Looking for shelter? Try Denmark!

Guys – today I had the first shower in three days – it felt soooo nice! I am acutally in a small one room apartment in Rostock with Willi our super welcoming warmshower host. We? Ah yes, that is Tommy and me: a Swedish guy who quit his job, sold his car, rented out his apartment and took off with the bike two weeks ago. I met him last night and we decided to ride to Berlin together. But let’s start from the beginning…

Last time I wrote I was close to Göteborg looking forward to meeting Niclas and his family again. Spent a wonderful day with Niclas and his kids on a short trip to downtown Göteborg and then riding a boat on the Archipelago and visiting an island (there is an island where the only means of transport is wheelbarrow) – is was a perfect day off riding and felt like a true vacation.

After getting spoild with clean clothes (thanks to a laundry machine) and two super nie and healthy dinners I continued my way south. As so often on this trip I came across a well know cycle route (that of course everyone knows except for me) which connects Göteborg and Helsingborg. Well known cycling routes also stand for more riders. And that’s how I met Zeno, Bill and Dimitri – three young Belgian guys riding from Oslo to Brussels in two weeks. Niclas had suggested a place to camp on the beach, so I took the guys there and ended up cooking pasta in my little pot for 4 people. It worked great – I couldn’t believe it myself. Just when I was done with the dishes we were hit with a strong rain and managed to squeeze into a two persons tent, the four of us. Well actually I could only take it as long as the cookies lasted:-))

The next day was the first one riding through Sweden without headwind. It was a fast day and I enjoyed the guys’ company a lot. We parted in Halmstadt as Dimitri had to get his bike fixed (and Lottchen actually got now break pads – yeaaahhh) and I had an “appointment” in Mellbystrand: I met Anti again! He is the Finish guy I had spent a super nice evening with about three weeks earlier in Estonia. How fun to repeat the same thing just three weeks later. That’s the beauty of travelling at it’s best!

My finally part in Sweden was tough. Very strong headwind once again which left me with a bad headache and very tired in general. Nevertheless after taking the ferry from Helsingborg to Helsingor I decided to continue as long as I could. Well, Denmark welcomed me with – once again – strong headwind and: heavy rain. After 20km I was soaked. Luckily by then had a rough idea where I would sleep: a shelter! There is a website in Denmark that is run by the ministry of forestry (once again) – or something similar – that provides a map with public campsites/shelters that everyone can access. My first shelter was right in the forest about 25km north of Copenhagen and 2km inlands from the sea. And while arriving there soaked, cold and a bit unhappy, I was greeted with the warmest welcome: there was some sort of social club having a BBQ, ignoring the rain and happy about foreign company. I was fed salat, chicken, sausauge, potatoas and bread, homemade sauces and dressings and invited to sit at the fire and share some stories. When it started pouring heavily again, the company broke off and I quickly went to my tent dreaming of wild boars that crossed my tent int he middle of the night…

Riding into Copenhagen on a grey and overcast day I was in the best mood, stopping right away – when I saw a few people swimming in the ocean – to join them as quickly as possible. Turned out it was a bunch of retired people belonging to some Viking Club who were all “skinny dipping” (flitzen).

Continuing on I noticed some posters for a Rapha Nocture (bike race) on Saturday night and decided to hang out. On Friday night I reunited with the Belgian guys and was invited to homemade Lasange and Chocolate cake, ended up partying with them and going to bed really late (or rather early) due to meeting some “Bob-Marley-look-alike-musician” in the hostel basement. That night I realized that I am unable to sleep in tiny rooms with closed windows. I need to feel a breeze of fresh air around my nose in order to sleep – all these nights in the open left an effect on me.
Saturday I managed as much as possible to avoid the crowds who headed for the pride parade in Copenhagen (yes, it keeps following me) and watched kids, single speed riders and the women elite competing at the Rapha Nocutre. Nicest surprise: I met up with Ricky, a friend I met more than 10 years ago in Ötztal and haven’t seen since. It was so nice to catch up! It simply seems to be the time to meet up with old friends and being in the right place at the right time.

Riding further south I took a couple of detours following the Copenhagen – Berlin route that I really love and staying only in the free shelters: my favorite being a turned around boot (see the pictures) right on the sea. That’s also how I met Uwe, Mike and Tommy last night. The first two being German and now on their way to Lübeck (and then back to Leverkusen) and Tommy being Swedish going nowhere and everywhere and therefore keeping me company on my trip to Berlin. Yes – so home is coming a lot closer, it really feels weird. I am very excited I am riding back home, but I am also really happy it will still take a couple of weeks!

So long – Eva and Lottchen!

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