This is when all hell breaks loose. As we’re making plans to meet up with our new friends again a bit further south, we’re told by Danish immigration that we have to register in person for our visas. We’d checked several times with various official people to make sure that we could do the entire process via the post, for important logistical reasons. Having now been told the opposite, with precious little time to deal with the consequences, we’re a bit vexed.
We agonise for a couple of days about our options:
Ignore all visa requirements and duration of stay restrictions and keep travelling as normal. Maybe we’ll never come to the attention of immigration authorities and get away with it. Or maybe we’ll be stopped at the border back to the UK and be deported back to Australia, never allowed to return again.
Don’t bother with the Danish visa but abide by duration of stay restrictions. This means spending a maximum of three months in the Schengen area, requiring us to spend three months of every six outside the Schengen zone – most likely Morocco.
Drop all our travel plans and drive to Denmark, missing a much anticipated autumn in France.
I’m completely opposed to option 1 and Mike’s completely opposed to option 2.
We divide the drive to Denmark up into six chunks and Mike finds us free camps along the way. The drive there is astonishingly dull. Much of it is along straight, flat German autobahns entirely devoid of scenery. Our free camps are uneventful (a good thing), except for one. We inadvertently chose to spend the night at the midway point between two nearby cities, which also happened to be the meeting point for their entire population of teenagers with nowhere else to go on a Saturday night. Amazingly, they didn’t bother us, except for the fairly constant noise until 3am, and we survived the night.
Another free camp was on the edge of Tecklenburg, a lovely little German village of half-timber houses and cobbled streets, decorated for halloween.
Six days and 1500 kilometres later and we’re in Copenhagen! I think about 50% of the places we’ve been during our vagabonding adventures we’ve arrived at buffeted by the winds of fate. Luckily, there’s only really been one place where we’ve struggled to turn this into a positive.