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Camping in Denmark – "Overnatning i det fri"

Overnatning i det fri, wild camping in Denmark"Overnatning i det fri" is a guide book in Danish about nearly free campsites in Denmark. Denmark don't have the "Allemannsretten", freedom to roam, like other Scandinavian countries. Since the normal campsites have become rather expensive and more like a family holiday theme park. Which off course has it place, but if you just want a place to pitch your tent and access to the basic such as water. Then it has became rather had to find a place to camp in Denmark unless you really did wild camping. From what I have learnt from talking with the owners at the sites we visited. Dansk Cyklist Forbund (The Danish Cyclist Federation) Dansk Vandrelaug (The Danish Ramblers) among others got this great idea and posted an article in the newspapers asking for people to join up. So now private persons with a bit of spare grass, now have a simple place for you to camp. Some of these are just their back yard or their hayloft or part of their plantation. The local councils have also put up some basic shelters which are either in a park or an opening in a forest. Some of these campsite does have access to running water, toilet (long drop to a fancy and new WC) or even a shower. Prices range from nothing to 20DKK per person staying, about £2, though we had to pay 25DKK at one site and around 15DKK for a shower if there was one. On the route we took on our last trip to Denmark we were never more than 5-10km away from a site. Since the 1000 sites are scatted all over Denmark, so you would never be far away from a place to camp. Some places you can just rock up but it just nice to give the owner a bell before you arrive. Don't worry if you don't speak Danish, they will speak English, German or even French. And when you are there a bit of pointing and a friendly smile will get you far. Many of them are not far from rivers so you can used them while on a canoe trip. Also many of them will let you arrive on horse back. I would say the most if not all are with in very easy reach of any of the national cycle routes and walking route. cycle camping denmarkI was truly astonished by the quality, even by the most basic sites we stayed at, and the friendly welcome we received. We had everything from a very clean "das", long drops, to a full equipped kitchen and bathroom. The only thing I can moan about is that the book uses the UTM standard to locate the campsite on your GPS. I'm not sure if that is a normal standard but it was the first time I have ever heard about it. But after a bit of fittling around on my Garmin I managed to enter the coordinates, though there are online tools that convert UTM to "normal" Longitude and Latitude coordinates. It might be a bit hard for you to get it, since you can't buy it online, well yes you can but they don't don't ship abroad. I was lucky to have a friend whom I could borrow a copy from. Though I pretty sure that you can buy one from any tourist information offices or book shop that are scattered around Denmark. Yes I know not the best option when you are in the planning stage. The book is mainly in Danish, though have a important information in English, so you should be able to figure out where they are and understand what is there. wild camping shelter in denmarkBelow is a little review of the sites we managed to visit, I have made the UTM links into a lovely link onto Google map: Skoleskoven ved Vejen: A nice distance away from the ferry in Esbjerg, if you are arriving there. UTM: 32V/508889/6145458 This is a site run by the local council, in a small "training park" I guess. There is basic shelters, long drops and running water. A brilliant little place very well hidden and you can have open fire there too. If you got a tent there is plenty of places to pitch up too. Total cost here: Free. sleeping in hayRold: Around 15miles west of Odense on Fyn, with some wonderful rolling hills to enjoy. UTM: 32V/558372/6143056 A farm with horses, dog and cat. You pitch your tent anywhere around the barn and even near the lake. We stayed in the hayloft since we had two days of rather wet cycling before. If the owners are home you can use their showers and toilet. You are also welcome to bring you horse here. I spend a long time looking around the barn, since there were so many things that I could remember from my childhood at my grandparents. A very cosy place and the owners just opened the barn door for us when we arrived since they would be out and about. Total cost here: 15DKK per person. Slots-Bjergby: Just outside Slagelse on Sjælland UTM: 32V/648313/6138809 A little lawn outside a old farm right next to the highest laying church on Sjælland. Running water and a very clean toilet and shower is accessible next to the church. The lawn is on a bit of a slope and it looked like the moles have had a go at it. So a bit hard to find a level place to pitch your tent. Total cost here: Free. Roneklint: On the coast halfway between Fakse and Vordinborg. UTM: 32V/699309/6112793 Is an old plantation according to the book though we didn't any trees, mainly because we arrived when it was rather wet. So were only thinking about getting out tent up and into dry clothing. The owner told me that he is planing to make the barn into a cafe with live music. There was plenty of place to pitch your tent. We didn't stay around long enough to explore since we had a long day ahead of us. Total cost here: Free. campsite in denmarkTåst: On a small peninsular with a little marina and beach, oh yes mossies by the millions UTM: 32V/629855/6083150 This was our most expensive site, I think it went to the food for the mossies since there were rather a lot of them. Nice little marina with a kitchen and seating. Toilet block and a shower which you need to pay for the use of the key. The little marina is just a nice little cosy place to see the sunset from. Easy access to the ferry to Langeland. Total cost here: 25DKK per person. Rønshoved: A very pleasant surprise, close to the beach and the border to Germany UTM: 32V/533407/6081768 Last minutes change of plans found this little gem where we really got a pleasant surprise. In a little valley hidden away from the main road was hidden an old water mill next to a little lake. A little gas stove and seating areas both indoor and out door. You can even rent rooms there. Toilet and shower ever so clean. If we had the time or ever come back we will be staying here again. We were a wee bit worried with the trees and water around us, but they were not to be found these BB's. Total cost here: 20DKK per person. free camping denmarkEgebæk-Hviding: Little organic farm with showers and free beer only a short ride from Ribe. UTM: 32V/483491/6126721 This farm was a blessing after 25miles ride from Tønder into the wind. Only a few miles sound of Ribe and and easy ride from the ferry to the UK in Esbjerg. From the guest book I could see that they have been running a small campsite since 1998, which they did were well. You welcome to explore the farm and its lake, though we were just to knackered. There is a kitchen with all you need to cook up a storm. Toilet and shower is also available. It was only when I was reading the guest book that it clicked for me that we were welcome to help ourself from the fridge. So I had a nice cold beer, which was well needed. Just watch out for the cats they are rather curious and got a bit close to my hot cooker and got oil on their fur and nose. Total cost here: 20DKK per person and 15DKK per person per shower.

Vicycle tour of Denmark Part IV

More wind, single track offroading, history, visit to Germany, two utterly brilliant campsites and even a song from Peli. 03/06/2011: As normal my folks' B&B trumped any other. We left with full stomachs following a lovely breakfast on the terrace. With a light lunch packed we headed toward the harbour. Our first destination that day was Als, the 11th island on our tour of Denmark. Again I had looked wrongly on the price list on the ferry crossing website and we got a great surprise and our tickets at less than we had budgeted. 55min later we arrived on Als where we spotted at least 20 cycle tourers getting ready to board the ferry over to Fyn. What a fantastic sight! Als was a brilliant ride, we had 38 miles to go: much shorter than the previous days but it took longer because we really enjoyed ourselves and took our time. The ride into Sønderborg was just stunning as we followed the Gendarm stien. This path follows the water through forests and the border between Denmark and Germany. Peli even had a little paddle in the ever so clear and not so cold water before we arrived in Sønderborg. In this delightful town we hunted down a supermarket where we did our shopping for a few more days and had a fabulous picnic right outside since we were hungry and it would be too much of a hassle to pack up and unpack later. Dybbøl MølleThen we cycled over the bridge to Jylland up the hill to Dybbøl Mølle, a very historical place in Danish history. After giving Peli a little lesson in history and why this place is so important we headed down onto Gendarm stien again. And had a great fun single tracking with our fully loaded touring bikes. I think we finally found some boots for Pelis bicycle that she liked and the stress from work and the off we had a few days before had lifted. I heard Peli singing something like this (Milly is the name of her bike): Milly-chops, Milly-chops, riding on the rocks Milly-chops, Milly-chops, better not fall off! ...to whatever tune in her head she had going with a massive smile on her face. Better take this pretty girl out on more tours, hadn't I? :) campsite cookingI suddenly got the feeling that the evening's campsite wouldn’t have running water and the dinner we had planned required lots of water. So, I had a look in the camping book “i det fri” and found a new place a mile or two closer. The openstreetmap I had on the GPS didn’t have the correct road marked, so it did send us on a wild goose chase. But, a quick phone call later and we were right on track and found a little hidden gem nestled in a valley. What a wonderful campsite: a little lake, with tables, gas cooker and very clean toilet and shower block. Best off all, there was not a mozzie in sight, even though a place like this would usually have them storming in the millions towards an unsuspecting cycle tourer. The owner spotted RoadKill, my little mascot who sits trustingly on the front of my pannier rack, and I told her that I had found him lying on a road in London and picked him up. She then overheard me speaking English to Peli and said, with a twinkle in her eye, "I see that's not the only thing you picked up in London". :) We cooked up some pasta and garlic mushrooms, and really enjoyed a relaxing evening after a great day's cycling. Days like these make up for the days with wall-to-wall rain. 04/06/2011: The next morning we changed the planned route since we were alone and I really wanted to show Peli Tønder. So, we again followed the Gendarm stien to the border between Denmark and Germany. The border is just a little bridge on Gendarm Stien with a little flag on each side and a marking right on the middle of it. Now the new boots we had bought for our touring bicycles, were bought with "fit and forget" in mind, big time. Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour, should be the most anti p*nct*re and and robust tyres for cycle touring that you can get. But Peli just about managed to get around five, yes five metres into Germany - where the tyres originated - before they gave up the ghost. Wheel off, tyre off and with closer inspection there was a small thorn that had gone right through. Not one of the big whoppers you find in some countries, just about a normal-sized one. At this point we had managed around 350 miles of Danish lanes with their fair share of glass and flints in both dry and wet weather. But a tiny German thorn was more that the Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour could handle. Oh, the irony! So, we legged it out of Germany over the old border crossing where I remember sitting in the back of my parents' car in a queue many a time waiting for our passports to be checked. Now, nothing remains of the old checkpoint other than a big empty space where it once all stood. woolly danish icecreamThe next 15 miles or so to Tønder were rather boring. The closer we got the flatter it got and the wind took its toll. If we had the time, there are plenty of country lanes and things to see down here. One day we have to follow the whole of Gendarm stien along the border, as it is rather pretty there. In Tønder we loaded up on calories and ordered some ice cream, four scoops, guf, soft ice and a flødebolle on mine, yes I know it is my weak spot, but is sooooo yummy and I’m a cyclist. :) Trust me to pick a route where the wind should be by default at our backs, only to have it right into our faces. Again the route was rather knackering, flat on a busy road with no cycle lane which is pretty unheard of in Denmark. The campsite for the night would according to the camping book be a small organic farm. It sounded like a nice little place, but nowhere near as good it turned out to be. We had a little kitchen, shower and toilet all to ourselves, and plenty of space to pitch up on. The proprietor was very nice and told us just to help ourselves from the fridge.woolly cooking cat I hunted and found a cold Danish beer, which was well-needed after 57 hard (flat, but right into the wind) miles. We were also entertained by three cats who were rather interested in our cooking stove and bicycles. Not a good idea to mix a white cat and dirty touring bike: one of them ended up with a comedy oil streak across its little nose. 05/06/2011: Our last day and 28 miles to Esbjerg and we at last had a tail wind. \o/ On the way to Ribe we were told to us the cycle lane, which we hadn't spotted, by a lady who stopped her car at the side of the road. The Danes will point out stuff like that since if there is a cycle lane you have to use it. milly at campsiteRibe is a 1300 year old town that is ever so nice. The plan was to find a bakery to get our breakfast since we were out of oats. And we needed our last fix of yummy Danish bread and winerbrød. We followed our noses at first but lost track when a very scented lady walked past and us past a ice cream place with its smell of waffels and guf. Then a second sense took over, sight, as we spotted a stream of other cyclists with bread bags in their baskets coming towards us. Ribe and Tønder are in the lowest laying areas of Denmark and have over the years been flooded. Back in the day you could sail up to both market towns through the marshes. Now there is a big dyke holding out vesterhavet and the marshes are farmland. This made the last bit of cycling simple and easy since it was flatter that flat and did I mention the tailwind? We arrived in Esbjerg around 20 min after the Wowbaggers did on their train. We also spotted another couple who had disembarked the ferry with us some 11 days ago. They had headed via Frederikshavn to Sweden and did some touring there. ferry picnicI was proved wrong: Esbjerg is a rather nice town and didn't just only smell of fish as I have been told in my childhood. Though on a Sunday lunchtime it is not the place to go hunting for ice cream. So we had to settle with McDo ice cream, not the best, but filled a hole. We also did some food shopping for a picnic on the ferry back to the UK. While killing time we spotted a couple on a tandem who were on their last leg of their 10.000 miles ride. Well by the time they get home they would have done nearly 11.000. They were doing it in aid of Shelterbox.org, which they also had on their trailer. We boarded the ferry and had our picnic on the outer deck, while trying to take Vicky's mind away from being sick. We had some success and she had time to sit all wrapped up in her duvet on the deck keeping an eye on the horizon before the rain arrived. Arriving in the rainy UK was a "nice" welcome back from the last few days where we have enjoyed 25c+ and wall to wall sunshine. We got on our train towards London and said goodbye to our travel companions. We had a great time and really enjoyed touring with you, even though it was a bit short, so where to next? Read the other parts here : Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and click here to see all the photos.

Vicycle tour of Denmark Part III

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.

Vicycle tour of Denmark Part II

bio break Basic toilet, HC Anderson birthplace and the train over the bridge to Sjælland and a trip to the hospital. 28/05/2011: We woke up and found that the owners had left early and we still had the pressing problem of where and how to do our "bio break" as the Americans call it. With a bucket and some straw we managed to use the stables as an impromptu toilet block, and donated our proceedings to the farm's dung heap. Odense was only 15 or so miles away up and down some windy roads, before we hit the old main road directly into town which was mostly downhill and with a nice tailwind. In Odense we had a nice cuppa and what was ordered as a shortbread, but turned out to be a delicious sweet bun flavoured bun with cardomom, in the cafe Fyrtøjet next to the old town. The old part of Odense is now a heritage site mainly due to the author, H.C Andersen, whom you might have heard of. We had a look around before we hunted down a bakery and it being a Saturday they were closing early. Danish pastries were bought by the metre and some ever-so-yummy bread. We had planned to take the train from Odense to Slagelse since you can't ride your bike over the bridge. This is where the very bike-friendly Denmark presents something of a brick wall. Odense Station ticket office is upstairs in a mall where you're not allowed to take your bicycle. All the platforms are accessible from the walkway below the tracks or the ticket office on the first floor. So, there is rather a lot of going up and down to get the tickets and then to the trains. The national rail line DSB rolling stock aren't very friendly to heavy touring bikes, either. You have to go up three rather steep steps to get onto the trains. And there isn't much help from the staff, either. In fact, poor Mr Wow even had the door closed on him as we were manhandling our bicycles onboard. Though, that said, when you arrived at the area of seating allocated to bike parking, people moved away immediately to give us room. We also spotted the two fellas that we played “Hare and the Tortoise” with a few days earlier on the train. Getting off the train in Slagelse was also a mission for us four. Luckily there was a friendly fella helping us off the train. Mr Wow and I looked at some bike p0rn while the ladies hunted down a place to spend a penny (or a øre). As we started to roll out of town it started to rain, but luckily we only had eight miles before we would arrive at the campsite for the night. But, sadly, we'd only got three miles out of town when a colossal slice of bad luck hit our tour. As we came down a fast and winding road in the wet Mrs Wow lost control of her bike and came down fast and hard. Peli was around 20m ahead of me and I around 50m ahead of the Wowbaggers, when I heard a yelp and the tell tale sound of a person coming off a bicycle. I shrieked out to Peli to come quick and did a swift u-turn, racing towards the Wows with my heart in my mouth. As I was arriving I could see Mrs Wow was out cold and Mr Wow was already at her side, calling her name. As I jumped off my bike she came round, and we managed to move her away from her bicycle. One good thing about cycling fully loaded is that the panniers provide an extra cushion, and stops you getting tangled up and too badly hurt by your bicycle. Seconds later Peli arrived and took over the first aid, keeping Mrs Wow talking and making her as comfortable as possible, while me and Mr Wow cleaned the road up from bikes that we had dumped while rushing to her aid. I then called 112 and with the help of my GPS I managed to tell them where we were. This really taught me to keep your wits about you when cycling, and not just aimlessly follow whomever is in front. You need to be able to explain where you are if needed, so do keep an eye out for churches, factories, farms, rivers, bridges, masts etc. Anything that could help pinpoint you to the emergency services. We, mostly Peli, got Mrs Wow in a comfortable position and kept her conscious while we waited for the ambulance. The paramedics arrived around ten minutes later and took great care of the patient. Another ten minutes later they were on the way to the hospital, and we were three riders and four bikes. It was still raining. The hospital is only three and bit miles away and we covered that in rather fast time even though the rain was coming down rather hard at this point. After some asking around we found Mrs Wow in a ward looking rather dazed and confused, but very glad that we'd turned up. This was now around 17:30 on a Saturday evening and we were in for a loooong wait. With the help of a local farmer we found a taxi service and stored Mrs Wow's bike and panniers. After we arrived at the hospital I took a taxi out to the "scene of the crime" to pick up Mrs Wow's bicycle. Small mercies: it's great to know that taxis in Denmark take bicycles with a smile (and 10DKK cost) on a little rack. We have nothing bad to say about the Danish medical system: they really took care of Mrs Wow, and most of the staff spoke perfect English. There was a lot of waiting around involved, but we were just unlucky that a neighbouring hospital had had a power cut and all emergencies were sent to ours. Around 21:30 the Wows were still awaiting the doctor, so Peli and I grabbed Mr Wow's tent and hunted down a campsite we had found in the camping book. Around 23:00 the doctor told the Wows that they'd keep Mrs Wow in for the night and Mr Wow found his tent pitched next to ours just after midnight. Suffice to say it's rather hard to pitch an unfamiliar tent in the dark, in heavy rain. But, it's good practice for when we have a Hilleberg! (Sorry, Mr Wow, that we pitched your tent "upside down" ;) 29/05/2011: The next morning we could see the campsite where we'd spent an exhausted night: a small, neat lawn next to a farm which bordered on the church. We were welcome to use the toilet and shower there and learned that this church was the highest-placed church on Sæjlland. After breakfast Peli, Mr Wow and myself headed back to the hospital to find Mrs Wow spinning her yarn in the waiting room, looking delicate but much brighter than the previous evening. She had been checked upon every two hours during the night by kind and gentle nurses who shone lights into her eyes and checked her vital signs. This was impressive service, given that they were doing the job of two hospitals and we were told had a very busy night with road traffic accidents. Then the wait set in, and we camped out in the visitors' waiting room for the duration. We passed the time eating, blogging, photographing, chatting, tea-drinking, spinning: anything to while away the hours. We arrived at 11:00 and the doctor finally arrived around 19:30, just as we were tucking into an family (massive) sized pizza. Unfortunately, guests are not fed in a hospital. :( Mrs Wow was discharged, but told to take it easy and rest her concussion and whiplash for at least three days. We managed to get her and her bike to the train station in Slagelse and then headed towards Copenhagen: that day's destination. Of course, we didn't arrive in the afternoon on bicycle as planned, but at around 23:00 rather tired by train, bikes and taxi. We arrived at my mate Bam and had a quick well-deserved beer/cup of tea before we retired for the night. cph cycle parking30/05/2011: The next day Mrs Wow was still in discomfort and had a rather sore neck. So, while we fed and washed ourselves we discussed possible scenarios for the rest of the holiday. In the late but still sunny afternoon Bam took Mr Wow, Peli and yours truly on a brilliant guided tour of central Copenhagen. We managed to see the parliament, old and new opera houses and the Queen's resident among other things. Along with plenty of wonderful people on bicycles pootling through their daily lives as if cycling were the most natural thing on earth. cph cycle tourMrs Wow held the fort just nicely as we arrived home to find her resting on the sofa. Dinner was cooked up - home-made pølser - and we had a good old chat during which plans were made for the rest of our stay. Gus would come and pick up Peli and me Bam's so that he could say hello to the Wowbaggers and guide us out of town. The Wowbaggers would then take up Bam's great hospitality and take an extra night in Copenhagen to recuperate, before they tackled the train journey to Middelfart. There, they'd stay in a nice hotel to rest and recuperate before meeting us again in Esbjerg to take the ferry home. Read the other parts here : Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and click here to see all the photos.

Vicycle tour of Denmark Part I

Cycle touring in DenmarkLurgy, seasickness, the hunt for a hotdog and our first stay "i det fri" in Denmark and our first taste of the wind 25/06/2011: The last two weeks I've been playing with a fluey-buggy thing that wouldn't really kick in properly. Which, of course, meant that two nights before our departure to Denmark and the start of our 11 day-long cycle tour, I was sick as a very sick thing. So, drugs were bought along with plenty of vitamins since there was no way that I would miss out on this great trip. In typical Peli and Woolly style the morning of the departure day was used to do some serious fettling. I had to get some new bearings and a new free-hub installed on my bicycle and then there were the train tickets to the ferry to buy. Luckily, our man at our LBS was a great hand with his tools and I was ready to ride with 10min to spare. Thank you Cory! You're a star and there are beers coming your way when we're back. Danish hotdogsThe seven mile ride across town went fine. It is fun to ride fully-loaded through London as there are so many people staring at us in wonder. Luckily, at Liverpool Street Station there wasn't a long queue at the ticket office. So we had around 45min wait before our train toward Harwich that would see us on arrving at the same time as the Wowbaggers. The Wowbaggers joined our train a few stops later and commented on how well my sickness was coming along. Weak, blue and very tired were the words used while I could just about nod a yes between blowing my nose, coughing and swallowing more anti-flu stuff. We spotted two pairs of other cycle tourists heading the same way as us and we saw them again at the cafe at the ferry harbour. I also got chatting with a retired Danish Army officer who has spent all his holidays during the last 40 years on his bicycle around Europe. He was a real character! Cycle touring in DenmarkI think the staff at Harwich are Danish, or at least have been "Danishified" since motorbikes and cyclists are let onto the ferry before all the cars. It was rather fun to ride onto a ship on a fully-loaded tourer. We parked our bikes in a corner and grabbed the panniers that we needed on the ship. Our tickets were also our door key, though I had to fiddle with them rather a lot before the door opened. Our little cabin had two bunkbeds where we settled in before heading out on deck for dinner. There was a nice view for a while, but it ended up very windy when we arrived out at sea. So we retired to one of the lounges where we had a bit of chatter and some "medicine" that Mr Wow kindly shared with me. As I slowly got better, Peli's "sea legs" showed their love for solid ground, so we all retired to bed. I had a good, but fever-ridden sleep, and didn't feel much better in the morning. Peli was turning the same colour as the sea so breakfast was not her cup of tea. I managed to fill my stomach and take a substantial doggy bag of lovely bread rolls and pastries for Peli with the Wowbaggers. 26/05/2011: Cycle touring in DenmarkDocking in Denmark we rolled off the boat past the passport control and onto our planned route. And the hunt for hotdogs began. Yes, there was the option of entering Esbjerg, but being Danish and having grown up to know that Esbjerg was only known for one thing (the smell of fish) decided to start our cycle tour rather than doing some touristy things. Mr Wow spend a lot of time looking at birds of the feathered kind, which I couldn't get my head around since we were traveling in a group which is 50% bird. And what wonderful travelling companions they are too, no, no there is no gun to my head or threat of horrible death while typing this. :) A few miles later I spotted a hotdog stand and treated the Wows to a real Danish treat, "risted med det hele" - roasted sausage with everything. In the time it took our fellow travellers to eat half a hotdog I had devoured my two. This reason was down to pure hunger and "skill" as in knowing how to master this delicacy. Or, as Peli pointed out, due to having a big gob. :) Cycle touring in DenmarkWe then rolled on and played hide and seek with the rain. The rain won: we got soaked once or twice on route. We also played the "Hare and the Tortoise" with one of the other pairs of cycle tourists. Our first overnight stay was at a "Skoleskov" - a "training forest". Where we stayed at one of the many excellent free campsites that are popping up all over Denmark, run by the local council. It consists of a simple wooden shelter and a long drop loo well hidden away within a very groomed forest. We pitched our tents in no time. Well, we did, while the Wows took their time since it was their very first night in their new Hilleberg tent. A rather nice little tent, we are now rather keen on getting one of these splendid things. Cycle touring in DenmarkWe then started up our new trangia cooker for cups of tea all round, before we cooked our dinner. We had some good old chatter and Mr Wow pointed out which bird sang what while eating. Mr. Wow gave me a nice helping of medicine for a nightcap before we settled in for the night. Peli and Mrs Wow could still feel the waves from our 20 hours ferry trip and I was still fighting my lurgy. We crawled to bed around 10pm with the "light still on", this time of the year in Denmark it get dark rather late. Brilliant for a nice warm summer night sitting around a bonfire which I hope we can get to do later on this trip. Later on in the night it started to come down in buckets, but our tents stod their ground and kept the water on the outside. After a leisurely breakfast we packed up and were ready to ride by around 10:00. 27/05/11: campsite cookingThe ride into Kolding was a nice and simple 20-odd miles, where we hunted down a nice looking cafe for a bit of tea and cake. Though we just about managed to enjoy the cake and tea before we got smoked out by the smokers who lit up en-mass as the smoking restrictions were lifted on the dot at 13:00. After some shopping we found a bench to picnic on. While eating I spotted a female solo tourer and exchanged a friendly nod. The ride out of Kolding was nice and ok until we found the main A road with a rather narrow cycle lane. Which was a bit of a downer on the else splendid cycle lane and roads we have been using before. Mrs Wow zoomed up and over Lillebælt broen, the bridge over to the island called Fyn. We stopped and did some sail boat spotting, before we joined her on the other side of the very windy bridge. Cycle touring in DenmarkWe cycled through Middlefart which got some giggles from my foreign travelling companions, which I couldn't understand. :) I called our camping location for the night, the lady of the manor asked if we wanted to to use the hayloft or use the garden. The voting consensus was the hayloft and the proprietor told me that she would leave the door open since they wouldn't be home. A good two hours later we found the little tent sign that showed us that we could camp here for the night. And we cycled down the drive to the farm house and barn where we found a three beautiful palomino ponies waiting for us, expectantly. The barn was stuffed to the brim with various bits and pieces ranging from pipes, farm tools to a bicycle hanging in the loft. We found the big hayloft with plenty of straw laid out (so why a call it a hayloft?). We found some chairs and a table and cooked up a storm on our stoves. a roll in the hayPeli made good use of our Trangia to knock up some garlic mushrooms and pasta and tomato sauce stirred through with cream cheese - yummy! The place was in our guide book marked to have a toilet, which was only accessible when the owners were home. This was OK while we had only number ones to worry about, but the more pressing number twos were another matter. A bucket and some straw were found and Mr Wow went hunting for a quiet place in the garden only get caught short when the owners arrived home. Luckily he managed to sneak around the back and came and joined us chatting with the owners like he had been out of a evening stroll :) After that fright others discovered that using the horse stables as a hide out was a good bet when taking care of one's nature calls. After dinner we all made up camp on the straw and settled in for the night. We all had a great sleep and didn't get disturbed by any creepy crawlies or other nocturnal animals. The whole stay costed us 15DKK per "nose" as the owner said, which is a splendid price for a night stay in the dry. Read the other parts here : Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and click here to see all the photos.

A review of Local Bicycle Shop, WeBike, 2720 Vanløse, Denmark

WeBike, Kastanie Alle 20, 2720 Vanløse, Denmark, cykler, bicycle, road and mountain bikesDescription: Bicycle Sales in Copenhagen, Denmark. Specialise in road and mountain bikes. They even got their own team so do look out for them.

Shop visited: August 2007 and June 2009
As seen on the blog: Living in a box

A lovely shop if you are looking for a new road or MTB bike, some very nice gear in there. A massive lower floor with plenty of bike p0rn and a upper floor full with cycling clothing and chaning rooms.

The shop is kinda hidden, my host in CPH had lived on the street next to it for 4 years in 2007. He only found out, that there was a bicycle shop there, when I arrived home with 2 empty bicycle boxes

In 2009 the staff provided us, with a smile, some empty bike boxes to pack ours in for the flight home. But do come early, or call first, because they had already compressed the empties into a small block of cardboard when we visited the first day.

When I visited in 2007 to do the same, e.g. get a empty box, they did not have said machine and was told yeah do grap a box less work for us at the end of the day.

Shop contact:
www : http://www.webike.dk/ phone : + 45 70 22 99 31

Well they would get 5 oinks, if I only had to rate them on empty bike boxes. But since I haven't used their service to the full, I can't give them full oinks. But I'm sure that I will be visiting again since I do goto CPH quite often with my bike.

Living in a box

Our last day of our holiday started nice and slow, with a good breakfast and tea and some basic chilling out.

We went over to the local bike shop, Webike, to pick up some empty bike boxes to pack our bikes in.

Last minute snack before we had go to the airport. Dead easy on the Metro in CPH only 25min door to door.

Georg Jensen's bling bike on display in CPH airport.

At the airport I had my last hotdog of the tour and we failed to find a Danish for Peli, but then again she should have enough in me :)

We got on the plane on time, and arrived in Gatwick on time, and found our bikes but no compressed air. Back home just after midnight and very tired from all that traveling but happy after a well needed holiday that we enjoyed very much.

3 miles ride back home in London, even late at night it was a wake up call for us, totally different from Denmark.

Today's non ride was sponsored by WeBike in CPH. Located just around the corner from where we were staying. A lovely shop if you are looking for a new road or MTB bike, some very nice gear in there. And the staff provided us, with a smile, some empty bike boxes to pack ours in for the flight home. But do come early, or call first, because they had already compressed the empties into a small block of cardboard when we visited the first day.

More photos here ... ?trains planes and automobiles sol strand og vand a trip down memory lane Here be dragons chapter III wind mills and bbq million dollars ride irl @ cph/ a swinging rest ride/

A swinging rest ride

We had a bit of a lie in today, I was more in the mood to just be lazy. But Peli's nagging got me up and after breakfast we headed out. The original idea was to cycle to Roskilde along the national cycle route 4.

With the help of Bam the night before I had a general idea where that route were, find number 9 and it will take you to number 4, but where did number 9 start ?

So we just headed in the general direction and hoped for the best. After 30min or so riding Peli spotted on the other side of the road, a sign saying number 9, so we where on our way. Number 9 follows the old fortress wall around CPH so the ride was again on perfect cycle lanes and tracks.

After another 30min riding we found the national cycle route 4, that told us that the cycle route would be 38km to Roskilde instead of the 17km on the A-road.

We ended up at Ishøj strand and had a go on the swings before we had our lunch on the beach.

 
 
Even with a shot of the highest grade EPO that you can find on the free market, read 500ml of chocolate drink, I didn't have it in my legs to ride all the way to Roskilde and back, so we decided to cut the days ride short.

Though still we managed to clock up 28miles in mostly sun and tail wind back.

Today's ride was sponsored by Bam's cooked rice. I do not know how he does it but when he does the rice is namnamnam and I can't have enough. Bam, you know what you are cooking here when you visit the next time :)

More photos here ... Click here to read the next day in Denmark, Living in box

IRL @ CPH

For 10 years or so I have been chatting and emailing with Mr. Owl. And every time there had been a change to meet up, something had come up and we didn't make it.

But this time we finally made it and Mr. Owl made his way down to Copenhagen for a day touristing about.

The city hall in CPH.

Lucky the day was a Danish holiday and the weather was hot, hot and hot so all the local was either BBQ'ing in their back garden or on one off the many beaches around Copenhagen. So we only had the low season tourist to worry about.

Old and new together.

Walking up to the Danish parliament.

The grand tour took us via the main train station, the main square, city hall, the parliament where we could walk right under and through it, before a quick beer in Nyhavn.

King something of Denmark

A family cycling around and into the parliament.

War memorial under the parliament.

A sole demonstrator outside the parliament.

The stock market.

Nyhavn

Sailing boat "parked up" next to the Royal palace.

The Royal Palace.

Then we made our way over to the royal palace but didn't get to wave to the queen since her flag wasn't up. Then we went to the biggest tourist trap in Denmark and went, "Is that it, it's so small" along with 100+ others, well it is in the name ... The Little mermaid.

Sad sight :(

Old street in CPH.

After that we found a pizzeria and a take away to Rosenlund Park in the shade, for a nice break.

Rosenlund Slot.

After that we headed over to Runde Tårn (The Round Tower), an observatory tower build by King Christian #4 who also pretty much build the rest of Copenhagen, such as then Parliament, stock market etc. Yes I know it was not him that pulled up the sleeves and got his hands dirty, but it is his name on all the buildings. Runde Tårn was build so that the King could ride all the way up to the top in his horse pulled carriage.

This is hot wader, when Peli said "he must be boiling in this suit" he gave a thumbs up to her, so we gave him some coins for an ice cream.

The n we went via Stroget, the main shopping drag, back to the main train station where we started.

It was great to see you finally Mr. Owl.

8 miles ride and around 4 miles walking, boy does that hurt when you are only used to ride your bike.

And then back to Bam's for a brilliant BBQ in the garden with his neighbors.

Today's ride/walk was sponsored by Magnums Temptations. A new flavor from Magnum. What can I say, advertising for ice cream on the hottest day of the year, so far, WORKS ! So after many miles walking around town, we gave in when we saw the 6th poster, ok ok ok after the first poster :) It was good but when you are hot and have walked many hours in the sun you want an ICE CREAM not a little taster on a stick.

More photos here ... Click here to read the next day in Denmark, A swinging rest ride

Million Dollars Ride

We managed to talk Bam and his son Kev, into joining us for a ride. Of course we picked the hottest day of the year so far, 25c, to do the ride in.

We decided to head up the coast, past many of the wonderful beaches in CPH and past where people with money to spare live.

Just pumping some more air into the MTB tyres on the bike Kev was riding, a bike we borrowed from Bam's neighbor.

View over the sea towards CPH, bridge to Sweden and the wind mills.

Seth enjoying the fresh sea air and the sun.

If you strain your eyes you will be able to see the two towers to the right of the picture of the nuclear power plant in Sweden, that many people in CPH wasn't so keen on when it got build.

We cycled trough Dyrehaven, a big park to the north of CPH. In the park there is one of the oldest theme parks in the world and also the home of the oldest wooden roller coaster in the world.

We arrived a bit too early so we didn't get to have a go. My knees were very happy for that, because it is not build for someone who is 6'4", and the last time I was on it, it was fun but very painful.

In Dyrhaven, you can rent a horse carriage for a wee ride around, we didn't have too since we were on our iron horses.

At around 15miles out we stopped for food at a marina. I know that Kev was well hungry and in need of some food. Because that burger didn't last long :) It was Kev's first ride over 20miles I think he said and he was a bit tired when we got home.

We then headed home the same way as we got there, with the wind in our backs.

Thank you Bam and Kev for a great ride. I still can't believe that you, Bam, are going to be a Grand Dad, good luck to your daughter and your grand child, I'm very happy for you.

36 miles in the hot sun and tail wind all the way back.

Today's ride was sponsored by Sultan Once. A suncream that you apply once and works. We tested out the factor 15, if you are light skinned you need too apply quite often and don't expect it to keep you from burning, if in the sun all day. The Extreme factor 40, on the other hand can easily be called portable shadow. Though I tend to sweat much more when I use it, it is like it is a total block for sun, win and sweat. So I had a problem with getting suncream and sweat in eyes, but hey I didn't burn after a whole day in the hot sun.

More photos here ... Click here to read the next day in Denmark, IRL @ CPH

A carrot

First ride of the year, which got me thinking that I needed a mission/carrot. Since last year I managed to ride 750 miles in about nine months.

Riding a recumbent

I'm not an expert, having only ridden for about nine months and got about 800 miles under my belt. But here are my early thoughts on riding a 'bent.

Fighting the lurg

Our crimbo was spend in bed, with a delivered meal - thanks! Peli's mum, fighting a lurgy.
burning_daylight_featured

Burning daylight

Faffing and waiting for a heavy rain/hail shower to pass, meant a late departure ...

First wash

Went out to explore a new route and to see how it is to ride on the big roads ...

4, 3, 2, 1 years ago

4 years ago: We had to drastically rethink our world pootle. Because the pain I was suffering. 3 years ago: Still in agony, barely able to work or do day to day things.

The Lost Glove

Just a ride out to celebrate a few things and also to enjoy the wonderful weather ...

Failed walk, Simon

We set out to walk up to see Simon and see how comfy his seat is. Heard the views are grand, but not so soft, from it.