The title of this post is both in homage to Uncle Monty and to Denmark. Almost every where I have been on this trip I have been asked if I am Danish; I now see this as a compliment.
Ever since we have arrived in the country I have enjoyed it. The cycle infrastructure is good, there is lots of woodland and outdoor space, every school seems to have a well constructed, extensive adventure playground, the streets are clean, people are friendly (more than once motorists have stopped to advise us on routes to take and things to do in nearby towns).
Jutland, where we currently are, looks and feels, both cartographicly and in terms of place names, like riding in North Yorkshire. Not surprisingly given the shared cultural heritage with England having been invaded by the Jutes, Angles and Saxons, and later the Vikings.
(Picture above from https://conquestsofthebritishisles.weebly.com/the-anglo-saxon-conquest.html)
In our last Post I alluded to our experiances of wild camping. Wild camping is something I love. This is the polar opposite of how Charly feels about it. I love the freedom and ability to choose a secluded spot (legalities aside) pitch my tent or tarp and sleep (for free). Charly on the other hand, despite enjoying the free bit, cannot relax enough to sleep properly, continually worried we will be compromised and told to pack up and move on. We tried to wild camp on the Schleis (the lake connecting Schleiswig to the sea) but I doubt whether Charly managed more than a few minutes sleep and we were moving again by 8am the next morning – not quite the relaxing night in a quiet place we had hoped for.
Denmark however has come to the rescue with its ‘primitive camping’ sites; Government maintained, free to use sites (the map can be found at http://www.udinaturen.dk). Some have sleeping shelters, most have a camp fire circle, some (luxury of luxuries) even have a toilet (with paper)!
They are mostly next to beaches or in forestry blocks though we did find one on a village rec. centre front lawn. We have been hugely grateful for these sites, it has made Denmark more affordable (it is about 1/3 more expensive than Germany or the UK) and has freed us from paying for facilities on commercial campsites that we just didn’t need. Charly has come up with an ingenious way to hang the tent inner in a shelter to protect us against the biting insects and give us just a degree or two more warmth as the nights are getting a little chilly. The kids can run and play without fear of disapproving scowls from middle aged couples in caravans and Will has loved being able to do nature wees and poo into a hole (dug 200 m away from the campsite and water sources of course). In short they are to me everything I love about wild camping.
Our journey from Flensburg has been an interesting one. We rayed in the Legoland hotel in Billund and spent two days in the Legoland Park. The kids loved it (and so did Charly and I), lego everywhere, kid friendly rides, educational boards, it was great.
In Vojens we visited the public swimming baths as we were in need of a wash after a few nights of wild camping. Public baths they were but not in a British 25 m, eye stinging slightly cloudy pool with a sticking plaster at the bottom kind of way but in a Graeco-Roman way with two swimming pools, a diving pool, a warm pool, a cold salt pool, two saunas, a steam room, a jacuzzi, a cold plunge tub and an adults only area with a very salty warm bath (think Dead Sea) and a warm relaxation pool. It was amazing, clean, bustling and a great community space. We have much to learn about community hub buildings in the UK.
We also experienced the Danish Health care system (thank you EHIC) when Izzy needed to see a doctor due to an infected insect bite. We were seen as an emergency at a GP surgery and all we had to do was pay for the prescription. I hope reciprocal health care continues long into the future!
From Legoland we picked our way north and east to Aarhus, the second city of Denmark, and what a city.
Today we move on to Zealand. We are taking the easy option of a 1hr and 45 minute ferry which saves us about 200km of riding. And let’s face it; who doesn’t love a ferry ride.