Former East Germany and the route to Prague

I took the train from Prague to Amsterdam, then the ferry back from Rotterdam, just because it seemed the easiest route. The European overnight trains are a pretty slick operation, with parts of trains leaving and joining in different cities, so the train I was on divided and a section went to Copenhagen, and when it arrived in Amsterdam, a new part had joined from Poland.

Towns in mid Germany

Some quick notes on the places I passed through. Many German towns in this area are quite mundane, probably like everywhere, they are somewhat victims to postwar redevelopment as well as the war.

Cycling from Dunkirk

Amazing how much you come to rely on some piece of equipment. In my case, my Garmin GPS, attached to a Mac and thereby importing routes from Bike Route Toaster. Unfortunately, my Garmin gave up talking to my computer on day one.

Goodbye Denmark, hello London drivers

London will feel dangerous when I get back tomorrow. Denmark’s drivers are incredibly well-behaved and aware of cyclists. Bikes have priority, for instance on roundabouts, which usually have a bike lane around the edge, making it clear that cars have to make way for you.

Bikes are kept out of the way of cars, as much as possible, though. Whether purpose built lanes, footpaths or spaces on the side of the road, you can expect that most of the time you’ll be cycling where cars aren’t allowed to travel.

Back in London, most days I see some sort of dangerous driving. Car drivers, I’m sorry to say, regard bikes as just another vehicle, that can be intimidated if needed. Bike reservations near junctions…

Up to Kolding

Today has been hot and tiring. I’ve arrived  in Kolding, with 50 miles to go tomorrow. It is more than I had hoped, but achievable as long as I leave early.

On the positive side, I’ve tried three types of Carlsberg beer, to see if they are any good. They are better than the average Carlsberg, but not perhaps outstanding. Maybe there are others I don’t know about.

I also had an interesting conversation with one Marianna (who is also cycling through Kolding and is from the Netherlands) straying into questions about the Dutch monarchy and the current political crisis. Funny that the Netherlands has a monarchy, courtesy of Napoleon. I always remember the Netherlands as an historic…

Trelleborg to Odense

It was a blazing hot day, as it has been for a while. People seem quite relieved that they are having some decent weather.

Trelleborg reconstruction

I got as far as Odense, about 50 miles cycling, having spent a couple of hours at Trelleborg. I haven’t had much time to spend in museums, but did want to visit at least one Viking site. Trelleborg is of course the most famous.

The…

Copenhagen: IT Pol and Danish digital rights

Niels Larsen, of IT Pol

I met Niels Larsen and a couple of the IT Pol (English pages) crew yesterday, so talked about the digital rights challenges in the UK and Denmark.

I talked about the current surveillance data collection proposals (the Comms Data Bill); and Niels and IT Pol told me about a few disturbing Danish policies.

Two…

Equipment

Tim Dobson asked me what my set up was like, so here it is. I can’t claim anything original or exciting, but here it is.

Camping

I used a very cheap one man tent from Gelert. It was too small for my luggage, so next time I’ll try to find one with storage space. Given it was summer, I used an oldish cheap sleeping bag, which I would change another time.

I bought a very small Thermarest roll up, inflatable mattress, which was very good and took little space in the panniers.

Cooking equipment

I took no cooking equipment, not least because I had no space. I wouldn’t have worked well, carrying oil, washing up liquid…

Søgaard’s Bryghus: brew pub in North Denmark

Søgaards Bryghus microbrewery mash tun Sat in Aalborg’s trendy brew pub, Søgaards Bryghus, with their working, polished brass mash tuns in the corner, and huge wall size photos of beer and bottles on the walls. I’m drinking a very hoppy and unpasteurised pint of cloudy Christmas ale. The folks around are ordering Half and Half and Porter and eating healthy looking food.

The pub sits on a square of renaissance buildings,…

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,…

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