My last night in Germany was peaceful, just the sounds of nature, including the barking of a racoon some way off. Surrounded by tall grass with no buildings in sight, this was the most isolated site since some in Spain.
After a leisurely start, a fast ride of 28km had me in Flensburg by 8:30 and drinking a coffee in the town square where the Saturday market was in full swing.
I’m hoping to find Sankt Jurgen Strabe where there are some historic, albeit now upmarket, fishermen’s cottages.
I found the cottages, not in a location expected such as a warf or harbour, but behind more modern buildings remote from harbour. I also found the rain, or it found me. It is steady and heavy. What more of a reason does one need for another coffee:-
The rain eased and I continued to explore the town. Old buildings, a trumpet being played beautifully from high up in an ancient house, drew a small crowd. On the finish of a particularly rousing piece there was spontaneous clapping. The performer never showed themselves. The harbour with many types of ship including a Clipper.
The ‘Angel’s were in town. About thirty, leather clad sitting astride their Harley’s.
Note the age of the men. Probably original Cafe Racers. Also the stilettos the lady in black leather is wearing. Changing gear and breaking must be awkward for her. It hurts me to say that these bikers didn’t show as much interest in my bike as I did theirs.
On the gentle hill up to the last German supermarket before the run down to the country border, I passed two cyclists. The lady’s load must have lacked for nothing. I asked whether they were going to Nordkapp. They said that they were “nearly” going there. Near, being a relative word, I asked no more and said enthusiastically, but little conviction, that we would see each other again.
On The Border (Chris Rea). Once this boarder was policed heavily and had a nervous atmosphere about it. Now there is a relaxed procedure. Two police officers occasionally and at random check a vehicle’s contents from under a semi temporary structure and drink coffee from an urn in the rear of a transit van. There are no buildings.
So what changes once you have crossed the border. For the cyclist there is an immediate change. No more weaving around pedestrians or stopping at every minor road when cycling the major road. In Denmark the cyclist isn’t usually separated from other vehicles, but has a dedicated strip of road on both sides. No swapping from one side of the road to the other and playing Chicken with oncoming cyclists or tree roots that break up the tarmac and if not vigilant, provide crushing experiences both for the rider and bike. Put simply, in Denmark a rider can remain in the saddle for more than five minutes.
I wasn’t expecting such a dramatic change in the local wildlife or an even more relaxed attitude towards some subjects, (first shop over the bordered). I should have done a Google Street view and blanked out the number plate:-
Aabenraa was my first Danish town. On the approach there is a mixture of industry, shipping, marinas and holiday makers. The town, set on a slight hill, has cobbled streets and several well preserved streets of period buildings.
I was aiming to find a suitable camping spot with a sea view and stumbled on Genna Strand. With it’s quaint marina, white painted fishermen’s cottages and a circular walk around a small peninsula where you can find a Viking long ship at anchor. It is a gem of a location.
There are so many official camp sites in the area. There is the noisy young persons camp site, the ‘I’ve been thrown off Ryanair and Easyjet flights, men will be idiots’ site, the ‘all campers like loud music on Saturday nights, site, or if you are fortunate, there is the field with the cockoo and dabbling stream.