Where are all my muscles?

May 28, 2018 Sofia Nordlander 0 Comments

Cycling in Denmark


Well, Southern Sweden is kind of flat except Hallandsåsen but that was doable even for a newbie biking with 53 extra kilos. Denmark on the other hand I expected to be totally flat but that was not true. It isn’t the Alps and I will most likely laugh at this a few months from now but the seriousness in my biking career is relatively new and I kind of struggle in the hillier areas without any major results. I’m waiting for my thighs to become giant, but might be too impatient. Anders tells me to fight harder or wait longer for the results. Guess he’s right. He has giant thighs already which I think is unfair.

We started our journey in Halmstad, Sweden two weeks ago and had time for a few stops along the way before taking the ferry to Denmark. First stop was Båstad, a well known summer city in Sweden, at least if you watch tennis and just a nearby town if you have a car or go by train. We prefer another option and spent significant more time by bike to find a shelter just outside. This is where we uncorked the small bottle of Champagne given to us at the farewell party a few days earlier, wrapped up in various kind of coolers in the morning and with a “Poff” in the dusk, filled glasses and an enormous amount of moskitos. We celebrated fast and enjoyed the rest of the evening in our tent. Slightly tipsy.

Second day we found an abandoned shelter along Skåneleden and set up camp there, just above Hovs Hallar, where we spent the next day hiking in sunshine and happiness. Again, just outside town if you have that car i referred to earlier. We continued slowly south but then, out of the blue, a text message came. “Your package is delivered”. I’m not a fan of the Swedish postal service and my delayed parcel, my long wanted kickstand for my bike, had been expected during a long time until I gave up and we left without it.

Hiking in Hovs Hallar


So, as we were still in Sweden and it was only one hour of train ride back to Halmstad which was were my parcel finally had found itself, I put myself in a seat and travelled back just to pick it up. I wanted it badly and the bonus was an unexpected chat with the deliverer, my "father-in-law" much earlier than expected. I mean, we had a tearful goodbye only a few days back. You never know when the next time to meet is, I keep on saying that.

Later that day, back with Anders in Helsingborg we took a twenty minute ferry to Denmark, without knowing how fast twenty minutes past. We had just put all our things in the socket for charging when they announced the arrival. Denmark, up and go. New land as bikers (except that teenager route I did once), pretty well-known otherwise as travellers.

Except those hills I was talking about, Denmark has been exactly what I imagined it to be with its sunshine and white and stunning beaches. That imaginary picture rarely exist cause Denmark is still in Northern Europe with it’s unpredictable weather forecasts and it's always a gamble if you chose to have a vacation here. But, we’ve had sunshine for two weeks. Until yesterday when a few raindrops hit us, enough to dig into our bicycle bags, totally confused and not with the slightest idea in which one you had put your rain jacket. Found it and used it for 5 minutes. That's ok, I don't necessarily want to use my rain jacket only because I found it. Today I'm glad I knew were it was though since rain started pouring down as soon as we entered the streets of Fredrikshavn.

So, I could give you a lot of details about “off the beaten track beaches” in Denmark where we have spent most of the time when we haven't been riding the bikes but all I need to say is that they are lovely and everywhere and if you are into skinny-dipping it seems to be as natural as with a swim suit. Denmark seems to live up to the, often referred but maybe false, reputation of Swedish liberated beach style. This is at least what we have experienced in the Northern Zealand (Själland) and in eastern Jutland (Jylland). Don't get naked on a beautiful beach just because I said it was alright though. It's not illegal but you shouldn't offend anyone.

Anders reading at the beach

The biking paths are usually great and well marked here but every now and then we need to share space with heavy traffic. Not as nice but at least, according to me, car drivers seem to be more tolerant to cyclists than in Sweden where I experience traffic more aggressive and sometimes even provocative.

Denmark doesn't have the Swedish “Everyman’s right” which, in Sweden, mean you can put up a tent wherever you want or need for a night unless you are told something else. Instead Denmark has shelters which you can find on Udinaturen.dk. Good to know if you aren’t confident to ask the landowner or just want to hide your tent and move away before anyone take offence.

Dinner time

Estruplund's church


We will have a few days more here, reorganise things before the ferry take off to Iceland, that is where I will need the muscles I’m still missing. We start with a huge, in my point of view, mountain first day. Anders just said, “Think about the ascent you made a few days ago, how surprised you were that it was so easy. It will be just like that but nine times in a row.”. Easy peasy. Anyhow, Iceland will be awesome!






Coffee time

Brekkie

Udbyhøj ferry 

Traditional Danish house


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