Thursday, 31 October 2013

Denmark (Funen)

After calling in at Kiel on the North German coast in worsening weather we made the decision to venture in to Denmark as it was so near really
We were quite tired as much of the night was disturbed by the drone of heavy shipping moving out in to the estuary at Kiel, the overnight stop being nicely situated on the dockside with great views

Another country, another currency change, Krone this time

We spent two nights at a yacht marina in Augustenborg between which we broke out the bikes and rode to Norborg at the top of the eastern peninsula of Als in Jutland
After spending a long time staring at a trail map in the street we were invited in to this lovely couple's house for coffee and cake, the first of several friendly exchanges we had with Danes over the next few days. Dres and Bente made us very welcome, giving us numerous tips on where to visit next and how to get there. You were so friendly to us and Nina thinks the cycling top you kindly gave her is superb. Danfoss will have free advertising now on our travels on the bikes!

(An email from them on our return shows them celebrating Christmas the Danish way with some retail therapy we guess)

On your advice we took the ferry next day to Bojden on Funen, thank you 

A way of life for Danes, jumping on and off these small ferries...

On our travels so far Denmark appears to be the proudest nation with many flags flying from domestic properties not just transport related like this on the ferry

Marina at Faaborg

Wild camping next to the shore and going for an evening stroll we found this set up of planks

I went of my own free will. (Nina was not out of shot with a sword)

Svendborg with some very quaint backstreets, this was where the sunshine gave up on us and we got a dose of English weather

View over to Tasinge from where we leapfrogged to Langeland

Local favourites these Flodeboller, very tasty too...

So on to Langeland and more wild camping
Lighthouse at Keldsnor (lunchtime and calm)

This was at the southernmost tip, quite remote and starting to get a little windy

In between showers the view out to sea was quite something

At this point after being blown quite pleasantly down the beach towards the lighthouse we'd parked at and had lunch earlier, things took a turn for the worse...

Going back against the ever increasing wind and rain became very difficult and we soon realised that we were in trouble..
This was the start of the gale that battered England the previous day but it had gathered even more strength by the time it hit Denmark
I was in stitches when Nina screamed and I saw her pants had been blown down (no photo alas) but soon sobered up when we both became exhausted trying to battle back to the van

This was shot sideways to the wind and spray

When we reached the van I had grave concerns as we were on our own and it was being thrown around by the gale force winds that were getting stronger. At one point I made Nina go in the back and we both crouched down as I was sure the screen was about to blow in as I could see it flexing with every gust. After a while I managed to drive against the wind and park in the leeward side of a huge barn that offered some protection

This was the scene next day. We lost count of the number of fallen trees and overturned bus shelters. The thatched roofs on the houses suffered a great deal with many huge holes visible as we drove by

Snow drama last year in october, gales this year same time, shall we stay at home next year..
Think again.....

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


On to Hamburg
We arrived early afternoon and was greeted by a creschendo of noises on the stellplatz which looked the only real option for us to stay overnight intending to use the S Bahn and bus to enter the city
Chief noise manufacturer was the continual procession of trains using a large iron bridge close by en route in to the industrial heartland of the area
Ok so we knew it would be busy but naively thought they would stop at night.......wrong!
Imagine my discomfort at finding a listing in another discarded stopovers book next morning showing the location of a new stellplatz over the Elbe even closer with.....little noise,. hey ho..

Yes.... its retail therapy time

Underground station at the university newly built with no customers. Minutes later we realised we were at the wrong location

Given that the city was flattened by the Allies there's no surprise we felt the place lacked character with few old historical buildings but a modern sprawling city with the usual infrastructure 
We had been spoilt with Berlin and Prague

So our best idea was to explore by boat as this is the 2nd busiest port in Europe and the tour boats are all the rage. 

Touristy enough...

So a tour of the huge dockyards it was....
Our initial anxiety soon left us and we were left in awe at the sheer scale of operations here

U-434, a rubber coated Soviet conventionally powered sub
Rubber means no radar footprint in case you were wondering

This was as near as we got to the well known smelly Fischmarkt

The Docklands Offices pointing out to the estuary and the sea which is around 80 miles away

Then a trip round the big boyz toyz stuff
Girlies move down the page.....

Big or what!

This to me is Art, yes I am strange

Check out the guy in the cabin on the loader
These thing fly up and down the quayside, around 10 operating in close proximity

One huge dry dock

This is the Elb-Philharmonie building under construction. 220 hotel rooms with 40 sunset facing condominiums already sold out
It will become one of the largest concert halls in the world

The windows are designed to shimmer like jewels in the sunlight, whatever that is....

Close by is what we think is the Portuguese and Spanish sector and we had a superb Tapas meal here

By the time we'd emerged the shops were shut, sorry Wifey

No shutters here just high priced jewellery on show to window lickers

Spotted these reminders of a seemingly distant past

I'm sure the Gaffer's car was never up to this standard

Concert Hall at night with 24 hr construction it seems

Trusty German efficiency with prediction times of buses

Just Central Station but I like these places architecturally

The sting in the tail was the bus driver dropping us off at the wrong home address...cheers. A 3 mile walk refreshed us ready for a night of train music

That bridge next morning with bizarrely placed urban sheep to boot...