Outwell Montana 6P, My Outdoor Castle

I could live in there permanently. Sell the house, move in, enjoy fresh air all year round (ok, including a backup for very cold winter nights). Our Outwell Montana 6P is a fantastic tent for a long term holiday, or something even longer than that.

Outwell Montana 6P and some camping equipmentFive years ago some friends showed off their newly purchased tent. It was huge, looked like a UFO and had the entire family in a camping craze. We were still unsure whether we should go for a camper or a tent, so we checked the website of that UFO-tent producer. Outwell, a Danish company.

After hours of comparing their various family tents we finally went for the Montana 6P. A choice we have not regretted at all, and talk about a camper has since then not happened in our family.

Outwell Montana 6P – that’s what it’s like

The Montana 6P sleeps six (in theory), we have used it for max. four so far. It is a huge tent for the four of us, and that was our intention when buying it: to have some space and a playground for the kids just in case it is pouring down outside.

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Weekend Break On Als, Denmark

beach near SkovmoseNo surprise here: I love the Northern European landscape. It is not as lush, colourful, maybe impressive as the Alps or the Mediterranean. Still, the entire North in all its scarcity is great for being outside, and the island of Als (Denmark) is no exception.

Quite a while ago I have briefly described one of my beloved quiet spots, some friends’ summer cottage in Denmark. It is located in Skovmose, a beautifully quiet location on Als. A couple of weeks ago the four of us went there for a long weekend. This brief break was so fantastic that only two days later I took the chance to go back with the girls and spend another couple of days in peace and quiet. Well, whatever you might want to call “peace and quiet” with two young girls.

Hiking on Als

hiking place/hut for staying overnightThe entire island of Als offers lots of possibilities for one-day or longer walking trips. The cool stuff about hiking in Denmark is that you find those very basic huts (or whatever they might be called) along more or less every officially marked hiking trail. No need to put up a tent, simply throw your sleeping bag in there and have a rest. Another great thing both for hiking and sailing: barbecues can also be found almost everywhere, they can be used for free and are a perfect place for getting to talk to other folks. Continue reading “Weekend Break On Als, Denmark”

Outwell Montana 6 Front Extension For Sale

It is the best add-on we have bought for our Outwell Montana 6P, and now it is up for sale after just three weeks of usage. Why? Because I bought the wrong one! This front extension is intended to be used with a Montana 6, not a Montana 6P.

Outwell Montana 6 front extensionThis spring we decided to extend our voluminous and large tent Outwell Montana 6P by a so-called front extension. This front extension is something I love having around wherever I “live”. You can stay dry during rain and still be outside. Fantastic.

Montana 6 Front Extension – our holiday saviour

In fact, this front extension has saved our summer holidays this year. During our three weeks’ holiday in The Netherlands we have had quite a few rainy days, more than all of the previous five years combined. The Montana 6 front extension has been a perfect gateway and dry path into the tent. It was also more than ideal for having meals outside despite the rain (or a glass of wine in the evening). Continue reading “Outwell Montana 6 Front Extension For Sale”

Wales vs Belgium And A Long Weekend Tour

Wales vs Belgium: show just before gameThe Euro 2016 (football) in France is history, and I went on a long weekend tour to watch one of the games. And lucky we had been indeed: we saw one of the best games of that tournament live, Wales vs Belgium in Lille. Without knowing who might play on that quarter final we bought the tickets beginning of the year. A good idea it was indeed, same as to not travel for the game only but to go for a long weekend tour.

wet and rainy but bbq up and running
wet and rainy but bbq up and running

Chap no. 1 picked me up on Thursday afternoon, and after a “let’s get going” espresso we set off for the long weekend tour. On our way to Ghent we stopped in Osnabrueck and picked up chap no. 3 (having arrived by train from Berlin). The remaining drive passed rather quickly. The main concern for the day: Will the camping site still be opened when we arrive or will we need to camp outside?

The real reason behind that question was not concerning toilets or shower. It was rather electricity for keeping the beers refreshingly cool that worried us. It’s all a question of priorities.

Just 15 minutes after a wonderfully charming and relaxed welcome by the receptionist at Ghent Blaarmeersen Camping we had our barbecue up and running – late check-in, late dinner.

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Eatable Wild Plants For A Yummy Meal

Starved… that’s one way to phrase what would have happened to me if I had relied on my skills of getting food directly from mother nature (wild berries, wild plants). It was a try, it was yummy, and it certainly was not enough to drive my hunger away.

looks nice, tastes nice - part of my backgarden
looks nice, tastes nice – part of my backgarden

The initial inspiration came from a book called “Essbare Wildbeeren und Wildpflanzen” (eatable wild berries and wild plants). It is by a chap called Detlev Henschel and – am sorry – all in German. I bought this one after having read a rather remarkable book by the same chap. He paddled long distances with his kayak, the book I read was a tour on the Baltic Sea, with him only eating what he found wherever his day ended.

I do know a few wild plants and berries. However, apart from my own, parents’ or friends’ garden (and, of course, the local market) I have not really plundered nature’s huge resources on eatable wild plants. This little book was going to the basis for my personal cuisine-adventure – that was the plan, and it kind of worked well. Continue reading “Eatable Wild Plants For A Yummy Meal”

Strawberries – Picking, Jam And Tummy Ache

some of the freshly picked strawberriesFreshly picked strawberries – so sweet, tasty, yummy. The same is true when enjoying them with whipped cream or chocolate, in ice cream or smoothies… the list could go on. I wanted to show the kids where their favourite strawberries are coming from. So I took them out for an afternoon of strawberry picking – plus some “work” afterwards.

Looking back at it, the “strawberry picking event” turned out to be a ninety minute happening (with not too much happening at all). The agitation and excitement of it all had been much greater in the couple of days before. Isn’t that the case all too often? When it came down to actually doing it, it was kind of boring. So I’ve been told afterwards by those three young ladies having joined me.

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Beaches, Boats And Horses On Fehmarn

Keeping the kids busy and trying to avoid “death by boredom” (their wording) during school holidays can occasionally turn into a challenge. One week of this year’s Easter school holidays turned out to be as much fun for the parents as it was for the kids.

deserted beach on FehmarnOk, my kids are not really that bad when at home. They can go without parents for hours, only needing help when it comes to food and drink. This is usually fine for a couple of days, but two weeks can get very long in the end. So we spent one week of that Easter break near the Baltic Sea, an hour’s drive from home. It was on Fehmarn, one of my favourite islands round here.

It was the second week in April. Spring had not really arrived yet, sunshine and rain played hide and seek on an hourly basis. In addition to all that, a nasty cold wind was blowing – not really a combination to have the kids roam around outdoors. There was, however, not a single day with the kids asking for more action. The reason: horses!

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The Magic Of A Sunset

sunset on SyltSunsets are magical (at least for me, that is). No matter where I manage to see them they are always fantastic to watch. Although it could be said that it is the same stuff every night I find each sunset to be a unique experience.

In the mountains, on the beach, in a city park with the skyline in the background, on a yacht while anchoring, in front of a tent camping in the middle of nowhere – sunsets are everywhere. My photographic skills do not really allow me (yet) to capture each one the same or even similar to what my eyes are actually seeing, but I am getting there (I hope). Continue reading “The Magic Of A Sunset”

Restarting “baltic sea. pure energy. 2.”

Beginning of 2015 I was all fired up to get my project “baltic sea. pure energy. 2.” to the starting (and finish) line in 2016, maybe 2017 latest. After a quick start with lots of information, research, ideas and talks my enthusiasm had cooled down quite a bit.

The main reason for losing motivation and drive was the not so successful handling of my sponsorship ideas. In other words: Getting sponsors on board was a disaster. Last week I got re-inspired by a very interesting article on Herb Benavent’s website about his comparison of e-motor vs diesel engine. This was the igniting spark to finish my extended summer break for bspe2 and get back to some “doing” again. Continue reading “Restarting “baltic sea. pure energy. 2.””

Quote Challenge Day 3

sailing on the Baltic Sea - hard to beatToday’s quote, my final one for this brief challenge, brings me back to sailing, water and oceans. It is, however, not about the beauty of the oceans or the joys of sailing. I keep this in mind when thinking of (or doing something about) pollution, waste in oceans and environmental difficulties.

The quote refers to lots and lots of different scenarios. Meaning: for each and every time when we feel that what we are doing is nothing but a drop of water on a hot stone. Or, as Mother Teresa has put it, a drop in an ocean. However, every little action helps, every step, move and smile results in something positive. Andnd that’s why ‘doing something’ is much better than thinking “it won’t matter anyway”. Here we go:

We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.     (Mother Teresa)

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Quote Challenge Day 2

forest walkAfter yesterday’s quote I’ll move on into the forest, a place I love to spend hours in. Today’s quote does not necessarily refer to it directly, but I love the ending of the sentence…

My quote for Day Two:

I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.   (William Shakespeare)

Here in Northern Germany, we have the joys of four very different seasons throughout the year (well, usually…). Each one of them has its magic, and right now it is the colourful autumn leaves, the roaming around in heaps of leaves with the kids, the smell of earth, dampness, breathing out already starting to make that funny “steam” like a little dragon. Waste my time in it, in the forest, that’s pure nature, relaxing, magic.

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Quote Challenge Day 1

sunset in SchleimuendeThe inspiring and admirable estelea has nominated me for a quote challenge. How does it work? Post three quotes on three consecutive days, and each time nominate three bloggers to do the same. Sounds like a pretty cool way to keep the data flowing all around the world… I’ll happily go along and post my thoughts here.

Here we go, my quote for Day One:

If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable.    (Seneca)

To start with, this seems to be an obvious one for a sailor. For me, however, this is not only related to sailing but rather about life in general. Continue reading “Quote Challenge Day 1”

Favourite Trail Near Home

sunshine on favourite trailMy favourite trail. Small, not overly exciting, no big tourist attraction. To get there, all I need is a six minutes walk from home. A brief post about the beauty of simple things in life.

Little islands of sunshine – everybody needs them for a brief escape. A rich and tasteful espresso, a secretely devoured bar of chocolate. Maybe two hours of sailing, AC/DC’s Thunderstruck on maximum volume, the list could go on forever. One of my little islands is a small, short trail near my house. This has become my favourite trail, despite – or maybe because – of its simplicity. Beautiful new life in spring, lush green in summer, the magic of colourful leaves in autumn, peaceful quiet and no soul in sight in winter. Continue reading “Favourite Trail Near Home”

Picturesque Flensburg Harbour Centre

classical boats at Flensburg HafenspitzeWhenever I spend some time in Flensburg, getting near, onto or into the Baltic Sea is a definite must. One of my favourite locations for breathing salty air is the so-called “Flensburger Hafenspitze” (harbour centre) – and this is where I went for a brief stroll last weekend.

Ok, it is not really the right place for a swim. For starting a sailing tour or simply going for a walk, however, the story is a rather different one. To be a bit more precise: it is perfect. It is the very end of the Flensburg Fjord (or, maybe, the beginning?), so if you started sailing, paddling or swimming you could get out onto the Baltic Sea, move onwards to the North Sea, Atlantic, round the world… Continue reading “Picturesque Flensburg Harbour Centre”

A Bit Of A “Reinfall”, The Rhine Falls

Rheinfall SchaffhausenMaybe the influence of not so sunny weather was having an effect on me, maybe I was just too busy looking after the kids, or many other maybes… but the Rhine Falls, the supposedly impressive and great falls near Schaffhausen in Switzerland, were a definite “Reinfall” (bummer, flop) for me.

The numbers are impressive indeed, and they make the Rhine Falls the biggest falls in Europe (by water volume):

Width of the Rhine Falls:  150 metres
Height of the Rhine Falls:  23 metres
Depth of basin:  13 metres
Age of the Rhine Falls:  app. 15.000 years
Capacity of flow in summer:  app. 600.000 litres per second
Capacity of flow in winter:  app. 250.000 litres per second.

However, numbers only don’t really impress me that much, I need to see for myself. While spending a family holiday at a great campsite near Lake Constance we drove all the way to Schaffhausen, Switzerland, to have  a closer look at those falls. The result was rather disillusioning, or more in the direction of something like really disappointing. Continue reading “A Bit Of A “Reinfall”, The Rhine Falls”