This year we opted for something slightly different for our summer vacation. We went on a European road trip, the route was: Ferry from Helsinki to Travemünde – Lindwedel – Frankfurt am Main – Brussels – Bremen – Lund – Stockholm – Ferry to Turku – Espoo. We set out from our home in Espoo on Sunday July 29th and headed to Vuosaari harbor in Helsinki, where we boarded Finnlines’ Finnstar ferry. These are cargo ships that also take on passengers but this time of year it seemed more like a passenger ship than a cargo ship as it was filled with predominantly German families and there was only a couple of truckers onboard. I am sure the situation is reversed outside the summer vacation season.
All packed up an ready to hit the road
There were many cars waiting to board the ferry
We had booked a two-person cabin with a window and a meal package. The meal package consisted of dinner on the 29th and breakfast, brunch and dinner on the 30th. The ferry left Helsinki at 5:30 pm and arrived in Travemünde the next evening at 9:30 pm. We mainly spent our time on the ship eating, reading, having drinks and sleeping. We also watched some TV as the cabin had a set that showed e.g. Finnish channels throughout the journey. As we only bought a 12 hour Wi-Fi package that we started using on Monday morning on our iPads this was a great way to kick off the vacation as we were not connected to e-mail at all. On Monday afternoon I decided to have a look at the homepage of the hotel we were going to stay at for one night in Lindwedel. Lucky I did because on their site it said that the reception closes at 10 pm and we would not be at the hotel until around midnight. So I decided to call the hotel and explain the situation. The friendly lady at the other end was very understanding and said they would leave the key in an envelope behind a flower pot and to call the same number if we could not find the key.
Boat trip essentials: reading material, chargers & sun glasses
Breakfast with Mimosas and two hours later lunch
View from our cabin
Once we got off the ferry in Travemünde we headed towards Lindwedel, a 200 km trip. When we arrived at Balland’s Hotel & Restaurant around midnight it took us a while to find the key but we eventually did, got settled into our room and went to sleep. In the morning, we enjoyed a nice breakfast in the hotel before packing our stuff and heading out on the road again towards Frankfurt am Main and our friend’s house in Bad Soden. After a drive of some 400 km and a few stops on the way we arrived at our friend’s place in the afternoon. We settled in and had some refreshments and a lovely dinner cooked by our hosts. The following day we first drove up to Feldberg and admired the views, then we headed into town for lunch at a local Döner boat after which we strolled around the city for an hour or so. In the evening we went to Königstein for dinner at a lovely Italian place called Lucullus. I had mozzarella with citrus fruits and pine nuts for my starter and hubby had a beef carpaccio with chanterelle mushrooms. For mains I had pasta Puttanesca and hubby had a fish dish that was included in the daily specials. More to follow in the second road trip post.
Our hotel room in Lindwedel
Guesthouse at Balland’s where our room was located