Otter, Ft William, UK
Otter, Ft William, UK
  • end of Denmark
    • 08/07/2017
Had a brief photo stop in Roskilde, where I met another cycle tourer, and first Brit since Holland - Doctor Tim, who had travelled up from Gibraltar, quite a trip!
Onwards to camp just outside of Copenhagen, in a nature reservey type place full of waterfowl.

Next day I rolled into the city not sure where I would stay, but noticed a guy (Ali) on couchsurfing was organising a BBQ. He travels from the UK making deliveries, and if the weather is good, stops off to cook in a park - 250 times so far!
Of the dozen other attendees, only one was a Danish local, so no hosting joy, but then I got a call back from Hilary on warmshowers, rescuing me with the offer of a sofa bed, leftover pasta, perfectly cooked eggs, interesting conversations and beer tasting with her housemates Jan and Manulus.
Their kitchen is occupied by a huge hairy spider which has its own Facebook page!

Next day was supposed to be a day off sightseeing, but it was pretty rainy so I spent most of the day trying on new waterproof jackets.

The city itself is very very nice, lots of parks, street art, classic architecture, trendy neighborhoods, modern flats, colourful canal side, easy to get around by bicycle.

Then finally some sunshine so made another lap of the city for some photos, then northward, briefly stopping to see the crowds gawking at the little mermaid statue.
The road north along the coast is a very prosperous and pleasant region, beautiful houses looking out over the water to Sweden.
In the evening I stopped at Louisiana, a modern art gallery, which had on a fascinating exhibition of the career of the performance artist Milana Abramovic. Lots of nudity and screaming but rather thought provoking.

Then one last night camping in the woods at a Shelter location, before leaving the country - not quite though, as spent the day at Kronborg castle, setting of Hamlet, following the cast around as they put on the play.

Short and cheap ferry ride to Helsingborg, which also has an interesting looking castle keep, but it was getting late so had to do a quick 20km up the coast to get out of town, everyone is having a bbq and queuing for ice cream as if its being banned tomorrow!
In Sweden you can camp anywhere, as long as not too close to property, not disturbing anyone, and no signs saying otherwise - ie nature reserves, so this rules out almost the entire coast!
Found a shelter on the map, occupied by a friendly German couple on a two week hitch hiking trip.
Nice sunset, nice beach, but the coast is heavily populated and utilised by the locals so an early rude awakening by dog walkers and then kids activity groups!
  • Fifty shades of rain
    • 30/06/2017
The rain has now evolved from sunshine and showers to all day drizzle and downpours. Hasn't put the locals off from going out to cut the grass, I'm starting to wonder if there is a regulation height and a secret police who come round to check that standards are being maintained!
Yesterday I crossed the small bridge to the middle island, Funen, and sought refuge at the hostel in Odense. Danhostel is their YHA - the Danes love putting Dan in front of the names of things.
Thursday nights is free entry to the rather good Brandts museum of art/photography/media, displaying more clean Scandinavian design, excellent realist landscapes, and crappy modern cubism.

Today had to take the train to cross over to the eastern most island, Zealand, as cycling not allowed on the 30km bridge/tunnel crossing. The trains have loads of space for bikes, but to get on and off, three steps, maybe 50cm in total, not easy to lift a loaded bike!
Haven't been stopping to admire the scenery much as the rain is monotonous and the horizon disappears into mizzle.
Tonight staying in a nice looking shelter (open fronted wooden shed on a platform in the forest), rather than putting up my already damp tent. Forecast better tomorrow, and onwards to Copenhagen!
  • The Danish Alps
    • 30/06/2017
Since I've been getting reports that Norway is somewhat hilly, (and extremely rainy), thought I'd better do my best to get warmed up by tackling Denmark's biggest peaks, topping out at 172m above sea level.
As exciting as you'd expect. Actually to be fair, Himmelberg (sky mountain) has a 150m cliff drop to a lake, so the view is quite nice.
The day ended with the added bonus of Denmark's steepest hill climb, just when I was ready to stop for the night!
Still, camped in another lovely spot overlooking the fjord. Unfortunately the dog walkers think its lovely too!
  • Aarhus, in the middle of Aarstreet
    • 30/06/2017
Little madness song pun there...
So on Saturday I received an invite via pirate Damien to stay with a danish couple, Søren and Lotte, - Damien and Søren had met whilst cycling through Morocco a couple of years ago, and subsequently had a very nice weekend of home comforts, adventure travel conversation and local insights.
Søren drives long distance lorries of fish for half the year, allowing four months off for cycling or backpacking, nice arrangement, whilst Lotte works helping refugee families settle in Denmark and adjust to the cultural differences.
I feel very lucky to have met such open and generous and interesting people, big thanks!


Parted company with Damien again, who has taken the ferry to Sweden.
Short day for me south to Aarhus, European capital of culture, and with sculptures, installations and events around the city. God help us with Hull trying to live up to it..
Lots of students, interesting art gallery.
Docklands area being redeveloped with fancy flats, similar to Aalborg.
  • nice weather for slugs
    • 30/06/2017
Got rid of the smell of fish as now stink of woodsmoke from campfire!
A couple of showery, humid days saw me dodging slugs rather than caterpillars. I know you gardeners will be shouting "why not run them over!" But I can't bear the thought of them squishing into the tyre tread.
Turning south close to and thereby through Aalborg, where there are a load of English themed pubs and what turns out to be graduating students wearing what look like sailors hats.
Every village I pass through is preparing a bonfire and BBQ for midsummer / saint Johns eve. As i near my target end of day campsite at a rather late 9pm, I gatecrash one and am rewarded with beer, sausages, cake, and a garden to sleep in thanks to very generous villagers. Unfortunately the rain meant the bonfire never really got going and I ended up chatting with some Polish tradesmen who had caught a large fish.

Some Denmark observations.
I like how every house has the names of all the household on the mailbox
I like how houses with a new baby have a wooden stork stuck up outside
I like how the drain covers have the towns coat of arms on them
I mentioned lawnmowing was a national pastime before, but I'm now seeing more and more robot mowers, similar to the hoovers, whole swarms going around public parks.
Parks here are great.
Supermarkets here have a loneliness phobia and tend to be found two or three next door to each other.


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