07/06/2019

Barslevvej revisited

I was last visited my paternal grand-parents on Thyholm 20th August 1959 partaking in the celebration of my grand-dad's 70th birthday.
Now, almost 60 years later, the small house on Hvidbjerg's Barslevvej looks very different – but the fond memories are unchanged.

31/05/2019

Sevel

Today has been different: It began with sunshine and blue sky, – and it has lasted all day !
We left Fur island via an 8-minutes ride across the strait ...
... and enjoyed the voyage however short.
Looking back at Fur on a beautiful summer morning.
The first plan was to take the route along Salling's west coast via the medieval castle Spøttrup, but in order to minimize the effect of the persistent west wind we opted for an alternative plan that took us southwards along the east coast of the peninsula to Skive.
En route we passed this brand new and ultra-modern bacon factory. Inside these huge and windowless buildings are thousands of live pigs on death row. Not a life to be envied and supported. Buy oinking, free-wheeling eco-pigs if you want something porky.
Lunch break happened somewhere on the old Glyngøre and Skive railway line (1884-1979).
The tiny village of Lyby is the remains of the long-gone rail era.
We arrived at sunny Skive and proceeded to the marina where we caught a glimpse of this naked woman in high heels.
Tempted by the summery weather and temps we settled for a coffee-and-ice-cream break at the harbour front's Is à Bella gelato joint.
Next to the harbour is Krabbesholm Højskole with the main building dating back to medieval times.
After a lengthy – and faultily signed – escape route out of Skive, we reached the east shore of Flyndersø and stopped at Sahl to enjoy the beautiful church, famous for its golden altar. I recalled that my parents took me to this church 60 years ago!
Only a couple of kilometers from Sahl is the outdoor museum of Hjerl Hede. However, it was about to close when we arrived. More luck next time. – We then focussed on the fork-knife-bed sign and biked the last three kms to Sevel and checked in at the old Sevel Inn that is squeezed in between the church and the grocery store.
– – – 
We have finished a very good meal and are now relaxing upstairs in room #4, just above the bar. Expect a lively Friday night, but hope for a quiet one.
Tomorrow will be our last biking day. So far we have "eaten" 711 kms of sand, gravel and asphalt and with the 49 kms left for the last stage back to our car at Jegindø, we'll have rolled a total of 760 kilometers around Limfjorden.
. . . . .
Thanks for following us.
Stay tuned !

30/05/2019

Fur and Cats

At 9 o'clock we set off from the horse farm and faced the rainy day.
We headed north with a strong backwind, but on the first downhill the missis lost control of her vehicle and paid an unplanned visit inside a straw bale.
Nevertheless, we made it to Hvalpsund and caught the ferry across to the Salling peninsula.
A local "naturist" greeted us as we steamed into the harbour at Sandsøre ...
... and we continued northwards to another ferry and then Fur, a small island in Limfjorden north of Salling.
Fur is all about kieselguhr / moclay / diatomite (moler in Danish). The island's north coast has large cliffs where layers of light diatomite and dark volcanic ash are exposed. The deposits are about 55 million years old.
The diatomite consists of zillions of minute silicate skeletons of tiny dead algae that once lived in a sub-tropical ocean in this region.
That ocean had fishes, reptiles and what not. Marvelous fossils from that time (55 mio ago) have been found and are now exhibited in the small local museum.
After the museum, we shopped at the local coop and biked to our B&B in an old farmhouse (where everything is in the style of the 1960s). We got some lunch and dried the wettest clothes.
Then we headed out to explore some of the island wonders, like this diatomite stand-alone ...
... and this pit mine where c. 100,000 tons of diatomite are harvested annually. The mining company's primary product is CAT LITTER – exported from Fur to the world's furious fur cats who own an indoor toilet tray with moclay granulate with excellent absorption characteristics.
– – –
Tonight we sense some improvement in the low overcast and wet weather. Hope for a dry day tomorrow (May 31, the last day of spring) when we'll bike south-southwest via Spøttrup to Sevel.

29/05/2019

Johannes V. Jensen Land

Today we crossed most of Himmerland from north to south. This region was the home of Cimbrians about 2000 years ago. They became famous because they (and their neigbours the Teutones) migrated from Jutland southwards into Roman controlled territory, and clashed with Rome and her allies. The Cimbrian War (113-101 B.C.) was the first time in 100 years that the Roman Empire and Rome itself had been seriously threatened.
Back to the present. We biked along the beautiful coast of Nibe Bredning and passed through the small and hyggelicious town of Nibe.
This week, all over and everywhere the white hawthorns are blooming so overwhelmingly. The sweet smell of nectar (honey) is in the air.
No doubt here: The west wind comes from the right and shapes the front of the woods.
The meadows south of Halkær Bredning were very lush and beautiful.
The large farm at Halkær Mølle (water mill) was a thatched beauty in a very picturesque area.
Close by Halkær Mølle, a meadow sported hundreds of flowering early-purple orchids (Orchis mascula); – a memorable moment for any botany afficinado.
Farther south along the old railway traché turned bike path, we saw this stone cist (storstenskiste) built by forefathers of the Cimbrians about 4500 years ago, during a period that we now call Late Stone Age (Sen Bondestenalder).
The interior of the stone cist.
Around lunch time we arrived at Aars, the main town in Himmerland.
We spent half-an-hour in front of Peder's bakery munching and drinking, before we continued on bike route 29 to Farsø. 
And here it is: Søndergade 48 in Farsø, the birthplace of Johannes V. Jensen, the famous Danish author who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1944. Most unfortunate, however, the museum was closed.
Johannes was exceedingly productive during his life as an author. Among his most famous historical novels are Kongens Fald (The Fall of the King) and Den Lange Rejse (The Long Journey).
Unbeknownst by most, the northernmost land on this planet is named Johannes V. Jensen Land. It is a large and High Arctic area around 82°N neighbouring the Arctic Ocean and the closest terrestrial region to the North Pole.
Late in the afternoon we shopped for dinner and breakfast at Gedsted (Goat's place) and pedaled the last 8 kms to our accommodation at a cosy stud farm raising thoroughbreds.
– – –
Tomorrow (Ascension Day) we will head north to visit the island of Fur, world famous for its deposits of 55 millions-years-old diatomaceous earth (aka kieselguhr).

28/05/2019

Westbound

The bright morning sun over Kattegat woke us up ...
 ... and we enjoyed the view as well as the fact that is was a clear blue sky.
However, the very strong westerly made today's ride a constant battle. We managed to reach a Memorandum-of-Understanding (or MoU) with the wind.
En route towards the southern outskirts of the big city of Aalborg (Jutland's second largest city) we stopped at Skelby (shellby) for coffee-and-snacks right on the shelly shore of Limfjorden.

Where the farmland meets the cityscape in the southeastern part of Aalborg.
The new Aalborg University Hospital is under completion and is a monstrously huge complex dedicated to curing the sick in Jutland's north region.
After three hours out in the open windy landscape we needed lunch and found a leeward corner by the Meny supermarket in the Aalborgian suburb of Skalborg.
Then we left greater Aalborg and bicycled towards Nibe.
 We passed the manor Store Restrup, dating back to the early 14th century. However, the building in the photo is from 1723.
After about six hours on the road we reached our destination on a nib of the coast north of Nibe. Here's our view towards the west from the neighbouring beach.
"Blæsten går frisk over Limfjordens vande" is so much today's lyrics.
Not just the waters were wavy today, the barley fields also turned into grassy seas of wavering stalks.
– – –
We are staying overnight in Mellemholm on the south shore of the fjord due south of Gjøl on the north shore. Tomorrow's stage will be in southwestern direction.

27/05/2019

Dokkedal

A very good and diverse breakfast at Dronninglund Castle got us launched into Monday's activities.
Heading southeast through the countryside we stopped and chatted a bit with a flock of Zwartbles sheep; a Dutch Friesland race that is very rare in DK.
In wet and cold weather we arrived in the village of Hou at the Kattegat shore on the east coast of Jutland. A not-too-exciting parking lot near the beach was chosen for a coffee-and-croissant break.
The town of Hals at Limfjorden's east exit/entrance is also home of pilot boats and Denmark's last two large icebreakers afloat: Isbjørn and Danbjørn. The icebreakers have been inactive and out-of-job for many, many years.
We boarded the small shuttle ferry in Hals and crossed Limfjorden to Egense on its south coast.
About 15 km south of Limfjorden we visited Lille Vildmose, a vast wilderness of mostly bogs and moorlands.
We looked for moose and otters but saw "only" various birdlife.
Lille Vildmose is Denmark’s biggest protected region with its 7600 hectares.
This and neighbouring fields adjacent to the wilderness are where the famous Lille Vildmose potatoes are produced.
We are spending our indoor hours until tomorrow morning in an AirBnB in the tiny village of Dokkedal and are preparing ourselves for Tuesday's westbound stage to Nibe.