At last we leave! After several days of organization and meetings to choose destination, route and stages of our journey to the tour Year 2005, we get on the camper that will take us first to Copenhagen and then to Amsterdam, to spend the last day of the past year and the first of the tour one. We are six and, since in this period it appears that the Italians have all decided to spend the holidays renting a motorhome, we have to arrange with a 5 +1 (five persons plus one, usually a child). As the saying goes, "The good weather you can see from morning...", and in fact: the morning of December 27 we reach the car parking, jump on the campervan and turn it on to heat it while we complete all burocratic formality (and you know, in Italy there are not few). The problem is that the rear heater does not work properly because the mask that protects the pilot flame comes off lighting the flame off with each breath. The owner fixs the problem and everything seems okay. We lost an hour of time but at least our "home" on four wheels should keep us warm in polar climate of northern Europe.
Trento - Copenhagen
So excited and hopeful to start our trip, we push on the pedal and launch toward the Brenner Pass and beyond. After having driven just a hundred kilometers we see that the issue seemed resolved, but it was not at all: the mask continues to fall and every five minutes the flame is extinguished, leaving us to freeze. Moreover, as we proceed in the journey, we realize that the space inside the camper is really small, and every movement is a huge effort, over a thousand shocks and jostling among us (I want to clarify that i'm not one who loves to travel with all the comforts and i never complained for a bit of inconvenience but in this case the lack of space was a real problem).
Immediately the driver and the "pilot" became the most wanted places, given the warmth and space in the passenger compartment and the war to take them becomes increasingly bitter and bloody every kilometer. At lunch we decide to stop and cook a good amount of pasta. It unleash another war to sit down at table and two of us have to accommodate in the front seats because the space is insufficient. After a dreamed coffee, we get back on the march: who in their big windjacket with two pairs of wool socks on the feet (in the rear compartment), who in shirt sleeves for too hot (in the front). Around midnight we reach Hamburg and put us to sleep on the road side. I posti letto, come detto, sono cinque più uno e si deve stabilire chi sarà lo sfortunato "più uno" . The beds, as mentioned, are five plus one and we must determine who will be the unlucky "plus one". In the reality, unfortunate will be two of us because the most problematic bed is that obtained in the "living area" by lowering the dining table: to say that what is born (I do not have the courage to call it bed) is a square and a half would make a wrong all real square and a half! We decide to game with our luck and after an extraction, to say the least controlled, repeated approximately 15-20 times, we determine the positions. After lying we turn off the lights and everything seems to be solved but passed just 5 minutes i hear a thud coming from the bottom (fortunately I was finished in positions above the cockpit) and immediately after a series of unrepeatable words. Turned on a light bulb we see the unfortunate Alessandro (a "little boy" of 1.90m) distended skin bear on the narrow corridor of the camper: the support which was to hold a bed-table was most likely been broken and placed approximately whose had previously rented the camper and Ale has just made a sudden movement of the normal lives that it has blocked detached making capitulate. Another hour of work and the damage was more or less settled and we could go back to sleep.
The next morning, having slept little, we face another step that brings us to Copenhagen. Quiet day, thankfully.
The next day, weary from the cold and uncomfortable journey, joyfully in the morning we wake up with an intense rain that greets us and we are dedicated to the visit of the city! As you may know in a single day, Copenhagen is nice and welcoming, clean and industrious. The Danish capital is situated on the eastern shore of the island of Sjaelland, more precisely on the island of Amager, in Oresund. There have established organs of power: the Parliament, Government and the royal family. The city center is busy from the pedestrian area of the Stroget, where there is also the church of the Holy Spirit and a little farther Hojbro Place, one of the most beautiful squares of the city. Take a walk through this street, especially when you are in town during the Christmas period as has happened to us. The church of Our Lady is the cathedral of Copenhagen but the symbol is on the seafront (Langelinie): The Little Mermaid, a bronze sculpture made in 1913 by Edward Eriksen, inspired by the note fairy tale of Andersen. After a day of walking in the streets of the city we are wet up to the head, and we seek refuge in a bar to warm us up. We return to the camper destroyed for a long walk today and preparing for another sleepless night and the subsequent transfer that expect us to Amsterdam, the goal of our tour year eve in the north.
Restart with bang!
In the morning, we wake up early and do hasty preparations for departure. We wash and reopen the table-bed, heat the camper and we are ready for departure. Everything ok? We do a quick check around the camper to see if we leave something? No, not needed, we have not forgotten anything and we hurry! Then I put the first gear and... crack! A loud noise coming from the rear makes me stop instantly. We go out to check what happened: oh god, the wire that gave us electricity, attached to the column outside of the pitch of the camp! We have forgotten to unplug that, once started, it was caught in the plastic bumper of our camper destructing it as a piece of butter. Desperate, we decide to rearrange the column properties of the camp (even that was a little bent), pick up the pieces of the bumper and restart: to fix the damage we will take care of at home, replacing the part. Once again we come to town in the evening, tired and we get to sleep to visit the Dutch city the following day.
Amsterdam is built on several concentric channels and has an endless series of narrow alleys that give the city a very romantic look. The center is quite small and we can easily go on foot. The area around the Centraal Station and Dam Square contains most of the monuments and museums. Just walk a few meters and you are in the red light district where you can find prostitutes in the window next to the oldest church in the city. These contrasts make Amsterdam a unique city, beautiful and disconcerting at the same time. In this surreal atmosphere, in the busy Dam Square, we are preparing to spend the end of the year and we finally enjoy a moment of celebration with fireworks and dancing, so far unknown in this journey "tragi-comic." Unfortunately, the morning after we leave to be back in Trento before 6 am on January 2: one of us has to work. The return is a race against time: just a quick stop to greet a cousin of mine emigrant near Stuttgart and we start driving home all night. The snow at Brenner surprise us but fortunately we get in Trento to 5.30, exhausted and upset for damage caused and "suffered" from the camper.
Unfortunately, this that had to be a pleasant tour with friends in northern Europe has turned into a race against time (it was a mistake to organize a trip so long), in unacceptable conditions (with all that we have spent for the rental of the camper) and more with an additional cost because of the bumper to be replaced! As written in the title: the worst trip of my life because I love to take my time, at least when i am on vacation ... even if the company was pleasant and Copenhagen and Amsterdam are welcoming cities, hoping to be able to visit them with more calm on other occasions.