Vicycle tour of Denmark Part III

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being silly in cphSandwich, sun, rolling hills, good company but missing two, the wind that became mountains and mum’s yummy home made ice cream

31/05/2011:

Gus arrived on the dot of nine thirty and we had a good old natter before we had to part company with the Wowbaggers, with a tear in our eye. Fem cyklister became tre. We zigzagged our way south out of Copenhagen towards Køge where we found a sandwich shop, where we stocked up for our picnic. The sandwich turned out to be delicious, on freshly-baked bread, and was enjoyed in the beautiful gardens of Vallø Slot.

The route that Gus had planned was around 10 miles longer than the one I had plotted on Google maps. But, it was well worth it because of the scenery and the company. Thanks, Gus, and we hope to have a ride with you again soon! With 10 miles to go Gus turned back and managed to get back home before the rain which we didn’t. With five miles to go the heavens opened up and we were well and truly drenched.

peli with sandwichWe pitched our tent at a new cafe-come-music place behind a barn, while it was still coming down cats and dogs. A bit of faffing later, and we snuggled up in our dry, warm down sleeping bags on our comfy downmats while listening to the rain coming down. I know we’re carrying more stuff when it comes to sleeping arrangements, compared to other cycle tourers, but we just love to have a proper bed to crawl into after a long wet day in the saddle.

01/06/2011:

The next morning the wind was up but the rain clouds were long gone. We tucked into our breakfast and got ready for the longest ride of our tour, sadly it would be mostly directly into the wind. The road to Vordingborg was pleasant and mostly sheltered from the wind. We had our elevenses in Vordingborg where we were greeted by the noisiest frogs we’d ever heard. It was like a scene directly our of a David Attenborough rain forest documentary.

We departed Sæjlland for Falster over a rather long and windy bridge to be greeted by some rolling hills. Unfortunately the shortest and most direct route was not the most scenic route over Falster and onto the island of Lolland. We’ll have to come back and do some proper exploring on these islands one day.

woolly relaxingThe last 20 odd miles to Tåst, our campsite for the night, was directly into the wind across very flat terrain. I’ve said it before, and I’ll never tire of repeating it: the wind truly is our mountains. We overtook a young Swedish couple on cycle holiday who looked much more knackered than us. She was well spent and he was out of the saddle all the time, not really helped by the fact that they had massive backpacks on their backs in addition to their panniers – ouch!

We arrived in Tåst around 19:00 utterly shattered and started to cook up on the campsite near the little peninsular that is Tåst, harbour. While enjoying our dinner we meet another cycle tourer, who by the sound of it was American and living in Copenhagen. He too had endured the headwind and looked just as knackered as we felt. We also got a visit by the harbour master who was there to claim 25DKK for the night per person, the most expensive night we had on our tour (but still pennies compared to other campsites!). The mossies were out in force to stop us enjoying a rather stunning sunset, and we’re still scratching. Thanks to the dawn chorus we woke up to a lovely sunrise before hitting the sack for another few hours.

02/06/2011:

langeland cyclingTen minutes past nine we boarded the ferry to Langeland with a lorry full of pigs, which gave us a rather fragrant journey. Langeland is around 10 km wide and 60 km long, this was our 7th island. Rudkøbing on Langeland is a very beautful old Danish village from which we took the very windy bridge over to Siø, our 8th island. On the approach we spotted three more cycle tourers, it is funny that you can easily spot a cycle tourer by their familiar silhouette alone.

As we rolled off the bridge from Siø onto our 9th island we spotted some young ladies on their “sit up and begs” fully-loaded going towards us, i.e. with a tail wind, the lucky things. It was clear that this was a national holiday weekend in Denmark.

Just outside Svendborg we spotted a road side cafe/grill/ice cream parlour so we turned that into a fuel stop. Peli had some hot salty chips and I had a Kæmpe (giant) hotdog and then some ice cream. A “Gamle Davs is” is the Danish traditional ice cream and the lady a the shop was rather generous with ours that I requested Peli to take a picture, which provoked a titter from the ice cream lady. :)

Svenborg could probably be a nice little Danish town but we headed straight through since we had to visit Egeborg Slot before we would meet up with my folks. The first bit were one busy and boring roads but we did managed to find some nice and gentle country lanes with some rolling hills. Egeskov Slot was rather disappointing since I had got into my head that we could at least sit in the park with a view of the castle and have a picnic there. To get somewhere near you had to pay, so we made do with a comfortable picnic bench next to a poster of the castle. You can’t have it all!

We then headed over what we later learnt to be the Fyn Alps and some rather nice country lanes. Thatched houses on a bend were definitely the theme of the day. There is really truth to the old poem by H.C.A “Hist hvor vejen slår end bugt, ligger der et hus så smukt”. (Rough translation: Yonder, where the road bends, lies a house so beautiful).

We found the summer house that my folks had rented months before we planned our tour, without even knowing that we would be passing. This really lovely to see a friendly face and know that there would be delicious food and a shower waiting for us after a long hot day in the saddle.

Peli tried out some Danish that I had taught her: Jeg vil have hjemmelavet is, tak” to that my mum replied that there would be after dinner with new Danish jordbær (strawberries). You should have seen Peli’s smile. :)

Fortunately my folks didn’t get my message that we would be two cyclist down and therefore didn’t need that much food. Though, my folks must have forgotten what it’s like to be a cyclist, as we easily managed to put away the meal for six. Oh, yes, my mum’s ice cream is really that delicious, THANKS MUM. :)

We chatted, showed photos and enjoyed the sunset before our eyes and legs got too tired for us to talk in understandable words.

Read the other parts here : Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and click here to see all the photos.

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