Another day, another bridge


I am now riding in the glorious kingdom of Denmark. At least, within its fields for now, and enjoying its front wind too.

The disadvantage of last night’s stop was a rather outdated hotel with a crappy wifi (and lobby only). The advantage was, I was a couple minutes out of the ferry to Denmark. So this morning, after a very lazy breakfast, I packed my bag, left the hotel, and was in line to board the 9:15 ferry right away. There was four other cyclists, four Germans, including a young couple from the bottom of the country, also going to Sweden, and planning a return by train. We waited for the local train (yes, the train!) to board, followed by at least 20 trucks, while the cars where stacking one level above, and entered last. Small grains of sand in a very large terrarium of metal.

Less than a minute after we were inside, the door was closed, sealed, and the ferry was off. All passengers met on the deck for the 45 minutes journey. The sun was blazing over the maritime field of wind turbines, with super tankers carrying around it. Somehow it made me think of the millennium falcon and the field of asteroids. Seagulls were lording over us effortlessly against the wind.

Disembarking was even faster, we were all on the ground, biking up along the line of trucks waiting to be controlled, another bad sign that the European borders are indeed tightening even among ourselves. At the first crossing, the Germans decided to follow the signs, going right, and I followed google maps, going left. Turned out I would have reached their destination with 25kms less.

But I wasn’t exactly going the same way, and certainly not by the same path. I was sent again on dirt roads, cutting through fields, for one hour, and that proved a real good shortcut this time. The next road was going straight to Copenhagen, a solid 150kms away. My plan was to stop somewhere midway.

The weather was great all along, the wind was picking up, mostly against me, but not too strong to be annoying. I’d seen way worse anyway. Most days on this trip bring back memories of the US trip.

I passed a few small towns, stopped at one of them to refill my drinks, and had a few minutes of confusion. 15€ for one liter of orange juice?! That seemed really really steep. This is when I realized that Danes do not use the euro (nor Swedes btw). The prices seemed a bit fairer after that, and my lack of change suddenly became an advantage : carrying a lot of euros would be completely useless in these barbarian wastelands.

Back on the road, going north. I thought I could stop at Vordingborg, the entry point to the main island. Right before that though, was another bridge. Much longer than Fehmarn (3kms vs 1), but hopefully with a wider bike lane, a higher exterior barrier, and devoid of any cyclists. The road itself was also much thinner, and the bridge in a pretty bad shape : rust all over, cement coming off, etc. Train traffic on this bridge has actually been stopped due to its state. On this first day I was left nonplussed by the average quality of public works, compared with Germany. So anyway, this was another very focused, very long moment, where you think about balance, speed, precision, and absolutely not about the warm inviting waves of the sea 26 meters below.

Vordingborg is another charming little town. I stopped for lunch and to calculate my options, which were few apart from here to Copenhagen. I was also left to wonder again how all this pedestrian streets can be filled with clothes shops and related, and with nothing linked to food. Apparently there is a huge market for clothing. I departed later for a small B&B in the countryside further north, in order to reduce the distance to the capital tomorrow.


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