The first two days we spent traversing the islands of Falster and Lolland. Both these islands are similar to home in many ways. Denmark is about the same latitude as Edmonton so the climate should be similar as well. The water moderates temperatures here but it is still around 20C as a norm. The trees are very much like ours, poplar, some sort of mapleish tree, a few fir trees. There are quite a few ‘wild’ fruit trees. All along the wooded sections of the bike trails there are patches of ripe cherries and apples laying about.
The land on both sides of the road is farmland. There are some animal farms but for the most part it looks like they grow hay and grain. The crops must ripen somewhat faster as they have already be swathed.
There are wasps here and they are bothersome just like home. Haven’t seen too many other bugs and they must be few as there is no screens on the windows.
One difference is the Danes don’t seem to use toasters. We have stayed at two places with kitchens so far and no toasters. In the first place I notice a fellow using the broiler to toast his bread so at the next place that is what I do. I think there may be an opportunity here. A wholesale toaster business. Toasters seem a lot less hassle than using a broiler to brown a couple pieces of toast.
Today was by far the best riding we have done. From Nakskov to the ferry at Tars we are routed along a paved country road. It is technically rush hour and we maybe saw 8 cars in 12km. It was then chill time on the ferry. Water is very much part of the Danish world and by default in modern times so are ferries.
We get off that ferry and traverse the island of Langeland. This is by far the hilliest terrain we have encountered. But again we are routed along a county lane and it is a great ride. We can use the highway to make time and even though the bike lane is a separate entity it is still noisy and lacks character. From what we see this island too is mostly farmland. It is purported to be very good for cycling and has a intricate network of bike routes.
We cross a very long but not too high bridge to the island of Tasinge. Here we are forced to ride along the freeway for a few kms but soon follow one of the national bike routes off into the wooded hills. This is the first forest we have encountered. A good part of it looks like it has been reforested as the trees grow in rather unnatural very straight lines but none the less it is definately not farmed and is quite a contrast to what we have passed through up to now.
This diversion also leads us to Valdemars Slot. Slot is Danish for castle. This estate was built by one of the kings in the 1600s but the king died in a war with Poland before it was finished. A couple of hundred years later it was given to one of the Danish army’s prominent people for his contribution to the war effort when things were not so friendly with Sweden. Pretty impressive digs.
We then pass through a stunning village or maybe a town, Troense. It looks to me like a fancy resort town. Very upscale houses, two or three marinas and a laid back kind of feel. Only thing is I didn’t notice much tourist infrastructure. We have to make another ferry so we don’t spend enough time here but we do get a glimpse of a very nice place.
After another up and down bridge crossing. Bridges seem to be the steepest and longest hills here. We pass very quickly through Svendborg. We are completely absorbed in finding our way to the ferry dock and I can’t tell you weather the place is nice or not. But with only one wrong turn we do find the ferry dock.
75 mins. on ferry number two of the day and we land on the island of Aero. We have a time limit to make a ferry tomorrow so we decide to ride part of this island today. We get off the boat at Aeroskobing. Looks like a real interesting place. Very touristy, sort of like Banff. The streets are all cobbles. Real cobbles squarish stones laid side to side. Doesn’t make for good riding and the houses are all well kept and fairy tale like. It reminded me of Mykonos in Greece, with way more tourists wandering the street then locals. Another place we could well have spent more time but are only able to take in as we cycle through.
Our goal today is Marstal. This island is a tourist destination so we expect a lot of people. We don’t have a place to stay so that is a bit of a worry but there is always a park bench. We ride along part of national route number 92 and it is a super compacted gravelly path. The wind is finally at our back and we fly along enroute we pass through Ommel, a completely not tourist town on a tourist island. Worth the extra 3 or 4km diversion to peddle along their streets. In Marstal with luck we are directed to the tourist information office. The fellow there is extremely helpful and finds us a small hotel with a room and we are set for the night.
We settle in then head for the ‘strand’, I think means beach or spit, to find the colorful beach houses this place is known for. A beach house is a very small building, maybe 8′ x 10′, with one room and a few seats. Most likely used to change into one’s bathing suit and to sit around on the beach on a cold or windy day.
The island we crossed today seems to be more refined than the last two. The bike paths are manicured, whereas the last two days they exist but are overgrown with weeds along the edges and have more patches of broken asphalt. The villages are a bit more upscale. The houses on Lolland and Falster were kept up and for the most part very tidy but the places we passed today looked manicured. We’ll have to see how things transpire over the next couples of day before we take a pause in Tonder.