Thursday, 28 June 2012

Day 39 in Deuchland

It is 39 days since I started the trip and 34 of which have been cycling days and so far I have done 1626.12 miles. I am taking a day off in the town of Itezhoe - a town of 27,000 people just north of the river Elbe and north west of Hamburg. My cycling companion, Jürgen, has a friend, called, Stefan here and we are staying at his place.
Since leaving Gothenburg on 12 June, I have travelled south to Varberg. There I left Sweden on a ferry and arrived at Grenna in Denmark.

I headed for the northernmost point on Denmark at Skagen, travelling along the great cycle paths provided in Denmark, through some lush countryside and beautiful coastal areas. At Skagen the Baltic and the North Sea meet. It was the home to the celebrated painter PS Kroyer and it was here that  I met up with Jürgen again. I had travelled with him for 4 days in Norway. Another German guy told us about the shelters provided for people travelling in nature in Denmark. We took a copy of his map and headed south. We used three shelters and also camped wild a couple of times as well as using camp sites. At one of the wild camps in a forest, I woke up to find that one of my food panniers had gone missing in the night. It was on the outside of the tent but less than a foot from my head. An animal had taken what was a heavy bag away into the bush and had got the food out. We tracked the bag down, luckily there wasn´t any damage done!  Again, the cycle routes were great. There are no big cities along the west coast until you get to Esjberg, so we were mostly on car free cycle routes. After two weeks travelling in Denmark we crossed the border into Germany. From the southern part of Denmark onwards into Germany, the scenery changed completley. We have been following dykes all along the coast. The scenery is open and spectacular. There are many islands along this coast from Romo onwards. Alot of the land had been claimed from the sea by the building of dykes. We have been cycling by the Wadden Sea and the Hallig islands for the last few days, getting ever closer to the Elbe.
Yesterday I got my second really thorough soaking. After the initial heat wave in Norway, the weather has been mostly cold, with some strong winds and of course plenty of rain on occassions. I am dried out again now, ready for the next phase of the journey tomorrow

Saturday, 9 June 2012

North Sea Cycle Route - the story so far

Hello bloggers. Here's the latest on my trip around the North sea cycle route. I reached Gotenberg yesterday in the worst rain of the trip so far. It was a relief not to put my tent up in it. I am staying with a friend until Tuesday to see the city and recover a bit from the journey.

My intention to post copies of my journal still holds good, but I have not been able to do so since leaving Stavanger, because I camped every night. It was more often wild camping rather that in a camp site and I had no wi-fi available in either place... so no ability to blog. This is likely to be the situation when I leave Gotenberg, but I will update when I can.

I have cycled 870.19 miles so far. The first part of the trip from Bergen to Fredrickstad were hilly, around Ergunsund where I did a mountain pass followed more  mountains.  The scenery in Norway on the C1 cycle route is truly superb. It takes you through out of the way places and along fjords and through forests. Some of it is on tracks. I have been off route alot of time but only truly lost once. If it hadn't been for two runners turning up  in the middle of the woods I would still be there now. Without exception, people have been helpful and friendly and always wished me a 'Good Trip' Crossing over the bridge at Idefjorden into Sweden was  a real milestone. I have travelled through the beautiful west coast islands on route to Gothenburg and I'm enjoying the city and few days off. Keep in touch with then blog and I will post the journal enteries, photos and paintings.