Denmark 1986

After leaving school in May 1986 I cycled around Denmark with a friend from school. We set off from Kiel by ferry to the island of Langeland. Unfortunately, this is one of the many ferries that no longer exist.

10 June Kiel – Bagenkop – Spodsbjerg – Tårs  – Maribo

After a trip on the ferry from Kiel to Bagenkop for DM 14 we arrived  in Denmark. One and a half hours later we took the next ferry Spodsbjerg to Tårs and arrived on the island Lolland. The road to Maribo was fairly pleasant along the highway that has been turned into a segregated cyclepath. We stayed on  campsite near Maribo.

day 1: 70km

11 June Maribo – Nykøbing F – Stubbekøbing – Møns Klint

After a short sightseeing trip of the church in Maribo we continued eastwards first with a tail then with a side wind. In the early afternoon we arrived on the campsite near the cliffs and after a putting up the tent we cycled to a point where you could walk down to the beach.

Møns Klint

Møns Klint

The area around Møns Klint has some of the highest points in Denmark., there is another hill near Aarhus on the Jutland peninsula that is higher. There are similar chalk cliffs on the German island of Rügen, which at the time was out of bounds for us.  Afterwards we went to the local cafe to eat a hot dog for a evening dinner.

day 2: 100km total: 170km

12 June Møns Klint – StegePræstø – Køge – Rødovre – Copenhagen

After visiting Liselund and stopping to look at church in Elmelunde we moved on to the next island (number five), Sjælland.

The church in Elmelunde

The church in Elmelunde

Inside the church in Elmelunde

Inside the church in Elmelunde

For the entire day we had a lovely headwind. As we approached Copenhagen our progress became slower as we entered the suburbs and navigation was also more complicated. We followed the cycle path along Køge Bay that was riddled with traffic lights. Near the end the wind turned to a tail wind and we reached the campsite near Copenhagen in Rødovre.

day 3: 125km total: 295km

13 – 14 June Copenhagen

After a very cold night that turned going to the toilet into a minor adventure, we cycled into Copenhagen. My diary notes that we were impressed by Copenhagen’s cycling infrastructure. We had a good look around Copenhagen, the Carlberg Glyptothek which we enjoyed despite its lack of a cafeteria. At the time Denmark was gripped by football as Denmark had come top of the group in the Mexico world cup ahead of Germany.

View from the Church of our Saviour

View from the Church of our Saviour

View from the Church of our Saviour

View from the Church of our Saviour

National Library

National Library

View from the Church of our Saviour

View from the Church of our Saviour

View from the Church of our Saviour

View from the Church of our Saviour

Hans Christian Andersen's gravetome

Hans Christian Andersen’s gravestone

Everyone seemed to think that this was Denmark’s year to win the world cup, it would all end in tears. We went up the spiral staircase of the Church of our Saviour which was on the outside of its spire. Form there the visibility was good enough to see souther Sweden. We had a look at the National Library  from the outside. We saw Hans Christian Andersen‘s grave, the Botanical gardens, Amalienborg and the little Mermaid (very disappointingly small statue!).

day 4 & 5: 40km total: 335km

15 June Copenhagen – Roskilde

After Copenhagen we continued to Roskilde which is very close by. We saw the Viking ships and had a quick  look at the cathedral. We also spent time at a police station and looking for the watch I had managed to loose by leaving lying on top of my panniers. This

Viking ships in Roskilde

Viking ships in Roskilde

was doubly embarrassing as I had only just received it from my parents as a present for passing the Abitur. Unfortunately, the watch never turned up again.

day6: 30km total: 365km

16 June Roskilde – Holbaek – Vig – Odden Faergehavn – Nødager

The next day we visited the police station again and then continued south along the Isefjord through Vig to Sjælland’s Odde. Form there we took ferry number three to reach island number six, Jutland. We found a campsite near Nødager.

day 7: 120km total: 485km

17 June Nødager – Saeby

This was one of the hottest day of the entire trip. There were a few more little ferries as we went up North along the coast to cross the fjords of Northern Jutland. Near Hadsund we had to fix our only flat tyre which was ironically caused by “Mr. Tuffy”, a plastic layer between tyre and tube that was meant to stop flat tyres. Most of the road had a nice segregated cycle path. In the late afternoon we took another ferry to get to last (seventh) island on this tour. The northernmost part of Jutland only became an island in 1825. We spent the night on one of the most spartanic campsites.

day 8: 150km total: 635km

18 June Saeby – Skagen – Saeby

Around lunchtime we arrived in Skagen. The weather had turned wet and windy, which is quite normal for Skagen. On the way we admired the church that has been buried by a sand

In Skagen, the northernmost point of Jutland.

In Skagen, the northernmost point of Jutland.

The buried church

The buried church

dune. We took some sand with us as souvenir and also purchased a new tyre in Skagen, we ended up on a different campsite in Saeby again. For some parts the cycle path on the rather busy E3 was missing.

day 9: 110km total: 745km

19 June Saeby – AalborgAalestrup

This was the coldest and most miserable day of the trip and we stopped several times to warm up in cafes. On arrival in Aalborg we spend an hour in a cafe to stop us shivering. In addition to the bad weather we also had to ride on a busy road as the approach of Aalborg from the North had no cycle path in large parts. We ended up on an empty campsite in Aalestrup. In fact most campsites had been fairly empty as the main holiday season had not started yet.

day 10: 120km total: 865km

20 June Aalestrup – Viborg – Herning – Grindsted

The weather was slightly better this day. We checked one last time if someone had turned in my watch, but someone clearly liked it. We stopped Viborg which turned out to be a pretty little town.

The cathedral in Viborg

The cathedral in Viborg

We finally had notherly tailwind. In Herning we saw a group of Bavarians making music. We left quickly.

Bavarian music in Hjerning.

Bavarian music in Herning.

One of our chosen roads towards Grindsted turned out to be forbidden for bicycles and we had to follow an awful, partially unsurfaced and potholed cyclepath. My bike decided to loose one of the bolts of the rear rack in despair. We found the campsite with no problem.

day 11: 130km total: 995km

21 June Grindsted – Ribe – Flensburg – Kiel

After leaving at 8.30am we made our first stop in Ribe, a small town that has a particular significance in the history of Schleswig-Holstein. We climbed the church tower which offer a good view of the surrounding flat landscape.

View of Ribe

View of Ribe

We stopped again in Toftlund and Kruså. There we decided to press on and cycle all the way to Kiel the same day. We had three hot dogs each and rode towards Flensburg. We almost despaired at the task of leaving the city as all road signs lead you to the A7 motorway. We finally managed to leave Flensburg behind us and rode towards Kiel along the bumpy cycle paths of the B76 and B503. As we approached Kiel we noticed that this was the first day of the Kieler Woche which made my last few kilometers more exciting as I had to avoid lots of drunken people staggering through the city centre at the end of the Holstenbummel. We also stopped on the way to deliver Danish yoghurt and sausages to one of our (now) former teachers.

day 12: 230km total: 1225km

Conclusion

In my memory this was probably one of the best cycling tours I ever did. We were lucky to be riding around Denmark before the summer holiday season. Copenhagen was a very nice experience. And most of all the last day was great, I have never cycled that far in one day again with full luggage. The tour also featured a large number of islands (7)  and ferries. In total I spent about DM 337.

 

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