IN THE WINTER WITH THE VAN TO THE NORTH CAPE
GERMAN RAINY WEATHER AT THE START OF THE TRIP
When we looked out of the window at 9 o’clock this morning, gray skies, strong wind and rain that could not decide in which direction it wanted to fall awaited us. The raindrops were pattering against the windows of our apartment and the small horse pasture that we could see from the balcony had turned into a muddy landscape overnight. Not the best start for our trip with the van to the North Cape.
VACATION IS DIFFERENT, THAT’S VANLIFE!
There was still so much we had to clear into the van, but in the weather that was impossible. So we did what any sensible person would do who has about 4000 kilometers to drive to the North Cape, we sat down at the kitchen table and drank coffee in peace. After all, it was the first day of two weeks that most would probably call a vacation. At some point, after the umpteenth cup of coffee, the sun finally showed itself and we set off.
Such a long trip in winter with the van to the North Cape can’t really be called a vacation. It is much more of a challenge. It is the challenge to yourself to be able to exist in a confined space and in the cold for two with as few items as possible. And to feel good at the same time. Clearly, our motivation was more about seeking adventure than package tourism. We wanted impressive memories and experiences that both of us would probably not find in vacation trips from the catalog.
FAIR MOOD WITH PERSISTENT RAIN AND PERPETUAL TRAFFIC JAMS
It’s just before Christmas and the temperature gauge on the nav says 7°C. It feels like we’re traveling in the middle of autumn and chasing the rain clouds. Yet there seem to be two factors that completely throw German drivers for a loop. One is the persistent rain and the other is the fact that it’s the Saturday before Christmas. Both create uncertainty for some and frustration, which is discharged in the left lane, for others. So while the traffic jams pile up because of accidents, we hope for the first leg of our journey by van to the North Cape, Denmark.
RECEPTION COMMITTEE AT THE DANISH BORDER. THE DUTCHMAN DID IT!
After about seven hours we have then reached the Danish border and are duly welcomed. Blue and yellow lights alternate and welcome us cheerfully in the darkness. While a Dutch vehicle is directed to the private consultation at the border police, we can simply drive on after a casual saying of the official. Clear thing, as we look we can only be harmless. The Christmas tree on the dashboard is the best advertisement for two Germans driving to the North Cape in a van. And that in the middle of winter.
Contrary to all expectations, the first kilometers on Danish highways show that the Danes are also in the Christmas rush. Nevertheless, there is no snow here. Since the last few hours were already quite exhausting and we are just tired, we decide without further ado for a nice parking lot in Kolping. So far, the app Park4Night has never let us down and also in Denmark we find a great description of a parking space right by the sea.
THE FIRST MORNING IS BAD, BUT THE VIEW MAKES UP FOR IT
As we notice on the first morning, rain is not so great, as we are reduced exclusively to the small space in the van. Somehow the dirt also collects much faster in the car. Nevertheless, we took the time to enjoy the view a bit and get ourselves sorted. When you haven’t traveled with the van for a long time, you get used to the comfort of an apartment pretty quickly and have to adjust your life to this tiny space. So roughly speaking, the first morning is a bit chaotic and requires some improvisation, but it works somehow.
COPENHAGEN DEFINITELY HAS TO BE PART OF THE TRAVEL PLANNING
When all the sleep lines have disappeared from your face after the first coffee, you feel ready for the day. A few more shots for Instagram and the family WhatsApp group, and then we’re ready to go. A visit to Copenhagen is a must on our van trip to the North Cape. We didn’t know beforehand that normal store opening hours also apply on Sundays in Copenhagen, and so all kinds of people were bustling around the pedestrian zone of the capital, still looking for suitable gifts.
Unfortunately, no “normal” Christmas market was open on 23.12. in Copenhagen. The only thing we could find was a kind of amusement park with Christmas theme. The Tivoli Christmas market offers experience-hungry also in the winter time all kinds of rides was but somehow nothing for us. We rather invested further in coffee and were found at a Jule Latte in the Espresso House. Subsequently, still stroll a little through the city and take a few pictures and it’s afternoon.
While it would have been still 1-2 hours longer bright with us in Germany, in Copenhagen at 16 o’clock the lights were already switched on in all houses. The days became noticeably shorter.
NOW LET’S GET ON WITH IT, OTHERWISE WE’LL NEVER GET TO THE NORTH CAPE WITH THE VAN
A lot of time is spent driving on this trip. Even if we had planned to see as many beautiful corners in Scandinavia, one should be aware that 2 weeks and 4000km is already an announcement. So on to Stockhom and celebrate Christmas.