Cycle Tour Bike weekend 2019
Dag/day 2: Holm-Madeskov
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Added on 27 May 2019
on 02 Nov 2019
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by Ottocolor on 27 May 2019
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Holm, Region of Southern Denmark, DK (28 m NHN)
Spang Vade, Region of Southern Denmark, DK (2 m NHN)
25 May 2019
Predominantly sunny and warm (17°C to 18°C). Still quite windy, now from the north west, so in Sundeved and on the last part on Als we had a nice tailwind.
After the abundant breakfast with a lot of muesli accessories to fill up those sugar deposits, it was time to roll out on the bike weekend's main stage. It is always on Saturday the musketeers fight their main battle. One for all and all for one. Naturally. The weather was with us from the morning, so the cyclingt seemed like anything but a battle. A cushy job is was, on top, a beautiful one, via Hopsoegaard into Nordborg and on a nice bike path along the lake to Lavensby. Here, the musketeer wow came into action for the first time when Bernhard had to have replaced his pedals of his faithful old iron jade at the local cycle repair shop. We had, after all, a local in the lead of the peloton. Michael and I joked, if it was not better to have all the parts plus the frame replaced too, now hed had begun, but he overheard it. Up over the island's ridge we were soon out in nature again, this time in the form of Lake Mjels. Like other Alsian lakes and coves, it had been drained and cultivated for many years. Our blessed father was once employed as an electromechanist at a company that serviced the pumps that drained the lakes, so that grain could be grown on the old lake bottom. That this was a bad idea in the long term most people have probably grasped by now, and therefore the pumps have long since been switched off, and the water is allowed to flow in where it wants to flow in, ie into the low lying areas. And nature says thank you and takes back all that man had previously stolen from it. Hardcore farmers, however, believe that we lavishly give away valuable agricultural soil. Well, the three of us do not agree. Nor do the birds that roam in the water and along the banks. Plus, of course, all the animals that nourish the birds, and others which, in their turn, hunt the birds. The great circuit of nature. We sat and enjoyed it at a table-bench-set dressed in our proper bicycle clothing and canned beer.
In the old pumping station building there was a nature exhibition, and on the roof a bird watching tower with a nice view of Lake Mjels. Obviously we had a look at it before we mounted our iron horses again. Mine is a mare, so erratic it is. We rolled around an immensely beautifully situated farm between the lake and the cove and through the village of Mjels. It is famous on Als for supplying curly kale for the favorite New Year's Eve dish of Southern Jutland green cabbage, which is served with cabbage sausages and browned or roasted potatoes. Yum! Our preliminary target was now Hardeshoej ferry port in order to take Bitten from behind end and sail across the Als inlet to Sundeved on the Jutland side. Bitten is the ferry's name, and you enter her at the end, that is. She is named after late Mads Clausen's wife, the Danfoss founder. This company has meant "everything" for Northern Als, and in its heyday it employed about. 8,000 employees at the home factory in Nordborg. Of course, it has factories in many countries. It is comparable to the significance of Lindoe Shipyard for Munkebo and Lego for Billund. And on Als a lot of companies are subcontractors for them, so the total number of families that depend on Danfoss is much larger. Today, of course, the company is in the squeeze by the low-wage countries eastward, but is performing well overall thanks to technology development and the right know-how. That is in the best Mads Clausen spirit, and on his woman we now sailed away from Als. At least for a few hours. She, Bitten Clausen, was 100 years old, but,alas, died a few years ago, apparently with her wits togehter to her very end. A brave girl. With a huge social engagement. Which always has been a Danfoss trademark. Of course, Michael has previously worked there plus my brother-in-law. And our father, after his years in the pumping business, for 25 years worked for one of the subcontractors, Brdr. Mueller in Vollerup. Well arrived in Sundeved we trod up to the grocery store in Blans to buy drinks for lunch. Then we got it right in the ass and that was a nice feeling. I mean, there was a pleasant tailwind. Especially pleasant because my food depots were about to go empty again. So I was happy when Michael turned left from the old Aabenraa-Soenderborg country road and down to the water again. I was less happy when we arrived down there, and my brothers did not want to produce their food boxes here, as it was quite windy. It was indeed a beautiful place just north of Sottrup wood. Wonderful Denmark where the beech is mirrorred in the blue sea. But no. So we trod steeply up and down in the wood and found the perfect place on the other side of it. It was just opposite Arnkil headland on Als, and here Als inlet goes into Alssund. Here it was finally time to empty our food boxes and a couple of aluminum cans.
As we munched on our slices of bread mats, we caught sight of a long special looking boat that was moored at a jetty just fifty yards away. And on land, two ancient times style houses were built. It had to be investigated and it was. I asked a man who came to meet us if they reenlived the Viking Age, but that was not old enough, I was told, that is, Iron Age. This was, in fact, a copy of the renowned Nydam boat, and the man was part of a guild who rowed the boat, looked after it and conveyed knowledge about it to everyone interested. Our Iron Age man believed we were the vanguard of the group he awaited every moment and jabbered away willingly. But soon his congregation appeared, so we sniffed around on our own. In the boathouse he had laid the table for coffee, so the Nydam guild also offered coffee parties. The Nydam boat itself looked good by the jetty. It was probably a 30 m long and had approx. 10-12 pairs of oars. In boats of this kind Iron Age warriors had conquered lands. As you know, it was a very warlike time when a lot of petty wars and fierce rivalries took place. They all had a deeply religious character. As if the gods themselves commanded men to fight each other, in order to have the stronger one defeat the weaker. A kind of human "survival of the fittest". But one can also say that humanity remains in the same track. Although today often not for God's sake. On the other hand, Hitler's soldiers had the words "Gott mit uns" (God with us) standing on their belt buckles. Why did he then lose the war, you can ask. While Bernhard and Michael were crawling into the boat, I stood on the bridge and spun on one end. If we now loaded our iron horses on board and rowed the Nydam boat across Alssund and "conquered" our home island of Als? First we would have a giant feast on the beach, fry a piglet, eat and drink us courage in mead, and then we would roam, devastating and raping our way south and burn down Soenderborg castle. Well, our wives would not appreciate that. And I didn't want to make any inconvenience for the sympathetic Nydam guild, who serves coffee for the people and the like. The historical background is, moreover, that in the 1940s a relatively well-preserved boat had been found in the nearby Nydam bog. This original is on display at Gottorp Castle in Schleswig as a kind of German war prey, and I know that the National Museum of Denmark has tried to have it extradited to eternal heritage and ownership, but has not yet succeeded in this. However, it was in Copenhagen for over a year for a special exhibition on ancient boats. But it had to be returned. They could have denied this, but wouldn't the Danish-German relationship have suffered from it? Perhaps even a kind of friendship has developed over the years? And in this way you do not behave towards friends. But go to Schleswig and see her. Or sail a tour with the copy here in Sottrupskov. The significance of ancient boats in the history of Denmark cannot be overstated. We are a people of shipbuilders. Until the Koreans began to build them cheaper, so now we are out of international competition. But in ancient times! Then we were shipbuilders, sailors and marines of world-class, of course perfected in the last phase of ancient times, the Viking Age. The cycle path did not continue along the strait, and we had to get up into the landscape, but before long we cycled down with the sound again. Soon Sandbjerg Castle, an old manor house, taken over by Aarhus University as a convention centre, appeared. On the Als side, Soenderborg and the new Alssund bidge began to take shape, and so did a certain coffee thirst among the three of us. After all, we had not been invited to the Iron Age coffee party in Sottrupskov. I was impressed by this path that really followed the winding coastline very accurately, and only at the high bridge over the strait did a little out. It had to be newly opened, because I had never cycled there before. And I know my hometown well. And "home," that's exactly what it is. My 36 years in Odense, just under two thirds of my life, are not able to change that. Nor that the driveway to it was completely new. Only where Alsion stands, just opposite the center and very close to the old Christian X's bridge, the path ended. Alsion is approx. ten years old and contains a concert hall and part of the University of Southern Denmark. It has a café, but it turned out to be unattended. Via one's cell phone one could pay for coffee from a vending machine. Well, honestly. It didn't work either, so we quickly crossed the bridge and walked into the Torvehallerne just north of it. Here we were served in both ends. I was turned a little down when they prefered to speak German with us, but café au lait and a rhubarb pie were top notch. Here we let the soul dangle a little and got control of our blood sugar.
The next program point was very conspicuous and very close, namely Sønderborg's new and very high Hotel Alsik with its brand new 16th floor viewing platform. You have to make an appointment for the elevator and that is why we just took a look at the other news in the house, the wellness area, while waiting for our time to go up. Suprpisingly we were asked to go outside to get there. There had to be an easier in door way, but no. As soon as we arrived with the people in bathrobes, we had to start going back to make our appointmet. And it was definitely worth the trip, because we had never seen our childhood town before this way. The air was clear so we could see really far, but most of all we looked at the close things with the harbour, the castle and directly opposite us Alsion. Part of the history is that the hotel and the city library next door take the view of the small houses behind in posh Havbogade. I mean, they should rather be happy about the long time they were allowed to keep it. It had taken many years to develop Soenderborg's waterfront, and the buildings were put on wait due to environmental disputes for a very long time. Unfortunately, the new library has meant that the two local libraries in Ulkeboel (with many loved memories from childhood for us three) and Dybboel had to close. Alas, the bliss of centralization.
Well down from the heights we had better find Madeskov camping, where Michael had rented a big cottage for us, and where we would have a smaller barbecue party for today's occasion. So we cycled out of Sønderborg to the east to Ulkeboel, where we wanted to shop for the barbecue party in Brugsen in the center where the library had been. But this center was only a shadow of itself, because Brugsen was closed too. But we managed to shop anyway. So close to our childhood home on Spang-Vade we couldn't help but look past there. It is located on a small private road with four houses, and indeed the new owner, who had recently bought it, did work on a terrace in the garden, so we had the opportunity to hit a little gossip with the man. I was hoping he would show us the house from the inside, but he wasn't up to that. He probably wanted to get on with his tile work, and we also were to cycle the last two or three kilometers to the campsite in Madeskoven. Here we had spent a couple of fantastic summers in the mid 70's and many were the stories of the friendships there and for my brothers also the first experiences with the other sex over 40 years ago. Like all good stories, they are not inferior when told so long afterwards. Rather the opposite!