Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 14, 2019

Summer Adventure 2019

practice pack

Well I am back and will begin the write up of our cycle/train and ferry trip to Norway and back.

June 11th saw us boarding a train from our home town up to Sunderland. We had been checking the weather forecast  all the week before and it wasn’t too good. On the day NE winds were gusting at about 35 mph and we had to travel north.

It was lucky we were the only cyclists on the train, as the Northern trains don’t have a lot of room. For once the train guard was helpful in getting us on and at the end a chap who is a professional body guard with a physique to match helped us off.

The lift was broken and so after a wander about , another attendant showed us another lift and we were off up into the traffic. There us no rain but the wind gusting across the Sunderland bridge was a bit scary.

We avoided some of the NCN 1 track as it takes you over some rough ground and  but further along we got back onto it near Whitburn and along past Souter Lighthouse. Here the wind was really gusting off the sea and I was fearful of being blown onto the road. Later we did follow the cycle route to the Shields Ferry and this has been much improved. Its a slightly longer way but with a good surface.

The ferry ride across the Tyne was uneventful and once across we climbed the hill and along to the DFDS ferry port. Once there we were surprised to get straight on to the ferry but had to walk by , pushing the loaded bikes, dozens of motorcyclists trying to get there stuff off their bikes. Then we lugged our stuff up 5 flights of stairs. I know I am getting older as it wasn’t too easy.

We had a very nice meal on board but unfortunately , it didn’t stay down long. I was violently sea sick – something that hasn’t happened since I was a teenager!! I was OK as long as I laid flat .

Wednesday saw us having breakfast before  disembarking  . The latter part of the trip hadn’t been as rough. We used the Komoot app to navigate away from Ijmuiden, the port for Amsterdam . It was a bit difficult at first but once we got on the track it was fine. Its about 18 miles to Amsterdam central station. We hadn’t had a chance to charge the bike battery but found a really nice café that had a number of charging points that we used while awaiting our first train.

This train took us to Osnabruck and a young couple showed us we could charge the batteries on the train. Very helpful to know. We had about an hour to wait in the station and a Flixtrain arrived on our platform but it was obvious that it wasn’t moving. This upset out connections  so we had to change in Bremen and then Hamburg and we finally arrived in Flensburg on the German /Danish border at 2.00am. I have to say that the train operators were very helpful.

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Dilemma – its 2.00am . What to do? We decided just to ride the night. The batteries were fully charged so had no worries there. Dawn broke with a pink tinge and we heard the first birds about 3.00am greeting the light of a new day.  We had stopped near the border so Jozef could adjust my back light. I think border control were a bit suspicious so came across to ask us a few questions

As the light expanded, the countryside was revealed as rolling and green and we stopped at about 5.00am to eat. The picnic table and bench were wet with dew.

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Later at 9.00am when the sun was out and warm, we pulled into a church yard. There were no seats but that was no problem was we just got our own out .  We ate again and then dozed in the sunshine. After a while an organ began to play which we enjoyed. The grounds also had a toilet and so we  used the facilities and topped up our water bottles.

We then carried on and found a campsite at Vjela but before arriving there we had to descend the steepest hill in Denmark before climbing up the other side. By now I was tired and as luck would have it, they had a hut for the night. No tent putting up. Here was a comfortable double bed, with a kettle etc. Vjela City Camping is a very nice, if larger site.

Thursday saw us heading north in the direction of Hobro, as a site had been recommended. I wasn’t too sure I could make it that far but was willing to try. The way to Silkeborg was on really good tracks in brilliant hot sunshine. Perhaps a little too hot so when we saw an ice cream place , we were in.

We climbed eastward and the Komoot app would have taken us on a fast not too nice road. Another lady also on an e-bike  stopped to talk and showed us a better way through a forest track. After the first 100 yds , it was a well surfaced tarmac track, free of litter. She and her husband have cycled toured.

Later we found a picnic site but the sun was fading rapidly  and the first drops of rain were felt. Putting on wet weather gear, we carried on. I knew there was about another 20 miles to Hobro and there was nothing for it carry on until what a surprise!!

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We were welcomed by a lovely couple who use there garden to help cycle campers. They ley us use their toilet and also charged our batteries and only wanted 30DKr as they try to help people. What a fabulous couple , they also were involved in Viking re-enactments and the husband is a blacksmith. He really looked like a Viking too with his sand -coloured beard.

Saturday saw us heading up to Aalborg  and Komoot took us there on road 180. This was a main road but had a good cycle track and the traffic when it did pass us gave plenty of room. I would have preferred a more varied route  but the way undulated from Tjele to Aalborg.

We can across an old car and motorbike show later in the morning  and had a nosey around but because of the miserable weather stops were few and far between.

We went to Aalborg Family camping which was excellent with a superb kitchen/ diner and we were able to wash clothes and get them dried. There were other cycle campers to chat with too, from France and Sweden.

Sunday saw us ride across the city to go to church where a young missionary translated for us. We were given headsets so it wasn’t a disturbance to others.  Coming back we found a PIT STOP that had tools and a charging station for e-bikes  – not that we needed them but it was comforting to know.

Monday morning was sunny and we were packed ready to go by 8.00am. I love the randomness of people you meet on these trips. A group of people , about our age, were motor homing up to Iceland. A couple from Belgium also had e-bikes and came to ask about out trip  and he was fascinated with our ISM touring saddles. Indeed , we were asked many times about them. As I hope you can see they are very short and are open.

Again , we were on road 180 with its white line that motorists respected and we felt really safe. We stopped a few times in picnic sites  as the road undulated NE. We peddaled  through Saeby and then onto the coast route with many sea side cottages until we came to the Stena line terminal.

We actually went into the truckers part and I asked about charging the batteries. No problem just stay in the truckers lounge and plug in. So helpful.

Then we joined the other cyclists and motorcyclists and boarded . We had a upgraded cabin which was great as neither of us had to climb up to a top bunk. The food was good with a very Scandinavian flavour and this time I wasn’t sea sick. Just after 8.00pm we were both fast asleep.  We had ridden about 235 miles through Denmark.

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Responses

  1. You are very adventurous. I take off my hat to you.

  2. Wow, what an adventure! Oh for trains like the one in your pic in this country. Look forward to reading more.

    • Lizzie , it has been fantastic. I will get the other parts written up asap

  3. I feel exhausted just reading that. You are a one for never giving up. You seem to be lucky with the people you meet, all willing to help.


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