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From the Dansk Border to Skagen

At the border there is an open shop as expected, because Denmark is more expensive. Now we start the Scandinavian part of our trip. In Denmark there is the cycle route 1 leading to Skagen and signed by R1. The first 100 m of this route start unpaved aside the road and this is no invitation. I use the dead straight main road to Højer. From here there are side roads again and sometime unpaved paths. We have some hills and small forests. There are mysterious heaps now and then, may be prehistoric graves or something like that? At the left side we see the island Sylt from its backside. There is even a train at the Hindenburgdamm creeping like a worm.

Then we have a straight road again, no attraction until the horizon and I suffer from aching muscles in the left leg. We will have some fun due to this trouble within the next days. We come to the road to the island Rømø near the town of Skærbæk. The last 5 km to Brøns start unpaved, then there is asphalt again and soon we see the nice church of Brøns.

Church at Brøns
100 m ahead there is the hotel. We find a door speaker and a bell and a friendly woman comes out of a house nearby. They have apartements with 3 beds and cooking equipment. Happy again to have a home...

My mobile telephone (Handy) does not work, there are only Dansk services available. They say that up upon the near bridge it will still work, but I have no success. So the call at home must be absolved in the reception. The mobile telephone disappears in the deeper parts of the panniers. At dinner we have chicken and chips, not quite my taste but expensive. I confiscate the serviette, this will be a fine table cloth now and then.

Evening Sun on the Courtyard of the Hotel at Brøns
In the television there are still German programms and I choose a presentation of sobstuffs (Schnulzen), for this is not allowed at home. The winner of the contest is Ich könnt ohne Berge nicht leben... (I cannot live without the mountains...) and I think this is a good theme for a cyclist in Denmark.

4 Sunday, 21.7. Brøns - Nymindegab, 117 km

Today we have no wind and we can roll. Small roads and no traffic at all on Sunday morning. Nice villages and agricultural landscapes. At the village Vester Vedsted there is a dam to the island Mandø. In consequence there is a funny vehicle named Mandø Bussen.

Mandø Bussen

This may be used to transport the guests in the Watt land. The path along the dike is called Katastrofevej, there is no hill and I am very fast today (up to 30 km/h). Of course one has to stop if something is to be seen as at the Sperrwerk Kammerslusen. This is the mouth of the river Ribe Å. The town Ribe is said to be a jewel, but it is not on the route today.

I enjoy the fast progress. The industry areas of Esbjerg - at first at the horizon - gradually approach. Near Esbjerg is more traffic again, but they have established good bike paths parallel to the main road 34. I see a funny vehicle, a recumbent three wheel with sailing equipment. The driver is a laughing individual.

Esbjerg Panorama

Mensch am Meer
In the center of Esbjerg I have a rest and take the next panorama view. Soon we are outside of the town again and see the next attraction: the monumental sculpture "Mensch am Meer" from 1995 (Man at the Sea). Four figures are staring to the sea, day and night. And what is to be seen: much sea and nothing else.

The route leads inland, unpaved through heather land. Some lakes and some hills and we come to Oksbøl. Now we pass military areas back to the coast. From Vejers Strand there are wide areas of dunes with hut settlements everywhere. The highest dune is the Blåberg, 64 m high with trees on it.



Finally there is something like a former rail track and we reach Nymindegab, the destination for today, as I hope. I look around and there it is: Hotel Nymindegab Kro. I get a room, not quite cheap but with a marvellous outlook to the dunes. This is good for a 180 deg. panorama.

Dunes from the Hotelroom at Nymindegab (180 deg.)

Now I will talk about three lapses which follow. They told me to put the bike into the garage. So I do and hit on a black lined dog. But this is very friendly and happy to meet me. But the garage is a private one of the next neighbour. The next lapse: in the shop I pay with Euros and do not realize it. I get back a heap of Dansk Kronen, so they have not cheated me. At last I go to an imbiss-hut for some Pølser (sausages) and chips. As I come out again my bike is lost. Panic! But there it is in the bicycle stand where it has to be. I had placed it just in front of the icecream counter.

5 Monday, 22.7. Nymindegab – Fjaltring (Youth Hostel), 104 km

Today we have a sharp wind outside. As I saddle my panniers a cyclist from Hannover speaks to me, he and his wife have startet in Holland and are since three weeks on the tour. We say farewell and don't think, that we meet again (they always suppose I am too fast). "We will have a hard day today" this was the theme and now I start to stem against the wind. Soon I find the gravel of the path too rough and change to the busy road. But it is difficult to hold ballance against the wind, which seems to throw planks around. My eye-glasses are soon dull by drizzle and salt. If a big van comes along you may fear for your life. Eventually I see the couple from Hannover, they fight along on the path in the dunes.

I leave the road again and this is good. In the dunes the path is less exposed to the wind than the open road. I have a rest at the super market of a camping site. My couple from Hannover comes along. I pay the woman a compliment, that she is so strong today. As they continue I must state: they are faster than I. But they have the training of three weeks and I have aching muscles.

So we have made 25 km on the narrow tongue of land named Holmsland Klit until we reach the next village Hvide Sande. There is a busy harbour. Then there are 15 additional km all the same, up and down the dunes. Then there is the big settlement of Søndervig and we can say: we did it. Now there are some kms with the wind. If one doesn't use the pedals the wind pushes the bike up to 25 km/h.


Then there is a fork with an unpaved section up upon a dam of 10 km. We cross through the nature reservation area Nørrekær. At first this is very comfortable for there are dishevelled (zerzaust) firs on the wind side. But after some time we are free in the wind again. Once there are some figures on the dam with a tripod and an ocular. I stop and ask what they are doing. "We observe the brown Kiekendief" one says. I don't know if I understood it correctly, but I write down the word Kiekendief at once but will never know, what it means. Suppose it is a rare bird.

As I once look back the Hannover couple comes along. They have spent some time at Hvide Sande and now roll off. We have reached Vedersø Klit and the path turns to the dunes again. From the map is to be read, that the path should lead through a forest. So I am too impatient and turn to the wood. This is a great mistake. I finally end with the wind at the main road and have to return on the road frontal into the wind. Not to mention that thereafter I choose the wrong side of the Nissum Fjord and have to return once again. Then there is the next tongue of land and a dead straight section to Torsminde. My strength has gone now, moreover this is a stormy place and cycling impossible. I cannot see any hotel or pension or something like that.

I go to the camping site. They have nothing for me, for I have no tent. After 10 km I would find a Youth Hostel (Vandrerhejm), they say. What to do now - OK let's try for the last 10 km. It is awful. They will never end. The dunes are loose sand here and just aside the road so the sand blows across the road and into the face. But once it ends anyway. I have heard of the blue flag of the Dansk Vandrerhejms, and there it is: aside a school, never saw such nice view. Inside the hostel there is nobody. The warden lives nearby and I go to his house. The hostel is full. But there is a mattrace encampment in the gymhall. Or I could have a private accommodation? OK, that's it, they phone and draw a sketch how to find the place.

I put on my panniers again and start (with the wind). But after some time there are no houses until the horizon. I must be wrong and fear to get lost at the end of this day. I return (against the wind). So I finally end in the gymhall as an ordinary guest of a Youth Hostel. I have my shower bath and then feel fine because I am the only guest and so the king of the gymhall.

Lodging in the Gymhall

Showerbath as Living Room

I cannot buy some food now, it is too late. There is some chocolate as the last resort. The hall of the hostel is warm and there is a nice view. And I have a good sleep after this hard day.

6 Tuesday, 23.7. Fjaltring - Klitmøller, 103 km

In the morning the Køpmand around the corner is open and I can buy the stuff for the breakfast bacchanal. Bread rolls, cheese, yoghurt, rice pudding. Delicious everything. Clean up, return the key of the hall. It is still windy but not so dull today.

At the Coast

Near Fjaltring
At first we must visit the Trans Kirken and the lighthouse Bovbjerg. At this area there is a cliff, and the sea nibbles away one piece after the other. During the last centuries several villages had to wander inland - this is to be read.

The Cement Man

We come to Ferring and there is the Jens Søndergaard Museum. There again is a sculpture looking to the sea, this time he is named "The Cement Man". I am not quite sure, if it is worth to visit the museum if one has seen the cement man - sorry. We have some hills and a nice view to the Ferring Sø and the villages nearby. We then enter the Harbøre Tange, another tongue land at the Nissum Bredning. And now we have the wind from behind. This is fun and we are reconciled with the god of cyclists. Along a lovely nature we come to Thyboron. Here is the western mouth of the Limfjord. This is crossed by a ferry boat. But after a short round trip at the harbour I see the ferry boat from its backside. Twenty minutes later it returns and we now reach the north of Denmark.

8,5 km Straight Ahead at the Agger Tange

We now enter the Agger Tange and another 8,5 km straight ahead. The landscape is nice, we see cormorants with wings wide open to get dry, they have been fishing before. At the left there is an amphibic and ornithologic paradise. So watch this all while the silhouette of the next town Agger slowly approaches. Thereafter we turn inland across some hills and between two lakes. I have a rest at the Ørum Kirke on a sunny bench. The rest of my cheese is consumed with the tea spoon.

Landscape near Agger

Church at Ørum

As I return to the road there are two cyclists reading their map: the couple from Hannover. They had found an accommodation at Torsminde last night, where I had asked at the camping site. They now look for a shortcut, for they have not so much time yet and finally want to enjoy the pleasure to ride on the beach from Blokhus to Løkken. But let us discuss later about this matter. We say farewell, from now on we will not meet again.

In the next forest I meet a tandem-couple from Kassel. They ride once around all Denmark and then will continue at the Baltic Sea and finally Dresden? I am stunned "You are retired" I guess. So it is, since two weeks. They must have started just from the last day in the bureau.

The rest today is fine, but after 4 pm I more and more feel my muscles and I get tired. I end at Klitmøller and immediately find the accommodation named Strandgaaden. It is a B&B service. The tandem is there already. In the evening I find a pizzeria and have a good meal. A look to the beach: there are lots of surf folks and the equipment pours out of the caravans. I would not like to change and jump around in wind and water.

7 Wednesday, 24.7. Klitmøller - Løkken, 150 km

During breakfast I talk to the tandem-couple so we get off somewhat later this day. Another question to your conscience: the official route winds about 30 km around in the botany to Hanstholm. The distance on the road along the dunes is just 10 km with a tailwind. So nothing is to discuss and we all roll north on the road. At Hanstholm we turn east and now have pure tailwind. This is fine until the village named Vigsö. There is a section of gravel like an outwashed bed of a river. Nearly not ridable. It is a pity with this wind. But soon one can return to the road and fly along. Once again I meet the tandem couple who had their trouble with the gravel section as well.


Coastal Views


We have many forests now. Their name is Klitplantage and they are developped as a shelter for the dunes. I cannot resist and use a shortcut if another unpaved section is announced. So I pass the Lund Fjord and hit the route at Torup Strand. Let us continue until Blokhus, where the famous beach section starts. We have much traffic and many crowds here, it is a touristic center. May be because at this place it is allowed to ride by car at the beach.

Antique Bike


The Beach near Blokhus

Inland again

At the beach there is a strong wind. OK, it will blow from behind. But the ground is not quite plane, a little bit bumpy. Then we have incoming (accruing) waters, so from time to time one has to cross some water pools. Moreover there is loose sand blowing around and soon I hear as the chain starts to crack. The whole distance should be 15 km and I now have managed two of them? I think if I like my bike I had to stop this nonsense. Fortunately there is a sandy escape between the dunes and after some here and there among the hut colonies I find a road leading out of this disaster. But there is no alternate route than the main road. This has a bike path and I am slow again in the late afternoon. I see a jogger running away, I cannot follow.

At Løkken I look for the two hotels. The first, the small one is booked. The second, the big Løkken Badehotel is booked as well. So everything is booked I suppose. There is a sign of a youth hostel 5 km inland at Vrensted from here. So I must go there. And this is booked too. The warden stands on the yard and smokes. He has no advice what to do. Finally he says I should go to the town Brønderslev, 16 km from here, there are hotels. What shall I do, I start for Brønderslev. We have 7 pm already. Some km later there is a sign: Room. After some time I find someone to ask for the room and I get it: release.

In the evening you will find me at the garden terrace consuming my roller breads and cheese.

8 Thursday 25.7. Løkken - Skagen, 110 (123) km

In the morning I get a fine breakfast and before I go I must sign the guest book:

How thankful is a cyclist
If he finds no accommodation.
And at last there is one
in Nowhereland.

The address of this friendly home is:

Jytte Rasmussen, Lökkenvej 471, Stenum
9700 Brønderslev, Tel. 98 83 81 93

Løkken: Menu

Rubjerg Knude: The Hidden Lighthouse)

I must go back to the coast about 10 km into the wind, but that is not so bad in the morning. And my pedals, chain or bottom bracket or altogether give a concert of cracking. At Løkken I stop for a photo but I do not feel much sympathy for this town due to the yesterday frustation. And I learn: I could have go on yesterday, one village later there is a sign: Hotel Lyngby Möller, Rooms Free.

We now pass a curiosity, the dune of Rubjerg Knude. There was built a lighthouse, and this is invisible from the sea behind the dune today. The dune has a height of 90 m. The first rest at Lønstrup. I watch a cyclist couple as they enter the bus without dismantling the panniers. So this is possible in Denmark, a good information.

Lighthouse at Hirtshals


We continue along fields and forests, dunes and hills and come to Hirtshals. A memorable town because the ferry from Kristiansand arrives here. But I still do not know, if I ever will succeed to ride as far. A nice lighthouse and some pedestrian lanes, the harbour (panorama). We then dive into the woods again. There is a nice pond with lots of water lilies. Then a family with heavy load comes from ahead. Suddenly the mother and the girl bounce together and lie on the gravel. The girl cries and the mother is blocked under her heavy panniers. Before I am near to help things calm down but the father is angry about his unskilled companions.

Panorama in the Dunes

At a petrol station I try to lubricate my pedals but without success. So if I ride near to any people I must stop to pedal for otherwise they would wonder that someone is on tour with such a shabby bike. I have a rest at Råbjerg Kirke and then there is a very interesting phenomenon: the Råbjerg Mile. This is a wandering dune 2 km long and 40 m high. It is a must to stop here, put off the shoes and walk up to the dessert-like white sand area. It is to be read, that they used this area for Sahara-films. We then pass a forest with numbered bunkers, the area is named Bunken Klitplantage.

Den Tilsandete Kirke Skagen

Lighthouse at Skagen
We have a final section through the dunes towards Skagen, there is much cycle traffic because the path is very nice. Near Skagen there is a sign: Tilsandete Kirke and we have a look at it. Another wandering dune has buried this church, the tower still looks out of the sand. Now they want an entrance fee, so the will get a good money from this destructed church.

At Skagen I pass a luxus hotel (Color) and ask for the price. It is about 1000 DKr., moreover they are booked and this will be the same all over the town, they say. I start to regret that my tour is during the main season. So I toddle around, perhaps a look at the Youth Hostel? But then then there is another sign on a piece of wood: Zimmer. In the front garden of the house there a lots of children, a friendly dog named Daisy, an then a woman comes from the veranda: there is a room in the cellar. This is not first class but I am happy to have a roof upon my head. After I got rid of the children and the dog I change my clothes and start for the ultimate excursion to the outer tip of Denmark.

There is not much to be seen, eventually Drachmann's Grav (grave of the poet Holger Drachmann, 1908), or some ruins of bunkers, or a big guesthouse and restaurant, or the line on the sea, where the waves of the Skagerrak and Kattegat meet together. Thereafter I succeed to get a call at home from the most northern campingground of Denmark.

We end at a Pizzeria, the outdoor seats are full in the evening sun. But then it gets chilly and after some difficulties I find back to my cellar accommodation.

Chapter 3. Skagen - Grenaa
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