The strangest campsite in Germany?
- 26 Jun 06, 11:22 AM
HEADING TO HANNOVER - Ricco and I have stayed at quite a few campsites over the last few weeks.
Some have had great facilities, others modest. Some have been in great locations, others miles from anywhere - but none have been quite like Herr Schmidt's.
His campsite, on the outskirts of Dresden, is the first we have stayed at that is actually situated in someone's back garden.
As I pulled in on Sunday afternoon, a very excitable middle-aged man guided me into a garden sparsely populated by camper vans and started issuing a series of orders designed to position Svan exactly to his specifications.
The man was Herr Schmidt and the whole experience grew more surreal.
As I looked around I slowly realised this was indeed a back garden. There were we a few middle-aged and retired people in their caravans and a family of Argentines who looked as bemused as we did.
The list of instructions as you entered the bathroom - and the general attention to detail observed across the garden, sorry, site - allowed you no opportunity to relax and reminded me of the Dentons from The League of Gentleman, though perhaps in a less sinister way.
Even so, I did not let Ricco in the house alone for fear he would never return, trapped in a basement full of toads.
Check out the video.
Needless to say we didn't hang around and went into Dresden city centre.
Later on we headed back to the area around the campsite to try to find somewhere to watch Holland's game with Portugal.
We walked for miles and miles with spirits slowly wilting.
All we could find was a village fair which featured an inebriated middle-aged woman dancing on a stage to the very worst kind of Europop.
This tournament has been about smashing stereotypes but I'm sad to report that some still remain.
Risking an encounter with the campsite guy was preferable to watching that sorry scene but Herr Schmidt had obviously retired for the night.
He was back to his eccentric best this morning, cycling around his house repeatedly on his bike, occasionally swapping it for what looked like a customised lawnmover, then riding around and around the same tiny spot without appearing to remove any grass.
Always busy, never idle. He eventually came over to remind us that we have to be out by 11 am.
As much as watching him go about his business was compelling viewing we didn't need asking twice.
Don't forget to guess our mileage for the chance to win some
fabulous Sport Relief prizes, including a Pele-signed table football and
our very own Shevchenko-signed Fletch and Ricco t-shirts.