20 Aug
03
 

   For those of you that aren't subscribed to the email notifications, I thought I'd add a note here to point out that I have just gone back through most of the posts made from July 31st onwards and added videos and images to them. If you are awaiting my holiday snaps go check them out, some are quite cool.

   We're in Denmark now, visitng Jørgen again. In about 2 hours we are off to the train station to go to Amsterdam and catch up with Stacey and Brie for a day or two. The plan from there is to head south via Germany and Prague towards Italy. Depending on an old friend of mine, and whether he can get time off from Uni and work, we might be going to Greece in early September, or delay it until after September 16th when I have promised to meet others in Paris.


   Enjoy the photos, I am off to sleep.


best wishes from
   Craig
Wish you were here?     (0 replies so far)



  15 Aug
03
 

   We arrived in Odense and headed straight for the hostel. It's marked in the book as an old/historic building but we saw no plaque and got no explanation as to what it used to do before letting the unwashed masses stay in the relatively clean and spacious rooms. That evening we entertained ourselves by wandering around the town, admiring the flower displays (it was some sort of festival thing that week) and then returned to the hostel for dinner. When buying dinner in the hostel, a local man gave us the useful advice that the drinking water was better than anything in a bottle, and that plastic just degraded into the water after a few weeks anyway. I was sharing a room with two guys who thought it appropriate to eat shellfish at 11pm in the room and then have a competition about who could rustle their plastic bags the loudest. I don't know who won coz my head was buried pretty far under the covers by that point. Bronwyn however lucked out with room mates. Two nice Danish girls on holiday in the area, earning money by selling jewellery they were making in the room.

   To get to the island of Ærø we had to take a bus rather than the train because the track was under service. An hour later we boarded the ferry and watched as the dark clouds on the horizon got ever closer. On the island there are three main settlements. We arrived at Ærøskobing which is a pleasant little seaside place, with cobblestone roads and the greatest ice cream :-) The petrol station rents out bikes for 45 DKK per day, so we took two and headed for the hills. There aren't really that many hills on the island, but we managed to cover what little ups and downs we could, riding in the sunshine at first. One particularly lovely lane was gravelled so we walked for a while which gave us time to stop and eat the cherries. The wind was picking up and they were falling to the ground quicker than we could count. Picking them and eating a handful at a time was just a perfect thing to do in Denmark.

Watch the video (3.8mb)

   We rode on to Vodrup Klint. This is the steeper side of the island with the winds whipping across the water to the south west and straight up the soft clay hills so fast that I was able to lean down the slope at quite an angle without losing my balance. The wind got stronger and the water in front of us got darker and darker as the rain came in. We weren't able to make it to the next village in time and were thoroughly drenched by the time we got to any sign of buildings. It came down so fast that it became hard to see and we just had to stop under a tree for a while. Bronwyn took an inner route whilst I raced along the coast, and again we were caught out by a passing storm. I made it to the St Rise church and took shelter while Bron had fun waiting one intersection over, at the point that the church was marked on the map. The weather eased and we were able to get a nice easy ride back to the town before being rained on again. After returning the bikes we strolled back through the town to the place with the warm waffle smell. This is where we had the ice creams. Ohh they were soo good. two scoops (I had strawberry and apple) in a fresh cone with whipped cream and jam on top :-P
   After a rolling ferry ride back and a two hour bus ride (taking the scenic route to cover all the little train stations along the way) we got back to Odense only to discover we had missed the bus by a few minutes and had another hour to wait. One kind bus driver took pity on us. He put on the 'not in service' sign and drove the normal route just for us, nice guy.

Biking on Aero island
The wonderful ice cream from Aero

best wishes from
   Craig
Wish you were here?     (2 replies so far)



  17 Jul
03
 

   So, I left Mike's Bike Tours in a relaxed state and headed for the Luxembourg Gardens via the metro system. On the way I met Tristan, and Australian here on some sort of cultural exchange between university terms. It wasn't until he left and I headed for the metro to get to the Gare du Nord train station, that I realised my battery charger and one camera battery were still plugged into the wall at Mike's. On the other side of Paris. with just one hour before my train was set to leave. And after closing time. Oh dear x 1000.

   As I had paid for a bed on the train I decided to get on it anyway and headed for Hamburg. It was so hot and humid, everyone was hanging out the windows until we were well out of the city and could see thunderstorms on the horizon. I called ahead to Jørgen and told him that we would have to meet a day later because the charger was pretty essential for my photography of Jotunheimen. I arrived in Hamburg the next morning, and two hours later was heading back the way I had just come. In Paris I probably impressed some people, amused others and scared the rest as I ran, fully loaded with my big back pack, through the trains station to the metro and changed tracks with incredible ease. I got to the tour centre with less than 10 mins until they closed, and without a chance for a shower in the last 24 hours I was surprised they let me in at all. But they did and they had my stuff sitting there ready for me.

   This time I triple checked everything, I even put my bag outside and did a quick scan of the floor one more time to make sure nothing had fallen out and been missed. Then once more to the train station, and once more on the night train to Copenhagen (via Hamburg). At first I thought I had the whole cabin to myself but then 5 others filed in and took up the other seats. After listening to them talk together I recognised the language as Norwegian, and sure enough 4 of the girls were from there, the fifth was Swedish. When I told them of my plans for hiking in the Jotunheimen park they were all very happy to tell me as much as they could about getting there and their own time in the mountains. It was an uncomfortable night, being woken 3 times by the conductor to check tickets and I was relieved to roll into Hamburg this morning. Another couple of hours in the station and I caught my ride to Copenhagen. To cross a particularly large stretch of water the train boarded a ferry, which was pretty cool. A smooth crossing and then back to regular land-based travel. At the Copenhagen main station I recognised Jørgen from his online photo very easily and after lunch in Tivoli he showed me around town. Mostly all I could say was 'wow' as I heard about the various harbours and castles and other assorted buildings rich in history.

   Tonight I am staying in Jørgen's house. Right on the border of the city and the country, this old thatched building is visited by a local deer and bird-life. My last two nights have been on trains, I am glad to be in real house for a change. There will not be any internet connection in the mountains and I'll probably be out of cellphone reception for a week so don't expect any more updates until I have completed the walk. Cheerio.


best wishes from
   Craig
Wish you were here?     (6 replies so far)




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