Big ferry

I go shopping on the tourist street. Trying to find some souvenirs to spend the last of my Swedish kroner on.

Then I try and figure out how to get on the big ferry. I ride into the parking structure then see the entrance for pedestrians. (There is another one but it’s a staircase so I know it’s not for bikes).

I ask the information desk if I can buy a ticket for the bike here she says yes so in use the kiosk to buy one person  ticket. I don’t see a bike choice but it’s about the price the website says. Go that way to the car entrance she says. I ride and ride its kilometer at least until I see the car gate.

The man on the gate says I have a pedestrian  ticket and he has to charge me 20 kroner more for the bike. There are four other bikes and riders on this ferry. I talk to two dutch ones who have cycled down from the top of Norway. They had snow the first few weeks and they were camping sometimes in the wild. A bit too tough for me.

They told me how the ferry has duty free despite both ends being EU. We ate in international waters for part of he trip. I buy some happy socks I hadn’t realised they are Swedish.

I talk to the two Americans as we are departing they haven’t got a phone signal for their maps but they are staying in town so they can ask for help. I recommend my offline maps to them.

I am going a little bit further only 10 k though so I am in my trial clothes. With about 3k to go it starts raining. I have my rain jacket so interestingly it’s mostly just my knees that are getting wet.

 

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Gothenburg on a Friday night

Riding back to Gothenburg I don’t detour for the marina. I decide I will go straight back and maybe do some touristy stuff if I am there early enough.

I stop in the same town for lunch although at a different bakery. I get a very nice lunch. Sweden doesn’t feel as expensive as Switzerland although it is definitely more expensive than Germany.

I get to the youth hostel just before 4 have a shower and think about tourist stuff. The Volvo museum looks Interesting, but it is 7 is out of town Google says it will be 45 minutes on the bus and 35 on the bike and it closes at 5

Ok no Volvo museum. I figure I’ll do some washing but the washing machine is in use. The nice girl at the desk suggests I come back at 6. So I go out looking for a nice beer.

There are a few specialist pubs in town and I head for the most interesting one. I pass a few others on the way all with crowds of happy people spilling onto the footpath.

They have a good selection of local beers even including some stouts but I’m not sure I want a blueberry cheesecake stout at 14% I settle for the more conventional blueberry wheat beer instead. This is quite refreshing. The desserts look great and I order a chocolate tart with a stout glaze.

I head back to the hostel where I put my washing on. The girl at the desk says she will switch it fro. The washer to the dryer for me but I have to be back at 8 as they close then.

I have looked on  trip advisor the place I liked the best was closed for summer holidays, my second choice was booked out my third choice was the steampunk bar and restaurant.

The decor is about what you would expect but the staff costumes are great. I am not brave enough to take a photo. They have a long list of beers and an even longer list of gin and tonics.

I order the deer and a stout which may or may not be local. The cocktails look like mad scientists experiments. I think they even put dry ice in the G&T.

 

 

A little bit North

So the new plan says I have two days before I need to catch a ferry to Denmark. So I’m going to ride north for one day stay overnight and ride back to Gothenburg.

The ride north starts out well. There are wide tree lined bike lanes in the centre of Gothenburg then as I get to the port area they become purely functional.

There are two bike lanes and a pedestrian  lane on each side of the highway. Being a highway lined there is not a lot to see. Lots of big semi industrial shops and eventually an Ikea. They look the same all over the world of course although the signage is in Swedish.

Then it’s just highway and fields. The bike lane turns to dirt but I keep going. Turns out this was the wrong thing to do. The dirt road wasn’t official bike lane anymore and eventually just ran out. I went back until I could get onto the quiet regular road that was also now the official bike route.

I have to stop as the bridge raises to let a ship go by. There is z nice view of the local fortress from here.  I contemplate eating at Vikinggrillen a fast food burger place but decide to continue on to the town and a real cafe.

From here I decide to head for the marina just going to the b&b is too short but getting out to the islands seems too much effort.

The marina looks beautiful in the sunshine and I decide to stop and have a drink. I am lucky and they have a local stout.

I head to the b&b which is further from the town than I realise. I meet one of the other guests an engineer from Finland who is staying there for six months while he works on a nearby construction site.

I ask if there is a restaurant nearby and he says no but I can have one of his frozen meals. I agree and we spend the evening discussing process engineering. The costs and job opportunities of various European countries and many other interesting topics.

There is also a couple with a young child staying here but they don’t speak English beyond hello and they go back to their cottage quickly.

 

 

Trains

I talk to another Australian over breakfast he is just two weeks into his three month tour whole I have less than two weeks to go on mine. He has an unlimited eurail pass $1500 Australian for three months. We talk a bit about trains.

I need to go to the station. First I head back go angelin when I get there I realise I need to go to Malmo central. At Malmo central I ask about taking the bike on the train. Not on the Swedish rail trains, which means not on the fast trains or the sleepers. O.k. maybe I can leave my bike at the station. There are big signs saying bicycle parking. I head to the bicycle parking. I ask the attendant if I can leave my bike for a week. He says it’s really designed for commuters but I can use it. He asks if I have a good luck. I say yes. I’m not that reassured. Any one with a commuter bike pass can get in.

I go back up to the station  and think about my options, do I want to be carrying the panniers around for a week without the bike, do I want to be tied to coming back here before Copenhagen, do I want to pay $200 for last minute tickets. What are my other options? I can take the bike on the smaller trains. The guy this morning had come from Gothenburg maybe I could go there.

I can buy a ticket to Gothenburg with the bike (the bike ticket is much more expensive than any of the other bike tickets have been) I decide to do that and figure the rest out later.

I wind up sitting next to a very friendly talkative Indian American couple. The woman is very worried about my cycling she wants to know if I hurt my knees, is it bad for my health? do I have to pay tolls? But she also wants to feed me and talk about my accent.

There is supposed to be a second small train for the last 10ks it has been replaced by a bus. Luckily the weather is good so I ride those last 10k instead. I decide to splurge a little on a nice hotel.

I find a place to eat in trip advisor again deli haga. I get the luxe deli selection, with soup and coffee for 104 crowns. That’s about $16 Australian and a pretty good meal. I paid for a sparkling water too as I didn’t realise there was free water.

I get back to the hotel and do a lot of planning. I see there was a nice bike trail fro. Malmo to Gothenburg I could have taken. I work backwards from  Aarhus figuring out how many days I have and how much riding. I could ride back to Malmo but I decide to take the ferry to fredrickshavn instead and then ride south to Aarhus and eventually Copenhagen.

Malmo

Having reached Scandinavia I am faced with a number of decisions. I am here just over a week before the interscandi hash runs and a little less than two weeks before I fly out.

So where can I go while still making Aarhus on the 18th and my flight on the 21st. I look at the Swedish rail website for inspiration  there is a hip on hop off train through the arctic circle which sounds very cool. But to get there? There is a sleeper train. I could do that, a long trip but it might be worth it. And back south again. I look at the schedule I can make this work.

But first I am still well south of Copenhagen let alone Stockholm. So a ride to the railway station and then a train to Malmo.

The ride is easy. I get to the town with the railway and buy a ticket. I also find a fast food lunch. The leg to Copenhagen is easy. The train to Malmo is delayed and crowded. They announce the stations telling people to make room and be ready. Even though it’s not Malmo central I see the hostel on my map so I get off. Later I realise it was one stop early. The hostel is halfway between this station and the Malmo central station.

I decide to try the meatballs that trip advisor says are the best ever. They are certainly very good. I enjoy them and a local beer.  Denmark is expensive but doesn’t feel as expensive as Switzerland.

Long ride

I feel like I have really adapted to the bike touring thing. So when I am looking for places to stay in Denmark and the option are either short (just where the ferry stops) or long (100+ kilometers) I look at the long ones.

There is a nice b&b that I decide to aim for. The ride to the ferry station is easy enough. There is a point where I think the bike lane is getting bad but a little further on I realise that is because it is no longer the bike lane, I was supposed to turn off through a gate.

It’s a bit tricky finding out where to buy the ferry ticket. I discover that with a bike I have to go through the car entrance. But I have to wait for all the cars to board first. The train also goes on this ferry but I don’t see it. So thats one quite interesting experience i miss out on.

While both Germany and Denmark are EU there is a duty free shop on the ferry. My bike with its snacks is inaccessible on the car deck so I buy some snacks.

All the cars line up to get off. I join the line. An official comes over I wonder if this is the enhanced security I have heard about, no he just wants to tell me I should be in a different lane if I don’t want to end up on the freeway.

I am looking forward to these Danish bike lanes. The bike lanes I get are not like the Dutch highways they are rustic dirt roads. Picturesque but not quite what I am expecting. Later I find they also have the painted line on the road variety of bike lanes. Still it is smooth and flat enough and I arrive at the b&b feeling pretty good. Still when the nice man asks me if I would like to have dinner here I agree.

Apparently I am the first Australian they have had. All the other guests speak Danish although they say they get a lot of English people.

Lubeck to Dahme

A trip along the coast. After some consideration of what ferry to take to Denmark, or if I should try and cycle up the West coast I decide to take the middle option. Not the overnight ferry from Kiel but not the pure cycle through apparently not much of the west coast.

I get a surprise message from Petra that she is in Hamburg today but it is too far so we miss out.

The first view of the beach is very pretty. I am pleased that today a ride will follow the coast for a while. There are markets which fill both the pedestrian and bike paths with stalls. I am trying to look at the stalls and not walk into people. Mostly I succeed.

Then a bit more beach unimpeded by crowds. The road turns away from the beach a few minutes later it starts raining. There is a little bit of cloud but not much. I stop under a tree to put my rain jacket on. The rain let’s up a little then gets heavier. I look at other cyclists hiding in  bus shelters and under bridges. Should I do the same. I stop for a few minutes under a bridge when the rain is heaviest. It eases again. I look at the blue sky ahead maybe I can ride out of it. I reach a town with a fish and chips shop. Lunch and a place under cover out of the rain.

Fish and chips finished the sun is out and all seems right with the world. There are a few more patches of rain even from this blue sky but I am pretty dry by the time I reach Dame.

Another small home b&b the Lady says she had bought me a card for the beach and it is €3. I need a card for the beach? Yes. I guess this is what pays for the lifesavers.

I decide i had better get my money’s worth and put on my bathers under my dress and go for a walk. The beach looks nice, there seems to be hundreds of strandkorb on the beach although I realise as I make my way to the sea that not all of them are occupied.

The water is cold I wade a bit but No way am I going to swim. I walk along the seafront looking at the people and the shops. There is a hundestrand at each end the strandkobe here are sometimes the basis for little dog runs. It seems a little strange to take a portable fence with you when you are camping but it does make sense when you have a dog.

The moon is amazing tonight I take photos but the moon is one of those things that is never as good in pictures.