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My journey this June began in Copenhagen, Denmark, where my daughter has been living and working for a year.
I told her if we could do a bike tour, it would be a wonderful way to visit. My research of Denmark cycling began. I learned there are 11 national bike routes!!! I read cycling in Denmark was a way of life, but never imagined that I would have my own set of traffic lights,signage and would be part of this wonderful Danish bike culture!
Bikes everywhere, and business attire and high heels doesn't stop anyone from cycling!!! I brought over panniers for us both, which mounted perfectly on the fold up bike rack that Bike Friday makes, bottle cages, tools and accessories and ideas of the route.
The bike went together in her garage in Charlottenlund, a suburb of Copenhagen and we were off to the city. What a great city to bike in!! Paths that crisscross, bicycles dominate, and all shapes and sizes of trailers everywhere, and a bike shop on every other block!
Amazing for a city that is cold and windy much of the year. We decided to start our trip in Odense, and easily put our bikes on the train, and they respectfully received their own ticket.
We pedaled out of the train station south to our first destination on the island of Funen to the town of Svenborg. Who said Denmark was flat? The hills were lush with Springtime flowers and roadside rhubarb.
We always stopped for a basket of strawberries sold by a family (honor system) in their little kiosk. Just when we were thirsty for something other then water, another kiosk sold fresh apple juice!!!
We spent the night in a Danhostel, in Svendborg and walked the typical quiet cobblestoned town for dinner in the evening and set off the next morning to Aero by ferry.
Tailwinds help us fly; we whiz by lovely new scenery, grazing horses, old sculptured buildings to arrive at the fairy tale town of Aeroskobing, the most well-preserved town from 18th century Denmark. It's known for its cobblestoned streets and sustainable lifestyle.
We enjoyed the bottle ship museum, which featured hundreds of carefully orchestrated ships in bottles by Peter. We cycled around Aero's hills that day still in layered clothing and windbreakers (50 degrees and windy) as we made it back toward the sea along a dirt bike path to the town of Marstal, for our second ferry to Rudkobing on the island of Langeland.
We had our own cabin that night and made a delicious dinner of pesto pasta and salmon. We continued our adventure across Langeland to our third ferry crossing to reach the island of Lolland and our destination of Maribo. Oh Maribo and our sweet restored 1783 cottage (once a boy's school) behind Rene and Tove's home that we found through the tourist office.
After breakfast we took a train to Nykobing as it poured down rain, and cycled again in the rain along the sea, spirits high, muddy and wet, stopping for a break under the covered porch of an abandoned old house.
We ate our picnic lunch and munched on fresh snap peas and noticed the rain was stopping. We cycled on to our next ferry point to board for the island of Mon, pronounced MOON, and saw the sun come out and we dusted off the dried mud from our panniers and arrived in the town of Stege, where we arranged a room, and dinner at a bed and breakfast, a new family business.
They were in the process of converting an old farmhouse into a bed, breakfast and restaurant about 7km from town. We arrived there dry and from an alcove we watched a huge deluge of hail, and then sunshine again.
The weather changes so quickly in Denmark. Before heading back toward Copenhagen the next day, we took a bus out to the famous Mon Klint ,gorgeous dramatic white cliffs, walking five miles to get there, and then back to Vordingborg by bike where we caught a train to Copenhagen, so we could have a day break before our second phase of the trip to the island of Bornholm.
Bornholm sits way out in the Baltic between Denmark and Sweeden. Wonderful memories of wheat blowing , creating patterns with the wind and sun, sea glimmering, ferries pulling through that Baltic Sea, red poppies on our path, windmills everywhere.
Bike Friday served me well, through the dirt paths in between farms and the forests of Bornholm with fully loaded panniers (we shopped for food for our four days) Oh Bornholm, whose cycling paths, circle the island and transverse the forest, whose town of Svanike offer its own beer and ice cream, and Gudhjem, where we arrived after cycling past the famous round fortress churches, to lunch on capers, curry salad and smoked herring, and to see the most lovely art museum designed to fit into the sea landscape,and taste local licorice and browse shops with glass art.
Oh lovely unique towns that slope up from the sea. We toured the ruins of Hammershus that sit at the northernmost part of Bornholm. I understand why it is a beloved Danish island.
So thank you Bike Friday and Denmark for a fabulous bicycle tour and to my daughter Ariana who rode her bike along side of me keeping us laughing, ringing her bicycle bell and passing me on the hills!!!