Cycling to Bergen – Denmark

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Day 4

Shed in Kolding

We just entered Denmark and the weather started to clear a little. The difference in cycling becomes apparent immediately. There are cycling roads almost everywhere and they are of high quality. However, cycling takes more effort, because the steepness of all the hills is higher.

This was the first time during the trip that exhaustion struck. We sometimes had to stop just to catch our breath. Next to this it became clear that my average speed was somewhat higher than that of my friend. This sometimes created large distances between us and thus confusion and a little friction.

When we arrived in Kolding it had already gotten dark. We had a rest on a parking lot next to a gas station. It was Christmas eve and there was no one around. We were basically preparing ourselves to get out of the city and find a forest again. However, my friend spotted a wooden shed in the corner of the parking lot. We checked it out and it was empty except for some bottles. There was nobody around and we figured that the owner would not mind us sleeping a night there. We cooked some food, which was our Christmas dinner and went to sleep. It rained all night so we were happy to stay inside.

Day 5

After a great night in our luxury shed we continued the journey. Today we did not have to cycle far. We had booked an Airbnb in Silkeborg, which was only about 90km. The weather had cleared up and we got to Silkeborg late afternoon.

It was today that we had some regret of planning this trip during Christmas. Cycling past houses at night, where people are together with the whole family, while you are cycling outside creates an unpleasant sense of loneliness. Luckily, the people we were staying at were very friendly and loved to hear our story.

Day 6

Today we planned to reach Aalborg, which was about 130km away. This is not an extremely far distance, but today the winds turned on us. We had a strong headwind and the air got colder. This was the first day I had trouble keeping warm. Next to this the GPS guided us on to some dirt roads. These roads took a toll on our bicycles and on our progress.

About 30km from Aalborg we were cycling on a long stretch of road surrounded by open fields. It is here that my toes got really cold. One toe especially and it took several months for the feeling to return to this toe.

After darkness fell we arrived in Aalborg and a storm was clearly brewing. We found a place with free WiFi. We checked the weather forecast and the storm was only going to get worse. Possibly the worst one of the decade in that region. I send out several requests on Couchsurfing and found someone willing to host us in about an hour.

The wind had really picked up and almost blew us off a bridge at some point. We decided to walk the final few hundred meters to our host. We had a great evening and were very thankful to our host for providing us with a place to stay. Especially because the storm kept raging on all night!

Day 7

We left Aalborg in the morning and started the final leg of the journey. Today’s goal was to reach Hirtshals. This was less than 70km and the last city in Denmark. We booked an Airbnb here and would have one full day of rest before our boat to Stavanger departed.

Despite the short length of the trip it did not go as smooth as we had hoped. The first 6 days we had 0 flat tires. Today we had 3. I had 2 and my friend had 1. Luckily, there was no major damage and we reached the Airbnb around 5pm. We bought some well-deserved beer and food and spend the rest of the day on the couch before going to sleep.

Day 8

Most of the day we spend getting some much-needed rest. Our ferry did not leave until 8pm, so we spend the day relaxing at our Airbnb. It was today that the extremity of our endeavour dawned on us. And the fact that we had actually made it this far!

In the evening we headed to the harbor. We arrived at the boat terminal well on time. However, as we were approaching the boat terminal we heard a loud bang. My friend’s bicycle’s rear tire had burst, but we did not feel like fixing it on the spot. We walked the final few hundred meters and had to wait in line for a while. Being the only cyclists in winter everybody was looking at us.

After getting our tickets we were brought to a waiting room where somebody would pick us up. After waiting a little more we were escorted to the ferry. On the ferry we had reserved two air seats. These basically are luxurious cinema seats and are great to sleep in. We left Danish waters and were on our way to Norway.

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