlands the drive takes us to Hamburg and then on to Bremen, where we get held up in a traffic jam for a few hours. The drive proves exhausting temperature is just about 30 but we persevere and aventually cross into Groningen in Netherlands at about 7pm. The place is buzzing with cafes and pubs overflowing onto the streets.The canals full with boats of every size and description. Bicycles by the score not too much room here for cars. the streets are narrow ,all the signposting is completly alien to us ..possibly double dutch.

This is one of the main streets in Groningen The bike rules and the travel fast. It makes driving a bit scary for a while they appear to have right of way all the time. Most streets have dedicated cycle lanes There are bicycles of every size and shape even three wheelers We now head for the north coast to rest up for the night...

Move along there now..go move shift...

After an hour or so we see anotice for car parking . Perfect we think and there is another tigin there so it must be safe enough. It is in the middle of no where and its now about 11.30 and tiredness is creeping up after last nights lack of sleep and after the two long days driving. We have a glass of wine and settle About 1.00pm we hear a car come into the carpark and footsteps outside...then a voice "open up police" two young policemen are outside the window and they inform us we are in a nature park and it is not allowed to park here. They were very nice about it but insisted we move to a campsite or pay an on the spot fine of 90 euros..When we asked where the nearest one was ,being aware of the wine , they had no suggestion but just replyed freshen up and move along, you are now warned. So off we go drive about twenty kilometers no campsites open at this hour, so we pull into a layby and sleep. We awoke at 8.00am have a quick coffee and hit the road So it now appears that we must stay in campsites in Holland..our stay here will be short as we are used to freedom. We are both aware of the feelings stirred within, and identify with the Irish Traveller and the native Americans, move along there now or else..... and in the case of the Indians it was down the barrell of a gun, from a place where they and their ancestors had lived and hunted. They were now been told to move by strangers whom they had welcomed into their land, these strangers then became invaders and wiped out tribe after tribe in the name of greed and power.

AS we drive now towards Amsterdam we check out campsites they are cheap enough at about 12 euros for the night but as it is now 30 c outside we head along the coast to Leeuwenbrug. Here we print out Jimmy's flight plan, and book a flight for Bronadh to join us again for a few days in Amsterdam, familiar territory for her as she lived and worked there two summers ago for five months. We are looking forward to her visit and we will also have a personal guide.
We book into a campsite along the coast for a few days rest before heading for Amsterdam (coastal camping €20). The weather is beautiful and dogs are allowed on the beach. The three of us enjoy the water which is tepid and take some sun, looks like molly's whiskers are bleaching, not blond.... but brown.


27th June

Onward to Amsterdam, and the sweet smell of freshly cut grass (no pun intended) reminds us of home. Thecountryside is strikingly flat, with every inch of land used for various crops, side by side, no fencing, no waste.
We stopped of at Schipol Airport to do a dry run for the next morning and a good thing too as there was no parking facility for the Tigin at depatrures. We would have to park in the long term park and get a bus about 3mls away, so we would need to allow extra time for this.
We booked into Amsterdam's only campsite, it was beautifully located in Amsterdamsebos. A public park similar to the Phoenix Pk. but with traffic running around the perimiter and not through it. The cost here was also about
€20 but showers and water 50cent per ltr. were extra, (badly in need of competition and the manager was a rude bully type)



28th June

Jimmy headed home to the best Irish summer weather, he and Bronadh arrived back next day to an electrical storm. It was a spectacular sight. So next day we headed into town, we left molly and the Tigin in the campsite and got a bus. In the true Irish sense we stood on the wrong side of the road and watched the one per hour bus pass by..... We decided to walk for a while to wait for thenext bus and we took the canal and the old tram route.




When we arrived in the city we were struck by the beauty of the place. The number of canals which were all so decorative, and bicycles everywhere. We soon went off the idea of renting bikes as we would surely kill or be killed. Crossing the road was a task in itself, with two way tram tracks, two way bus lanes and two way bike lanes I would never get used to this. Bronadh gave us the grand tour over two days,(including her old workplace, a busy ladies boutique) which was great as we would have fumbled our way around the narrow busy streets not knowing where to visit.

On our way to the city we came across a small pond ,there were moore hens and ducks on it , and this mother was only too happy to show off her young ones and not a bit camera shy.

It was great to see Amsterdam, but two days in the heat in a busy city and we were ready to move on.
We decided to head for the sea and northern France was our target.