After six hectic weeks back in the UK I was ready to get going. My kit was packed and loaded, my goodbyes said and the GPS that I was relying on was playing up. Not the start I was hoping for but, after a minor wobble, I finally got going.
It was a muggy day, warm but overcast and every so often it would rain, nothing to worry me though. I made my way into Wycombe and struggled up the hills towards Chesham – amazing how much fitness you can lose in six weeks !!
From Chesham I stuck to A roads to get me across to Ware in Hertfordshire. By the time I got there it was really warming up and it was time to stop for a pint and some food. I checked the map as I supped my pint and decided to crack on to Bishops Stortford another 20km away. Man that was a bad call, steep hills, really hot day and no breeze, by the time I got there I was done for. I reckon I’d done over 100km due to me not taking a direct route and it felt like it.
The following day was slightly easier and I cruised into Colchester at about 1.00pm and was showered and relaxed by the time Naomi arrived at about 6.00pm. She’d somehow managed to go to two completely wrong hotels before finally checking the email I sent with the hotel name and directions !!
We’d both had some interesting routes getting to Colchester, A roads, B roads, cycle paths, bridal paths and more but one thing we both agreed on was that we were enjoying being back on the bikes 😉
The following day we headed out for Harwich Ferry, the GPS now working ok after we’d both had a go at it’s menu settings !!
A great route through the back roads brought us to the ferry and very soon we were on our way to Denmark, Esbjerg to be precise. The ferry took about 18 hours and we made our selves comfy in our ensuite cabin until it was time to dock.
As we’d arrived fairly early in the day we decided to hop on a ferry across to Fano, a small island just off the coast. It’s very flat, has picture postcard beeches and was also our first introduction to Danish cycle paths. It really is a beautiful little island and we did cycle from one end to the other, stopping for refreshment on the way. The cycle paths take some getting used to as do the cars that actually stop for you at junctions…..a little freaky !!
Back on the mainland we headed for our first nights camping just outside the town of Esbjerg, your typical family campsite with lots of stuff we don’t need and prices to match !!
We did however meet a couple of cyclists from Belgium. Lisbeth and Walter were doing the North Sea Route, lovely couple, great company…..I hope they finished their trip 😉
The next couple of days we put in some good mileage keeping to the back roads. We stopped at Sonder Felding the next night and the following day arrived in Bording, home of Naomi’s friend Jackie and soon to be husband Bo. Their wedding is the reason we started our latest trip in Denmark. I’d met Jackie in Yorkshire when we were at the Tour de France weekend and she’d gracefully offered an invite, how could I refuse 😉
The next four days were a bit of an eat and drink fest along with offering a little help to get things ready for the party on Thursday night. It was great to get involved and it gave me a chance to get to know Jackie and Bo a little better. Their good friends Jayne and John from Brisbane were over and they were great company as were Lee and John and Bridget, who had also all been in Leeds for that wonderful weekend.
The wedding was amazing, the bride was stunning and the after wedding celebrations were incredible, especially the food, some of the best wedding food ever !!
But sadly after four days of eating, drinking and partying it was time to leave and so we did, it was misty as we set of for Aarhus some 70km away. We made a brief stop in Silkeborg, a beautiful place on a river, took a few photos, ate an ice cream and drank a coffee. Life is good 😉
Again the GPS found a lovely route through the back roads into Aarhus and we didn’t even realise we’d arrived in a major town until we suddenly arrived at the river, flanked either side by cafés, bars and restaurants. We stopped for lunch and to be honest it was very expensive and not very good, oh well, lesson learned !!
We were staying the night in a hostel before catching the ferry across to Sjaellands Odde and our next ride into Roskilde. We did a little sightseeing in Aarhus but not much, it was just so damned hot and we were up early for the short ferry ride. Off the ferry and onward to Holbeak before finishing this 85km day in Roskilde. Great scenery on the way, being able to see the sea on both sides is a rare treat and the ripening corn and wheat along the route provided a perfect backdrop !! We yet again managed to keep of the main roads, the GPS is really earning it’s way now !!
Two nights in a hotel in Roskilde with shopping at Aldi across the way for cheap food meant it didn’t work out too pricey, especially when you remember that the breakfast buffet is included, and what a buffet….mmmm !
Now there are several things to do in Roskilde but the top two picks are, the Cathedral and the Viking museum . We set out to do them both !!
First the Cathedral, we rounded a corner and there it was, or at least one small piece of it, we started taking photos as we walked round the outside. Full of angles, windows, roofs and spires and a fabulous colour as well, it really is a fantastic building. And then you walk in, and wow, I mean it, it’s incredible !! The sheer scale of it, the ornamentation, the woodwork, stonework, carvings, reliefs, ceilings, walls, crypt….I could go on and in but I’ll put a few photos in so you get the idea, you really should come and see it though, outstanding !!
Next up the Viking museum. When they were reinventing the marina they found six Viking ships buried in the silt and over the next few years they uncovered them and hundreds of other artefacts and now there all in a purpose built museum. The building itself may be less than impressive and starting to crumble but the ships and artefacts are first rate and certainly worth the visit. The whole area is now a living museum. There there all sorts of crafts being displayed from rope making to basket work to carving, not to mention boat building….great place for all the family 😉
We wondered about for the rest of the day before heading back to the hotel, it had been a great place to visit but we’d be on our way again in the morning, a short ride to Koge and our old friend Gus. But first a little detour to a bike shop, my seat post has a crack in it and so does my helmet, better to find replacements here rather than in Turkey.
The ride to Koge was very short and also very picturesque and we arrived just after midday, we let ourselves into Gus’s flat and made ourselves at home. Gus, bless him had sourced some boxes for our bikes so while Naomi put the kettle on I dismantled and packed our bikes, possibly for the last time !!
That job done it was time to do some washing, the launderette down the street soon sorted that out and by the time Gus got home from work we had all our jobs completed and were showered and ready to go get dinner. We had a great evening with Gus, good food, company and a few beers, just like it was in Yorkshire !!
The following morning we set off on the train for the airport, not for us to leave but to see our friend Irin arrive from Switzerland, we’d ridden through Africa with her and were delighted she could make it to Copenhagen to see us and Gus 😉
We dumped our bags at the train station before grabbing a coffee and discussing our ideas for Copenhagen, it was unanimous that we’d start with a boat ride. We got tickets for the hop on / hop off boat and settled back to enjoy the views. It was a hot day and the slight breeze coming off the water was very pleasant. We saw so many beautiful places, none of which I can really put names to, suffice to say I took a few photos !!
By the time we got back to the beginning it was lunch time and after lunch we went in search of a tower, for views of the city. Gus found us this amazing place…
It’s like a road inside, no steps until the very last bit and then you climb a very tight flight of helical stairs to the observation deck, I’ll let the photos do the rest….
After that we just had time to go and see the Elephant Gate at the Carlesberg Brewery, amazing place, such drama and amazing architecture !!
Next was a little siesta in the afternoon before dinner and drinks at the Brewpub, great ales, great food and for Copenhagen…reasonable prices !
More sightseeing the next day, we started with another boat ride out to the Little Mermaid, incredible how any people were there, just amazing. We elbowed our way in and finally got a photo without some dopey tourist grinning inanely in it before wandering off towards the English Church and then on to the Palace, we arrived just as they were changing the guard so yet again, very busy !!
Again a siesta in the afternoon, it’s just so hot here at the moment, then dinner and more drinks. I feel like I’ve rather over indulged since I set foot in Denmark but what the hell, you only live once !!
What a great weekend in Copenhagen, Irin whom we’d not seen for just over a year looked great and as always was a delight to be with. Gus our very good friend acted as guide and did us all proud, his hospitality was also top notch, a huge thanks from us both 😉
While Gus and myself walked Irin to the station the following morning Naomi made herself ready for the day and after breakfast we had one more quick look at Copenhagen before heading back to Koge on the train.
A little walk to the beach and later a walk into town for dinner brought us nicely to 9.30 and our time to leave.
The taxi which Gus has so diligently organised arrived on time and with a bit of effort our bikes and kit were stowed. A big hug with Gus and promises to keep in touch and we were on our way to the airport. The flight to Istanbul and on to Trabzon went with out a hitch and as I write this blog I’m sitting in an air conditioned hotel room in Trabzon, North East Turkey. As I look out the window I’m a little daunted by the hills that I see around me but that’s for another blog.
Take care, keep reading