Hey you!

Welcome to our travel diary that will remind us of how we embarked on a bike packing trip in August 2022 from the Danish-German border to the northernmost tip of Denmark, where the North Sea and the Baltic Sea meet, through Denmark's beautiful countryside. We chose this trip because it gave us the opportunity to explore the landscape in an active and environmentally friendly way. The distance was just under 600 km, and we did it in 8 days, after all it was supposed to be a vacation and not a physical challenge.

We hope that our experiences will inspire you to embark on a journey yourself and discover the beauty of Denmark. We appreciate you joining us on our adventure and hope you enjoy reading our diary as much as we enjoyed creating it.

So, take a look around, make yourself comfortable and join us on our journey through Denmark.

Warm regards
Jana & Björn

Sunday, August 31, 2022

Get up - very early, even by our standards. The first train left at 05:29 and that was the one we wanted to catch, after all, we wanted to take advantage of as many hours of the day as possible. The first challenge of the day came quickly. We had to get our bikes (and luggage) down the stairs from the 4th floor, preferably without crashing down the steps. Once we managed that without any problems, it was "off to the train station" and some first waking up in the cool morning air.

At 08:11 we and our heavily packed bikes finally reached our starting point of the tour on the North Sea Coast Cycle Route (Vestkystruten) and our first planned stage: Klanxbüll.

Although we had divided the route into 8 roughly equal stages in Komoot, we wanted to decide somewhat spontaneously whether we wanted to ride more or less of the planned route. Also, we had not planned any fixed shelter or camping sites so that we could be at least somewhat flexible.

For the first day, we planned to ride about 80 km towards Ribe, the oldest town in Denmark. The town's history dates back to the early Viking Age, and therefore the town was one of the most important harbor towns in Denmark in the Middle Ages. The old town is said to still look appropriately medieval today.

We rode the first kilometers that day on roads that we already partially knew. Previously, in April, we had ridden to Denmark for a weekend trip and a test of our tent. We camped on Rømø and rode back to Germany on the Danish mainland.

The familiar path took us along a dike and past a lot of sheep, which we greeted kindly, and there was also a lot of asphalt and road on this first stretch of North Sea coastal bike path on Denmark's west coast.

Since our legs were still fresh and fit, we progressed faster than expected. The sky was covered by clouds and there was only a slight breeze. Occasionally, the sun would show itself and sporadically, we got a few raindrops. The light breeze and the cloudy sky made for a pleasant temperature while cycling. In any case, we did not sweat so quickly on this day.

After only a few hours, we reached the beautiful old town of Ribe. It was gray and drizzling from the sky. We made a quick stop to see the Ribe Domkirke (Ribe Cathedral), which is the oldest cathedral in the country, with a five-nave nave.

Driven by hunger and rain, we looked for the nearest supermarket in Ribe and decided to drive a bit further after shopping. On Instagram Lucas Goes Bikepacking had recommended us a shelter place, which was only about 12 km away from Ribe. With a backpack full of lots of edible goodies, we were already on our way out of Ribe and along the North Sea coastal bike path for a bit. Conveniently, the shelter place was directly on the way, so we could continue the next day without detours directly.

The beautiful small nature campsite was located in Hillerup at the Kongeå lake. Isolated in the beautiful and unique marshland and had two shelters, a toilet and was located directly by the water. Here you can also pull your canoe ashore, which we could witness several times while we were sitting in the shelter.

When we reached it, we directly met other cyclists who were in the process of moving into one shelter together. Good fortune for us because it meant we didn't have to pitch a tent that night and could sleep right in the shelter.

While we made ourselves comfortable in the shelter, set up our air mattresses for the night and widely spread the contents of our bags all over the place, we started talking with the others. One of them was from Bavaria and had been cycling for quite a while, the other was from the Netherlands (actually he was from the USA). Björn did not stop chatting while I started to prepare something to eat. Meanwhile our tummies announced themselves more and more clearly.

Meanwhile, a family of five from Belgium also reached the site and found that they had to spend this night not in a shelter, but in a tent. While we relaxed in our wooden hut, the family cooked spaghetti together.

Slowly it became quiet on the site and all travelers disappeared into their night camps at dusk. So did we. Here it was, the first night out in Denmark. The first kilometers in the legs and so many more to come.

Tired, we snuggled into our sleeping bags and if it hadn't been for the mosquitoes, the night could hardly have been better.