Kolding, Silkeborg, Ebeltoft, Grenaa, Randers, Viborg, Asaa, Skagen, Hirtshals, Kristiansand
32 days away
406 miles / 653 km since last post
1,872 miles / 3,013 km total
We have noticed from our Camper Stops book that a lot of the stop overs in Denmark appear to be 'quick stops' - you can only stay there between the hours of 8pm and 10am. This would make things more difficult for us as we would have to find somewhere to park our motorhome outside of these times. Also, these quick stops aren't necessarily free either, which makes them even less appealing. Our destination on Saturday was to get to Silkeborg, an area in the Danish Lake District, but we opted not to stay the night as they only had quick stops available in our book, or even more expensive camp sites. Instead we found an empty car park by a lake for the motorhome, and took a ride on the bikes. It was a great area for having a good bike ride. We rode around the lake and through some woods - a really enjoyable day.
Later in the afternoon we drove to Arhus, Denmark's second largest city. We drove straight to the free camper stop first, but it was right next to a main road, a trainline and a building site! It didn't seem appealing at all, therefore we drove out of here and opted for a much quieter camp site along the coast just slightly out of Arhus. As it was a proper camp site, plus it was on a very pretty spot right on the bay, it ended up costing more than we wanted to pay, but we decided to treat ourselves. We also discovered that we needed to buy a camping card. It wasn't expensive, I think it worked out about £12, but we were informed that we needed this card if we were to stay in any campsites around Denamrk, Norway and Sweden. Another expense, but it seemed this one was necessary.
Once parked up on our pitch, which had a nice view of the bay, we strolled down to the waterfront and sat with a couple of beers in the warm sunshine - very pleasant. We had forgotten that Stu had decanted his remaining Vermouth into an empty plastic beer bottle and put it in the fridge. When he brought out a couple of beers for us by the bay, I opened one of the beer bottles, took a big swig, and then realised I'd just gulped down a mouthful of Vermouth! It was disgusting! We have since learned to mark the bottle with Vermouth in it!
This being a 'proper' campsite, and the weekend, it appeared to be fully booked with lots of families and kids - we are generally quite happy about this as the parents tend to enforce quietness after 10pm. Unfortunately, the weekend also attracts another type of group too, and for some reason they always get the spot right next to us! Some lads turned up in a campervan with a few tents too, and were on the pitch next to us. As soon as they arrived they began to be quite noisy, but we let it go. It was just a shame that it seemed really peaceful until they arrived. Thankfully they went out about 10pm and peace was restored.
Unfortunately, those lads had to come back at some point. I'm not sure when exactly they did get back but around 5am we heard them talking and laughing really loudly - not making any attempt to be quiet. Lucky for us we had our earplugs we'd bought back in Brussels, so we managed to get straight off to sleep again. I felt bad for the other families around us with kids though, it didn't seem very fair. Stu note: these people are probably rich, successful and will die peacefully in their sleep having lived a full life.
On Sunday we made use of the showering facilities on the campsite - the first time we've had a shower out of the motorhome in quite a while. It was nice to be able to leave the shower running for a bit longer! Then we drove out the campsite and found a little car park just down the road, so we could take the bikes out again. We had a fantastic bike ride through the woods, and then rode into the city of Arhus. Despite it being Denamrk's second largest city, it doesn't have the feel of a big city at all. It felt pretty quiet - although I guess being Sunday afternoon made that more apparent. But there wasn't a huge amount of appeal in the city really. I'm glad we rode to see it but we didn't stay for too long. The actual bike ride itself was more enjoyable than actually seeing the city.
Back in the motorhome we took a drive through a few small towns heading north - Ebeltoft, Grenaa and then Randers. At Ebeltoft we found a carpark along the coast and took a walk. It had turned a bit cold and blustery by this point, so a couple of jackets were required. Stu was not happy about the knots the wind was putting in his hair! We walked up to the Fregatten Jylland - the longest wooden warship in the world. You could pay to go inside the museum, but we could get a perfectly good view from outside anyway. £20 well saved.
We didn't stay around too long, and drove to Grenaa - a seaport from which ferries leave for Sweden. It had a very nice harbour, with some impressive looking boats. Stu was pleased as we found a public toilet - I'm saying no more on that. Thankfully by this time the weather had improved a lot, and the warm sunshine returned. We had a slightly struggled bike ride back to where we'd parked the motorhome - riding completely against the wind - so with all the riding today we have certainly got our exercise fix.
Our next destination was to be Viborg, but we couldn't see any cheap or free camper stops in our book. Instead we opted to stay at a place called Randers - about 40km closer and it also had a free camper stop. We had left Grenaa quite late as it had been quite a full day, and didn't get to Randers until gone 7pm. As we were driving towards the camper stop we didn't hold out much hope about what this place would be like at first as we drove through vast amounts of industrial sites. However, the stop itself turned out to be very nice - right next to a small harbour, really quiet with only a couple of other motorhomes parked up, and Stu also managed to get some free wifi - happy days.
On Monday we took it easy in the morning, and then took a drive more inland to Viborg. We stopped right next to a pretty park and lake and then cycled into the town. The main attraction here is the Cathedral. We had seen it in the distance when we were driving to Viborg and it had looked very impressive, but on a closer inspection it seemed a lot less so. We continued cycling around the town for a while, which seemed nice enough. It had a good shopping district, but we headed back to the park and lake as this was the more attractive and peaceful place to be.
We took quite a long drive out of Viborg, heading to a free camper stop. Unfortunately, when we got there it turned out to be a motorway service stop - not the nicest of places to stay for the night. Instead we continued driving for a few more miles to the next free stop, and so glad we did. The next stop we found was well off the main road, on grass, it had a toilet on the site and we were the only people there! Plus, we were quite near the coast so had a view of the sea. Not bad for a free stop.
The next morning (Tuesday) we spent at the camper stop. The weather was hot and sunny and we didn't feel in any big rush to go anywhere. By midday we were on the road heading for the northern most point in Denmark - Skagen. It was a fairly nice sort of seaside town. There seemed to be a lot of tourists about. We cycled around the town and then the harbour - which was a good spot to stop for an ice cream.
After seeing most of what there was to see here we decided not to stay the night in Skagen. Not only did it seem very busy here, but even the camper stops (which were essentially just car parks) were nearly £20 for the night. We drove slightly out of Skagen and stopped at a campsite there. Just as Stu was enquiring inside reception, we could smell smoke, and saw a big smoke cloud starting to blow over us. There was also a fire truck just driving off down the road back to Skagen. We guessed that it might be a forest fire or something, but weren't sure. Whatever the issue, it seemed like a good idea to get well out of Skagen and find somewhere else to stay the night - we didn't want to take any risks. We drove well out of the town and into a place called Hirtshals. There weren't really any camper stops nearby, and as we needed to fill up with water anyway and it was starting to get late, we opted for a campsite. It wasn't cheap, but it was a great campsite right on the west coast, next to a lighthouse, and each of the pitches had plenty of room so it was fairly peaceful. In the evening there was a great sunset over the water.
Wednesday morning we decided we would stay another night at the same campsite. We would be getting the ferry to Norway on Thursday night, so with a day to spare we opted to spend it lazily on the campsite. I also managed to get a few things washed too, as we don't know when we'll next be able to do any. Stu managed to create a washing line from the motorhome to the fence. It was a bit worrying hanging the washing up as the wind was really strong here, but at least the sun and wind would dry it fairly quickly. The rest of the day was very relaxing, and it was nice to have a break from driving, riding, sightseeing etc.
The people on the next pitch to us were interesting. They had a caravan and a massive awning on the side. I can only presume they must be staying there a while as at one point the guy got out a lawnmower just to mow his patch of grass - now there's one thing we forgot to bring with us...!
We are currently uploading this blog entry from the Hirtshals (Denmark) to Kristiansand (Norway) ferry. We are hoping that we find somewhere close by to stay over the night as it'll be past midnight when we arrive. The €170 cheap ferry at night seems to have every Norwegian family on board with children under 12!