Cycle Tour Odense-Hamburg
Day 1: Odense-Flensburg
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Added on 04 May 2014
on 22 May 2014
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by Ottocolor on 04 May 2014
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Odense, Region Syddanmark, DK (10 m NHN)
Flensburg, Schleswig-Holstein, DE (7 m NHN)
28 Apr 2014
Perfect weather throughout the day. Sunshine from dawn to dusk, warm temperatures (18-20°C) and light to moderate wind from the East, i.e. tailwind the whole day.
Bike paths and residential streets through Odense. Separate paved bike path along Odense river, a gravel piece in the woods. Then a big road with no bike path until Ny Stenderup, then a small, quiet road through Svanninge hills and up to Horne. Afterwards a wide border strip along the main road to the ferry port of Bojden. On the island of Als first a wide edge strip again, but from Bro (near Augustenborg) I cycled on a glorious 'cyclostrada' (super bike path). In Spang and Ulkebøl on residential streets. To Sonderborg on an excellent separate paved bike path. Walked around the Mill pond and down the pedestrian street in Sønderborg. Small urban roads along the harbor and a wide border strip across the bridge. Quiet road up to Dybboel hill, then a cycle path along the Flensburg road and a small, bumpy path down to Vemmingbund. Beautiful bike path back away from the road up to Broager. Small roads with little traffic via Skodsbøl to Egernsund. Bike path across the bridge and residential streets through Alnor and Nederby. Wide edge strip through Rinkenæs and on the fiord road to Kollund. Steep dirt road into the wood and through it and across the border by Skomagerhus. Through Wassersleben on a for German towns and villages typically shared bike path/sidewalk. Along the fiord on a bumpy path and into Flensburg on a wide edge strip along the road and on small cobbled streets to my target.
First stage via the ferry from Funen to Als, across Als with stops at my childhood home in Spang, the school in Ulkeboel, my parents' grave at Ulkeboel church, my parents' former home on Praestegaardsvej and my mother's last home in Stengade at the harbour of Sonderborg. From here along the Flensburg fiord to Flensburg, where I had book accomodation at the hostel of Flensbed near the station.
The sun was already high in the sky when I wheeled my bike up our steep driveway in order to ride it down to Bojden ferry as the first part of the first stage of my three-day spring bike ride to Hamburg. Better weather was simply impossible, as the winds also were favourable, so that was lucky. In addition, it was my first multi- day trip with my new Garmin Oregon 600t on my handlebar. I had downloaded the entire trip, which I had drawn on the site gpsies.com. This same morning I had found out that it was best to download each (sub-) stage as a separate track. Now the navigation unit showed me how far it was to the target, ie hostel Flensbed in Flensburg. At the same time, I had pointed out a number of so-called waypoints, which are the ' points of interest' or POI 's that I had chosen. They are mentioned in the 'remarks/Bemerkungen' besides. And one can select 'distance to next waypoint' on the navigation unit, so I figured that it would now show me the distance to Bojden ferry, which I planned to take to the island of Als at 1 pm. But it did not. Instead, it had brazenly made a lot of meaningless waypoints like certain 'high' and 'low points' and, totally unnecessary, told me the distance to these. Well, I had to try to sort that out later.
So far, I enjoyed my usual trip to Bojden that I have cycled many times on the way from my new hometown of Odense to my 'old' home town of Sønderborg, often to visit my mother. For many years, my first real trip of the season was this stretch for her birthday on April 4th. But now she doesn't live anymore, and I took the first trip a little month later. Plus a little more that is. But I rode my usual route through or rather 'past' Odense and out along the Odense river with a passage of a snug bridge through some beautiful and peaceful meadows. From here up through the woods, where I noticed that my lowest gear was not working properly. Soon I was inside Sct. Klemens and then out on the road to Northern Broby and from there to Brobyværk where I always, and now again, have a break at the water mill. Today I devoured a roll and filled my bottle up at the church. I love the idyll under the trees next to the water mill at the Odense river, and the place is about halfway between my home and the ferry port. From Brobyværk I went towards V. Hæsinge up into the Svanninge hills to Ny Stenderup. This village marks the beginning of the most beautiful and easiest of all the routes I've tried through Svanninge hills. It goes through Horseballe and down three pretty wild descents, which I, in reverse order and upwards instead of downwards, call for starter, main course and dessert. The middle is clearly the wildest/most difficult. Today I reached 60 km/h according to my bike computer, which I, despite having a navigation unit, had kept on my handlebar. That way, I ended up down in Millinge where I had so much going on that I missed the scheduled turn across Steensgaard's soils. For interested it can be added that at Trente mill, shortly before Ny Stenderup, one can swing to the right and then fork left and go via Østrupgaard and enjoy the beautiful manor house with the huge thatched roof on the barn, then twice turn left where the road in each case ends and then right onto the road to Millinge. From here It is not far to the 'main course' descent. Great! But you'll miss the 'dessert'. Boo! Well, after this kind of catering one soon reaches the bottom and sea level at Horne bay and must then trample up again to almost 70 meters altitude inside the village of Horne. Here I saw another long-distance cyclist in a red jersey who wheeled up the hill, but before I overtook him, he was already in the saddle again, and he ended up first at the ferry port in Bojden, although he had lost something on the descent to Bojden village and had to turn around to retrieve it. I'm just not very fast on my touring bike and had lots of time to the ferry departure, so why rush into it? Instead I stalked over the fence at the port and lay down on the beautiful sandy beach where I stretched my legs in the sun. Ah, cycling is relaxing in between.
During the ferry crossing to my home island of Als I had a chat with the other long-distance cyclist. He came from South Funen and was on his way to Kolding via Southern Jutland. Funny choice of route, I'd say. Otherwise I devoured my big lunch and enjoyed a 'bucket' of coffee in the sun on the deck. Now I was ready for the increase on Als, which in turn goes from 0 to approx. 70 m over about 3 km. From here there is a beautiful view over Augustenburg fiord and all the way to Dybboel. There I would go up in a few hours. So far I rolled down the hill and onto the delicious 'cyklostrada' along the new expressway past Augustenburg. This way all bike lanes should be: All side roads crossed by viaducts with exits to the side roads. And according to the Danish former joke of a politician Haugaard's promise with tailwind ! Because I enjoyed the steady easterly winds. And soon I turned down to Vollerup. I was now in the 'land of childhood', and today I wanted to explore it a little. First stop was outside the Brothers Müller, now a large manufacturing plant, preferably supplier to Danfoss, the industrial giant on Northern Als. Here my father was employed as an electrical engineer for 24 years. His specialty was repairing machines. However, since the electric things were replaced by the electronic ones, he became problems. He looked forward to early retirement at an age of 60 in 1983 and at the same time celebrate his 25th anniversary. Alas, it wasn't to be, as he had a heart attack half a year before that. Fortunately, he survived it and still lived about 12 years in relatively good health. Here in Vollerup I looked at the factory building with a shed roof, where the now totally outdated things of bakelite, were manufactured. And my father, whom my siblings and I always called Daddy, was king of the machines. Especially of those with electrical disorders. Outside the factory, which Daddy called 'the firm', stood the monument, which its owners, the brothers Hubert and Artur Müller ("e brø'e") received as a present some time in the 70s. This decade is in my memory equal to my childhood and youth. Here the pranks I remember best took place. Also on the frozen fire pond on Madehusvej with skating on very poor skates. The famous local bicycle mechanic R (ichard ) Ø. Jensen's dilapidated and absolutelly incredible messy workshop has long since been demolished. It was one of the kind of business that the 'poor eighties' quickly got to grips with. A kilometer further down the road lay Spang Vade, where my childhood home stood in No. 19. It looked marvellous in the sun! My father had built the house, located next to a forest. I looked at a few of the trees, I loved to climb up then. Otherwise much was changed, but still it recalls lots of memories together with a lot of photos, I remember. I also looked at the house from the rear, as I slipped into the forest. There was clearly no home, so I came close, but stayed outside the compound. From the letterbox, I could see that the buyers, my parents had sold the house to in 1992, stilled lived there. At that time we, my siblings and I had long since flown from this comfortable nest, and the garden had become too much of a job. In addition, my mother wanted to change the forest into a place with a view. So they moved to Præstegårdsvej in Ulkebøl, about three kilometers away. I also went past there today. But first I had a look at Ulkebøl school. I walked into section B, where I spent part of my childhood from 1971 to 76. Here I laid the foundation for my amazing career ... ; -D Right next to the school is the church. As the faithful people, my parents were, it is naturally also a very strong image of my childhood. And here they are both buried in the shadow of the church tower, my mother as recently as last October. I noted with pleasure that the tombstone had come back with the new inscription. Otherwise, the grave is not planted yet, but there were some flowers in pots and bowls. Fine ! And generally I was happy that everything was like it was. And like it had been. Now I rolled the short stretch down to my father's and mother's last common home, a semi detached house in a housing cooperative in the outskirts of Ulkebøl, about three kilometers outside Sønderborg, overlooking Augustenburg fiord. My mother had always wanted to have a view to some water, and as it couldn't be in Soenderborg, due to the high property prices here, this was a good solution. But soon arose trouble with the heating system, which unwisely, as it turned out, was fired with natural gas. And when my father died after less than three years here, the garden, along with economic problems, not least because of the heating system, again was the direct reason why my mother wanted to move. And in 2004, she finally managed to move into Sonderborg to a elderly friendly apartment near the harbour. I rode my bicycle there now into after enjoying the beautiful view to the water in Ulkebøl. I was cycling on bike paths to the millpond, yet a place of many childhood memories. My mother had for many years been working on the nearby nursing home as a care assistant. Then I pulled the bike down the pedestrianized Perlegade and was soon in Stengade, where I greeted my mother's former upstairs neighbour who said they missed 'our Erika' in the house. That warmed me. A small slip up Soendergade with the Spanish Steps and Sønderhavnegade with restaurant Colosseum, where we had held some of my mother's last birthdays, was followed by a large ice cream cone at the new icehouse next to the Harbour Office. But now it was almost four, and there were still 40 km to the target in Flensburg. So I had better cross the bridge to Jutland.
After King Christian X's bridge, how the old bridge in Sønderborg is called, I turned left into Sundgade. I wanted to cycle through Langbrogade, where my father had lived until he and my mother moved together at Spang Vade. This was the last spot of the land of childhood, well this was a place from before my birth. It went quite steeply up to Dybboel hill. A nice ride on a narrow road through the redoubts. At the top I caught my breath while I looked at a couple of warrior graves from the War of 1864. There lay wreaths at them all, as only a few weeks earlier, on April 18, it had been 150 years anniversary of the storming of Dybbøls redoubts, an event that marked the definitive Danish defeat in this war, which of course meant the beginning of 56 years of Prussian/German occupation of Southern Jutland. And as I consider myself a Danish-minded Schleswiger, Dybboel will always be an important place for me. For many years, every April 18 was celebrated in two stages, respectively Danes and Germans, who still form a fairly large minority in Sønderborg. But a few years ago, I do not remember how many, they began to arrange a unified memorial service, and everyone has been happy about it since. I was pleased that there was a common wreath with two bands on one of the common warrior graves, a red and white Danish one and a black-red-golden German one. In memory of all the victims, all men. The wounds after the war in 1864 finally seem to be healed in Southern Jutland. It is important to note, I think, since nationalism still has a good grip in many people across Europe.
Shortly after I rolled towards Broagerland, helped by the steady easterly winds. Shortly before Vemmingbund I tried a new detour down to the water and along the bay. From there along a nice two-way cycle track right steeply up to Broager, where I made a halt at the church. Spring was very beautiful here in the late afternoon. From a house sounded classical music out of an open balcony door. I felt infinitely privileged to be able to enjoy the day, like I did. From Broager I cycled through Skodsbøl to Egernsund. Here I sat on a little jetty and looked over at Gråsten marina, where my brother has his yacht lying. But it was certainly not put in the water yet. Now I put a little more speed in the bike through Alnor and Nederby, and up to Rinkenæs I got a sweat. Next stop was at Annie's kiosk in Sønderhav, right on the Flensburg Fjord. It was now six and I called the hostel in Flensburg, to announce my arrival about an hour later, before I had a "ring riding sausage" with two lumps of bread. My hunger for dinner just had to be dimmed a little. At Kollund a steep climb from the pier into the woods lay ahead, but unfortunately work my first gear did not working properly. In the end, I had to help the chain on the rear sprocket again with all-black fingers as a result. Argh. So I pulled up the hill. But as long I just did not use the three largest sprockets on the rear wheel, I could ride my bike. Soon I was down at the Danish-German border at Skomagerhus. It is the cutest of all border crossings, I know. Pure idyll. A small wooden bridge over the Krusaa stream where it flows into Flensburg fjord, and one is in the Federal Republic. And immediately the conditions for cyclists are completely different. I was now in a village, in Danish called Sosti. In German it's calle6d Wasserleben (after the surgeon doctor Joachim Wasserschlebe, who was the first inhabitant here. I always thought it was called so, because here 'one lives by the sea'). (That's what Wassersleben means in German). The Danish name of Sosti is now almost forgotten. But now it is revived here! And in Sosti you bike on a kind of mixed pavement and cycle path, as is usual in German villages. From there I took the path along the water instead of the tedious climb up to Danfoss Flensburg. I passed the two rowing clubs, the German and the Danish ones. Associations are shared here and it applies to both Southern Jutland (in Denmark), which the Germans call North Schleswig and here in South Schleswig. At the shipyard the bumpy forest trail ended and I continued along the road through the city, still as far by the water as possible. The last part was on cobblestone streets with beautiful houses in Flensburg city center's southern edge. My GPS led me well on the road, and I had reached the goal of the day at Hostel Flensbed. Here I was received, carried my bike up the stairs and was shown my bed in a four-bed facility. Here an Italian was accommodated, and we talked a little, although his English was rather poor. I also wanted to have a well-deserved shower and get into town in order to find something to eat and drink.
I had planned to find a place to have dinner in Rote Strasse, where some of Flensburg's lovliest back yards with a lot of atmosphere are situated. And I knew that there was a bike repair shop here, where they perhaps could adjust my rear gear shift the next morning. I learned that the shop was open from 9 o'clock. But the restaurants in the back yards did not seem attractive, so I walked down to the Southern market and on to the pedestrian street of Holm. Here I lunged down the back yard of Holmhof, as the restaurant The Old Mustard Mill advertised for good food at reasonable prices. And indeed, they treated me with a delicious steakburger with potato wedges and a large Flensburg beer! I enjoyed my food and drink in the back yard while it grew dark around me. As it was a Monday, I was the only guest. As a dessert I had a Scheider Original wheat beer. I allowed me to ask in advance, if it was available, and the waiter said that of course it was, since it featured on the menu. Okay, okay. But how many times has one tried to order the particular dish or a drink on the menu which one favoured the most, just to realise that it was sold out. But this apparently never happens at The Old Mustard Mill in Flensburg, so now you know. After dinner I walked on through the back yard and on to the Harbour end, i.e. the innermost spot of the Flensborg fiord, where it's nice and no cars. It was a beautiful, quiet and warm evening, and some youngsters had a small Monday's party with ghetto blasters (or what the call these music players these days) and plenty of beer. They didn't notice me and they didn't disturb me, so I wrote a long text message home to Naesby and trudged back to my Flensbed through the same cobble stoned lanes I had cycled some hours before. Now I was fit to hit the hay, which my Italian companion already had done. A lovely day of cycling in even lovlier weather was gone.