Cycle Tour Around Zealand
Dag/day 3: Nakkehoved-Pinseskoven
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Added on 18 May 2020
on 15 Jun 2020
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by Ottocolor on 18 May 2020
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Lille Bregnerød, Capital Region of Denmark, DK (16 m NHN)
Viberup, Capital Region of Denmark, DK (-2 m NHN)
11 May 2020
In the morning overcast, later quite sunny. Chilly, 9 to 11°C. A brisk northerly breeze meant a windy tent site and a strong tailwind.
The wind had both increased and turned totally north, for the tent was rattling and shaking as I awoke. The view across the sea to Sweden was really nice, but it was a not easy to enjoy it in the cold and windy weather. And the ashes from the bonfire had swallowed all my kitchen stuff, so it cost an extra doing the dishes. When I finally had found a place, the gas boiler had enough shelter. It wasn't easy to put my lenses in my eyes either. So I wasn't that comfortable in the morning. The solution was to get started in a hurry. And when I sat on the saddle, it was a great day again. The route went beautifully to Elsinore mostly through large forests or on gravel paths right down to the beach. I had the wind halfway from behind, so I was moving rather fast, even though the rough surface and the many short but steep climbs were still there. In Elsinore, I had lunch in a small sunny square overlooking Kronborg. There was shelter here, but so cold that I put on extra clothes. After the sandwiches I had a short stroll in the old town. The cathedral was closed, but also a beautiful view from the outside. I thought there are many dioceses and cathedrals nearby with Roskilde and Copenhagen as the closest ones and in the Middle Ages even the archdiocese seat in Lund. In another spot there was a beautiful mural depicting a market scene in the city. Of course with Kronborg in the background. That castle and the Danish state's collection of the Sound tariffs had given Elsinore an prominent place in history. Today, the ferry service to Helsingborg on the Swedish side of the Sound is a source of income. And it had also been my intention to cross the strait to conquer Sweden on my iron horse. But these plans had been smashed by the corona crisis and the travel restrictions. Because of the stiff breeze from the north, I would have been facing headwinds up to Kullen, which had been today's stage goal today. I switched this to a massive tailwind down to Copenhagen. Thank you. And Strandvejen (The Coastal Road) is not bad, either.
The coastal road runs close to the Sound coast all the way 40 km from Elsinore down to Hellerup and the border with the municipality of Copenhagen. It is known as the paradise of the rich, and if you own a villa on the coastal road, you must definetely be characterized as such. Sometimes they stand down to the very water's edge, so you can't pass them along the water. This is otherwise a privilege that Danes like to boast about, not least to Germans, but here are exceptions to that rule. The reason is old inherited rights that allow the owners to put up fences that run right into the sea. The many marinas along Strandvejen are also striking. Snekkersten, Espergaerde, Humlebaek, Nivaa, Rungsted, Taarbaek, Skovshoved, Charlottenlund and then I certainly did not get them all. Nowadays, the Sound has become a nice clean body of water again, but from my time as a soldier I still remember tales of "Pløresund's" ("Muddy Sound's") disadvantages. Well, I hope the owners know how to enjoy their wealth and privileges and not just take them for granted. Luxury is a thing you easily get used to. And one can easily forget to appreciate it.
The route followed most of the Strandvejen itself on an excellent but congested bike lane. However, it does make a few excursions away from it along small bumpy residential roads. Here the idyll is perfect. Beautiful houses, beautiful gardens, beautiful cars, beautiful people. In Humlebaek you cycle around the famous Louisiana art museum. However, that and all other museums have been closed now for a month, and as cultural life lacks the lobby, especially business has, its establishments were clearly disadvantaged in the order of reopened institutions after the corona shutdown. After Nivaa followed a short stretch of Strandvejen without buildings and a newly tarred piece of bike path. There I really trod the pedals and made my bike move at an adventurous good speed. On the opposite side, bikers fought their way slowly northward in the fierce wind. I just thought, "Been there, done that." Now it was my turn to feel privileged. In Vedbaek, the route turned away from the coast under the railway line, and right by the tunnel stood a bench in sun and shelter. As created for a coffee break. What a refreshment with cake and subsequent sunbathing.
After the coffee break in Vedbæk I rode a longer stretch, where the bicycle route no longer followed Strandvejen, but a separate path along the railway track. Normally this means an even path, but here everything else was the case. I went up and down steep climbs and wild descents. All on a fairly narrow path with lots of people out in the sunshine and frequent crossings of cross roads with rush hour traffic. But beautiful, it definetely was. Sadly, my attention did not allow the many fine views, for example, across the plains of the Deer garden with its magnificent vistas. Those belong to a well-composed cultural-natural landscape like Dyrehaven, when it was designed in the 19th century. Fortunately, one can say, it was so cold that the women had covered their legs and behinds that well that they did not pose any risk on the bike path. I've once (in the summer of 1986) driven my car into a wreck because I had a too close look at a short summer dress and its contents in front of the grocery store on the left instead of looking at the car in front of me! Summer can be a dangerous season for that reason, but not this cold spring. At one point I interrupted the trip and cycled down to the Sound to see the mouth of the Mill stream into this. The Mill stream valley had been my blessed father's favourite in the Copenhagen area on my parents' camping trips to Naerum Camping, and he had infected me. It is beautiful nature, and the Mill stream is home to Denmark's first industry in the 18th century. Prior to the invention of the steam engine, water as a power source was just as important as the wind, and there were as many as 14 mills along the stream's 21 km long run. They drove the wheels in all kinds of factories. The knife factory in Raadvad is famous, and at the mouth lies Strandmøllen (The Strand Mill), which today produces industrial gases. To some extent still using the Mill stream's water as a driving force. In the Deer garden capital of Klampenborg, the trail ended and the bikes were spit out again on Strandvejen. Here is the beach of Bellevue. Many are the memories of bathing trips to this beach in the hot summer of 1982 during my time as a soldier. Our post-puberty teenage boys' heads and eyes swirled around us as we lay on the "fly paper" and part of the time it was necessary to lie on our stomachs! Now I followed Strandvejen through Hellerup and turned from it down to Tuborgvej. I wanted to take a look at the soldiers' base, namely the Swan Mill barracks. Or the treadmill as we christened it. It houses the then Army Special School (or "spy school") where I learned Russian in one year. And that so effectively that I still master the language very well. The language teachers here had really found the formula on how to put the most language into the bulbs of us young men (plus a couple of girls!) in a way that as much as possible stays there for as long as possible. It was certainly not circular pedagogy, but robot-like discipline. It wasn't pleasant, but it worked. The barracks are located in the commuter train triangle, so there are railways on all three sides and only one access bridge. Unfortunately, the access control here has been sharpened, so all but a look across the rails it did not offer. And an intake of muesli with milk on the bench opposite the driveway. Symbolic enough with my back to the barracks! Then I was ready to roll in along the new cycle route along Nordhavn and Kastellet, past the Esplanade into Toldbodgade. At the long square Skt. Annæ Plads the traffig lights were red and I caught eye of the Old Merchant's shop. Sometimes the red light is just right, for what a lovely shop it is on the corner. Three steps down into the basement, and all kinds of temptations tempted me. I bought an expensive bottle of cooled Danish microbrew and a bag of crisps and enjoyed both with a view of the Finnish embassy vis-a-vis. Suomen suurlähetystö. Finnish is a pretty complicated language. "A morphological party fireworks" it has been called. And so it is my linguistic toy that I have studied as a pleasure. "Huvin vuoksi", that is A month later, the Finnish and Danish football national teams were to meet in the Parken stadium and the fan center would have been on the Kvästhus quay, just a long stone's throw away from here. The Copenhageners (and me too) now had to do without the fun, as the European Championship 2020 had been moved to 2021. So far. But now I had better do my shopping for the wilderness life and find my favorite tent site in the Pinse forest on the isle of Amager. There were still 14 km out there. And after all, I wanted a full rest day tomorrow to look at the capital. So I crossed the expensive bike bridge across the harbour and cycled quickly through Christianshavn, past the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and across Islands Brygge, where I found a Fakta supermarket, and out on Western Amager along the path that runs outside the dike. On the east side there is still room for garden-like messy shed buildings, while everything looked very streamlined and chic on the opposite shore. Here is also my workplace TV 2's Copenhagen office on Teglholmen. The Fisketorvet shopping paradise must not be forgotten either. Linked by bicycle bridges across the sound of Kalveboderne, as the waters out here are called from ancient times. You pass the car bridge of Sjaellandsbroen and the motorway bridge and are out in the completely unbuilt nature area of Kalvebod Common, Koklapperne and other dammed areas, serving as as grazing land, forest and large wetlands, as the pumps have been switched off and the water has been let in again. The Copenhageners are happy with this huge recreation area, which is like a wild prairie, only 5-10 km from the city centre. The shelter and tent site at Ottehoejevej in Pinseskoven (The Pentecostal Forest) is no exception and when I arrived out there, a barbecue was going on. I was even offered a grilled marshmallow as a welcome gift from a busy woman who wanted us all to become one big family and invited me to shake hands with an older hippie-like guy who was also planning to sleep there in the shelter. Such a breach of the social distancing rules is banned in corona times, so I just nodded nicely to Erik the White, how I dubbed him inside my head, as his beard was completely white. When I had pitched my tent, I said goodbye to the large family and hoped they would have disappeared when I returned from my bathing trip with a visit to the water tap at the Hejreso lake. I had a short and cold bath in Koege Bay. Racing bikes were speeding past me on the path outside the dike and did not appreciate the mad nudist. And indeed, peace reigned by the campfire at my return. Erik the White did not say much during the hour of daylight we had left while I was cooking and he smoked joints by the fistful. My first-hand judgment of him had been absolutely right. He was definitely an old hippie. A real flower power child. And supersocial. He made firewood sticks for the subsequent occupants of the shelter and placed water bottles on the table for them. Well done! But we could not really feel any comfort, mostly because of the cold that crept under the many layers of clothing we were dressed in. Erik was soon ready to crawl into his two thick sleeping bags in the shelter and I into my own Estonian super-sleeping bag in my tent, which stood at some distance from the bonfireplace. That turned out to be very appropriate in the following night.