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Hard in the wind

The waters of the Danish South Pacific are a great area for sailors. That much is clear. And those who like hot dogs and fakse beer will love it too. But what’s there for motorcyclists in Denmark besides headwinds??

Thomas Quast


The four-cylinder of the Yamaha XJR hums sonorously into the mild evening. The bike swings relaxed over the winding little country road. The huge performance of the Big Block, well, it doesn’t really need it here. Here, that’s just across the Danish border. At Kruså, Klaus and I turned onto the narrow coastal road along the Flensburg Fjord. And as we slide along, I wonder what has actually changed since we crossed the border. Hilly, green, and the occasional wind-whipped trees lining the road ?? this is how Schleswig-Holstein presented itself. Still, something is different. The colors, yes, of course, it is the colors with which this region attracts attention. It seems as if the fields and meadows are a tad greener, the rape even more yellow. The roofs of the light blue or yellow, but mostly bright white houses are bright red. Even more intense is the poppy, which contrasts with the green of the landscape as well as the dark blue of the sky in the evening. And over everything lies an unbelievably fresh spring fragrance, which flows emphatically through the slightly opened visor. Denmark welcomes us in an incredibly pleasant way. The next day begins as sunny as yesterday ended. To the east we quickly reach the town of Sønderborg on the island of Als, which nestles close to the Danish mainland via a bridge. We rush over this island and aim for the small peninsula Kegnæs in the south. The path leads past pretty beaches, and from the end of a road the lighthouse of Kegnæs greets us and lures us onto the lanes of this promontory lined with tall fields before we turn north again to take the ferry from Fynshav over to Fyn, the second largest Island of the »Danish South Seas« to be caught. Fyn ?? or Funen ?? is considered by many Danes as the country’s “parlor”. Lush fields and blooming gardens, castles and moated castles as well as a coastline of more than 1100 kilometers explain this name. We initially orientate ourselves northwards from the ferry port Bøjden and bypass Helnæs Bugt to get to the peninsula of the same name. Boats with anglers bob in the blue waters of the Baltic Sea on both sides of the kilometer-long road to Helnæns. On the peninsula, the road rises to a sand dune, mostly overgrown with grass and barren shrubbery, from which you can see the green headland with Helnæs Fyr, the island’s lighthouse. To the right is Jutland, the Danish mainland. We stop on the hill where a vehicle is already parked. An older woman comes up to us immediately and says: “Shh!” Well, well, the crackling of the already switched off engines won’t bother her. But then the woman points to a reed pond just before the narrow sandy beach. And when I take off my helmet, I know what it was all about: From the pool there is an incredibly loud, throaty frog concert, the deep resonances of which would probably make every Harley driver pale. Finally we move along Fyn’s west coast to the south, pass Faaborg, whose quaint cutter and yacht harbor is surrounded by colorful houses. An incapable of maneuvering yacht is being towed into port by a police boat. Fishermen in heavy work shoes bring the fresh catch off board. It smells of sea, fish and spring, and the red and white Danebrog, the Danish flag, blows above everything on a high mast in the constant wind. A skipper greets with the usual “Hey” and looks at our bikes. Then he leans over the map in the map compartment of my tank bag. He would probably prefer a nautical chart. »To the navigation ?? eh «, he says mischievously and in the best German. We navigate further south-east, reach Svendborg and finally reach Langeland via a large steel bridge that leads over the small» intermediate island «Tåsinge. The name fits, because the “Long Land” is actually only a narrow, but at least 57 kilometers long island, which seems to consist almost entirely of beach and meadow. But we also discover historical things. At Humble in the middle of the hilly interior of the island is Kong Humbles Grav, a prehistoric dolmen tomb over 50 meters long in which the Viking King Humbles was buried. Further evidence of prehistory up to the time of the Vikings can be found in the museum in the main town of the island, in Rudkøbing, but we use this wonderful day to drive. And let the little horses of the motorbikes march to the high cliffs of the Langeland southern tip. From above we look at the busy shipping traffic in the waters of the Danish South Pacific. Sailing boats and motor yachts cross between several ferries and sometimes really thick pots through the calm, green-blue water of the Baltic Sea, which is slightly rippled by the wind. As much as there is on the water, it is so calm on land. At least this time of year. We stand alone at the lookout point. Judging by the size of the parking lot, there is a lot going on in summer. On Langeland we decide against the ferry over to Lolland and curve back to Svendborg, the city that likes to adorn itself with the title “Capital of the Danish South Seas”. In fact, almost every island in this corner of Denmark can be reached from the old trading port. So much choice makes the decision difficult. Tomorrow we will decide where the bikes or ferries will take us. After breakfast we will be drawn up the east coast from Fyn to Kerteminde. We first stop in the harbor, park the motorbikes and disappear into the Fjord and Bøltcenter, which provides information about the Danish island and underwater world of the Kattegat and the Baltic Sea. In numerous aquariums there are fish and crabs in colors and shapes that I would not have expected here. It’s unbelievable how rich in species the Baltic Sea is. Then the path leads through a tunnel under the sea surface, which is provided with large viewing windows. We look directly into the sea or into the museum’s large outdoor pool? like from a submarine. With a little luck you can even watch the two gray porpoises Eigil and Freja playing underwater. The small whales are typical of the region, but may only be kept here and elsewhere for research purposes. But we don’t see them until later, when we take a short break under the 13-meter-long whale skeleton in the center’s cafeteria. With a view of the pool where Eigil and Freja are being fed. An hour ago we were under water and we are now 65 meters above the lake. Almost in the middle of the Storebælt Bridge. Two pylons tower over our heads 254 meters high into the sky, from which the one and a half kilometer long central section of the bridge is suspended from thick steel cables. Overall, this huge structure on stilts that connects Fyn with Sjælland is no less than 18 kilometers long and allows even the largest ships to pass. But the boats below us suddenly seem so tiny, as if you could take them into the bathtub with you. On Sjælland ?? the largest Danish island after Greenland ?? Once you arrive, you will first be charged a toll for using the bridge. In contrast, a visit to the information center is free. And a must. After all, it is the second largest suspension bridge in the world. In the rearview mirror we can see the huge structure for a long time. The old ferry from Knudshoved to Halsskov still operates despite the bridge. And I am thinking that next time I would prefer to translate by boat again. Not because I’m afraid of heights. But it’s just a lot more comfortable to take a break on board a small ship and enjoy a fantastic Danish hot dog with tartar sauce. First we follow the coastline to the south. The bikes can be moved undisturbed on small roads at this time of the year. We only overtake a tractor every now and then. There is still no trace of holiday traffic. But from the wind. The trees of the lush green avenue through which we are driving are all disheveled and lean across the street, lashed by the constant north-westerly wind. After a while we reach the hidden Renaissance castle Borreby, which is one of the oldest structures in Denmark. A beautiful red brick property. We move on, slowly drifting towards the east coast of the island of Sjælland and arriving at Fakse. Even if we are not very familiar with Danish place names ?? Everyone knows this for sure. And for many, the well-known Fakse brewery is one of Denmark’s main attractions. Despite the good tasting barley juice, we don’t stay long in this town, but instead continue rolling towards the island of Møn. Along the Fakse Bay, the 1300s prances casually across the street, past small streams, lakes and mini fjords. A wonderful area for driving. Like the island of Møn. A real gem. Luminous fields that stretch over rolling hills. Poppies and rapeseed in full bloom. Small forests and colorful, spruced up towns. And of course the chalk cliffs that are up to 130 meters high and stretch over eight kilometers on Møn’s east coast. The maritime evening light bathes the white rocks in a light blue. From the wind-torn forest, which looks as if Nordic elves and trolls lived there, trees protrude far beyond the chalk giants. There is something wildly romantic about the scenery, similar to the famous pictures of the chalk cliffs on Rugen in Caspar David Friedrich’s famous pictures, which on the other side of the Baltic Sea are more or less the equivalent of the Møn cliffs. Towards the setting sun, we move over the tiny island of Bogø first to Falster and finally to Lolland. The next morning I stand on the reed-lined beach of Tårs and watch a ferry come into the nearby harbor. It comes from Spodsbjerg on Langeland, which you can see on the horizon. One of many ways to cross the Baltic Sea between the islands of the Danish South Pacific. From nearby Rødby we could, for example, sail over to Puttgarden on Fehmarn. We set course again for the island of Falster. Once there, we stroll south of Nykøbing across a headland with long, beautiful sandy beaches. With a little more time in our luggage, we would really like to make ourselves comfortable in one of the nice holiday homes for a few days. But in Gedser, at the southernmost tip of Falster, the ferry to Rostock-Warnemunde is already waiting. On board I look around again and see next to the red and white Danebrog that blows at the stern of the ferry, the thick, also red and white, square lighthouse of Gedser Odde amid green meadows and yellow and red fields. Now I am quite sure. Denmark is recognized by these colors.


Denmark is the kingdom of islands: around 400 islets make up most of the country. Thanks to countless ferries, bridges, tunnels and dams, you can easily jump from island to island.

Arrival: Denmark ?? or Jutland, as the mainland north of Schleswig-Holstein is called ?? can be reached via the A7 in the direction of Flensburg. Alternatively, there is a ferry connection from Puttgarden on Fehmarn to Rødby in the north. Coming from the northeast, the ferry passage from Rostock-Warnemunde to Gedser on the island of Falster is a good choice. The ferry costs are seasonal. The prices quoted apply to a single passage for one person with a motorcycle in the preseason. The crossing from Rostock to Gedser or from Puttgarden to Rødby costs around 40 marks. The domestic ferry from Fynshav on Als to Bøjden on Fyn costs around 23 marks, the toll for using the Storebælt bridge is around 28 marks. Travel time: The preferred travel time for Denmark is midsummer. However, the popular holiday destination is then hopelessly overcrowded in many places. There are also numerous mobile homes and caravans on the roads. Even if it should be a little cooler in spring and early summer and only hardened bathers can use the Baltic Sea from the lake side, this time of year is particularly recommended for a trip to Denmark. Or you drive in late summer. From mid-August it will be a bit quieter in Denmark. Sights: In the museums on the Danish islands you can find a lot about the early history of the country and the life of the Vikings. The Sønderborg Slot Museum primarily documents the history of the German-Danish wars, which almost completely destroyed the city at the end of the last century. The well-known moated castle Egeskov on Funen is overcrowded in summer, but is worthwhile because of the attached car and motorcycle vintage museum. Also worth seeing under this aspect: the vintage car museum in Aalholm Castle near Nysted on Lolland. Langelands Museum in Rudkøbing is dedicated to the Stone Age and the Viking Age. The tomb of King Humbles is in the village of Humble on Langeland. The “Medieval Center” in Nykøbing on Falster leads back in time with numerous exhibits. The fjord and ball center in Kerteminde, which is absolutely worth seeing, is primarily dedicated to the Danish underwater flora and fauna. The Storebæltcenter in Halsskov documents the history of the gigantic Storebælt Bridge. Nature is certainly worth seeing everywhere in Denmark, but a trip to the up to 130 meter high chalk cliffs of Møns Klint is recommended for everyone. Accommodation: Good tent sites, where huts can be rented, can be found almost everywhere. At youth hostels, Bed & Breakfast, pensions and hotels are no shortage. Because of the cozy atmosphere in Egernsund, the Hotel Førgegaarden, Havnevej 2, 6320 Egernsund, telephone / fax 0045/74441200 is worthwhile. A single room costs around 75 marks. Also nice: Hotel Postgaarden, Strandgade 4-6, 4230 Skælskør, phone 0045/581914-39, fax 581914-38. A single room costs around 110 marks. Finally, the Motel Guldborg at Guldborgvej 284a in Guldborg is recommended, phone 0045 / 5477-1511, fax ?? 1311, single room for around 80 marks. Further information: Danish Tourist Office, Glockengieberwall 2, 20095 Hamburg, phone 040/320210 Fax: 32021111. Or on the Internet at Literature: We recommend »Denmark« by Marco Polo for 14.80 Marks. Also good for self-drivers: the polyglot travel guide of the same name for 14.80 marks. The HB picture atlas about Denmark sets the mood perfectly for the country and has useful travel tips ready for 16.80 marks. If you want to know more, you can take the DUMONT Correct Travel for 39.80 marks. For a tour, we recommend the general map of Denmark by Marco Polo on a scale of 1: 200,000, which costs 8.80 marks per sheet. Time required: five days, distance: 1200 kilometers

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