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A 1,000km Bicycle Tour In Jutland

Listed under Cycling in Denmark.

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“Who told us Denmark was flat???”

I am shouting with all the breath I can muster. My face is turning red, as we push our heavy bikes up a steep hill. It’s not the first hill we’ve encountered. Since we stepped off the night train from Holland, this part of western Denmark has introduced itself as one long strip of undulating countryside – contrary to what most people told us about the supposedly flat landscape.

It’s windy too. Surrounded by the North and Baltic Seas, the peninsula of Jutland never fails to raise a breeze.

After nearly a year of living in Holland, we’re somewhat used to the wind. But the hills. Oh dear. The first day ends up being one long struggle to propel our bikes forward. We question our sanity after lunch, when we add more weight to our panniers, in the form of 2 bottles of beer.

Denmark's great bike paths“Why are we doing this?” I mumble a few hills later.

Many people have asked us this, and we don’t have much of an answer, other than it sounded like fun. Positive reports from other cyclists, along with a vague notion of Denmark’s trendy bicycle culture and its network of bike paths, convinced us that a trip here would be an experience to remember.

When we get on the train and see that it’s going not just to Denmark but also places like Minsk and Moscow, we add exotic to our list of expectations.

Just 60km in, and Denmark has certainly fulfilled the “experience” part of the bargain. By the time we get to our campsite we’re tired, hungry and wondering whatever convinced us to take up this bike touring lark. “Oh Denmark, you are really hard work,” we moan. And then, we see the view. All is instantly forgiven.

From our lofty perch, the tiny bay of Kalvø spreads out in front of us. Far in the distance, the fjord is filled with boats bobbing in the last rays of sunshine. Beside the patch of grass where we’ll sleep, a few cows graze quietly. It’s an idyll, and best of all, we have it entirely to ourselves.

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Written by  Andrew & Friedel.

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