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|07/24||Denmark, Ebletoff to Copenhagen
This morning we found out at breakfast that there was a ferry 10K down the road and it only left on the hour. We thought that maybe if we rush, we could catch the 8 o'clock ferry and Larry could get the extra miles in. So I grabbed Lisa's and my dirty dishes while she went to sell the idea to Larry and Joan.
Everyone agreed, so we rushed to the car and raced to the ferry. We got there just as they were leaving. The gate attendant waved us through. The parking lot director waved us on. And the man on the ferry waved us through the red lights and up the ramp. We barely turned the motor off and the ferry was moving. As the ramp came up behind us, . . . . I remembered that I had left my bike bag in the breakfast room back at camp.
Oh damn! It had my passport, my camera, my Pocketmail, both of our bicycle computers, my purse, and a number of miscellaneous things. Now what?
We tried to call Tim or Karen-Ann on their cell phones from a pay phone on board the ferry. It wouldn't go through. We asked a crew-member for help. He took us up to the bridge where the captain let us use his cell phone. We got hold of Tim. He said he would contact camp.
We could do nothing more about that, so Larry, Lisa and I rode from the far side of the ferry. We agreed on a 2:30 pickup time so we could all get to a travel agent before they close and check out the ferry alternatives for our Helsinki to Berlin connection.
We saw a real, operating, Dutch-Danish windmill. We saw miles of wildflowers along the highways. We even saw where the farmer had outlined his fields with stripes of flowers.
We were very impressed with the bicycle friendly streets and highways. We rode for miles and miles on paved bike paths that were separated from, but alongside of, major highways. At every roundabout and signalized intersection the bike lanes were carried through the intersection on blue-colored pavement. AND, it seems, bicycles have the rightaway over cars -- so long as they are in the bike lanes and with the signals.
Denmark is VERY bicycle friendly, and there are many, many bicyclists here. In Copenhagen, it looks like there are as many bicycles as cars. Bicycles are as ubiquitous as cell phones.
Pretty much, every bike has a lock built onto the frame. The locks are simple. On the most, they are welded to the rear triangle. All simply block the rear wheel from going around so no one can jump-on the bike and ride it away.
After we rode about 140 Km's, Joan and Larry picked us up about 3:30. We drove into town, found a travel agent and got some ferry info. Now we have to evaluate it in comparison with driving. Larry suggested we get together before or after dinner. We never connected, though. We'll have to do that later.
We were shuttled to dinner at a nightclub called "Camp One." Again, we had absolutely delicious food with absolutely fabulous presentation. Whole baked fish atop a fabulous bean concoction and lots of really interesting vegetarian-type salads.
Our bus took us back to the TK&A hotel, the Cab Inn. It has modular-designed rooms -- very, VERY compact. Fine for one. Tight for two. Almost impossible for three -- and the standard rooming arrangements is for three to a room. We were fortunate, though. We did not have a roommate assigned. (We think that most of the married couples had private rooms -- but we're not sure of that.)
A good thing about the hotel is the location--on a quiet street, but a short walk from downtown.
We looked for L&J after dinner (about 9:30) to discuss the Helsinki-Berlin connection, but they got off the bus in town while we went back to our the hotel.
We squeezed into our tiny room and slept soundly.
Love to all, David and Lisa
Yesterday's early start, long ride and late finish last night combined to make it a long day. As a result, we slept in until 10 this morning -- and we enjoyed ever minute of it!
At 11 we took our dirty clothes to a laundromat, got it going, and went to a neighborhood cafe for brunch. Then we collected our clothes and headed back.
On the way, we ran into Lynn (from Colorado) who was wondering how to call Finland to get info about an opera festival in Helsinki. We decided a good bet would be a travel agent. Since we, too, needed to go to a travel agent to confirm our Helsinki-to-Berlin plans, we walked together.
After dropping off our clothes at the hotel, we walked into town (only a few blocks away.) We found a travel agent (who gave us the phone number for the ferry service,) and Lynn found out about the opera series. We needed to go different ways then, so we split.
We walked around the "Stogata," a pedestrian-only area in the center of town that is full of tiny shops and restaurants, musicians and living statues, people and bicycles. A really interesting area. We peeked into a lot of shops and had a couple of Danish pastries.
We walked back to our hotel and caught the shuttle bus to dinner -- again at the Camp Nine -- again delicious and plentiful.
The only bad part about the dinner was that Bill Bliss (from San Jose) was experiencing some stress. Apparently he had crashed today when his bicycle hit a curb. He fell and hurt his finger, his wrist, and some ribs. Tonight he was feeling what he thought might be shock. He had the presence of mind to lay down and put his feet up. It didn't help though so an ambulance was called. We all hope he'll be all right and will be able to continue riding. (He's a quiet and solid EFM'r. He'll never pass up a chance to stop and help someone in need. He's a great guy.)
Lisa and I finished the evening with a walk through Tivoli Gardens. It's a beautiful, old (more than 100 years), amusement park and botanical gardens. It has several music venues, many street characters, and lots of fun rides.
Love to all, David and Lisa
|07/26||Copenhagen, Denmark to Markaryd, Sweden
This morning started with a surprise. We went downstairs to hear grumbling that there was no breakfast. It seems that TK&A had hired an outside vendor (rather than the hotel) to provide breakfast and they didn't show. But before we left, they DID show, so we were able to have breakfast.
It was Larry's driving day. We rode right from breakfast with the request for pickup about 2:30. Joan decided to drive with Larry to the ferry, then ride.
The first 40 k of the ride was right along the water on more of Denmark's famous bike paths. Many beaches --- quite a few with swimmers. In fact, we saw one nude, beautiful blonde lady walking into the surf -- of course she looked to be about 4 years old. :-)
That beautiful ride ended about 10:30 when we arrived at the ferry terminal. We got there just in time to see our ferry pulling out -- but another ferry was due in 20 minutes.
We took the opportunity to call the Silja Ferry Line. We needed fares out of Stockholm and Helsinki to help us determine the best way to get to Berlin. We got done just in time to see another ferry pulling out -- but we caught the next one.
We had early lunch on the ferry as we entered Sweden. No border crossing problems. We were waved right through both border checks.
The ride in Sweden went through farmland, countrysides and forests. We stopped for an afternoon snack at a roadside cafe.
We sat and talked with Bill Bliss. He's back on the bike. His problem yesterday was due to his body going into shock after a painful injury. He says it is a normal reaction of his body to a painful injury.
A local sat down with us and started talking. He was surprised at how far we had been and were still going. He volunteered that there were lots of Nazis in this part of Sweden and that we should watch out. Of course, we don't expect any problems, but forewarned is forearmed, I guess.
We continued on the variety of rural, country roads over hill and dale, through farms and woods until Larry picked us up about 3:45. We loaded our bike and continued on to pick up Joan. She completed 80 Km's.
We drove on to find our lodging. Larry and Joan had made a reservation at a campground they were told was just outside of Markaryd. Unfortunately, it turned out to be about 20 Km's outside -- farther than we would like.
So we stopped at another Tourist Info center to see what else might be available. They sent us to a hostel that was a little closer. We got a room for six (three sets of bunk beds) that was colossally huge as compared to last night -- and, in fact, to most of the rooms we've had in Europe. We even have a kitchen table in it.
Before we left for dinner, we noticed many chairs and tables set up on the lawn and some Swedish country singers practicing in a small bandshell facing the lawn. We found out later that this was a free community concert that went on all evening.
We all went to dinner at camp and heard some horrible news. One of the riders, off-route on a major highway, tangled with a semi- truck. He lost his leg below the knee. We're all just sick about it. Tim and Karen-Ann were with him at the hospital, and Tim was the first to see him in the ICU after his leg was amputated, and had to break the news to him.
A tough way to be reminded that we're mortal and to be careful.
Love to all, David and Lisa
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