Driving to Sweden—day 2: Monday

Another early start on Monday morning as our ship arrived in Rotterdam at 8:30 a.m. (which was 7:30 Irish time). As we entered the port, we stood out on deck to watch the scenery glide past. I was able to point out the new coal-fired station at Maasvlakte.

There was some delay getting access to the locked kennels, so we were left standing around impatiently with all the other dog owners, waiting to be reunited with our pets. But by 9:00 we had driven off the ship and entered the Netherlands, with no passport or customs checks of any kind.

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“This could be Rotterdam, or anywhere…”

The next leg of the journey was a 600 km drive across the Netherlands and Germany to the port of Travemünde, near Lübeck, in the north of Germany. The Netherlands is Shiro’s 10th country, and Miffy’s 6th. The weather was hot and sunny.

Thanks to the excellent motorway system in the Netherlands, and the surprisingly light traffic (for a Monday morning), we were able to drive across the whole country in about 2 and a half hours. We stopped to buy sandwiches for a picnic lunch at a service station near Hengelo, before crossing into Germany at around 11:30.

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Picnic lunch at a service area near Osnabrück, Germany

Despite getting stuck in some long traffic jams on the A1 (and seeing the aftermath of 3 traffic accidents), we made very good time and arrived in Lübeck at around 6 in the evening.

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Only 200 km left to go. Better watch out for that right turn coming up after 138 km!

We didn’t know much about Lübeck, but had been told that it’s a very beautiful and historically-interesting city. And so it proved.

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The Holsten Gate, Lübeck

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Gabled trading houses along the canal

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Monument to the composer Brahms

We didn’t have much time for sightseeing in Lübeck before it was time to go to the port and board the Finnlines ferry to Malmö. This overnight ferry, with its spacious and pet-friendly cabins, was by far the most comfortable part of the journey, both for us and the dogs.

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Comfortable accommodation on the Finntrader

Early the next morning, the ship passed under the Öresund bridge and, 2 days after leaving Dublin, we arrived in Malmö, our final destination.

 

 

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