Once again I’m traveling, if only for a few days. After a trip to the Netherlands had to be canceled twice for various reasons, I’m now setting out to see Denmark. A cousin of mine studies in Lund, Sweden and I’m using a visit to her and that town as an excuse to go back home via Denmark.
What’s special about this ride? First, I’ll be riding the singlespeed, and second, since I won’t be able to take much luggage, I’ll be couchsurfing all the time along the way.
Got dropped of at Rostock’s port to take the ferry to Trelleborg at 8am. When unpacking the bike I noticed the front wheel was flat. Inflated it by hand, bought a ticket and boarded the ferry. 6 hours of boredom followed. Disembarked shortly after 2pm and cycled around Trelleborg looking for a supermarket to get some lunch. Left town at quarter past 3pm.
The weather was lovely, the road to Lund was mostly flat and I arrived there at quarter to 5pm. Checked into a pretty cool hostel – it’s housed in an old train (from 1936) and the original sleeper compartments are all still there.
Met up with my cousin and we spent the evening in the town center.
Spent the day in Lund with my cousin and a friend of hers who’s visiting. Lund is a lovely town with loads of students, hanging out in parks and cafés. Also, there’s many old buildings and the atmosphere is very relaxed.
Left the Train Hostel at quarter past ten, got breakfast from a supermarket, and cycled towards Helsingborg where I wanted to cross the Øresund to Denmark.
There is a new bridge (well, opened in 2000) across the sund that connects Malmö and Copenhagen, but cyclists are not allowed there. So I’m forced to make a detour of 100+ km. Well, I don’t mind the detour, of course. That way I get so see Zealand’s north.
South-western Sweden is nice, if a tad boring. After crossing the sund (a ferry ride of 20 minutes), the countryside gets a wee bit hillier and more interesting.
I tried to avoid the main roads were possible (and sensible) and found myself on narrow backroads running through lovely landscape.
I’m couchsurfing near Roskilde with Eugenija, who is a coach and coordinator for a group of volunteers, and works (and lives) at a school for kids with special needs.
Had breakfast with staff and students of the school and then left for Copenhagen.
The ride was a bit of a pain due to the route and a nasty headwind. It’s about 35km from Roskilde to the capital, on a pretty much straight major road with almost nothing interesting to see left and right.
Met my cousin and her friend again who came over from Lund to visit CPH, too. So we spent the afternoon in this lovely city. Christiania, the free state, was closed due to protests against CPH’s government’s attempts to ‘normalize’ life there.
The Danes ride more stylish bikes than the Swedes.
From Copenhagen I cycled along the Bay of Køge down to the town of Køge, where I had lunch and then changed to a more Eastish direction towards Næstved.
Arrived there around 7pm and met up with Anders, my CS host. Had a great time swapping travel stories, drinking beer and playing Portals 2 until late.
Left Anders’ place around quarter past ten, with approx. 140 kilometers of cycling ahead, the longest stretch of this trip. From Næstved I went south to Vordingborg, where I crossed to the island of Falster over the Storstrøm Bridge, then on to Nykøbing, where the only crossing to Lolland exists that can be cycled.
The weather was still beautiful and so far the wind has been a good friend, too, blowing from northish directions. In Nykøbing my direction of travel changed to west and it got even worse in the town of Maribo from where I was headed north-westish.
Near Nakskov I got lost for a few minutes when I followed the cycle route signs leading to Tårs port (where the ferry to Langeland leaves) instead of my map. When I finally arrived at the port, I saw the ferry close its hatches and the friendly lady at the ticket counter noted dryly that I could now relax for an hour.
Reached Ollerup, near Svendborg, at half past 7pm where I met Helle and her friends/housemates, my CS hosts for the night. They’re a bunch of most lovely people and I felt welcome and at home instantly. Went dumpster diving with the girls after a tasty dinner.
A few days ago, Freja and Andreas had suggested to go to Jutland (the mainland part of Denmark) via the islands south of Fyn instead of Fyn itself. Since I hadn’t found a couch to surf in either Kolding or Vejle, and since I’d thought about cutting the trip a bit short for various other reasons anyway, I’d decided to go for that island-hopping route.
Had breakfast with Helle and Louise and chatted with ’em for a bit too long so that I missed the ferry that would bring me from Svendborg to Ærø. Instead, Louise gave me a brief tour of their school.
I then changed the plans for the remainder of the tour entirely. Took a ferry from Bøjden to the island of Als, had a look at beautiful Sønderborg, cycled along the northern shore of the Flensburg Fjord, and crossed into Germany at border stone No. 1 of the German-Danish border.
On the last stretch before the border my router (openrouteservice.org) had a little easter egg for me: uncompacted gravel up a steep hill that was impossible to climb on my bike. I had to push it for the second and last time.
Cycled into Flensburg from where I took a train back home.