While all Germans make their way to Sylt with a €9 train ticket, we treat ourselves to the 13-hour Flixbus ride from Zurich to Hamburg.
When the bus finally left after an hour’s delay, we were looking forward to the start of our trip after an intense final preparation period and all the goodbyes. We didn’t expect to find ourselves in adventure mode just a few minutes later.
The bus slowed down, the border to Konstanz was in sight, there it started…
Two rows in front of us, a nervousness among two men made itself felt. One immediately made his way to the bus restroom without locking the door, strange. Two border guards entered the bus and conducted a personal check. His seat neighbor’s ID card was checked very closely, but finally approved. When the officers met in the middle exactly at the level of the toilet and finished checking people, everyone anxiously followed the rest of the process. An elderly gentleman who had his seat right in front of the restroom asked the policewoman if she wanted to check the restroom. She just laughed and said “No, we’d rather not look in there”.
So the doors closed and the bus moved on. Less than 10 minutes later, the refugee (a guess) came out of the restroom. That was probably a bad 25 minutes for him.
For us and probably also for all passengers a very difficult situation. Legally, the person would have to be reported, but humanly, everyone was happy he made it.
After the commotion, we wanted to go to sleep and took our two sleeping pills. But sleep was still denied to us, at the first stop in Germany two women got on the train and sat right behind us. The one was from second 1 only grumbling and complained about everything. She wanted to know the vaccination status of everyone who was around her. So they outdid each other with the number of vaccinations, booster vaccinations, and recoveries they had.
We only visited Hamburg for half a day because we wanted to get out into nature as quickly as possible. As luck would have it, we encountered extremely hungry Ralph, a local bike enthusiast. He showed us the Elbe tunnel, which runs under the Elbe River, and took us to his favorite snack bar, where they had excellent baked fish.
The 3 days to the Danish border turned out nice, but not spectacular. Many fields and flat, wide landscapes made the ride rather monotonous. But what delighted us were the many beautiful houses with thatched roofs and the colorful flower meadows.
Excited for the 7th country of our world trip we crossed the border to Denmark. From many bike travelers we have learned in advance that the country is very bike-friendly in the sense of few altitude meters, super developed bike paths and free usable shelters. It all came true, only the strong headwind in the first days made us think about our route planning. It almost always comes from the west or northwest and that was exactly our direction. Fortunately, the wind then died down a bit after 2 days, our motivation thanked him!
At the latest when we arrived at the west coast, we really started to like it. The North Sea Coast Cycle Route leads through beautiful dune landscapes and past even more thatched-roof houses.
We think it’s worth saying a few more words about the shelters. Shelters can be located through the “Shelter” app and filters can be used to narrow down the search, such as shelters with a water tap, a toilet or even a shower. All for free! For us it is a great luxury to have a roof over our heads and even water on site. Also, it saves time each evening to find a game campsite and pitch the tent.
The bike lanes also deserve a few extra pictures, we think it could be like this everywhere.
Today (6/16/2022), Nicole’s birthday, we’re taking our first break day at an idyllic teepee shelter site right on the lake.