Kivik, Simrishamn, Copenhagen, Kronborg Slott, Frederiksborg Slott, Roskilde, Ringsted, Flensburg, Husum, Meldorf
63 days away
590 miles / 950 km since last post
4,466 miles / 7,187 km total
On Wednesday we did a fair amount of driving. Our first brief stop was in Kivik, home to a bronze age burial cairn. We parked up right next to it but didn't go inside as they wanted payment. It wasn't really much to see from the outside so we continued on. Stu note: pile of rocks? £5 - to be honest I wish I had thought of this.
Our next stop was Glimminghus, the most well preserved medieval keep in Sweden. It was an impressive building, and it was only while we were looking around that we noticed the signs saying to buy tickets in the shop - oops, nevermind! Stu note: we take the freebies when we can!
We decided to press on and leave Sweden today, making our way back into Denmark. This took us across the massive Oresund bridge - a direct route from Sweden into Denmark. A magazine we had been given at a campsite a few days back had an article in it about the bridge and advised that you can use your camping card (which we purchased in Denmark last time) to get a discount for the bridge toll. On arrival at the toll booth however, the woman clearly told us that there was no discount available and that we needed to pay the full amount, nearly £70 - ouch! It was a remarkable bridge and, especially at that price, something we are only ever going to do once. Stu note: A bridge which adorns a great book - Applying Domain-Driven Design and Patterns.
We drove straight to Copenhagen, happy to be able to use our camper stop book again, we found a campsite that was really close to the city. It looked really packed when we arrived around 5pm, and when Stu enquired it turned out they were already full. Our camper stop book didn't indicate any other stops in Copenhagen, but our GPS app showed one about three miles out of the city. Thankfully, they had a massive field and loads of space. It actually looked better than the first place, it just means a longer cycle into the city.
After we had parked up, another motorhome parked close by with a couple inside. The woman tried saying something to Stu, but he couldn't understand her language. Then the guy came over to Stu and started speaking too. Stu said he only spoke English, but they didn't seem to understand and kept speaking to him. In the end, Stu very cleverly told them, in Spanish, that he didn't speak any Spanish. I don't know what they must have thought of him, seeing as they were Italian! (the registration plate on the motorhome was the give away). It turned out they just wanted to know if we were using the electrical point near us, which we weren't. Stu note: In fairness, none of us could speak Spanish, therefore it was a reasonable thing to say!
Thursday we headed off into the city of Copenhagen on the bikes. We needn't have been concerned that this campsite was a little further out of the city, the ride was fine and completely flat so not a problem. We had come armed with waterproofs and an umbrella as there were ominous dark clouds over the city all day, yet we didn't even get a drop of rain.
Copenhagen did impress us, and is one of the better cities we have come across on our travels in Denmark. Some fantastic buildings - particularly the city cathedral which is based upon the design of St Peter's in Rome. Definitely a city well worth the visit, and there is lots to see. As we were making our way back to the campsite Stu spotted a hairdressers and wanted to get his hair trimmed. I think he picked the most dodgy looking hairdresser so far - I think they specialised in buzz cuts. He got charged the best part of £15 and she did as good a job as I would have done! When we got back to the motorhome I had to cut the bits that she missed!
We also stopped at a supermarket before the campsite to get a few bits. Stu waited outside with the bikes while I went in. When I came out I found Stu chatting to the local drunk. He seemed harmless enough, and told us that if we get lost in Copenhagen we should come and find him! Not going to happen.
We found that one day on the bikes was long enough to see what we needed to of Copenhagen, so Friday we headed out of the city. Our first destination being Helsingor just to the north of Copenhagen, home to the 'monstrous' Kronborg Castle (The Lonely Planet's description, not mine). It was made famous in Shakespeare's Hamlet as Elsinore Castle and is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Walking around the castle was free of charge. It was a nice building and it has some impressive sea barriers and grounds, but far more impressive was Frederiksborg Castle in Hillerod, still slightly north of Copenhagen but south of Helsingor. This is a Dutch Renaissance style castle, situated in the middle of Slotso lake. A beautiful building, with a vast and impressive Baroque garden, kept in pristine condition and it made for a lovely walk.
We headed further south still to Roskilde, famously home to one of the biggest rock festivals in Europe - in July, however. It used to be the capital of Denmark in the Viking era, and contains one of the most amazing cathedrals in Denmark, Roskilde Domkirke. We made a brief stop here a took a walk around the catherdal grounds. As another Unesco World Heritage Site it was an impressive building, dating back to the 12th century. It was worth a quick stop to see it.
We continued our trip south, but as time was pressing on we found a campsite called Slovly Camping near Rinsted for the night.
Saturday morning we awoke to find our campsite neighbours setting up some sort of market stall of various cheap rubbish. We thought we had seen it all on campsites, but setting up a second hand market is a new one on us. What amazed me was the amount of interest they seemed to get from other people! Slovly Camping had been nice and clean, the facilities of a high standard - but they certainly charged for it. We opted to have wifi and electicity, and combined with the expensive charge to use the showers, it came to about £30 in all. A bit of a rip off, despite it being clean.
We decided to press on into Germany on Friday, which meant virtually a whole day of driving. After stopping at services for LPG just over the German border we realised we still had some Danish money left. After Stu finally managed to fill up with LPG (after first attempting to fill up with the wrong type of gas) we headed back a few miles into Denmark again to spend the rest of our cash. I suggested some soft drinks, but Stu returned from the shop with a box of wine and a bottle of bubbly. I guess the two boxes of wine we have just weren't enough!
Our general direction was down towards Hamburg, but we knew it was best to avoid getting there on the weekend. After a long drive we decided to take rest at a place just west of Husum. Our camper stop book described it as quiet and rural. It seemed nice and quiet at first, then we started to hear some loud, pounding music. We expected it to stop fairly swiftly, assuming it to be a passing car or something. But when it continued Stu ventured out to look. It turned out to be some sort of party boat going up and down the water near us. Next thing we know there are some loud bangs and explosions. Thankfully, just a firework display. Ooooooo, aaaahhhhhhh, followed by a rave mix of "What shall we do with a drunken sailor?". The music didn't go on too late though, so once we'd caught up on the latest Breaking Bad episode we went to bed.
This morning (Sunday) we awoke to some very dull weather. It had been raining and windy all through the night. We decided to have a lazy day today. We drove a little further south towards Hamburg, stopping at a camper stop just to the west of Meldorf by a nice windsurfing lake. It was cheap and fairly quiet, and arriving just in time for some lunch we decided to do very little today, save for a brief walk along the sea front over the small hill from our campsite. Always nice to have a day off.
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