Welcome to our diary as we reminisce about that one time in August 2022 when we decided to bike from the Danish-German border all the way to Denmark’s top, where the seas do a little fist bump. Our mission: to soak in Denmark’s splendor the eco-friendly way, pedaling through nearly 600 km in 8 days. Why rush? After all, we were on holiday, not trying to break a world record.

We hope our mishaps and marvels inspire you to saddle up and see Denmark for yourself. So, grab a snack, settle in, and pedal along with us through the Danish countryside.

Daybreak Dash: From Staircase Sagas to Ribe’s Charms

The day started at an ungodly hour, even by our early-bird standards. The 05:29 AM train wasn’t going to wait for us, and we were determined to squeeze every last drop out of the daylight.

So, there we were, standing at the foot of what felt like Mount Everest — except it was just the staircase leading out of our apartment. Picture this: two groggy souls, our bikes loaded up like Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve, staring down this obstacle as if it were the final boss in a video game. You’d think we were gearing up for a moon landing, not a bike trip.

“Ready?” I asked Jana, trying to sound more confident than I felt.

“As I’ll ever be,” she replied, with that grin that tells me she’s just as nervous but game for the challenge.

The descent was… comical, to put it mildly. Ever tried balancing a fully loaded bike down a narrow staircase at an hour when even the birds are like, ‘Nope, too early’? It’s an art form, really, one that we might not have mastered but certainly gave our best shot. And believe it or not, we made it down those 4 floors without becoming part of the decor.

The Good, The Bad, and The Hungry

By 08:11 AM, we and our mobile homes-on-wheels had arrived at Klanxbüll. And then, freedom! We were ready to embark on the North Sea Cycle Route (Vestkystruten). The open road, the fresh air, and yes, the realization that we had actually committed to this madcap adventure. Our plan, loosely cobbled together on Komoot, divided the journey into 8 manageable chunks. Still, we were ready to throw caution to the wind and see where the road took us. Fixed plans? Not for us. We preferred to keep our options as open as the landscapes we were about to traverse. Off we set, the open road beckoning and our spirits high — fueled by a potent mix of excitement, caffeine, and, let’s be honest, a healthy dose of “What have we gotten ourselves into?”

Our first day’s destination was Ribe, the grand dame of Danish towns, dripping with history and old-world charm. The journey there was a bit of a déjà vu, thanks to a reconnaissance mission we’d undertaken in April under the guise of a “tent testing trip.”

The familiar route took us past scenic dikes and friendly flocks of sheep, through picture-postcard Danish holiday homes, and into the welcoming embrace of nature. Thanks to our fresh legs and high spirits, we made quick work of the distance, despite the occasional cloud and light wind trying (and failing) to dampen our spirits.

Arriving in Ribe felt like stepping back in time, with its cobblestone streets and medieval air, whispering tales of its foundation in the early 8th century. Denmark’s oldest town, Ribe, is practically a living museum on its own, where every corner has a story, and every sunrise has witnessed a millennium of histories. We couldn’t resist a quick detour to admire the Ribe Cathedral, a relic from the past standing tall and proud. This isn’t just any cathedral; it’s a blend of Romanesque and Gothic architecture that dates back to the 12th century, a masterpiece that has seen centuries unfold. As we stood there, it was almost surreal to think about the bustling Viking market that once thrived here, the air filled with the clinking of swords and the chatter of ancient tradespeople.

Then came the hunger — oh, the hunger. You know that feeling when you’re so hungry that everything starts looking like food? At one point, I swear I saw a cloud that looked like a giant croissant. That’s when we knew we needed to refuel, stat. Post-supermarket raid, we set off for a recommended shelter spot, just a stone’s throw from Ribe. Laden with goodies, we continued our journey, the promise of a cozy shelter spurring us on.

Our home for the night was a charming little nook in Hillerup, nestled amidst unique marshlands and equipped with everything a weary traveler could wish for – including the company of fellow cyclists. One was a seasoned pro from Bavaria, the other a Dutchman with tales from across the pond. As Björn dove into the conversation, I took on the chef role, whipping up a feast to tame our growling stomachs.

As night fell, the campsite quieted down, and we, along with a family from Belgium who had opted for the tent life, settled in for our first night under the Danish stars. It was the perfect end to a day filled with laughter, new friendships, and the occasional navigational challenge.

We cozied up, our bodies weary but hearts ablaze with the day’s escapades. As the laughter faded and the Danish mosquitoes commenced their nightly serenade, a thought lingered – what next? With the winds of fate at our backs and possibly in our faces (knowing our luck), tomorrow’s tale hangs in the balance, teetering between serenity and chaos. With more miles on the horizon, more tales to tell, and probably a few more “Are we crazy?” moments, we’re just getting started. Dare to dive into Day 2, where we battle the legendary Danish headwinds and maybe, just maybe, question our life choices once more. But hey, let’s face it, who needs smooth sailing when you can have a story worth telling?

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