Danish camping: like the old times

I arrived at Aalborg yesterday, a small industrial city with an historic centre, on the east coast where the North Jutlandic Isle meets the mainland. The 60 mile trip was a bit of a struggle, as the third leg of that length in a row. 180 miles in three days with baggage is clearly my limit.

Bike, play area, Lindsholm campsite

I’m staying at a small slightly fading campsite,…

Top of Denmark

Skagen Bryghus: Krøyer Dansk ØlToday I reached the top edge of Denmark, just above Skagen.

After I arrived, I drank a bottle of the local Skagen Krøyer Øl, which was malty, sweet, very ale-like, and not hoppy. At least in the Skagen brewery’s opinion, traditional Danish Ales are closer to the UK tradition than German lagers.

Another time, I think it would be well worth a cycling trip aimed at visiting some of Denmark’s micro breweries. Apparently they are a very recent phenomenon:…

Tuesday: up to Hirtshals

A short note on today: I am just south of Hirtshals, a 60 mile journey. Tomorrow I will head to the top and turn south.

Today’s cycle route takes you two or three miles along a beach from Blokhus to Løkken which is used as a road. Luckily the very strong wind was to my back.

The weather was crazy, with very strong south westerly winds. So much so that they literally pushed me and my bike uphill on the road off the beach at Løkken: no need to peddle, my back and panniers worked as a sail.

Other highlights of the day included a bottle of Ørbæk IPA, at 5% almost a normal strength. A very flavoursome drink.

I’m finding that supermarkets…

Wikitravel rebellion

I love the idea of WikiTravel. What better idea than a user-generated travel site? Information is only as good as it is independent and kept up to date, so a community of travelers who want to share information has a lot of potential.

I’ve been looking at for background information, not just about Denmark and Jutland, but also to get a handle on what might await me in Baku at the IGF in November.

Apparently, in its early years, the project met with great enthusiasm. Unfortunately…

English beer takes off in Denmark

Bunkers

Living quarters, Hanstholm bunkerToday I biked north to Hanstholm, which is in the north east of Jutland. During the German occupation, the  Danish villagers were expelled. Hanstholm occupied a strategic naval position overlooking the sea between Denmark and Norway, so a massive defence was built by the Germans as part of their Atlantic Wall.

These defences were in part preserved and a museum now…

Thyborøn to Thisted

Around the edge of Thyborøn I found the remains of the German WWII defences, scattered across the top of the beach and filled with sand. Each was numbered, but nothing else was there to identify them.

They were part of the “Atlantic Wall”, constructed after the invasion of Denmark and Norway in 1940, and are very substantial indeed. They are of course a scar on the coastline, and for me, with my English sensibilities, a much more menacing vision of the war than, say, Bletchley Park.

Girls were sunbathing in their shelter, though, and families were playing…

First three days in Denmark

Men at Sea, EsbjergAfter arriving at 1pm on Tuesday, I cycled north from Esjberg through the industrial port, into a landscape of farms, heathland and gravel pits.

The later part of the day took me through NATO’s Danish playgrounds, regularly used for tank practice, as evidenced by the tracks, and the many dummy houses and farms with blacked out fake windows.

I made slow progress, and stopped at around 5.30pm at a campsite near Børsmose Strand. That was fine, but in the middle of nowhere.

First Day: Travel to Denmark

Taking a long summer break has been my ambition for the last three years. It’s pretty difficult to take breaks while politicians are meddling with our freedoms, so it seems a sensible idea to take a long break during recess, when our leaders head off and shut politics down. August in London is too hot if you get good weather, and disappointing if you don’t; and this year has the Olympics for us to contend with.

I’ve got my Garmin GPs giving me sensible directions, at least. It managed to get me to Liverpool Street Station, and communicated the turns I needed to make. I am pleasantly surprised, as I’ve been battling with tracks, courses and data formats for a couple of weeks.

I…

Using Open Street Maps on a Garmin

As you may know, I am today taking a ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg in Denmark, from where I hope to cycle for about three and a half weeks. I’ve already learnt a few things about my bike, including that nearly nobody seems to mount lights near the front wheel anymore, and that carbon forks can’t support front panniers. So I might be downgrading my forks sometime.

But what I want to share a bit of information about is how Garmin and OpenCycleMaps function, and how you get the Garmin unit to give you sensible directions. It isn’t as straightforward as you may think, and I have to say I think it is mostly Garmin’s fault.

Let’s start with choosing a OSM map and using it for routing on…

CCDP

This Spring, stories about the innocuously-titled but sinister “Communications Capabilities Development Programme” emerged, in the form of leaks and partial confirmations to Sunday newspapers.

The second story, in the Sunday Times on April Fools Day, had many people asking if this supposed plan was a joke. The CCDP, it was claimed, is a plan collect as much data as possible about who you talk to online, and when. Could such an outrageous story really be true?

Within a day, minister Theresa May was wheeled out justifying the idea by reminding people that “traffic data” had in the past been used to investigate terrorists and paedophile rings. She told the Sun:

“I’m not willing to risk more terrorist plots succeeding and more paedophiles going free …

“Data like…

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