After we spent a good week on the Ile de Ré on the Atlantic coast in France, we continue our trip across the country via Limoges to Toulon. On the way we will have a few days break at the beautiful Lac de Pareloup before we take the night ferry to Sardinia on 9.9.
Arrived in France we follow the coastline which is sometimes not so easy. The crossings are very narrow and often closed for more than 7,5to. We have to ignore this and hope for the best. South of Bologne-sur-mer a huge dune landscape begins where we look for a nice place for a few days directly in the dunes. The endless sandy beach becomes 500 meters wide at low tide and exposes the mussel beds which are laid out over a length of 3 km. Every day the mussels are picked from the trunks with tractors and a special grab arm. Everywhere you can still see the bunkers of the Atlantic Wall from the Second World War which the Germans left here. Here we enjoy the loneliness and a week of doing nothing.
We leave the new federal states of Germany and come to Schleswig-Holstein. There we visit the old Hanseatic city of Lübeck which was founded in 1143.
It is regarded as the "Queen" and "Mother of the Hanseatic League", a trade association which from the 12th century until modern times has ensured great prosperity in Lübeck and other member cities through free trade and peaceful cooperation. We stroll through the picturesque old town, which with over a thousand preserved cultural monuments has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1987. Worth seeing is also the Hanseatic Museum where you can learn a lot about 400 years of Hanseatic history.
After a long ship journey our MOMO finally arrives at the end of April. Unfortunately not in Bremerhaven as planned, but in Seebrugge in Belgium. Because of Corona there was not enough freight left to justify the trip to Bremerhaven and so MOMO was unloaded in Seebrugge and the problem was uploaded at our place. As Corona Lock Down is still Europe-wide at this time, we have to overcome some challenges to pick up the vehicle. In the end we take a train that takes us to Seebrugge in 10 hours with several changes. The only remaining problem is to find a hotel. Almost all of them are closed and only accept guests with an exceptional reason. In Seebrugge only the Ibis Hotel is open for dockworkers and after a detailed written statement to the hotel management about the purpose of the stay we actually get a room. The next morning the harbour agent picked us up and after almost 2 hours of paperwork we could pick up MOMO unharmed. After all, the freight was on the road for almost 2 months, circumnavigated all of Africa and made several stops in different African ports. So we are very happy to have the car back in our hands without a scratch. Over mostly empty motorways we drive via Luxembourg to Germany and stay with our friend Reinhard in Saarlouis with whom we spent 2 months curving through UAE and Oman. His car is still waiting to be picked up in India. Shortly afterwards we are back in Istein and continue our corona quarantine.
At this point, our first Africa Blog should actually be here. Unfortunately it comes completely different than expected.
What were the times when Corona was only known as a Mexican beer. The worldwide pandemic has now changed everything and at a speed that nobody thought possible.
While our MOMO is shipped from Dubai to Durban we use the time for a little home leave and fly to Germany on 27 Feb Corona is just a footnote in the news at this time and something that primarily concerns the Chinese. After the situation gets even worse in the first half of March we decide to fly to South Africa earlier than planned and wait for our car there. On 11 March we fly to Durban and there we rent a nice Airbnb. The first days we spend at 25 degrees and bright sunshine on the beach and enjoy the good African cuisine. At the same time we observe the corona development with increasing concern and decide to break off on 16 March. At this time there are only 7 cases in South Africa, but we fear that when the virus reaches the townships it will end in a desaster.