Biking to find Denmark

Canute Geoff holding back The North SeaI set of, after my DIN standard breakfast at the b&b which incidentally was a reasonable £27 a night to make my way to Esbjerg and the ferry back to the UK.

In my naivety I thought the day would mainly be in Denmark and hence I might be able to access a decent mobile network 🙂 However, my geography is totally screwed as actually Denmark doesn’t start until way up the peninsula. I have the whole of Schleswig-Holstein in Germany to go through first and it’s dreaded second rate mobile network. This will take a couple of days on a push bike.

Notice the flag
Notice The flag

The weather was still very windy in the wrong direction for me. having the wind & noise in your face all day is very dispiriting made somewhat worse that when you stop in a town or village it miraculously disappears. The effect houses have on shelter & I guess one reason we like living huddled up together.

The seaside town of Büsum was very busy but I decided to keep going to Husum battling along the dykes and the huge gates controlling the waters of The Eider although given the height of the dykes it’s not hard to see that this area will keep getting flooded.

The last stretch of the day into Husum I finally had the wind behind me although it was on poor quality tracks 🙁 . Husum is a very charming small town with many old houses etc. The first hotel was once again full 🙁 but the receptionist rang Hotel Hinrichsen and found me a room.

A tough 69 miles biked mainly on the EV12 North Sea Cycle Route with most of the journey on Strava here and some pics here. It looks like I’m going tobe Germany for at least another day before I finally get to Denmark.

 

Biking The Elbe trail – Hamburg to the North Sea at Brunsbüttel

1-IMG_3854Today was the final day of me biking alongside The Elbe. I decided to keep to the East bank to Brunsbuttel as I wanted to cycle on into Denmark and the ferry from the West bank across the mouth is meant to be very irregular.

At Sandra’s suggestion I visited the ‘New Hamburg.  HafenCity is in the old docks, I didn’t find it to inspiring although certainly much better than her other suggestion, the dual carriageway called Reeperbahn which seems in terminal decline.

I left along a pathway which can’t make it’s mind up whether you can cycle along or not! at least it’s flat and avoids the cars & a hill. The views of the docks are very good and it’s interesting to see a ship dedicated to shipping bits of aircraft around for the great Airbus project.

Once out of the city the wind became ferocious blowing directly of the North Sea straight into my face 🙁 I had quite a few heavy squalls of rain as well so weather wise not the best of days. I was beginning to think you should definitely cycle The Elbe from North to South.

The cross channel ferry was operating but with a vast queue of several kilometres long waiting for the trip to Cuxhaven a side effect was a lady had set up a wagon selling fishy buns etc and drinks so I could stoke the boiler again.

The End of The Elbe!It was getting quite late when I finally arrived for the crossing of the Kiel canal, by ferry. Interesting to see a vast container ship nudging its way into the lock, I finally made it into Brunsbuttel at 6pm to find the first hotel full the second hotel a smokers den & more with the third hotel also full, I was starting to get a bit concerned 🙁 However, a charming lady across from the hotel ran a classic b&b, loads of little notices & very fussy but at least a bed with views over the river but no internet on the day of The Apple iWatch event & my 1GB of phone date used up even though it was on GPRS all the time.

The final Elbe Stats are:

833 1010 9042 76.17 Moving
Start Finish Miles Km of Elbe feet up Move time mph Hotel
Cambridge Harwich 68 1614 5.42 12.54 Boat
Hook of Holland Amsterdam 67 238 5.83 11.43 Train
Prague Melnik 43 69 1338 4.18 10.28 Hotel Jaro
Melnik Usti 51 81 855 4.43 11.41 Pivovar Hotel
Usti Dresden 63 100 2322 5.82 10.78 Motel One
Dresden Riesa 35 57 1451 3.17 11.18 Hotel Saxonia
Riesa Listerfehrda 64 103 564 5.85 9.93 Landgasthof Sonneneck
Listerfehrda Pretzien 74 119 404 6.63 11.19 Park Hotel
Pretzien Tangermude 64 102 542 6.48 9.84 Am Rathaus
Tangermude Tangermude 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 Am Rathaus
Tangermude Modlick 78 125 267 6.85 11.37 Alte Fischerkate
Modlick Geesthacht 65 104 812 5.62 11.57 Hotel Elbblick
Geesthacht Hamburg 31 49 191 2.63 11.66 Sandra’s
Hamburg Hamburg 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 Sandra’s
Hamburg Brunsbuttel 63 101 296 6.80 9.31 B&B

So biking The Elbe was 1,010km in 11 days of cycling. The surprising number to me is the 9042 feet of ascent, so it isn’t that flat! The other & more surprising to me, apart from the miserableness of other cyclists, is the poor quality of the internet. O2 could only offer GPRS throughout the trip except for a bit of 3G in the biggest cities. In the hotels speeds on WiFi were appalling every bit as bad as remote Cornwall. Staggering for a so called rich country famed for it’s engineering prowess.

My Strava for the day is here and pictures here