This is a somewhat random way to go on holiday, but it all worked out.
We started by taking the overnight ferry from Harwich to the Hook of Holland, which meant I could put in a full if slightly distracted day at the office, go home, get changed, strap my luggage on the bike, fight the rush hour to meet Howard at Thurrock Services and still be on board in good time to relax over a nightcap as we waved goodbye to Essex.
At eight on Friday morning we emerged from the ferry and began the journey to Kiel, in Germany near the Danish border. It was a long day of motorway miles, with morning coffee at a Dutch service area and lunch at a German one.
"Or you could have a bratwurst?" the lady at the snack counter suggested to me as I examined the selection of sandwiches. She must have been psychic.
We arrived in Kiel to discover that our hotel doubled as student accommodation and our high-ceilinged room was equipped with two single beds: one conventionally arranged and one in a sort of eyrie above, reached by a steep staircase. Obviously I bagged the crow's nest, and slept very cosily.