week I didnt do any cycling. No, Ive been fighting
and struggling and I was constantly blown down by this persistent
severe headwind coming from the east. Hardship like this cant
be called cycling! I know it sounds illogical but the only
advantage of this never ceasing adverse wind is that it strengthens
my endurance. I dont get tired any longer.
The first night after my parents have left I spend in a beautiful
camping-site in the peaceful green province of Drenthe in
the Netherlands. The next days I ride through the North of
Germany, many a time ferrying across the rivers and estuaries.
Touring the North of Germany for days means Im getting
a real impression of the average man in the North of Germany,
which isnt a flattering one, Im afraid. Easy to
imagine him with his well-developed beer belly, half-long
hair and the eternal cigarette dangling from his mouth.
After 3 days in all weathers in this unfamiliar part of Germany
I arrive at the border crossing to Denmark. Immediately I
get a preview of the price difference between the two countries:
the tiny border village is crammed with shops.
Every good housewife knows that when prices are low you have
to lay in supplies. The modern houseman inside of me wakes
up and I pop into my favourite shop.
Crossing the border means Im leaving behind the well-structured
traffic situations and the many roadsigns in Germany. The
lack of signposts in this so-called Promised Land for cyclists
confuses me frequently.
Ribe my first stop in Denmark brings me back to times past
when the Vikings were still conquering. The oldest town of
Denmark goes all the way back to the 8th century and is just
what I needed to satisfy my historical curiosity. The ancient
beautifully restored houses make it a town to fall in love
weather is splendid and hot when I reach Skanderborg. Its
a place where once the Danish kings used to come together
to discuss state affairs. Mostly Dutch and Danes fishing
and canoeing aficionados - visit this most attractive lake.
I make it my home for 2 days, lingering on its shores. Tomorrow
Ill go on an outing to the nearby town of Aarhus, but
first a refreshing challenge awaits me: I plunge into the
lake and make it to the opposite shore while working out all
the muscles I have been neglecting cycling.
Aarhus, the second town of Denmark exudes the student atmosphere.
Copenhagen is not on the agenda I have to collect the Danish
City feeling here. I go for a stroll through Den Gamble By
- a collection of dozens of historical buildings from all
over Denmark - and admire churches, houses and old crafts.
Wondering what the title of this report is all about? Well,
I have some explaining to do! Yesterday, Thursday (mind you,
the 13th!) around 4 oclock in the afternoon, I was lingering
and sunbathing on the shores of the lake of Viborg. Tomorrow
Im taking the boat to Norway, I thought, somewhere around
midnight, if I remembered correctly! A quick glimpse on my
ticket confirmed my thoughts. There it was all written down.
Date: Friday June 14, embarkation time: 00.30 a.m. No panic
its still Thursday
tomorrow is another
And that was the last second of my indolence
00.30 on Friday meant
within a couple of hours! I felt
like struck by lightening. In less than half an hour my complete
household was swooped up and I could start an endurance test
of 113km. (another 13, do you get the point?) Ive seen
stars last night -many of them - and I can assure you that
when you see them on a Scandinavian midsummer night something
must be very wrong with you!
At about 10 p.m. I reached the quay
whacked out! I
had made it!