Travel report Germany

Detour to Switzerland

Before our journey get’s started, some preparatory work awaits us. Several reasons therefore drew us back to Switzerland. One of them is the Corona vaccination. We are back home in time for the first vaccination appointment. We get through the first “shot” without any major side effects.

Howis-Web Travel report

Now we have to wait four weeks until the second appointment. We use this time to work off our pending items for our new travel plans: Mexico! For a long time we hoped for a border opening US/Canada. Unfortunately in vain. The longer we wait, the less favorable the travel time for northwestern Canada and Alaska becomes. So we decide to go to Mexico, where entry is allowed. This means we need to find a suitable partner for shipping. This is somewhat riskier to Mexico than to the USA or Canada. The advantage in return is that the vehicle can remain in the NAFTA area for longer than twelve months. Enough reasons for us to put an end to the long wait. After intensive research we book the crossing for “Whaly” with IVVSUK. As soon as we are (hopefully) all reunited in Mexico, we will prepare a detailed report on the shipment.

Travel Report Spain

Not only the cargo ship, but also our flights and an Airbnb in Mexico have to be organized. A few days after we say goodbye to “Whaly” for the big trip, we fly with KLM to Veracruz. There we will wait about two weeks for the arrival of the freighter. The next few weeks will probably not be the most pleasant part of our trip. However, it is part of it and we look forward to new adventures. Before “Whaly” is ready, there is still work to be done. The flash rust from standing free on beaches has to go. After several hours of cleaning and sanding, we apply a rust and underseal. Something we should have done much earlier. But better late than never. Now we are curious how long the protection lasts. We are very satisfied with the result. The underbody looks like new.

Travel report Germany

We also need to reorganize our storage space. Sandro rebuilds everything so that the kite material as well as everything else finds its place again. Another important reason for the trip to Switzerland is that we want to show the vehicle again for inspection. As soon as we change continent, we need the full two-year inspection interval. Somewhat nervously, we drive through the test road, where “Whaly” is extensively scrutinized. We are happy when we get the stamp in the vehicle registration card.

Travel report Germany

Of course, we also enjoy spending time with family and friends. We are happy that we are allowed to stay with Sandro’s parents. Often we also sleep somewhere “on the road”. There are many appointments coming up – with our rolling home we travel from one invitation to the next. Across Switzerland we spend our four weeks “vacation”. Very often also in the place where it all began in January with our little (Corona compliant) farewell party. Our favorite place, where we spent countless hours already as 20-year-olds.

Travel report Germany

It is also brilliant that we meet our return just in time for the European Football Championship. We can follow the ups and downs of the Swiss national team together with friends. Even if the unfortunate elimination against Spain in the quarterfinals is somewhat annoying.

Travel report Germany

Slowly the second vaccination date is approaching. Even though time with family and friends has been great, we are more attuned to life “on the road.” We leave for Germany, where we will spend another two weeks before dropping “Whaly” off in Bremerhaven.

Off to the Baltic Sea

We will drive up the 1’000km to the Baltic Sea at a brisk pace. Our destination is the sunny island of Fehmarn. Whereby the term “sunny island” does not do justice at the moment either. As in Switzerland, it rains more or less continuously in Germany. Fehmarn is known for kitesurfing and offers various spots. Among other things, beginner-friendly shallow waters. Since we have always had some bad luck with wind so far, Fehmarn is to be the next attempt. But how could it be otherwise; there is an absolute wind lull. And this for the next five days. A reason for us to stay a day longer at the beautiful pitch at the “Würmsee”.

Travel report Germany

Already the first pitch in Schutterwald, which we got hold of, was beautiful. Right next to “Whaly” we could observe a stork nest. On the other side, the bathing lake with lake meadow and a beautiful evening panorama invited to forget the exertions of the driving day. It can go on quietly so with pitches in Germany – we are positively surprised.

Travel report Germany


The continuing rainy period in Europe do not give us hope to find sun for the remaining time in Germany. We are all the more surprised when we reach Fehmarn. Bright sunshine greets us – it is not for nothing that Fehmarn is known as the sunny island. With more than 2,200 hours of sunshine, the region is one of the least rainy and sunniest in Germany. With “Whaly” we explore the third largest island in Germany to find the ideal camping spot. We find this one in Gollendorf. On a huge country farm, the Eckhoff family offers “camping on the meadow” for a reasonable price of € 16.00.

Travel report Germany

We choose the place especially because of the good location for kiting. The dike is about 500m away; the perfect kite spot for beginners with a large shallow water area. Loaded with our material we get to the spot on foot. We are by far not the only kite beginners on the dike. When the wind conditions are good – and especially on weekends – we meet many like-minded people. Fortunately, the shallow water area is very large. Always keep enough distance and catch the right gaps yet not easy.

Sandro Kitesurfen

During our stay we are on the water for three days and benefit from the good wind conditions. In small and sometimes larger steps, our skills improve. At the end of the vacation, Sandro drives stably on both sides – for me, the right side still works much better than the left. We are not losing our patience yet. Practice makes perfect, in Mexico we continue with the next practice steps: Turning and running upwind.

Kitesurfing Fehmarn

We enjoy the atmosphere among the kiters. Just like diving or mountain biking, we feel this flair in kiting; everyone approaches each other and there is an open atmosphere. Through this we meet many new people, from young to old, all with the same interest. When our motivation and fatigue drive us out of the water, we treat ourselves to an after-work beer at Ellis Snackeria while we continue to philosophize and watch the colorful kite sky from our lounge chair.

Ellis Snackeria

In windless weather we explore the island by mountain bike. Besides water sports, cycling is the number two popular sport on Fehmarn. There are beautiful bike paths directly on the dam. We look at the other kitespots in Lemkenhafen, Gold and Wulfernhals. These are distributed on the east and west sides of the island. Thus, a suitable place can be approached in any wind direction. The villages are lovingly designed and invite you to sit down and watch the hustle and bustle.


Our favorite place is the harbor town of Orth. We never get enough of harbors and boats. A certain wanderlust quickly sets in, we would love to check in on a liveaboard. But that will have to wait until we get to Mexico. Currently we just enjoy the view of the boats. In the harbor snack bar we grab a seat. The delicious fish sandwiches and other fish specialties are the reason why you can usually expect a long line here. The view of the harbor from the beach chair is also unbeatable.

Actually we are in Orth because we are invited by Moni & Werner on their beautiful wooden ship – the Camelot – for coffee and cake. We get to know the two of them at the Eckhoff vacation farm. Their sailboat is stored there, which is now being launched for a trip to Denmark. We are happy about the tour on the sailing ship – in which there is a lot of love – and the nice company. Thank you very much!

Encounters Panamericana

Of course, our bike tour will also take us to the island lighthouse Fluegge. We refrain from sightseeing; we enjoy the view from the Fluegger beach. Lighthouses, like boats, have something magical for us.


From the west coast we are drawn to the east side of the island. First to the main town: Burg auf Fehmarn. Here we delivered our defective 7ner kite to sailmaker Manuela Abken for repair. After three days we can already pick it up repaired. Finally, this issue is also closed. That we can handle this so uncomplicated, in good quality and at an acceptable price on Fehmarn is ingenious. Cycling we continue to the southern beach of Fehmarn. A long beach with the typical Baltic Sea beach chairs.

Beach chairs Baltic Sea

The sunny island of Fehmarn has done it to us. It would be appealing to move even further north. But unfortunately there is no time for that. That will have to be postponed until a later date. At the moment, our plans look different.


After nine days in Fehmarn, “Whaly’s” last stop in Europe is just around the corner: Bremerhaven. Here he will be loaded onto a cargo ship, on which he will sail for three weeks across the Atlantic to Mexico. To complete the preparations, we will spend two days in a parking lot in the harbor area.

Whaly Bremerhaven

Here we also meet Jacky and Hansi with their MAN expedition vehicle “Chang”. We have been in contact for a couple of weeks, as our vehicles are going to Veracruz on the same ship by RoRo. Crossing each other’s fingers and supporting each other in this adventure certainly won’t hurt. In the evening we have dinner together – fish, of course – in one of the nice restaurants on the promenade.


The next day we have a lot of work waiting for us. The first step is to clean “Whaly” outside. The rules for importing a vehicle are clear: there must be no dust or dirt. Since there is no truck/camper wash in Bremerhaven, we have to go to a professional truck wash.

Whaly washing

This is followed by interior cleaning with the same principle; no dust, dirt or grease. We scrub for all we’re worth; “Whaly” hasn’t been this clean in a long time. The last leftovers and spices are given away to the camping neighbors. The final step is to stow everything “sightless” and sort valuables. After everything is hidden and rearranged to our satisfaction, we pack our backpacks. Electric material, cameras and clothes for four weeks. From our shipping company – IVVSUK – we receive the last information about the procedure. Between 08:00 – 16:00 we can deliver the vehicle at the terminal with the received papers. A short and simple act it should be. But already when arriving, there is a huge queue of trucks. Nothing moves. The fact that we were not immediately at 08:00 clock at the terminal, but only around 10:30 clock, we regret quickly.

Bremerhaven Terminal

My inquiry as to whether we can already fill out the papers is answered in the negative. Please wait in the truck for our turn. After about 90 minutes we arrived at the parking lot. We park and go to the mentioned building no. 2, where we are allowed to register. But it’s not that fast: Please enter and wait until our number is called. It is pure chaos, with around 30 truck drivers standing in line.

Terminal Bremerhaven

After we got our number (34), we find out after about an hour without any movement that they are still at number 1. The problem is that you have no more parking spaces in the check-in area at the port. Therefore, nothing happens for the next two hours. Even though we were prepared for a tedious day – so slowly things could move forward. If it goes on like this, we will not be able to drop the vehicle today and will have to let our hotel in Hamburg pass. Hansi from CHANG VONUNTERWEGS does not give up discussing. At some point – after a total of about 4 hours – they realize that we have a Private Delivery and therefore should be brought forward. Suddenly it goes fast and we are allowed in before everyone else. The papers are issued, entry card is distributed and instructions on how to proceed are given. Finally we are allowed to drive into the area.

Whaly and Chang

In the truck parking lot we wait until the port staff shows up and inspects our vehicle. Another hour passes. Then we move forward: we are directed to another parking lot where some paperwork is filled out. To our surprise, the interior is not checked, we are allowed to lock the cabin. This procedure then awaits us at the import in Mexico. After a long day of waiting, the check-in finally takes place smoothly. In a parking lot, “Whaly” waits with other campers to be loaded into the cargo ship. According to planning, this should be done in three days. In the meantime, we make our way to the train station with our backpacks in the cab.

Whaly Terminal Bremerhaven


After dropping off Whaly, an eight-day stay in Hamburg awaits us. We heard only good things about the Hanseatic city. Still, over a week in a city is long for us. We are rather the nature people. Since we have to wait four weeks until we can receive the vehicle again in Mexico, we split the stay between Hamburg and Veracruz. So at least some variety comes into our city life in the coming month. The first night we spend in the hotel. Afterwards we are allowed to take over the apartment of a friend from Switzerland for four nights, who has been living in Hamburg for a few years. Bernhard goes on vacation with his wife and leaves us his home in the middle of the Altona center.

Apartment in Hamburg

This is a great relief for us. So we can spread out comfortably, cook something, update the website and are not always on the run from the hotel room. Bad weather is forecast for the whole week; not untypical for Hamburg. We are all the more surprised to be greeted by sunshine every day. The great weather is not only enjoyed by us – on Saturday evening we sit with hundreds of others on Hamburg Beach in the “Strandperle”. There we meet Silke and Isabel, whom we met in Fehmarn while kiting. With a top view of the cargo ships we toast to our new acquaintance.


Hamburg definitely has a special flair. The port area in particular fascinates us: as one of the largest and most modern ports in Europe, there is a lot to discover. Everywhere you can book the60-90 minute tourist trips through the port, at the price of €18.00-€30.00 per person. We deliberately forego the official harbor tour. Instead, we buy the Hamburg 9 o’clock day ticket and take the ferry up and down the Elbe. A cheaper and more relaxed way to explore the port.

Ferry Hamburg

There is a lot going on in the port area. Especially on weekends, the beautiful weather attracts many visitors outside. The best way to watch the action is over a fish sandwich and a beer in one of the countless restaurants near the Landungsbrücken. Be it at Bridge 10 or Dock 3 Beachclub.

Dock 3 Travel Report Germany

A walk through Speicherstadt – the world’s largest historic warehouse complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is also impressive. The area was built on thousands of oak piles between 1883 and the end of the 1920s. The sight of the buildings – built in thestyle of neo-Gothic brick architecture – is imposing. It is easy to imagine how manual labor was used here in the past, before the era of automated storage systems. The Speicherstadt is also home to attractions such as the Miniatur Wonderland and the Hamburg Dungeon. Due to Corona, the number of visitors are limited, tickets are fully booked for the whole week. At least online, and we don’t feel like the long waits in line.


The second well-known body of water next to the Elbe is the Aussenalster. A beautiful recreational area in the middle of the city. Whether joggers, walkers, sailors, canoeists or stand-up paddlers – the Außenalster with its adjacent park attracts many. Boats are rented everywhere. However, we forgo this and limit ourselves to a walk and a cozy terrace at Bobby Reich.

Travel report Germany

We are very positively surprised by Hamburg. We like the versatility of the Hanseatic city. The harbor area, the nightlife districts with their many restaurants and bars, parks like the Altonaer Balkon or the Aussenalster, the Speicherstadt; there is a lot to see. When Bernhard and his wife come back from vacation – and we put up at the hotel for another 4 nights – we use the time and move around the houses together. It’s nice to meet familiar faces and philosophize about the differences of life in Switzerland and Germany. After eight days the time has come; we fly with KLM via Amsterdam to Veracruz. The Hanseatic city is our conclusion of a six-month journey through Europe. A journey which was surprisingly beautiful and instructive for us. Now it’s time for new cultures and experiences.

Bernhard & Larissa
Travel Report Germany
Travel report Germany