Come early May, Eva and I will be off to explore new territory in Europe for a couple of months. We’ll concentrate on the north coastal regions from The Netherlands to Poland as far as Gdansk. Flying into Frankfurt, we’ll rent a car and head straight for the quarry where Neanderthal Man was first discovered. Modern man, Homo Sapiens, seems to have interbred with the now extinct Neanderthalers starting about 60,000 years ago and thus some of us no doubt carry several percent of Neanderthal genes in ourselves today.

After visiting our ancient ancestors, we’ll drive to the hill country (??) of The Netherlands, origin of the stinky Limburger cheese. But not before paying due respects to Charlemagne. At least we’ll visit his tomb in Aachen and his austere throne in the Aachen Cathedral. He was coronated by Pope Leo III in the year 800 to be emperor of the Roman Empire, which laid the groundwork for the eventual founding of the modern states of France and Germany.

At the end of our trip, some 40 miles inland from the North Sea, we will be staying not so far from huge, active sand dunes that are moving along, consuming forest and houses as they go. What are sand dunes doing here, of all places? We’ll try to find out.

Thanks to the resources of the internet, we have made reservations for all 21 of our accommodations. This took some careful planning of our exact route but time was of the essence because places along the coast were already being booked up in January. We tried for variety, from small hotels, private apartments, a horse ranch and even a former hunting chalet. Here are some photos of our digs, taken off their websites.

First night in The Netherlands

First night in The Netherlands, in Limburg Province

Hanging out over the North Sea in Holland

Hanging out over the North Sea in Holland

Near the Baltic Sea

Near the Baltic Sea in Pomerania, Germany

A 19th century traditional lodge overlooking the sea

A 19th century traditional lodge overlooking the sea on the German island of Rügen

Our first night in Poland. Can't beat the $19 price.

Our first night in Poland will be here in an Airbnb. Can’t beat the $19 price.

Our downtown hotel in Gdansk (Danzig)

Our small downtown hotel in Gdansk (Danzig)

Downtown Poznan (Posen) in western Poland

Our tiny downtown hotel in Poznan (Posen) in western Poland

A former nobleman's hunting lodge, north of Berlin

A former nobleman’s hunting lodge, in the forest north of Berlin

Our cottage in a German National Park

Our thatch roofed Airbnb cottage in a German National Park

I’ll be home the end of June, and Eva the end of July, after she gets her North Sea islands fix. We will try to keep you posted as we find interesting things along the way.