Copenhagen to Hamburg

July 20 – To Ringsted – 60 km

After about 4 km of riding in the Copenhagen, we enjoyed paved paths through nature reserves, farmland and seaside paths.
 For the first 20 km we did not have to cross a road at grade. Then mostly roadside paths and quiet country roads.

July 21 – To Nyborg

We visited St. Benedict Church in Ringstead. This church dates from the 13th century and is the oldest church in Denmark to be built from bricks. Many kings were buried in this church.

We stopped in Slagelse which has a nice car free central square and adjacent streets. 

Then on to Korsor to catch a train under a straight to Nyborg. It proved very difficult to purchase tickets due to having bikes. Reservations were required by phoning a certain number and then using a code to purchase tickets. However nobody at the other end could speak Engish which is very unusual in Denmark. Thanks to a kind Danish lady, we managed to sort things out.  
July 22 – To Fynshav

We followed a regional bike route most of the way across the island. Half way along, we  stumbled acsoss a paved rail trail which we followed for about 10 km. Rest of the route was mostly on quiet roads. Along the way we stopped to take pictures of a cute water mill. The owner invited us in for a look. She explainef that the mill was pretty run down when they bought it 7 years ago. The mill is now fully operational but is used only occasionally to grind grain. After passing through the seaside town of ??? We caught a ferry to the next island.

July 23 – To Aabenraa – 50 km

Rode along separated paths most of the way to the seaside town named Soldborg. A palace in Grasten was along our route. Castle grounds were unfortunately closed due to the royal family staying there for the summer. Interesting that the palace was guarded by costumed soldiers who mechanically followed  a ritual.

We try to avoid busy highways, but had to ride about 10 km on busyish hwy. Our accommodation was by the sea and oir host kindly offerred use of his kayaks and paddleboards.

July 24 – To Romo Island – 80 km

We could not find any designated cycle routes but managed to plot a route that included cycle tracks and paths as well as mostly quiet roads. The 2 km section of busy highway with no shoulder wss definitely the low point of the day.

July 25 – Rest day 8n Romo Island

Bike Tour 2017 – Copenhagen & Malmo

July 16 – Arrived in Copenhagen after a longish (80km) ride from Holtug. 

July 17 – Explored the city centre. First item on the agenda was a ride over the Cykelslangen (Bike Snake) Bridge.

We went into the mall at the end of the bridge and parked in the extensuve indoor  bike parking area.

Then we explored the city. Cycling was very comfortable – lots of cycle tracks – but motor vehicle traffic was almost in gridlock. I guess that this is why over 40% of trips are made by bike.

More pics here   

July 18 – More Exploring Copenhagen

We had lunch at the Street Food Market. Then rode over the new ped/cycle bridge. This bridge had lots of construction problms and received a negative review from Copenhagonize:

Here is a pic of the weird jog:

Cyclists hace to negotiate a tight jog near the left side of the pic.

Copenhagen has developed Green Waves for cyclists on many arterials. Lights are synchronized in one direction so that traffic travelling at 20 kph flows freely. 

 July 19 Did a side trip to Malmo. 
More to come…

Bike Tour 2017 – Rostock, Germany to Copenhagen

July 12 to Nykobing Falster, Denmark

First imppressions re cycling infrastructure in Denmark were good. Similar to Germany with quiet roads or separated paths. Also, they use the Dutch style “shark teeth” yield strips on roads as well as on bike paths.

Then a couple of noisy, smelly gas powered motor svooters came by and I quickly realized that they also seem to share the horrid Dutch policy of allowing these on bike paths. They also seem to have the Canadian predilection bor baffle gates!?! Fortunately reasonably widely spaced.

Rode along a nice oceanside path for a while.

July 13 – To Stege – 

Started off on a nice paved path. Then quiet country roads followed by gravel lanes and forest access roads. Took a ferry actoss to the next island.

We were then quite surprised to find ourselves on a busy highway with narrow shoulders, especially after being pampered for many weeks. Thankfully we  were on the highway for inly a few km and had a strong tailwind. Rest of route was quite pleasant.

Oceanside path – nice location, but unusually natrow and with gravel surface

July 14 – To Praesto 

Took bus 20km to the white cliffs of Mons Island. Buses take 2 bikes inside the bus!

Cycled back to Stege and on to Praesto by mostly following the B-KO/EV7 route. We were again surprised when the route followed a busy higway with natrow (5 – 30 cm wide) shoulders. Rest of route was the regular quiet roads with some off road paths. Also we were pleasantly surprised to find a section with wideish (1.5 to 2m) paths on both sides of a highway!

Praesto is a cute village on the sea.

July 15 – To Holtug

On the way out of Praesto, we came across thei sayurday maket. Most of the village wsd car free and crowded with people. No police or volunteets manning batricades – why can’t we do this in Vancouver? How about car free Water Street every Saturday?

Saw more chaulk cliffs north of Redvig.

July 16 – To Copenhagen – 60 km

Saw a few castles on the way.

Then our ride turned into an adveture.  First it started to rain and Jean got a flat on one of her Schwalbe Maraton Plus tires. Soon after, I got two flats in a row – perhaps we rode over the same glass field. Jean received a nasty welcome to Danish style cycle tracks by falling off her bike when she rode over a poor transition from bike lane to cycle track.

All was forgiven when the rain stopped and the route brought us to a path through a seaside park and the through a forest and fields which extended almost to the heart of the city.  The last few kilometres were on wide cycletracks.

3m wide cycle tracks on both sides of the road

More pics here.  

Bike Tour 2017 – Berlin to Copenhagen

eral information

A Berlin – Copenhagen cycle route (B-KO) has neen developed. This route forms part of the international EuroVelo 7 route (EV7) which links Malta and Norway. Lots of information including gps route data is provided at:

http://www.bike-berlin-copenhagen.com/  

July 2 – To Leegenbruch – 38 km 

Great ride out of Berlin.  We took a bike path beside Osloer Strasse and quickly connected with the B-KO route. This route was marked as both the B-KO route snd also German national route D11 though there was no indication that this was also EV7. 

Route was mostly off road and went beside a river until we were well north of Berlin. Well signed – a real treat to ride on. At one point the path went by what we assume is a preserved section of the Berlin wall.

It is interesting that this wall which was a symbol of the Cold War and which caused a lot of suffering is now a canvas for graffiti art and a  backdrop for a portion of an international cycling route.

There were several ped/cycle bridges over streams and canals along the way – some up to 5m wide..

A portion of the cycle path into Leegenbruch was under about 15 cm of water. We found out later that the area suffered a hundred year flood due to excessive rain.  It was raining lightly when we arrived.

More pics here

July 3 – To Zehdenick – 44 km

 Beautiful day – sunny and cool. Very impressed with cycle facilities in the area of Oranienburg north of Berlin. Almost up to Dutch standards in terms of consistency.  Here is a pic of a 4m path along one side of a canal and there is also a 4.5m path on the other side

Great signage with the addition of intersection numbers as is common in the Netherlands.

More pics here   

July 4  – To Furstenberg/Havel (45 km)

Nice cool and sunny day. Soon came across a historic brick factory site which is now a museum. This area was rich in clay and was a major brick making area from the mid 18th century to the end of the 19th century. The clay mining pits which dotted the area are now lakes.

Part of brick manufacturing museum. Note covered bike parking.

Route was mostly beside water (lakes, rivers, canals) or through forests on paths or  “Fahrradstrasse” (narrow paved roads which only allow residence access).

 

More pics here

July 5 – To Neustrilitz 45 km

Mixed quality of paths today. Some narrow but quiet highways. A narrow gravel section and narrow section but surprisingly smooth sectiin with a surface of paving stones.

Visited a castle in Wesenburg. Here is a view from the tower.

July 6 To Warren – 60 km

We often went off the official Berlin-Copenhagen route both yestetday and today but found cycling infrastructure to be quite good. We encountered paths beside major two lane highways which were of quite high quality. Why don’t we see this in Canada, especially near high population centres?

Cycle path beside major two lane highway. Note barriers beside both hwy and bike path beside drop.

Saw a palace in Neustrilitz on the way.

More pics here   

July 7 – Rest day near Waren 20 km

Explored Waren, a touristy town at the north end of Lake Murtitz – the largest lake in Germany. 

Nice ped/cycle underpass.

Reminds me of one in Vancouver, but this one has ramps, stairs and elevators!!

July 8 – To Zietlitz (near Krakow am Zee) – 49 km

As we were leaving our accommodation, we noticed two kids playing teeter-totter with two goats. All seemed to be enjoying the game.

 

We followed Berlin-Copehagen route most of the way. Much of the route was on paved paths and quiet roads through forests. Very pleasant. We stopped for lunch at a small picnic shelter.

More pics here

 July 9 – to Gustrow – 46 km

More narrow country roads. Lots of pine plantations in this area. Pine sap was collected from some trees. By cutting grooves and collecting sap.

Came across what I suspect is a “wohnerf” street where cars must yoeld to others and must travel at ped speeds. Why not in Canada?

Nice castle inGustrow.

More pics here

July 10  – To Rostok – 60 km

Which statements do you thik are true? (Answer below)

  • We saw camels near the bike path?
  • We chowed our lunch in a village named Letschow?
  • We saw the Baltic Sea?

After leaving Gustrow, we rode along a canal dyke path. Then mostly country lanes and dedicated paths. We passed an interesting rest spot which had seating inside and bike parking behind.

Yes, we did see camels.

We received a rainy welcome to Rostock – a city on the Baltic Sea. The crys of seagulls told us that we were near salt water. The city has a beautiful and car free square.

See more pics for welcome sign to Letschow, where we had lunch.

July 11 – Rest day in Rostock

We rested. 

I did notice an example where cycling infrastructure is better in Metro Vancouver than in Rostok.  Rostock is at the end if an inlet. In order to avoid a 20 km ride around the end of the inlet, I thought that it would be possible to ride through a tunnel. Turns out that this is not allowed and the only way across was to take a bus at a cost of about $6 each for us and our bikes!  In Vancouver, there is a free shuttle service at the George Massey Tunnel or as a senior I can get through the tunnel by bus with my bike for $1.75 .

On the other hand  drivers here are ultra good at yielding to pedestrians at crosswalks. By comparison, I once had 17 drivers fail to yield while crossing at a certain intersection in Vancouver.  

The following day, we took the city bus to the ferry. Bus had space for 2 bikes inside the bus near the middle doors. Much more convenient than a bus rack, especially with fully loaded bikes.

July 12 to Nykobing Falster, Denmark

First imppressions re cycling infrastructure in Denmark were good. Similar to Germany with quiet roads or separated paths. Also, they use the Dutch style “shark teeth” yield strips on roads as well as on bike paths.

Then a couple of noisy, smelly gas powered motor svooters came by and I quickly realized that they also seem to share the horrid Dutch policy of allowing these on bike paths.

Rode along a nice oceanside path for a while.

July 13 – To Stege – 

Started off on a nice paved path. Then quiet country roads followed by gravel lanes and forest access roads. Took a ferry actoss to the next island.

We were then quite surprised to find ourselves on a busy highway with narrow shoulders, especially after being pampered for many weeks. Thankfully we  were on the highway for inly a few km and had a strong tailwind. Rest of route was quite pleasant.

  

July 14 – To Praesto 

Took bus 20km to the white cliffs of Mons Island. Buses take 2 bikes inside the bus!

Cycled back to Stege and on to Praesto by mostly following the B-KO/EV7 route. We were again surprised when the route followed a busy higway with natrow (5 – 30 cm wide) shoulders. Rest of route was the regular quiet roads with some off road paths. Also we were pleasantly surprised to find a section with wideish (1.5 to 2m) paths on both sides of a highway!

Praesto is a cute village on the sea.


July 15 

Bike Tour 2017 – Dresden to Berlin Section

June 26 – Strehla 61 km

Cool, cloudy day – perfect for riding. Pretty river path. Explored Meissen on the way. Pleasant square and castle high on a hill.

Castle in Meissen

June 27 – Torgau

Another cool day, also cloudy. On the way we met a young woman who was from Dresden and now living in Montreal.  She gave us some of the horrific details of the fire bombing of Dresden at the end of WWII. Torgau was at the centre of the reformation movement in the 16th century which featured Martin Luther. Very nice castle as well as a church which dates back to the 13th centuy.  Lots of history here.

Castle in Torgau.  

More pictures here .

June 28 – Lutherstadt Wittenberg ( 72 km – flat path)

Passed through lots of little villages and farm fields. Rode through a light thunderstorm and put on some rain gear for the only the second time this trip. We did have about 5 km of fairly busy highway but most of route was off road paths or along quiet roads.

Lutherstadt Wittenberg is a pretty town with a castle and two very large churches. They are currently hosting a large exposition to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the reformation.

Castle in Lutherstadt Wittenberg

More pics here .

June 29 – Potsdam 44 km cycle plus train

We now leave the high quality Elberadweg (Elbe bike route). Heading north, we followed gravel paths and roads for about 10 km – a marked drop in quality from the Elbe route. At a state boundary, conditions improved and we were treated to paved paths most of the way to Bad Belzig. Here is an interesting situation where a paved cycle path was constructed beside a gravel road (which I assume is a forest service road). 

This makes a lot of sense, but one would be hard pressed to find something like this in Canada.

Visited Berg Rabenstein castle and also a castle in Bad Belzig. 

Berg Rabenstein Castle south of Potsdam

Due to start of heavy rain and long distance remaining, we decided to take a train to Potsdam.  We were surprised that our scheduled train was cancelled due to technical difficulties and we had to wait an additional hour for the next train. We were doubly surprised that the messages and announcements of the technical difficulties were very misleading and caused us further delay. Note, however, that rail service in most of Europe is for the most part exceptionally good, especially when compared to Canada. If we missed a Via train in Vancouver, we would have to wait 2 or 3 days for the nect one. Also, there are almost always special spots for bikes on most regional European trains.

June 30 – To Berlin

We started the day by exploring Potsdam. We first visited a Dutch style street which was created by Flemish peole who moved there in the 1730s. Next we explored a small portion of the very expansive Sanssouci Palace grounds which includes many buildings (and a windmill!) and vast gardens. Then rode down a car free street (why don’t we have these in Canada?) and finally the ostentatious square.

Dutch style street in Potsdam

Our ride into Berlin was mostly follewing the EuroVelo 7 route. It started off in a wide “Fahradstrasse” – a street where cars are allowed but may not pass bikes. Then wide bike lanes. One section was on a rough paved path though there was the option to ride on the wide-ish 30 k/h street which we soon chose.  After this, there was a mix of bike facilities including a narrow one-way bike path marked on the sidewalk. This worked quite well as long as there were not cars parked immediately beside or even intruding into the path. 

Sidewalk divided into ped and bike sections

More pics here

July 1 – Extra day in Berlin

Took the S-Bahn (metro) to Brandenburg gate. Then went to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This is a massive but quite abstract memorial which covers 19,000 square metres. The information exhibit meant more to me since it provided detailed information of the holocaust.  It is very difficult to understand how fellow human beings could devise such a massive genocide and also how so many could participate in this horrendous undertaking.  This memorial was particularly meaningful to me since my parents sheltered 5 Jewish people in their farmhouse in the Netherlands during WWII   Over 100,000 Dutch Jews were not so lucky.  

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

We spent the rest of the day exploing Berlin.

More pics here .

Next section is Bike Tour 2017 – Berlin to Copenhagen

Bike Tour 2017 – Prague to Dresden

June 20 – Melnik – 75 km

From our hotel in southern Prague, we rode on a mostly off road path (cycle route A22) till we met cycle route A2 at the Vltava River. This cycle route is also part of EuroVelo 7 (EV7) which connects Malta and Norway.  We then rode EV7 All the way to Melnik. We rode through the heart of Prague on an off-road path and cotinued on a mixture of riverside paths and quiet roads.

We were surprised when the signage had us go up a set of stairs and cross over a pipeline bridge.

We found out later that there was a alternate route which involved taking a small ferry across  a river.

Melnik is a lovely little town with a picturesque square.  Not as dramatic as Prague, but it is a nice feature of cycle touring that we get to explore these little gems.

Church in Melnik

June 21 – Litomerice 

June 22 – Mezni Louka 75 km

We rode mostly on an excellent path along the Elbe River. Spotted a castle on the way. 

We rode for a few km after crossing into Germany (not so much as a sign to infom us!) and took a small ferry actoss the river to Hrensko on the Czech side. After a 7 km. ride, we arrived at our destination which lies in the heart of Saxon Switzerland National Park which features a number of interesting sandstone formations.

June 23 – Rest day

We took the bus to a trail head and did  6 km. hike. One of the sights was the biggest rock bridge in Europe.

June 24 – To Dresden

After a quick descent from Mezni Louka, we crossed the border into Germany (for the second time)  and entered the pretty German village of Bad Schandau where we again connected with the EV7 path beside the Elbe River. 

Square in Bad Schandau, Germany

We rode most of the way to Dresden on EV7 which was mostly a riverside path or narrow local access road. At Pirna, we decided to switch to the cycle route on the north side of the Elbe. This was OK for a while until we hit a massive festival which blocked our route a few times forcing detours. Bonus was that the festval also caused many streets to be car free. Eventually, we came across a bridge which took us to the path on the south side of the Elbe. This 4m wide paved path took us into the heart of  beautiful Dresden. 

June 25 – Extra day in Dresden – 38 km sidetrip

Today we rode out to Moritzberg Castle north of Dresden. Also saw a nice church.

More pics here.

Cycling Infrastructure in Slovakia

As part of our 2017 Europe cycling tour, my partner Jean and I rode through parts of Slovakia.  We would like to share some of the good cycling infrastructure which we experienced.

We rode on the Slovak side of the Danube between Estergom and Komarno and also entered Slovakia again near Bratislava. We then rode on EuroVelo 13, the Iron Curtain route, north toward the Czech Republic.

Bike routes in Slovakia have nicely spaced rest stops. This one is on EuroVelo 13 north of Bratislava.

In Bratislava, I wad riding in a painted bike lane and came across this van which was parked in the traffic lane. I was totally blown away!

 

Along the Slovak section of EuroVelo 13, there are lots of information boards. This one was about bats and is number 34 in a 50 km section of bike route.