Denmark 2009



Tuesday, 28th July : Wetteren - Maribo



4am!! Hardly slept and ... there's that alarm clock already! Sis will arrive around 5am, so time enough to get ready, start up the pc and take a few piccies of Mika. I will miss him!
At 5am sis puts the bikes on the car and ... off we go. Denmark, here we come! Traffic runs smoothly, even in the land of the Germans with its many "Baustelle". We have a very early lunch (when you've been up since 4am...), lots of yummies prepared by sis. Around 3pm we catch the ferry to Denmark, after some confusion about where to get your prepaid tickets. Seems it's queueing at one of the manned ticket windows. The GPS says: "Drive onto the ferry" and that's what we do. We see several Belgian rope-skipping teams on their way to Sweden for the European Championships. We also meet a very cute seagull eating bread out of a passenger's hand. It even demonstrates why seagulls fly "with" the wind and not against it ... I'm dying for a coffee, but when I see what they charge ... I decide I can wait! Marianne finds out that Alex was here... The crossings lasts about 45 minutes and we now enter Denmark. I expect the GPS to say: Drive off of the ferry ... but that doesn't seem to be an option. To Maribo it's only a few kilometres and suddenly the GPS says: "You reached your destination". We are parked in front of the biggest hotel in Maribo, but it's the wrong name. Ha, when we turn our heads we see it's the other side of the street:
Ebsens Hotel. The managers are very nice and we get room 2. As I want to unpack my suitcase I notice something missing! There is NO wardrobe, only a couple of coat hangers... 
At 6pm we have dinner, outside on the terrace. It's a buffet with turkey, pork and beef on the BBQ, an assortment of cold dishes and veggies, a delicious curry chickensoup and fresh fruit and cake for dessert.
After dinner we go for a walk and find a "cache", a hobby of my sis, which is very exciting. For more information about caching, click
geocaching... She manages to find it and after taking some more piccies we head back for the hotel. There sis finds out she hasn't uploaded the phone credit for her cellphone. Shouldn't be a problem, but ... it just doesn't work. She uses mine to ask Lauren to do it from home ... guess what .. all of a sudden mine says: Can't find a network (although it worked for some time). Same problem the next day. Seems we'll have a cheap cell phone bill this month. But ... it's very useful when we lose sight of each other. Ha, I switch it off and on again and ... it works. Good on me!

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Wednesday, 29th July : to RØdby and Dannemare




We slept like a log and the sun is already out.
After brekkie we fill our lunchboxes and set off for R
Ødby and Dannemare. We choose the long distance of 73km (45miles) and soon enjoy the sunshine on our skin. It's going to be a sunny day! 
Lolland is as flat as a pancake and boy do I love that! (Ok, we'll have to "adjust" our opinion the following days and make that: as flat as a sloping pancake...) Part of the cycling track is next to the sea: wonderful! Plus... we have the wind on our backs! We leave the road, both on the way there and the way back, for a cache. At R
Ødby Station, we find the first tree from the hint, but .. no cache. We notice that there had been a party near the tree: remainder of a camp fire and plenty empty drinks packings, but .. like I said.. no cache.
The cache in Lysemose ... same story ... no luck... We have to follow this narrow path through the wood and then sis leaves the bike with me and continues into the wood. A real paradise for beavers, it is, also what the hint says, but too swampy when wearing cycling gear. No caches found today...
Back at the hotel sis can use their pc to mail Lauren to fix the cellphone problem. Not easy, cos ... everything is in Danish...

For dinner we choose the 3-course menu:
Starters:  scampi fritti, wrap of salmon with iceberg salad, tomatoes and green asparagus. Garlic sauce and spicy spring roll sauce.
Main course : steak with French fries and broccoli.
Desert: ice ream and fresh fruit


Today's route


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Thursday, 30th July : to Birket and the Isle of FejØ



While we're having breakfast, it is really pouring with rain and we think: "Oh oh!" But ... it gets better. There are dark clouds though and the weather forecast doesn't look promising at all. So we decide to wear the rain gear. The lady who takes care of the breakfast gesticulates (she doesn't speak a word of English) she feels sorry for us.
We leave at the same time that Hanneke and Cor, two Dutch people who are one day ahead of our  cycling schedule, are ready to head for Marielyst. They too decide on the rain gear.
After 10km (6miles) we arrive in Østofte Mølle where a cache is hidden. We decide to take off the rain gear, since the sun is really trying to come through the clouds. The rest of the day we'll have gorgeous weather.
I spot the cache, the first of the three we will find today.
A little before noon we find the 2nd one. We follow the GPS instructions and are convinced this doesn't match the provided hint ("cache is hidden next to two stones nearby, but outside the graveyard") at all. Here we are, in the middle of nature, in a wood, next to a lake, next to an old shed... No sign of a churchyard. While I stay with the bikes, Marianne keeps following the directions of the GPS and enters the dense wood. She takes a glove with her and leaves it on a fork so she won't get lost. A little later she's back with the good news that she's found the churchyard and the cache. See... geocaching takes you to places you'd never otherwise find ...
We continue our trip and cycle to the ferry that will takes us to
Fejø. Here we realise Lolland isn't as flat as we thought it was... The countryside is pretty hilly and ... the wind is ... against us! Ai-ai-ai!
Along every road you find these small stalls with fresh fruit, veggies, marmalade and all kinds of knickknacks. We decide to buy a jar of marmalade for my pen-friend Grethe whom we'll visit in a few days. You just put the money into the small piggy bank on the table. 
After the tour of the isle we return to the ferry. We have to wait a while and look for shelter from the wind outside the waiting room. 
On the way to the hotel we find another cache, clearly visible at the back of the "Grafheuvel" (burial mound). Sis puts it back in a more discreet spot. Meanwhile we're sort of blown off our bicycles.
The route runs through the Knuthenborg Safaripark, but when we get there the barriers are down and there isn't a living soul about. So we decide to ride around the park ...

For dinner we choose the buffet again. 


Today's route


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Friday, 31st July : from Maribo to Marielyst



Today we leave Maribo and cycle to Marielyst on the isle of Falster, where we'll be doing a tour tomorrow.
We clear our room out and leave the luggage at the reception so they can take it to Marielyst. When we are ready to leave, the manager tells us to wait. He will  fasten our luggage onto our bikes, he says with a big smile...
Sis notices she has lost part of the zipper of her windbreaker, and getting another one out of the luggage is a hopeless task. So she starts with the windbreaker flying behind her. Not much use that way...
We ignore three caches, because they are too far off our route, and ... find three others. We eat our packed lunch at a very small station that ... hides the smallest cache we have ever seen.
We reach hotel
NØrrevang in Marielyst in good time and go to the restaurant with Cor and Hanneke. What a big contrast with Maribo, where all is very quiet and small-scale. Here there's a prodigious buzzing and some confusion about our seats in the restaurant. We can choose between a buffet and a 2-course menu.
We choose the 2-course menu: tapas with chorizo, serrano ham and antipasti, followed by veal steak with roast potatoes, a mix of peppers and shallots, green asparagus and sauce from Mr Knorr..
We end the day with a walk along the beach and enjoy an icecream on the way back to the hotel.


Today's route


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Saturday, 1st August : StubbekØbing



After brekkie we say goodbye to Hanneke and Cor. They ride back to Maribo and travel to Copenhagen.
Today's route says 51km (32miles). We decide to follow the advice of Hanneke and Cor and when we reach the turning point we go on and cycle as far as Stubbek
We cycle through the woods and along the sea and ... through the wood along the sea... What a wonderful route! We have lunch on a tree trunk next to the sea.
At the Bog
Ø Ferry we treat ourselves to coffee and Coke. But ... we hadn't reckoned with the many insects that are after our drinks, the ice creams and other goodies of the drinking and eating cyclists. 
We find the second cache of the day and then hear this loud clattering. Sis is just in time with the camera to catch a glimpse of the bride passing by in an old car with screeching tyres.
Back at the hotel, after a 85km (53 miles)tour, I need to lie down a bit. Sis goes searching for a cache near Strandkirchen Marielyst. On the way there she notices lots of oldtimers visiting Marielyst, so off she goes again to take some more piccies.

Dinner: salmon terrine with dillsauce, salmon eggs and salad. Pork with roast potatoes, carrots, green asparagus, a mix of steamed veggies and sauce of Mr Knorr.



Today's route


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Sunday, 2nd August : from Marielyst to Maribo



We leave our luggage at the reception and find out once more that spoken Danish is totally incomprehensible to us. There's a couple who wants to check out and it appears that they don't agree with their bill. The conversation seems to last forever and we haven't got the faintest idea when it will end...
We have chosen the long route and will try to find more caches along the way.
The first one takes us to a place where they are preparing a rummage sale. We decide it's not a good idea to search intensely for the cache. (Back at home we will find out that this cache is temporarily unavailable)
More luck with the caches along the sea, even the one that says, "under a stone"... Ha! The hiding place consists of a huge pile of stones!
In Nysted we catch the first raindrops and for the last kilometres it isn't completely dry.
We enter Maribo through the Friedlandmuseum, which is a mini-
For our last supper, we choose the 3-course menu, a kind of vol-au-vent with asparagus (Danish specialty, the manager says; but when we ask Grethe in Odense, she's never heard of it..) We get a real giant portion, but very yummy! Main course is bread crumbed veal steak with a mix of veggies, mushroom sauce and roast potatoes. For dessert: ice cream.
It starts raining harder and all covered seats are taken. The manager asks Hanneke and Cor to sit at our table and we chat cheerfully. We are convinced the people at the other tables don't understand a word we're saying. We share our experiences of a sunny, active cycling holiday.


Today's route



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Monday, 3rd August : to Odense




From our room we see Hanneke and Cor loading their luggage and their bikes in and onto the car. They are ready to leave while we are having breakfast, so we hurry outside to wave goodbye. 
We run some errands in the local supermarket and choose a cold plate with chicken and potato salad.
Time to pay the bill. There seem to be a few obstacles, because the only person on the staff that's present doesn't speak a word of English. But after a phone call to the manager all problems are resolved.
To get from Lolland to Funen, we need to catch the ferry to Tars. At the cash desk we are asked if we'd made a reservation, which we hadn't. Seems that might cause some troubles and we may have to wait 2 hours. We have to wait in "the special row" where we get the third place. There's the ferry and ... we can go, and so can the car behind us! Sis gets a spot in the middle lane, but then she's told to park on the left so that a Dutch couple with a caravan can also travel on this ferry.
The GPS takes us to Grethe, my pen friend of 12 years. It's the first time we're ever meeting and it's a very pleasant experience. For the next two days, Grethe will be the best hostess ever.
We explore the neighbourhood and go searching for two caches. We don't find the first one, but have more luck with the second. That one is more important. Sis has brought a travelling bug from Belgium. She wants to leave it in the second cache so that it can start its journey back to Belgium via Holland.
For supper we have meatballs with french fries and a mix of veggies. Delicious!
And then we talk for hours over a glass of rosé, as only girls can.. (sounds better than middle-aged women...).


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Tuesday, 4th August : Odense



Today the bikes stay in the shed. We're going to visit Odense. I get an improvised seat in the back of the car (the seats stayed in Wetteren) and off we go.
We visit the old town, good for sis, and the shopping centre, good for me...
We walk through narrow, picturesque streets and pause, of course, at Hans Christian Andersen's house. Statues of characters from his fairy tales and of the master himself are seen all over the town. Near the museum, during summer, you can attend a crowded show, mainly meant for children. In no time the lawn is full of children, parents, grandparents, tourists ... We watch for a little while, but the play and the songs are in Danish and once again we don't understand a word.
The shopping centre is very crowded. We eat hotdogs and croques and observe life in the city. We see a barefooted man on a bench sleeping it off. Seems the world around him is slipping him by. A social worker approaches him, but apparently he doesn't want help. He just continues his sleep.
After visiting the town, Grethe treats us to chicken with veggies and roast potatoes.
We look at photo albums and friendship sheets and Grethe gets a real computer lesson where tips and tricks are demonstrated, using a Danish Vista operating system -- which causes quite a bit of giggling.
And then it's bedtime, our last night on Danish soil. We'll get up early and drive back home.


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Wednesday, 5th August : back to Wetteren




Like yesterday, we are treated to a luxurious breakfast and we also get lots of goodies for preparing our lunch. We fill up the cooler, load the bikes on the bike carrier and the luggage in the trunk, and then we are ready to leave.
A big hug and three Flemish kisses and off we go.
Just before we leave Odense, there's a traffic jam. Oh no, we only just left and have quite a few kilometres to go! A bit later we see it's caused by an accident between a caravan and several cars. We see a woman trying to recover as much stuff as possible out of the caravan, which is badly damaged.
But once we get past, traffic runs very smoothly. To reach the mainland, we have to cross
Lillebælt Brücke. We drive through very dense fog, seeing nothing at all.
In Germany we have to pass lots of "
Baustelle", which divert the traffic over one normal and one narrow lane. Quite scary when driving between a crash barrier and a huge truck.
Suddenly a small stone hits the windscreen. This means a visit to Carglass when we are back home.
Around noon we eat our lunch.
It's about 7pm when we are back in Wetteren, where Werner awaits us with a delicious dinner.
Denmark 2009: a wonderful cycling holiday with lovely weather!


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