This year my plan is to get
to know Scandinavia by bike. Unfortunately the
cyclebuses to Denmark are already booked out, so
I decide to cycle to my destination. Due to the
unfavourable weather forecast the first stage,
Amersfoort to Diphoorn, is covered by car. Except
that the trees are taller, nothing much has
changed at Dip. A test ride in the environs of
Emmen (25 km) shows that all my equipment is in
excellent working order. Today's weather is quite
good compared with the last few days.
Sunday 25 July
The second leg is also done by car. After
travelling via Nieuweschans and Leer (Germany),
mum and dad set me down in the small village of
Wiefelstede, where we tuck into a huge lunch at
the local Greek café. After the worst showers
have passed over, I hop on my bike about 3 o
clock in the afternoon. The first few kilometers
lead through a flat polder landscape similar to
the Gelder Valley at home. After shaking off a
German shepherd (and later, accidentally, my
rainpants too) I cross the Weser by ferry. The
countryside becomes a bit hillier. Fields
alternate with woods. Towards evening, after
regularly taking cover in bus stop shelters, and
with 97 kilometers behind me, I reach the camping
ground in Bederkesa, where, quite dry, I set up
the tent. At the campsite I meet 2 Belgians, who
have been rained on for 2 weeks in Denmark, and
now, somewhat disappointed, are on their way back
A necessary visit to the local bike shop,
because I lost my rainpants somewhere along the
way. The route continues along small roads with
little traffic, beside nice wooded hills (lateral
moraines formed during the Ice age) towards the
Elbe, which is crossed by ferry. After a short
visit in the nice little town of Glückstadt, I
decide to go searching for one of the many
castles owned by the von Rantzau family, who are
distant relatives, according to some genealogical
research (my great great grandmother was a van
Ranzow). The castle is situated in Breitenburg, a small place in
the vicinity of Itzehoe.
tell from the local dialect that Schleswig-Holstein
belonged to Denmark in the not too distant past.
Around Itzehoe the weather closes in again and it
begins to rain steadily. After 133 kilometers I
stop for the night in the "zur Hochbrücke"
hotel in Grünenthal, indeed close to a high
bridge over the North-East Sea canal.
Tuesday 27 July
The route continues in a northeasterly
direction. The showers aside, the rain
depressions bring one advantage - I have a
tailwind. After Tellingstedt the country opens
out, straight roads through a flat landscape of
moors. Around Schleswig via the Ochsenweg
through a hilly landscape with many woods. After
11 km I stop for the night at the campground in
Thursday 29 July
The Haervejen now becomes gravel
paths over steeply sloping country. Along the way
many cycling Danish families, recognisable by the
colourful panniers and luggage trailers (often
pulled by dad). Near Baekke I visit the Klebaek Høje,
two Bronze Age grave mounds (3000 years old),
with remains of a Viking grave in the form of a
ship. Twenty kilometers further on in the
Randboldal four grave mounds with a splendid view
over the pleasant hilly landscape.
between Horsens and Silkeborg
|At Vrads I leave the Haervejen
and take the Natursti from Horsens to
Silkeborg, once a railway line, now a splendid
cycle path. From the raised embankment the
surrounding area moves past like a film unfolding.
I camp in the wooded area around Silkeborg, the
highest and hilliest part of Jutland (and Denmark)
Friday 30 July
In Silkeborg it is time to send a few
postcards. I pick up the Haervej route again just
past the town. Along the way again many grave
mounds. After a descent over a lamentably bad mud
track, the route climbs up to Dollerup Bakker, a
landscape created by glaciers.
Haervejen ends in the town of Viborg. After
glancing at the map and the ferry schedules for
Norway I decide to head north west. Next sunday a
boat leaves Hanstholm for Bergen in Norway. So
after 82 kilometers I stop to camp at a hillside
campground with a brilliant view of the eponymous
Saturday 31 July
After Skive, Route 2 (Viborg-Hanstholm)
carries on over a former railway.
A flat landscape with cornfields, farms
and windturbines passes by me.
Moler deposits on the cliffs of
Via an imposing bridge I cross
the Limfjord to the island of Mors. On the
northern side of this island I visit the Hanklit.
This is a cliff coast with
nicely folded Moler deposits, near which,
apparently, many fossils have been found.
Following Route 2, I come to the
next island, Thy. Alas the camping spots in the
"plantations" described in the
Cykelferiekort (cycle holiday map) are nowhere to
be found. After 147k I look for one of the
campgrounds in the seaside resort of Klitmoller.
|Tuesday 3 August
back towards Hanstholm. The Nibe-Logstør leg
crosses the nice heathlands of the Himmerland.
After that there follows a boring, flat, windy
polderscape along roads that at times are very
busy with traffic. The last part again on Cycle
Route 1 through the forest plantations, this time
in the opposite direction. I arrive in Hanstholm
in plenty of time for the ferry to Norway, which
leaves at 23.30.