Tuesday July 14 to Monday July 20
Since arriving a week ago on the east side of Danish Jutland (the peninsula that forms the main part of Denmark), we cycled north to Skagen, the most northerly part of Denmark, then turned south. We are now cycling down the west coast of Denmark toward Germany.
Jutland Denmark is flat, parts of it boggy, and everywhere windy. It has long sandy ocean beaches on both the east and west sides, and is a favourite vacation area for Danes as well tourists from Sweden, Norway and Germany. At least most years it is—this is one of the coldest, wet and windy summers anyone can remember. The beaches are not busy.
We’ve been cycling longer days, sometimes longer distances, sometimes just spending more time slowly struggling into strong headwinds. The weather has been generally dry. The landscape is a mix of agriculture, forest and large windblown moors and open dune land near the sea. Towns are mostly small and touristy. It makes for pleasant rural cycling, but not a lot to talk about.
Skagen at the north tip of the country is the busiest place we’ve been. It gets a million tourists a year who want to see the tip of the country where strong currents run and the North Sea meets the Kattegat, the body of water between Sweden and Denmark that connects the North Sea with the Baltic.
Denmark is a cycling country with better signs and facilities than Norway or Sweden. However, being rural, a paved cycling way may suddenly change to a good unpaved path, or to a bone shaking gravel road. We’re getting better at looking closely at our guidebook to avoid the gravel.
Two of the best things about Denmark are bread and the Danish pastry. Forget everything you know about Danish pastry as it is made it Canada; it looks the same, but that’s where the similarity ends. Here a “Danish” is always light and fresh with crisp pastry. Likewise, bread comes in endless varieties and is always fresh. Bread at breakfast is warm from the oven.
Another best thing about Denmark is the people; they’re much more outgoing than in Sweden or Norway. Not that we didn’t like the Swedes or Norwegians, but the Danish are much more likely to say “Hello” or make a joke. It is a more relaxed place.