Today is the day my bus finally finds its way back to its country of origin. It’s spent most of its life out in the west coast state of California in America before it came to me. Now it has come full circle, as I leave the great little stop that is the Barrage De La Gileppe in Belgium, to finally head into Germany for the final leg of getting to Hessisch Oldendorf.
After breakfast and a final quick walk around the reservoir, it was time to head off on the road again. It was a slightly cooler start to the day, but it promised to get much warmer as the day progressed, so board shorts and vest type of day for me 🙂
Arrival into Germany from Belgium was a bit of an anti-climax. It was more a case of just happening to notice that the road sign language had a changed. Not that much of it made much sense to my mono linguistic eye! Coming from an island nation such as the UK, changing country can seem like it should be a bigger thing. Here because of the single land mass and the arbitrary way it is geopolitical divided up, it really means very little I suppose?
This part of the trip was all about getting to Hessisch Oldendorf, so no scenic country routes, it was mostly autobahn/motorway driving unfortunately. However, even this can have its interesting moments. The Autobahns are famous for sections with unrestricted speed limits, and there was nothing quite like hearing the sound of a Porsche flat 6 engine as it goes flying past you giving it plenty on route! 🙂 Me, I’m just happy to be cruising along at 50mph in the inside lane. Style beats speed every time!
It was good to stop off regularly for a break, have a snack and make a brew at service stations along the way. It was nice to see and briefly chat to other vintage VW owners I spotted in the parking areas. It was a sign and an encouragement that I was getting nearer!
Driving like a saint at a fairly steady 50mph ish on this section of the route also had its reward at the petrol pumps. I managed to achieve a pretty respectable 33.7mpg on this leg of the journey. At my final fuel stop before arrival, I bumped into these three Americans (the father, his son and the son’s girlfriend) driving a single cab pick-up with a crane as part of the BBT cruise from Belgium. Not something you see everyday! Another indication of just how international this show was. Quite literally there are people coming from all over the globe to this event. There is even a group of people in VW buses and beetles that are driving up to the show from Malaysia – that really is some kind of crazy dedication to the cause!
When I finally arrived into Hessisch Oldendorf, I missed a sign and mistakenly drove into the town. It was already packed with both people and vintage VW‘s. Things were looking like it was going to be a busy weekend that‘s for sure. I managed to work my way slowly back out again and find myself the way to the camping area. I thought I had made fairly good time getting there at around 3.30pm ish, but already the 3 main camping areas were full and I was getting redirected to an overflow camping area of a small sports field. Note to self; you might need to arrive a day earlier in 4 years time!
Just your average campsite neighbours with on one side, a couple who drove from Bordeaux in France in a stunning 1950‘s split window beetle and the other side, a couple from the North of England in a beautiful Devon pop top early bay window.
After a wind down after all the driving, I took a quick walk around the different camping areas on the site. Great facilities already set-up and in place for everyone, German efficiency at its best you might say! Quite amazing to see such a vast eclectic array of vintage and newer vehicles all camping out for this one event.
A friend reminded me about getting registrations sorted, but unfortunately it had closed which was a bit of surprise as people were still arriving? Looks like we will need to be doing that first thing tomorrow then 🙁
With the registration office closed, I took some time to just have a casual wander around the town centre and side streets. Like the event I love in Ninove, the town of Hessisch Oldendorf really seem to embrace the event. I’m not sure if you lived here you would really have too much choice, unless of course you used the time to go away for your holidays?
Just seeing the amount of rare, I mean really rare cars, beetles, buses etc. on the streets already, along with super early 1940/1950‘s parts in the swap meet/traders sections was quite simply mind-blowing! If this was the starter, the main course tomorrow should be quite spectacular! You might want to subscribe to my site (no catches) as there will be a lot of interesting stuff to share coming up shortly…